Ten most popular majors for freshmen by the numbers

This year, as the University welcomes the class of 2011, a variety of majors for incoming freshmen maintain their popularity.

The most popular major for incoming freshmen is “undecided,” as was expected by Director of Undergraduate Admissions Gary Swegan. This year, more than 400 freshmen have not declared a specific major.

Dermot Forde, the associate director of Academic Enhancement, suggests this number is so high because students can declare undecided majors in specific colleges such as arts and sciences or business, and also are generally unsure about what to do with their futures.

Forde said it is actually a good idea to be undecided as a freshman.

“Now, personally, I think that’s a very healthy thing. I think our structure at Bowling Green State University is set up particularly well to help students pick a major,” Forde said.

Not only does the University help students pick a major through advising, but it also offers a course to help students develop ideas about what kind of career they would like to have. UNIV 131 allows students to work closely with the career center and complete activities to narrow down career options.

“Deciding on a major is a matter of looking at what we have and narrowing down the things you’re sure you wouldn’t be interested in,” Forde said.

Although it is recommended to declare a major by the third semester, many students have difficulty deciding. Some majors are able to be completed within the typical four years, even if declared during the student’s sophomore year, while others become problematic.

“Collectively, a group of things you do and decisions you come to ultimately come together to help you decide your major. You have to invest some time and get involved in the process, and if you do, chances are you’ll pick a major you’re happy with,” Forde said.

Pre-nursing is one of the most consistently popular majors. This year, with 21 more freshmen in the program than last year, pre-nursing has the most incoming students for a single major.

Jessica Clifford, an adviser for the College of Health and Human Services, expected a number of freshmen to major in nursing this year because of the nursing shortage.

The nursing major has a high return rate, but is also considered one of the most competitive majors. Not all students will return to complete the program, and the ones who leave do so for a variety of reasons. Outside the University, the entire nursing field is competitive, and even two-year programs have wait lists, Clifford said.

“We’re really excited about the nursing program and the quality of students this year. A good group entered the program this year and we expect a lot from them,” Clifford said.

Whether students are undecided, unsure of their declared majors or enthusiastic to begin their programs, it is important for students to remember and utilize the on-campus resources to help develop their career paths, Forde said.