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The Atlantic: As Humanities Majors Decline, Colleges Try to Hype Up Their Programs

1NJParent1NJParent Registered User Posts: 580 Member
edited November 1 in College Majors
https://www.theatlantic.com/education/archive/2018/11/colleges-studying-humanities-promotion/574621/
What’s puzzling to the college officials I spoke to is that they say students’ interest in humanities majors remains high during the college-search process, according to what students indicate on their applications. Then something happens between when students apply and when they actually declare a major, usually in their sophomore year. Perhaps students’ intentions on their applications weren’t serious,...
Or did they just think (probably correctly) that their chances of acceptance would be higher if they selected humanities on their applications?
Unless colleges in the United States want to follow the European model, where prospective students apply to specific degree programs instead of a given university, the choices of American students will likely always shift with the winds of employment.
We've seen some colleges in the US doing just that for some of the most popular majors (such as CS). Will the practice spread?

Replies to: The Atlantic: As Humanities Majors Decline, Colleges Try to Hype Up Their Programs

  • ucbalumnusucbalumnus Registered User Posts: 72,219 Senior Member
    edited November 2
    1NJParent wrote:
    Or did they just think (probably correctly) that their chances of acceptance would be higher if they selected humanities on their applications?

    A common belief, based on postings here. But changing into a more popular major after enrolling may be difficult, because the popular major may be full.

    But also, as the prospect of having to find a job gets closer, any academic idealism that a high school senior may have could get deprioritized compared to preprofessional considerations.
    1NJParent wrote:
    We've seen some colleges in the US doing just that for some of the most popular majors (such as CS). Will the practice spread?

    The entire California State University system does that, although students can optionally apply or be admitted undeclared. Changing or declaring major is not guaranteed if the new major is impacted (enrolled to its capacity).

    The Universities of California do that for some, but not all, campuses, divisions, and majors.

    University of Washington and UIUC are other schools where one applies to the major as frosh. Applicants may get in undeclared, but many majors have restricted or competitive admission after enrolling undeclared.
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