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Class of 2025 declare their majors: Economics becomes the most popular major, MCS relegated to second-place

All PostsNewsClass of 2025 declare their majors: Economics becomes the most popular major, MCS relegated to second-place

Story | Suman (they/them), Co-Editor-in-Chief

Photo | Joshua Vargas (he/him)

Figure 1: Distribution of Majors in Class of 2025

On the 17th of March in AY2022-2023, the Class of 2025 concluded their major declaration exercise, with a total of 226 participants, including 14 DDP students, 3 Admit Year 2019 students, and 3 Admit Year 2020 students. 

The Class of 2025 currently includes 223 students from Admit Year 2021, however, 3 of those students are yet to declare their major. As the ‘last’ Class of Yale-NUS, this marks the end of the annual major declaration exercise conducted in the students’ second semester of their sophomore year.

There have been significant changes in the spread of majors chosen across the batch (Figure 1).

Mathematical and Computational Sciences (MCS), which has been the most popular major for the past three major declaration exercises, has been relegated to second place in terms of popularity this year. For the first time in Yale-NUS’ history, Economics was the most popular major choice in the exercise, with 33 students.

Figure 2: Proportion of students spread across departments

Figure 2: Percentage of Students Declaring Majors in Each Division

The proportion of students spread across different departments remains relatively the same, however, with around 50% of students in the Social Sciences. The Sciences department which typically constitutes of around a quarter of the total students has decreased to around 22% with the Humanities department gaining more students (Figure 3).

This drastic increase in Humanities majors is evident in Figure 4, where the percentage change of majors between the major declaration exercises of 2022 and 2023, has almost doubled, like History, leading to double the number of students in that major. In contrast, it is the Sciences department that has decreased in popularity with a significant percentage change decrease in MCS and the Physical Sciences. Environmental Studies, as well, which for the past couple of years, has been on an increasing path, had a significant decrease in students. 

Figure 3: Percentage Change in Class Composition by Major between 2022 and 2023. NB: Small changes in absolute numbers can lead to large percentage fluctuations for majors with low enrollment

One of the highlights of Yale-NUS’ liberal arts education has been its freedom to explore different disciplines and being able to change majors within the course of our degree, and in the penultimate years of the college beginning, one might be curious to note how this spread will change. A new factor to be considered in the change of majors for the Class of 2025 will be the availability of introductory courses in the final years for majors that don’t necessarily have a clear NUS-equivalent like Urban Studies. Typically, majors change as students get more freedom to explore beyond the common curriculum and through students’ study abroad, but it can be expected that flexibility will become more rigid as the college begins to shut down in a more literal sense. 

Major201720182019202020212022202320242025
Anthropology10141591371278
ArtsHum16101611866511
DDP8131112158131315
Economics8913161927172133
Env. Studies141213131720233015
Global Affairs10111171220251818
History109145118837
Life Sciences38861298821
Literature695128191034
MCS121422332724333627
Philosophy455786677
PPE172313343132212123
Phys. Sciences35841261082
Psychology131312171919221816
Urban Studies991882017181520
Total143164184194232228232213226
Figure 4: Raw Numbers of Students per major from different batches

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