Title

Student's Choice of Majors and the Determining Factors

Authors

Sarah X. Su

Document Type

Article

Publication Date

2002

Abstract

A student's major is one of the fundamental outcomes of a college education. It is often determined by some demographic and academic variables. Students at Occidental College show some consistent patterns with respect to their choice of major. One of the patterns is that although females are less likely to express interest in science as incoming freshman relative to males, gender is not significant in determining who gets retained in science. Also, contrary to the commonly reported result in the literature, students who enter college at Occidental undecided about their major have graduation rates which are not significantly different from students who have picked out a major. In addition to these patterns, patterns with respect to ethnicity also exist and this project looks at the incoming freshmen at Occidental from fall 1993 to identify and analyze these patterns and pinpoint their significant determinants.

Advisor

M. Tamada

Department

sociology

Support

Hewlett Foundation Fellowship

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