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Popular College Degrees and Programs

Want to see what degrees are the most popular among students seeking postsecondary education? Below is a list of the 200 most popular degrees and certificates awarded between 2010 and 2011. No differentiation is made between the varying degree levels, though minor degrees are not included. The list provides a quick idea as to which areas of study are commonly being pursued, and which are believed to provide the most career choices upon completion. The data is taken from the National Center for Education Statistics’ Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (IPEDS).

List of the Top 200 Most Popular Degrees & Programs

The table below lists the total degrees and certificates awarded from all institutions from 2010-2011.

RankSchool NameTotal Degrees Awarded
#1Business Administration313,741
#2Liberal Arts273,794
#3Nursing180,975
#4Medical Assistant140,312
#5Psychology106,742
#6Cosmetology80,608
#7General Studies74,622
#8Accounting74,608
#9Biology68,390
#10Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN)60,748
#11Elementary Education59,661
#12English50,883
#13Nursing Assistant50,213
#14Law44,485
#15Criminal Justice44,158
#16Political Science42,612
#17Auto Mechanic39,684
#18History39,429
#19Social Work39,130
#20Education38,850
#21Finance38,190
#22Advertising and Marketing36,247
#23Communications36,053
#24Sociology32,434
#25Economics31,365
#26Massage Therapy31,170
#27Educational Leadership and Administration29,017
#28Law and Justice Administration28,568
#29Mechanical Engineering26,478
#30Dental Assistant24,725
#31Welding24,638
#32Early Childhood Education24,608
#33Pharmacy Technician23,863
#34Special Education23,605
#35Electrical Engineering23,523
#36Bookkeeping22,567
#37Culinary Arts21,095
#38Heating and Air Conditioning (HVAC)20,716
#39Math19,899
#40Computer Networking18,044
#41Civil Engineering17,655
#42Chemistry17,452
#43Paralegal17,172
#44Medicine16,863
#45Bus and Truck Driver16,748
#46Kinesiology And Exercise Science16,653
#47Computer Science16,508
#48Electrician16,223
#49Public Administration15,710
#50Secondary Education15,594
#51Journalism14,830
#52International Relations14,505
#53Information Technology14,306
#54Guidance Counselor13,824
#55Administrative Assistant13,311
#56Healthcare Administration13,278
#57Information Systems13,016
#58Esthetician12,750
#59Pharmacy12,691
#60Human Resources12,245
#61Physical Education11,841
#62Anthropology11,678
#63Human Services11,282
#64Music11,060
#65Sports Medicine10,607
#66Architecture10,443
#67Graphic Design10,275
#68Surgical Technologist10,249
#69Physical Therapy10,036
#70Sports Management9,630
#71International Business9,505
#72Diesel Mechanic8,977
#73Auto Body8,909
#74Counseling Psychology8,890
#75Philosophy8,718
#76Fire Science8,579
#77Chemical Engineering8,430
#78Physics8,362
#79Behavioral Science8,309
#80Respiratory Therapy8,233
#81Public Health7,992
#82Dental Hygienist7,835
#83Interior Design7,566
#84Radiology Technician7,503
#85Phlebotomy7,443
#86Cinematography And Film7,057
#87Audiology and Speech Pathology6,950
#88Veterinary Assistant6,934
#89Biochemistry6,925
#90Engineering6,859
#91Criminology6,675
#92Biomedical Engineering6,413
#93Ministry6,398
#94Theology6,367
#95Web Design6,155
#96Physician Assistant6,075
#97Nail Technician6,067
#98Physical Therapist Assistant6,051
#99Ultrasound Technician6,018
#100Geography6,012
#101Occupational Therapy5,897
#102Baking And Pastry5,776
#103Computer Aided Design (CAD)5,508
#104Geology5,487
#105Creative Writing5,424
#106Animal Science5,298
#107Religious Studies5,244
#108Operations Management5,180
#109Dentistry5,100
#110Fashion Merchandising5,065
#111Substance Abuse and Addiction Counseling4,913
#112Aircraft Mechanic4,847
#113Art History4,755
#114Environmental Science4,714
#115Public Relations4,674
#116Carpentry4,664
#117Clinical Psychology4,649
#118Fashion Design4,493
#119Child Care4,449
#120Logistics and Supply Chain Management4,190
#121Computer Programming4,184
#122Public Policy4,055
#123Child Development3,965
#124Animation3,744
#125Audio and Video Production3,714
#126Athletic Training3,705
#127Engineering Management3,626
#128Biomedical Science3,527
#129Parks and Recreation Management3,438
#130Hotel and Hospitality Management3,423
#131Construction Management3,422
#132Dietetics3,402
#133Automotive Engineering3,386
#134Property Management3,351
#135Aviation3,347
#136Urban Planning3,342
#137Neuroscience3,298
#138Photography3,137
#139Occupational Therapy Assistant (OTA)3,095
#140Real Estate3,058
#141Organizational and Nonprofit Management3,038
#142Statistics2,977
#143Computer Graphics2,829
#144School Psychology2,775
#145Systems Engineering2,748
#146Mental Health Counseling2,742
#147Marriage and Family Therapy2,723
#148Chiropractic2,694
#149Linguistics2,686
#150Molecular Biology2,597
#151Veterinary Medicine2,564
#152Agriculture2,529
#153Dance2,441
#154Nutrition2,413
#155Horticulture2,341
#156Legal Studies2,309
#157Environmental and Wildlife Management2,298
#158Forensic Science2,093
#159Radio And Television Broadcasting2,080
#160Microbiology2,064
#161Exercise Physiology1,933
#162Software Engineering1,919
#163Zoology1,848
#164Medical Transcription1,775
#165Illustration1,707
#166Industrial Design1,580
#167Music Management1,570
#168Jewelry Design1,463
#169Petroleum Engineering1,463
#170Acupuncture1,451
#171Food Science1,451
#172Christian Counseling1,429
#173Organizational Psychology1,354
#174Optometry1,327
#175Marine Biology1,298
#176Game Design1,225
#177Forensic Psychology1,198
#178Developmental And Child Psychology1,087
#179Risk Management and Insurance1,068
#180Forestry1,022
#181Makeup Artist1,017
#182Air Traffic Controller951
#183Environmental Health839
#184Court Reporting713
#185Equine Studies668
#186Art Therapy563
#187Podiatry543
#188Turf Management512
#189Museum Studies499
#190Astronomy457
#191Botany414
#192Structural Engineering411
#193Sign Language393
#194Music Therapy364
#195Health Informatics344
#196Archaeology340
#197Holistic Health and Nutrition335
#198Gunsmithing317
#199Wildlife Biology270
#200Anesthesiologist Assistant224

Source: IPEDS Completions Data 2010-2011.