News Release
Contacts: Robert T. Tad Perry, Executive Director
Janelle Toman, Director of Information and Institutional Research
T: 605.773.3455
F: 605.773.5320

For Immediate Release: Thursday, May 8, 2003

Biology, Elementary Education are State's Top Academic Majors

RAPID CITY - Biology and elementary education are the two most popular majors among bachelor's degree seekers in South Dakota's public university system. The South Dakota Board of Regents was briefed Thursday on enrollment reports from the 2001-02 academic year.

Across the system, there were 21 baccalaureate majors with a total of 300 or more students enrolled, but biology and elementary education, followed by business, were the most popular, said Lesta Turchen, the Regents' senior academic administrator.

These are the top-10 baccalaureate programs, based on 2001-02 enrollments, in the public university system:

1. Biology  1,324 
2. Elementary Education 1,315
3. Business/Management 1,230 
4. Psychology   938
5. Mass Comm/Journalism  741
6. Computer Science 678
7. Nursing 576
8. Mechanical Engineering 516
9. Sociology 497
10. English  479


At the two-year associate degree level, general studies and nursing were the largest majors; general studies attracted 388 students and nursing 293 students. Educational administration was the most popular graduate or professional level major, with 346 students. Curriculum and instruction was second, with 331 students enrolled.

"The enrollment report also tells us that most of our students are declaring only one major while pursuing their baccalaureate degree," Regents Executive Director Robert T. Tad Perry said. "We have 84 percent of our students with a single major, nearly 15 percent declared two majors, and only 1 percent has three or more majors."

In a related report, five of the state universities reported 1,721 students formally admitted and enrolled as teacher education majors at the bachelor's degree level in 2001-02. The five largest teacher education majors were elementary education (522 students), early childhood education (245), physical education (169), special education (123), and music (111).

"These numbers show a strong interest in teacher education among our students," Perry said.


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