New year brings more students — Biology most popular major among freshmen

By JUSTIN M. NGUYEN 

Web administrator 

The most popular major among freshmen — with 102 out of 570 — is biology. Following behind at a close second is nursing with 95 students.

With a record number of freshmen students enrolled for the fall 2013 semester, many students may be seeking guidance from both peers and advisors.

James Steen, director of enrollment management, said that though the class rosters have not been finalized , the freshmen class has broken several records already.

“This is the most number of freshmen who have enrolled in a semester,” Steen said. “The numbers could melt as the semester goes on, but I’m encouraged by the numbers we have now.”

One of the most popular declared majors outside of the College of Science and Math is management, which is under the School of Business.

Dr. Mohan Kuruvilla, dean of the School of Business, said that many freshmen who declare accounting as their major only take a few business classes in their first year.

He added that many students who choose to switch their major to acc o u n t i n g , the school’s second most popular major, cite the job opportunities as the primary reason for the switch.

“Lots of students choose accounting because they get job offers before they even graduate,” Kuruvilla said. “I would not recommend the major to everyone, though. You need a certain state of mind.”

He said that despite the opportunities presented by certain majors, the key to finding a major is to identify one’s passions.

Many students who plan on earning a degree from the College of Science and Mathematics switch majors at some point in college.

Junior Thomas Huynh, an accounting major, said that he became interested in accounting because of the job security, but he made the switch from biology because the field interested him.

“I worked on this accounting project with a friend of mine during the summer of my freshman year, and it turns out I was actually really good and liked it,” he said. “Today, that project has turned into a business worth more than $400,000.”

Huynh urged freshmen to explore different options and to not force themselves into a single career path.

“Don’t be afraid to say that you don’t know what you want to be yet,” he said.

Junior Jasmine John, a biology major, said she believes it is important for students to get involved on campus early on.

She added that she spent a lot of time with her fellow science majors in Cullen Science Building as a freshman.

“I didn’t do a lot of extracurricular activities on campus my freshman year,” she said. “I’m more involved now, but I think I should have been more active back then.”

The University has also seen increases in incoming transfer students for the fall semester.

Enrollment of transfers increased from 185 to 233 between the fall 2012 and fall 2013 year.

Biology majors were among the greatest in number with 28 transfer students — second only to nursing majors, which had 40 transfers.

The yield rates — which is the number of accepted students compared to the number of students who enroll — was also very high for biology majors, at 96.6 percent.

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