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 2015 and 2016. 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 2015-2016.

RankProgram NameTotal Degrees Awarded
#1Business Administration318,254
#2Liberal Arts299,934
#3Nursing231,193
#4Psychology126,588
#5General Studies108,798
#6Medical Assistant84,930
#7Biology81,539
#8Accounting81,195
#9Cosmetology77,073
#10Social Work50,196
#11Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN)49,934
#12Criminal Justice48,951
#13Nursing Assistant45,869
#14English45,642
#15Elementary Education40,926
#16Law40,630
#17Finance40,626
#18Communications40,049
#19Auto Mechanic38,944
#20Political Science38,247
#21Advertising and Marketing37,215
#22Welding35,960
#23Mechanical Engineering35,511
#24Economics35,365
#25Sociology33,942
#26History33,047
#27Law and Justice Administration32,384
#28Early Childhood Education30,153
#29Education29,536
#30Electrical Engineering29,255
#31Computer Science27,666
#32Educational Leadership and Administration26,994
#33Kinesiology And Exercise Science26,083
#34Math24,078
#35Dental Assistant23,269
#36Bookkeeping23,152
#37Healthcare Administration21,017
#38Bus and Truck Driver20,193
#39Culinary Arts20,113
#40Special Education20,036
#41Massage Therapy19,910
#42Information Technology19,904
#43Chemistry19,836
#44Civil Engineering18,845
#45Medicine18,551
#46Heating and Air Conditioning (HVAC)18,219
#47Public Administration17,266
#48Human Services17,052
#49Esthetician16,431
#50Human Resources15,630
#51Pharmacy15,341
#52Paralegal14,952
#53Pharmacy Technician14,683
#54Computer Networking14,608
#55Journalism13,853
#56International Relations13,543
#57Public Health13,536
#58Electrician13,520
#59Sports Management13,218
#60Sports Medicine12,975
#61Guidance Counselor12,544
#62Administrative Assistant12,488
#63Information Systems12,044
#64Anthropology11,961
#65Chemical Engineering11,634
#66Physical Therapy11,594
#67Music11,373
#68Graphic Design11,240
#69Counseling Psychology11,012
#70Secondary Education10,815
#71Physics10,610
#72Physical Education10,421
#73Architecture10,415
#74Diesel Mechanic9,460
#75Biomedical Engineering9,115
#76Nail Technician9,036
#77Veterinary Assistant8,997
#78Fire Science8,500
#79Biochemistry8,499
#80International Business8,467
#81Surgical Technologist8,439
#82Criminology8,396
#83Dental Hygienist8,352
#84Cinematography And Film8,139
#85Phlebotomy8,132
#86Physician Assistant8,106
#87Baking And Pastry7,910
#88Respiratory Therapy7,899
#89Philosophy7,653
#90Engineering7,639
#91Audiology and Speech Pathology7,517
#92Physical Therapist Assistant7,438
#93Behavioral Science7,431
#94Geology7,395
#95Occupational Therapy7,243
#96Environmental Science7,220
#97Ministry7,172
#98Creative Writing6,825
#99Auto Body6,589
#100Computer Programming6,442
#101Computer Aided Design (CAD)6,388
#102Theology6,254
#103Animal Science6,237
#104Radiology Technician6,132
#105Logistics and Supply Chain Management6,097
#106Geography6,014
#107Web Design5,993
#108Interior Design5,971
#109Substance Abuse and Addiction Counseling5,967
#110Dentistry5,934
#111Biomedical Science5,811
#112Public Relations5,728
#113Fashion Merchandising5,690
#114Neuroscience5,507
#115Mental Health Counseling5,430
#116Audio and Video Production5,351
#117Clinical Psychology5,251
#118Aircraft Mechanic5,246
#119Ultrasound Technician5,119
#120Athletic Training5,064
#121Occupational Therapy Assistant (OTA)4,926
#122Operations Management4,809
#123Religious Studies4,687
#124Public Policy4,629
#125Dietetics4,584
#126Child Development4,543
#127Statistics4,481
#128Animation4,363
#129Fashion Design4,356
#130Engineering Management4,324
#131Child Care4,300
#132Art History4,080
#133Hotel and Hospitality Management3,762
#134Parks and Recreation Management3,700
#135Carpentry3,695
#136Exercise Physiology3,617
#137Aviation3,507
#138Systems Engineering3,381
#139Marriage and Family Therapy3,360
#140Real Estate3,310
#141Photography3,227
#142Urban Planning3,168
#143Linguistics3,141
#144Molecular Biology3,116
#145Forensic Science3,093
#146Nutrition3,085
#147Agriculture2,932
#148School Psychology2,872
#149Veterinary Medicine2,815
#150Dance2,752
#151Game Design2,742
#152Organizational and Nonprofit Management2,677
#153Software Engineering2,636
#154Chiropractic2,544
#155Construction Management2,533
#156Microbiology2,516
#157Computer Graphics2,499
#158Legal Studies2,360
#159Petroleum Engineering2,339
#160Environmental and Wildlife Management2,317
#161Illustration2,261
#162Property Management2,131
#163Food Science2,038
#164Music Management2,014
#165Horticulture1,848
#166Zoology1,841
#167Industrial Design1,819
#168Forensic Psychology1,811
#169Acupuncture1,792
#170Radio And Television Broadcasting1,770
#171Marine Biology1,658
#172Organizational Psychology1,621
#173Christian Counseling1,577
#174Optometry1,566
#175Risk Management and Insurance1,526
#176Makeup Artist1,382
#177Automotive Engineering1,365
#178Environmental Health1,097
#179Jewelry Design1,045
#180Developmental And Child Psychology1,020
#181Health Informatics894
#182Forestry870
#183Equine Studies780
#184Art Therapy707
#185Museum Studies705
#186Court Reporting691
#187Air Traffic Controller614
#188Sign Language604
#189Podiatry574
#190Turf Management499
#191Music Therapy482
#192Medical Transcription455
#193Wildlife Biology438
#194Gunsmithing426
#195Astronomy411
#196Structural Engineering410
#197Botany398
#198Archaeology307
#199Holistic Health and Nutrition229
#200Astrophysics199