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The most popular majors from then and now

The most popular undergraduate majors at Ohio University have stayed on top for about the past 20 years. 

Of the many undergraduate majors offered on campus, two have seemed to stick around. Since 2000, journalism and biological sciences have remained two of the most popular undergraduate majors.

In 2017 — the most recent data available — the top three undergraduate majors at OU were biological sciences, nursing and journalism, respectively. 

Over 1,000 students were enrolled in biological sciences, or about 6.2% of the undergraduate population, making it the most popular major on campus that year. Nursing came in second with about 670 students enrolled, or about 3.7% of the population, and journalism was a close third with about 667 students enrolled, also about 3.7% of the population. 

Almost 20 years before then, the numbers looked similar. 

In 2000, the most popular undergraduate major was journalism, with about 829 students enrolled, or about 5.1% of the undergraduate population. Biological sciences fell just below, with about 827 students enrolled, also about 5.1% of the population. Human and consumer sciences had about 800 students enrolled, or about 4.9% of the population. 

The most popular majors for graduate students have changed much more significantly, though. In 2000, the top three majors were educational studies, international affairs, electrical engineering and computer science. In 2017, the top three were general business, health administration and sports administration. 

Riley Zielinski, a freshman studying biology, said she wants to eventually use her degree to study disease prevention. 

“I want to go into research for genetic illnesses and possible detection (or) treatment methods, so it made the most sense to get a biology degree,” Zielinski said. 

Duncan Goldberg, a sports reporter and weekend anchor at WTAP in Parkersburg, West Virginia, and an OU alumni, said he had wanted to go into sports broadcasting since he was a kid. 

“Now that I am in the profession, it’s not the highlight calls that are the things that give me joy, it’s the things like making an impact on these kids' lives that makes me feel like I’m doing something special,” Goldberg said. “Putting a smile on the local athletes’ faces because they know they’ll be on TV tonight, or (that) you get to tell a story about them is one of the best feelings you can have.”


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