I talk to students and advisees, and a surprising number of them seem to think that they should have more than one major and minor.
I have one advisee who has an English major, a science major, and arts minor, and a second humanities minor. There's not much overlap, so that's 120 credits without any other requirements (and there are others beyond majors/minors).
Most of these students are worried about getting a job someday, and they're trying to do that something extra that will help them feel like they're going to succeed and it will all be okay. I'm sympathetic to that. It's terrifying to look at our economy and think about looking for work.
On the other hand, I'm just not at all sure that an extra major or minor convinces employers that this applicant is the one.
Has anyone seen evidence that having multiple majors/minors helps job seekers?
There are also those who do a major in something they don't really like, but think will land them a job, and another major in something they really like, but don't think will land them a job. I worry about these folks. First, if you don't like it, will you like your job enough to make it worth while getting up in the morning? And second, if you really like, say, creative writing, do you have to declare a major in it, or could you just take some classes and enjoy those?
The Fort folks are worried about the time to degree for our students (we have a very low 4 year graduation rate, and a reasonably respectable 6 year graduation rate). So would it make sense to limit students to one major and one minor? Or maybe one major and two minors? (They won't do that because it's much easier to beat up faculty about the graduation rates than to tell a student "no" to anything.)
What can public universities do to help their graduation rates? Legislatures care about the graduation rates, so we have to care, but should we try to convince them otherwise? Or are they right to care?
(Given that our students take out loans and often work a lot of hours, an extra year in school costs them a lot in the long run, even if it doesn't seem like a lot up front.)