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
#3Registered Nursing (RN)231,193
#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
#18Speech Communication and Rhetoric40,049
#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
#33Emergency Medical Technician (EMT) & Paramedic26,430
#34Kinesiology And Exercise Science26,083
#35Math24,078
#36Dental Assistant23,269
#37Accounting Technology23,152
#38Healthcare Administration21,017
#39Bus and Truck Driver20,193
#40Culinary Arts20,113
#41Special Education20,036
#42Massage Therapy19,910
#43Information Technology19,904
#44Chemistry19,836
#45Social Science19,607
#46Curriculum and Instruction19,370
#47Civil Engineering18,845
#48Medicine18,551
#49Heating and Air Conditioning (HVAC)18,219
#50Public Administration17,266
#51Human Services17,052
#52Esthetician16,431
#53Human Resources15,630
#54Pharmacy15,341
#55Paralegal14,952
#56Pharmacy Technician14,683
#57Computer Networking14,608
#58Information Science14,144
#59Journalism13,853
#60International Relations13,543
#61Public Health13,536
#62Electrician13,520
#63Medical Executive Assistant & Administrative Medical Secretary13,417
#64Sports Management and Fitness Administration13,218
#65Sports Medicine12,975
#66Medical Insurance Coding Specialist12,616
#67Guidance Counselor12,544
#68Administrative Assistant12,488
#69Fine Arts and Studio Arts12,222
#70Information Systems12,044
#71Anthropology11,961
#72Chemical Engineering11,634
#73Physical Therapy11,594
#74Music11,373
#75Graphic Design11,240
#76Medical Insurance Specialist and Medical Biller11,052
#77Counseling Psychologist11,012
#78Health Information and Medical Records Technology10,912
#79Secondary Education10,815
#80Drama and Theatre Arts10,712
#81Physics10,610
#82Physical Education10,421
#83Architecture10,415
#84Diesel Mechanic9,460
#85Medical Office Assistant9,427
#86Spanish Language and Literature9,318
#87Human Development and Family Studies (HDFS)9,165
#88Biomedical Engineering9,115
#89Nail Technician9,036
#90Veterinary Assistant8,997
#91Fire Science8,500
#92Biochemistry8,499
#93International Business8,467
#94Surgical Technologist8,439
#95Criminology8,396
#96Dental Hygienist8,352
#97Family Practice Nurse8,299
#98Cinematography And Film8,139
#99Phlebotomy8,132
#100Physician Assistant8,106
#101Baking And Pastry7,910
#102Respiratory Therapy7,899
#103Philosophy7,653
#104Engineering7,639
#105Audiology and Speech Pathology7,517
#106Industrial Engineering7,512
#107Physical Therapist Assistant7,438
#108Behavioral Science7,431
#109Geology7,395
#110Organizational Leadership7,361
#111Occupational Therapy7,243
#112Environmental Science7,220
#113Ministry7,172
#114International and Global Studies6,956
#115Creative Writing6,825
#116Reading Teacher and Literacy Specialist6,596
#117Auto Body6,589
#118Computer Programming6,442
#119Drafting and Design Technology6,388
#120Nursing Administration6,318
#121Theology6,254
#122Animal Science6,237
#123Radiation Therapy (RT)6,132
#124Logistics and Supply Chain Management6,097
#125Geography6,014
#126Web Design5,993
#127Interior Design5,971
#128Substance Abuse and Addiction Counseling5,967
#129Dentistry5,934
#130Biomedical Science5,811
#131System Networking and LAN/WAN Manager5,740
#132Public Relations5,728
#133Management Science5,698
#134Fashion Merchandising5,690
#135Corrections Officer5,665
#136Design and Visual Communications5,590
#137Entrepreneurship5,537
#138Teaching English as a Second Language (ESL)5,520
#139Neuroscience5,507
#140Office Management and Supervision5,444
#141Mental Health Counseling5,430
#142Hospital and Healthcare Facility Management5,408
#143Osteopathy5,355
#144Recording Arts Technology5,351
#145Clinical Psychology5,251
#146Aircraft Mechanic5,246
#147Diagnostic Medical Sonography and Sonographer5,119
#148Athletic Training5,064
#149Industrial Mechanics & Maintenance Technology5,061
#150Industrial Technology4,981
#151Occupational Therapy Assistant (OTA)4,926
#152Fire Prevention and Safety Technology4,922
#153Operations Management4,809
#154Medical Office Management4,788
#155Organizational Behavior Studies4,755
#156Commercial and Advertising Art4,727
#157Religious Studies4,687
#158Public Policy4,629
#159Dietetics4,584
#160Machine Tool Technology and Machinist4,552
#161Child Development4,543
#162Statistics4,481
#163Nursing Science4,408
#164Clinical and Medical Lab Technician4,371
#165Animation4,363
#166Fashion Design4,356
#167Engineering Management4,324
#168Child Care4,300
#169Digital Communication and Multimedia4,294
#170Junior High & Middle School Teaching4,113
#171Art History4,080
#172Financial Planning3,868
#173Hotel and Hospitality Management3,762
#174Parks and Recreation Management3,700
#175Carpentry3,695
#176Exercise Physiology3,617
#177Higher Education Administration3,615
#178Clinical Laboratory Science and Medical Technology3,542
#179Aviation3,507
#180Rhetoric and Composition3,466
#181Systems Engineering3,381
#182Marriage and Family Therapy3,360
#183Manufacturing Engineering Technician3,344
#184Community Organization and Advocacy3,320
#185Real Estate3,310
#186Computer Installation and Repair Technician3,309
#187Photography3,227
#188Machine Shop Technology3,189
#189Urban Planning3,168
#190Linguistics3,141
#191Computer Support Specialist3,134
#192Cellular and Molecular Biology3,116
#193Project Management3,094
#194Forensic Science3,093
#195Nutrition3,085
#196Materials Engineering3,011
#197Biotechnology2,981
#198Executive Assistant2,956
#199Agriculture2,932
#200School Psychology2,872