Popular College Degrees and Programs

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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 2013 and 2014. 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 2012-2013.

RankProgram NameTotal Degrees Awarded
#1Business Administration314,345
#2Liberal Arts292,741
#3Nursing221,895
#4Psychology125,880
#5General Studies103,665
#6Medical Assistant92,605
#7Cosmetology82,278
#8Biology79,040
#9Accounting78,788
#10Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN)53,880
#11Criminal Justice49,360
#12Nursing Assistant48,715
#13English48,594
#14Social Work47,697
#15Elementary Education45,463
#16Law44,434
#17Political Science40,201
#18Auto Mechanic39,628
#19Finance39,016
#20Communications37,548
#21History35,910
#22Advertising and Marketing35,646
#23Sociology34,595
#24Law and Justice Administration33,296
#25Economics32,766
#26Mechanical Engineering32,560
#27Education30,926
#28Welding30,630
#29Early Childhood Education29,458
#30Educational Leadership and Administration28,441
#31Electrical Engineering26,485
#32Dental Assistant24,149
#33Kinesiology And Exercise Science23,748
#34Math23,363
#35Massage Therapy22,907
#36Bookkeeping22,640
#37Computer Science22,597
#38Culinary Arts22,116
#39Special Education21,408
#40Chemistry19,715
#41Healthcare Administration19,217
#42Civil Engineering19,203
#43Heating and Air Conditioning (HVAC)18,921
#44Bus and Truck Driver18,360
#45Medicine18,011
#46Information Technology17,978
#47Pharmacy Technician17,698
#48Public Administration17,605
#49Human Services17,129
#50Paralegal16,327
#51Computer Networking15,349
#52Human Resources15,267
#53Esthetician14,950
#54Pharmacy14,922
#55Electrician14,803
#56Journalism14,340
#57International Relations14,075
#58Administrative Assistant13,362
#59Anthropology13,119
#60Sports Medicine13,055
#61Information Systems12,900
#62Sports Management12,735
#63Guidance Counselor12,717
#64Public Health12,217
#65Graphic Design11,943
#66Secondary Education11,862
#67Music11,417
#68Physical Therapy11,031
#69Counseling Psychology10,983
#70Physical Education10,797
#71Chemical Engineering10,596
#72Architecture10,531
#73Diesel Mechanic9,978
#74Physics9,879
#75Surgical Technologist9,512
#76International Business9,091
#77Nail Technician8,648
#78Veterinary Assistant8,561
#79Respiratory Therapy8,521
#80Behavioral Science8,476
#81Fire Science8,419
#82Criminology8,416
#83Biomedical Engineering8,377
#84Baking And Pastry8,309
#85Dental Hygienist8,293
#86Philosophy8,291
#87Phlebotomy8,207
#88Biochemistry8,149
#89Cinematography And Film7,665
#90Audiology and Speech Pathology7,553
#91Physician Assistant7,530
#92Engineering7,215
#93Environmental Science7,095
#94Ministry7,063
#95Physical Therapist Assistant7,061
#96Geology6,979
#97Occupational Therapy6,931
#98Auto Body6,905
#99Radiology Technician6,735
#100Creative Writing6,379
#101Theology6,360
#102Geography6,313
#103Web Design6,313
#104Computer Aided Design (CAD)6,291
#105Interior Design6,098
#106Computer Programming5,934
#107Animal Science5,880
#108Clinical Psychology5,738
#109Substance Abuse and Addiction Counseling5,688
#110Dentistry5,582
#111Public Relations5,430
#112Biomedical Science5,379
#113Logistics and Supply Chain Management5,344
#114Audio and Video Production5,310
#115Mental Health Counseling5,193
#116Fashion Merchandising5,086
#117Religious Studies4,972
#118Aircraft Mechanic4,968
#119Ultrasound Technician4,953
#120Neuroscience4,749
#121Operations Management4,651
#122Athletic Training4,614
#123Occupational Therapy Assistant (OTA)4,512
#124Art History4,461
#125Public Policy4,419
#126Animation4,400
#127Child Development4,382
#128Fashion Design4,379
#129Dietetics4,316
#130Engineering Management4,118
#131Child Care4,117
#132Statistics4,010
#133Systems Engineering3,913
#134Aviation3,794
#135Photography3,730
#136Parks and Recreation Management3,721
#137Carpentry3,546
#138Hotel and Hospitality Management3,520
#139Computer Graphics3,375
#140Marriage and Family Therapy3,262
#141Urban Planning3,218
#142Real Estate3,135
#143Linguistics3,076
#144Molecular Biology3,009
#145Forensic Science2,986
#146Agriculture2,872
#147Nutrition2,834
#148Organizational and Nonprofit Management2,766
#149School Psychology2,765
#150Veterinary Medicine2,690
#151Construction Management2,606
#152Dance2,602
#153Exercise Physiology2,583
#154Legal Studies2,533
#155Environmental and Wildlife Management2,490
#156Chiropractic2,420
#157Property Management2,373
#158Microbiology2,346
#159Illustration2,147
#160Software Engineering2,125
#161Food Science2,008
#162Petroleum Engineering1,980
#163Game Design1,966
#164Zoology1,929
#165Horticulture1,896
#166Industrial Design1,837
#167Music Management1,808
#168Radio And Television Broadcasting1,753
#169Forensic Psychology1,681
#170Acupuncture1,665
#171Christian Counseling1,663
#172Organizational Psychology1,603
#173Marine Biology1,563
#174Optometry1,558
#175Risk Management and Insurance1,479
#176Makeup Artist1,307
#177Automotive Engineering1,287
#178Developmental And Child Psychology1,134
#179Environmental Health1,113
#180Air Traffic Controller979
#181Forestry910
#182Jewelry Design888
#183Health Informatics812
#184Equine Studies733
#185Museum Studies700
#186Medical Transcription674
#187Court Reporting669
#188Art Therapy663
#189Podiatry567
#190Sign Language540
#191Gunsmithing473
#192Turf Management444
#193Astronomy441
#194Botany421
#195Music Therapy418
#196Structural Engineering402
#197Wildlife Biology398
#198Archaeology327
#199Holistic Health and Nutrition309
#200Astrophysics236