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Majors in psychology and economics are most popular at Rutgers

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The School of Arts and Sciences has more than 70 available majors for students to choose from, many of which go unnoticed. At schools across the country, less students are majoring in humanities and more are pursuing STEM majors. THE DAILY TARGUM / MAY 2017

Psychology and economics remain two of the most popular majors at Rutgers, said Susan Lawrence, vice dean for Undergraduate Education in the School of Arts and Sciences.

“Psychology and economics have been at the top for many years. Computer science has experienced a dramatic increase in majors over the last few years,” Lawrence said.

General psychology is a popular major choice for students, according to USA Today. Lawrence added that at Rutgers and around the country, general trends have shown a decline in humanities majors and an increase in STEM majors.

As shown by the job market, computer science is listed by Glassdoor as the highest-paying field to major in, with electrical and mechanical engineering coming in second and third, respectively. 

The School of Arts and Sciences has more than 70 majors to choose from, according to the Office of Academic Services website. But, many of these majors are neglected by students, which Lawrence attributes to a lack of information.

“One challenge is that students often think that they need to decide on their major before they start college when they are not yet aware of the full range of majors available here ... ,” she said. “And, even subjects that seem more familiar from high school, like English, history and languages, are taught very differently at the college level and may appeal to different students when they try them here.”

Lawrence said that the School of Arts and Sciences core curriculum is designed to allow students to take a wide variety of classes in order to find a field of study that appeals to them. She encourages students to attend one of the many major fairs held by Academic Services. The next one will be held on Wednesday, March 21, at the Busch Student Center. 

While individualized majors are no longer offered at the School of Arts and Sciences, Rutgers has enough combinations of majors and minors in order for students to tailor their education to their needs, Lawrence said. 

The University offers courses specifically designed to help students find the right combination. The new Career Explorations in Arts and Sciences 1.5-credit course helps sophomores and juniors make connections between what they enjoy studying, their own sense of purpose and the wide range of career options available to graduates, she said. 

“The rapid rate of change in the world today, including the world of work, requires students to be determined, adaptable and highly skilled in multiple areas,” Lawrence said.

Sam Leibowitz-Lord

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