Although difficult, it is possible to earn a B.S. or B.A. in Biology while simultaneously earning a B.S. or B.A. in another discipline during a four-year period. To accomplish this, you must plan early (usually in your freshman year). If you make this decision later, you must be open to the necessity of taking summer courses at other universities or colleges, or even extending your stay at Elon beyond eight semesters. In the past, Biology majors have completed their undergraduate studies in four years and also majored in Education, Chemistry, Psychology, Environmental Studies, Art, Music and Philosophy. Students interested in careers that require interdisciplinary training might be well served by a double major. However, you must weigh the importance of earning two degrees against the costs. The costs include limiting the number of elective courses that provide you with a broad liberal arts education, and also limiting the number of advanced studies courses in both majors. Often, students can gain the advantages of a double major by minoring in another discipline or developing a course of study that includes many courses from another department but not quite fulfilling all the requirements needed to earn the degree.
Students interested in double majoring must maintain a continuing dialogue wiht an advisor in the Biology department and an advisor in the other major department. In consultation with both advisors, the student should build a four-year schedule of courses in the freshman year. It should be mentioned that it is not possible to predict when two required courses in different departments may conflict, so you will have to be flexible and able to adjust to last-minute obstacles. In some cases, course substitutions can be made to facilitate a double major. For instance, Environmental Studies majors who wish to double-major in biology can substitute Biodiversity (BIO 231) for the Diversity of Life course (ENS 215/BIO 215). More information on a double major in Biology and Environmental Studies is provided elsewhere in the Biology Department Student Handbook.