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The Carletonian

The Carletonian

Class of 2011 declares majors; Biology and Economics top the list

<esults are in: the 497 members of the 2011 have picked their majors, and this year, the top major is… a tie. For the class of 2011, two major are the most popular: biology and economics both have 48 newly declared majors. However this year’s biology majors show a marked decrease from last year’s 62 new majors. The number of physics majors spiked this year, with 27 new major declarations, twice that of last year.

The economics department experienced a 10-person increase from last year, perhaps a testament to the current economic recession. “People are scared of the job market,” said Tim Carroll ’09, an American Studies major.
In the realm of social sciences, international relations majors climbed this year, with 41 new political science/international relations majors compared to 33 last year.

Perhaps the most striking growth in a major field was in physics. Of the 27 new physics majors, 8 are women. This accounts for 30 percent of the major; 38 percent of last year’s newly declared physics majors were women, yet out of a much smaller pool of only 13 new majors.

According to Professor of physics and astronomy, Cindy Blaha, this year’s physics majors are “our largest class ever.” She noted that the physics major has always experienced fluctuations in number, usually ranging between 15 and 20 majors, but stated that it did “look like a big jump this year.”
In the chemistry department, 32 students newly declared the major. Along gender lines, women continued their steady presence in the chemistry department with 15 new female majors, constituting 47 percent of the total. This relatively equal gender balance in chemistry is roughly on par with last year’s gender distribution in the department, which had a perfect 50-50 gender balance.

There are new English majors 34 in the class of 2011, the same number as last year. The cinema and media studies department continues to grow, with 18 declared majors this year, up from 11 last year, when the major was first introduced.

Last year, the psychology major had a peak year in major declarations, with 46 students declaring. This year, the new number of 34 is back to roughly where the department has been in previous years (32 majors in the class of 2009). The history major is also smaller this year, with 27 new majors, compared to 37 last year.

Geology maintained its small but loyal presence in major declarations, with 18 students this year declaring the major, slightly lower than the 23 majors declared last year (but up from 15 in the class of 2009).

Other departments with high numbers of major declarations include mathematics (25), computer science (21), sociology & anthropology (19), political science (non-IR) (15), American Studies (13), studio art (12) and art history (11).

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