Major/Double Major Question

Discussion in 'Naval Academy - USNA' started by RT10, Jan 27, 2016.

  1. RT10

    RT10 Member

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    Hello all!

    So I am now in the process of trying to plan what I might want to study at USNA, and what I think I am leaning towards right now is a major in Political Science, and if possible, a double major in Arabic. (I would like to work for the FBI or CIA after service - of course this is always subject to change)

    I'm curious; how do double majors work at USNA exactly? Would it take me longer than my four years, or not necessarily?

    Any insight to this would be great!
     
  2. AROTC-dad

    AROTC-dad Just a dad

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  3. RT10

    RT10 Member

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  4. usna1985

    usna1985 USNA Alumnus

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    First off, any major at USNA is difficult. A double major is typically possible only if a mid validates a fair number of courses, thus freeing up the schedule in later years and/or takes summer school.

    From what I know, Arabic would need to be your primary major. Mids are selected for this major during PS based on aptitude and interest. Their course load is altered beginning as a plebe so they can take Arabic for all four years. Only if you had time in your schedule to add Poly Sci would a double major be possible.

    You only get four years to graduate (absent very unusual circumstances such as medical issues).

    Finally, while it's fine to think of what you'll do in the long term, it probably makes more sense to focus on what you'll do in the USN/USMC upon graduation as that covers your next 9+ years.
     
  5. NavyHoops

    NavyHoops Moderator

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    Is Arabic a language you have taken before? More than likely on this path you would major and then minor in the language. That happens frequently. Except for the rare exception, you will graduate in 4 years. The exceptions are not for situations like you mention, it's for some who either get hurt/sick or have some academic troubles but show great potential as an officer. Generally to do this you would need to validate some courses, add a class here and there and possibly summer school. That is how most folks double major or major/minor. You have plenty of time to figure this out.
     
  6. Capt MJ

    Capt MJ Member

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    You will get plenty of briefs on academic choices once there, and you will have an academic advisor. Double majors are possible, depending on how you are doing academically. Think of the stats you racked up to get there; look left and right on I-Day, and your classmates are right there with you. Many mids take voluntary summer school during one of the summer training blocks, to get courses out of the way, for various reasons, one of which is making a double major work. You will hear all about this, and there will be upperclass in your company you can learn from.

    First and foremost, your job will be to learn to be a good plebe, then a good midshipman, staying sat in academics, pro knowledge, performance, conduct and physical fitness.

    You have 4 years to get the job done. There is a tiny handful of mids who graduate in Aug and Dec of your class year, who will have had some exceptional circumstance causing them to have what's called delayed grad.

    Best advice - enjoy the time left to you before I-Day and go with an open mind. It's good to have short, mid and long-term plans. It's equally good to be flexible and open to adjustments along the way. Be open to major, service selection, and most of all, how long you think you are going to stay in.
     
  7. RT10

    RT10 Member

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    Good shout everyone! Thanks for the replies!
     
  8. 5Day

    5Day Member

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    From USNA Course Requirements
    Non-language, non-STEM humanities or social science majors are required to take or validate four semesters of a foreign language.

    IMHO it would be more important to be fluent in Arabic rather than major in the subject. The 4 semesters of a language would be very close to a minor.
     
  9. hopefulmom19

    hopefulmom19 Member

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    My DD is a current plebe. She had 4 years of Arabic in High School (she would NOT consider herself even close to fluent)
    She was able to validate Arabic I and is now taking Arabic II
    The Monday after the brigade reformed for the semester a major open house was open for all of the plebes. She spent several hours talking with different folks about the possibilities in each major as well as the possibility of double majoring.
    Bottom line is you can double but it is difficult (even if it's Arabic & Poly Sci which seem to go hand in hand)
    Just be open to all of the different majors and keep in mind that you put in preferences, Not choices because the needs of the Navy still come first !
    One other thing to keep in mind is that 1 of your 3 preferences MUST be a STEM major (my DD did not find this out until the beginning of the semester)
    Good Luck & Congrat !
     
  10. Cerberi

    Cerberi Member

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    Just a side note - the USNA Dean of Mathematics who spoke at DDs CVW was a double major in poli sci/ history at USNA went to nuke school and is considered by the USN qualified to be the Dean of Mathematics at one of the top engineering schools in the world (he also teaches math so his job is more than administrative)

    An SA education prepares you for many careers both in the service and beyond.

    BTW - all graduates have the same rank after graduation.

    Not suggesting to give up on a double major but though it sounds impressive it is both difficult to achieve and not all that important to your career.
     
  11. usnabgo08

    usnabgo08 USNA 2008/BGO

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    As USNA is a STEM-based school, just like when thinking about potential Navy and Marine Corps service assignments, candidates need to have alternate choices (including Group I/Group II) for majors if they intend to major in a Group III (Humanities/Social Sciences). This is something that should be (at least it supposed to be) discussed in the BGO interview (so it isn't a surprise), especially if the candidate's initial preference is Group III.

    I think it is good for RT10 to think longer term and see if there is a path to his future ambitions/goals, realizing that it isn't written in stone and there might be some "bumps" along the way. Some of the decisions at USNA could help with your longer term goals...so it is good to see if you can take advantage of that, but remember....service before self!
     
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  12. Capt MJ

    Capt MJ Member

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    One of our USNA alumni sponsor family was a Pure Science major, then Marine, now he/she is Something Else - being vague on purpose. Another was an Engineering major, then Navy Surface Warfare, now Something Else. In the elite ABC world. The ABCs are looking for proven leaders/team players with good, adaptive, insightful brains and personal integrity. Many paths to get there. Language aptitude (not USNA major) helped them both. One of them now knows multiple desired languages, but it was nothing he/she studied at USNA. They both tested off the charts for language aptitude. Majors can't hurt, can help in some ways, but proven performance in operational settings is a large factor.
     
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  13. 5Day

    5Day Member

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    USNA Majors and Courses
    "While the majority of midshipmen will choose their majors freely, the needs of the Naval Service take precedence. For the Naval Academy Class of 2013 and beyond, at least 65% of those graduates commissioned into the U.S. Navy must complete academic majors in science, technology, engineering, or mathematics disciplines. This institutional requirement applies as well to NROTC programs at other colleges. At the end of plebe year, midshipmen choose a major course of study with counsel from academic and military advisors."

    Bold is mine
     
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