Biola’s leading majors remain constant among incoming students

Business administration and psychology have been Biola’s leading majors for the past five years.

Michelle Hong, Writer

Although Biola offers 37 majors from anthropology to urban studies, two majors, aside from those coming in undeclared, consistently claim the largest enrollment numbers: business administration and psychology. This year is no exception.

Major popularity remains constant

With just over 1,300 incoming freshmen and transfers, many things are changing — and fast. The numerous renovations and changes across campus can be overwhelming for a first-year Biolan and unfamiliar for returning students. However, the popularity of these majors remains constant.

According to Biola’s five-year enrollment summary, business administration and psychology remain the most sought-after majors for incoming students. This year, the undergraduate office for business administration enrolled 92 students or 9.6 percent of the incoming class and the undergraduate office, while Rosemead took in the second most popular course of study at 72 students or 7.5 percent of the incoming class.

Among the ranks of the top majors this semester were nursing and cinema and media arts, with 67 and 46 incoming students, respectively. According to the Registrar, the final numbers will not be available for several more weeks due to late enrollment and drop-outs.

Career potential influences major choice

André Stephens, senior director of undergraduate Admissions, said that the consistency may stem from the wide array of future career possibilities upon graduation.

“Students choose majors for a variety of reasons. I think the top four majors are popular with students possibly because of their future job potential, service opportunities, and where a number of our students’ personal talent and giftedness reside,” Stephens said.

For freshman Jack Franicevich, the integration of faith and learning drew him to apply to the Crowell School of Business.

“I came to Biola as a business major to learn the practical side of ministry,” Franicevich said. “I want to be able to bring the gospel to people who need to hear it, but I also want to be able to help sustain an organization effectively to communicate the message to more people.”

Some majors enroll less than 10 students per year

While business and psychology boast the largest numbers, over half of the majors offered enroll zero to nine students per year; however, the low enrollment is not unusual. The same enrollment summary shows that approximately 29 majors that are offered claim 0 to 4 percent of the past five incoming classes.

Freshman Eric Corona came in with 17 others as a political science major, making up approximately 1.3 percent of the class of 2015. Although Corona had offers from other schools to join their legal studies programs, he chose to come to Biola for the quality of education offered from faculty as well as the centrality of Christian perspective in education. Corona’s experience with Biola professors started in high school where he participated in Torrey Academy.

“I really like classes that were offered there because the professors weren’t so focused on just giving information, but they were helping me to think better,” Corona said.

Undeclared students make up largest entering major

Some students, like Corona, come to Biola with a prospective major in mind. However, many students opt to come in as undeclared.

“The undeclared category is typically the largest entering major not only at Biola, but across the country,” Stephens said. “Many first year students just aren’t sure what discipline they want to earn a degree in.”

A variety of interests, coupled with a desire to wait for God’s direction and calling, has caused some students, like freshman Danielle Austin, to come in undeclared.

“One of the reasons I am an undecided major is because currently, I have too many interests and because of this, I can see myself going in many directions,” Austin said. “And more importantly, I came in undecided because I do not believe God has yet revealed to me his will for my academic life or career.”

Although one of the challenges Austin expects to face is waiting to hear God’s voice in the decision process, she is “calm and confident,” fully trusting that God will reveal his intended direction.

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