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NPSAS: Executive Summary Profile of Undergraduates in U.S. Postsecondary Education Institutions: 1999-2000
Who Were 1999-2000 Undergradautes?
Where Are Undergraduates Enrolled and What Do They Study?
Degree Program
Field of Study
Undergraduate Diversity and The Risk of Leaving Postsecondary Education?
Research Methodology
Full Report (PDF)
Executive Summary (PDF)
Field of Study

Among undergraduates with a declared major (90 percent had declared a major), the largest proportions majored either in business-related fields (19 percent) or arts and humanities (18 percent). Eight to 10 percent majored in each of the following: social and behavioral sciences, computer science, education, health, and other technical or professional fields. No more than 6 percent majored in any other field.

Historically, women have outnumbered men in education and health, while men have outnumbered women in computer science and engineering. The same patterns were found among 1999–2000 undergraduates: 2 percent of women versus 11 percent of men majored in engineering, and 6 percent of women versus 13 percent of men majored in computer and information sciences. In contrast, 11 percent of women versus 4 percent of men majored in education, and 15 percent of women versus 4 percent of men majored in health. In the likelihood of majoring in business, however, no differences were detected between men and women or among racial/ethnic groups.

Age was also related to field of study. Undergraduates who were 30 or older were more likely than those 23 or younger to major in computer science fields and less likely to major in social and behavioral sciences.

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