Double Majors

Yes, you can double-major

Communication majors may double-major in any other major that allows it. Communication majors have doubled in Psychology, Spanish, History, Classics, Management, Marketing, Dance, Sports Management, English, Legal Studies, Hospitality, Political Science, Theater, Sociology, BDIC, German, Judaic Studies, and Philosophy, among others. Note that double majors must complete all the requirements of both major programs.


Are there any restrictions on what majors I can combine with Communication?

The Communication department does not impose any, but the department you hope to double-major with might. Check with them for their rules.

How do I declare a double major?

Fill out an application and submit it to 407A Machmer along with your transcript. Once you have been admitted to the major, you will need to fill out a change of major form, which you can find in the registrar’s office or in 407A Machmer Hall. It’s recommended that you do this by the end of your sophomore year.

What if I pursue a double major but don’t finish one major in time for graduation?

If you fail to complete the requirements for one of your majors, you will not graduate, even if you fulfill all of your other graduation requirements. If you don’t plan to complete the requirements for one of your majors, you must formally drop it with a "Change of Major" form before you can be cleared for graduation. Pick one up at Machmer 407A.

What is meant by “primary major” and “secondary major”?

Double majors are required to identify one major as primary, making the other one secondary. You still have to satisfy the requirements of both majors, but the choice of primary major determines in what department or college you will fulfill some of those requirements. For example, you must complete your Integrative Experience (IE) course in your primary major and you may have to complete the university-wide Junior Year Writing requirement in your primary major. Or if your two majors are in different colleges (Communication is in the College of Social and Behavioral Science), you may need to complete additional college requirements of your primary major.

If I double-major, how does my choice of primary or secondary major affect Communication department requirements?

Your choice of primary major affects where you will take the Junior Year Writing and Integrative Experience (IE) courses and may affect whether you need to complete the Global Education requirement.

Junior Year Writing:
If Communication is your primary major, you will take COMM 375-Junior Year Writing in the Communication Department. If you have already taken Junior Year Writing in your secondary major, you must fill out a "Request to Substitute an Outside Course" form so that SPIRE will waive the requirement on your Communication Academic Requirements Report (ARR). Then you must take another 3-credit COMM course at the 300-level or above instead of COMM 375.

If Communication is your secondary major, the Junior Year Writing requirement can be taken in your primary major; SPIRE will automatically waive the writing requirement for Communication because it’s being fulfilled in your primary major. However, you will have to replace the 3 Communication credits you would have earned taking Junior Year Writing in Communication with another class at the 300 level or higher. This will ensure that you reach the 36 credits required for the Communication major.

Global Education Requirement:

If Communication is your primary major, you are required to complete the 15 credit SBS Global Education Requirement. If Communication is your secondary major, and your primary major is in a college other than the College of Social and Behavioral Sciences (SBS), then you will complete that’s College’s requirement, and the Global Education Requirement will automatically be waived.

Integrative Experience (IE)

If Communication is your primary major, you must take your Integrative Experience (IE) course in Communication.


What is the difference between a double major and a dual degree?

A double major results in a single degree. UMass Amherst also offers the option of pursuing two separate degrees simultaneously. If that interests you, consult the Academic Regulations Handbook. A Dual Degree requires 150 credits taken in consecutive semesters, completing the requirements of both majors, and completing the college requirements of both majors, if they are in different colleges. You should meet with the Undergraduate Program Director or Chief Undergraduate Advisor if you are planning to do a dual degree with Communication.

Can I minor in Communication?

No. The Communication department does not offer a minor in Communication.

Click here to learn more about applying to the Communication major.