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What are the most popular college majors?

By L. Lee Scott, contributing writer
Published On: May 16 2011 02:28:24 PM CDT
Updated On: Jun 12 2013 05:40:57 AM CDT
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©iStockphoto.com/mrloz

Are you having trouble picking your college major? Sometimes it helps to glance at the most popular majors to see what other students are studying.

1. Business Administration
Despite the struggling economy, business administration tops the list of popular college majors. It certainly ranks as the most popular major on Princeton Review's top 10 list. You'll study accounting, finance and economics, and learn the art of decision making. Career options include management, management consulting, or even starting your own business.

2. Psychology
Psychology is a great major if you like to watch people and learn why they do what they do. It's second on the lists of the Princeton Review, www.highschoolgraduate.com and www.collegecrunch.org. Classes cover different areas of psychology and statistics. Careers include clinical psychology, social work, advertising and criminal profiling.

3. Elementary Education
Elementary education comes in third on three top 10 lists, but be prepared -- it's not an easy choice or career. Your program may require you to pick a specialty such as math, music or language arts, and you'll have to spend one or two semesters as a student teacher before you graduate and get your license.

4. Nursing
Nursing is the fourth most popular major on the lists of the Princeton Review and www.thehighschoolgraduate.com. Nurses are in increasingly high demand. Classes include freshman basics followed by anatomy and physiology, then clinical work in hospitals or clinics. Career options range from private nursing to intensive care nursing.

5. Biology
Biology ranks fifth on the lists of the Princeton Review and www.thehighschoolgraduate.com. The word "biology" means "study of life," and you'll study life from single-celled organisms to whales. Your class work will include a variety of biology classes, calculus and statistics. Career possibilities include medicine, genetic research and pharmacy work.

6. Education
Education is sixth on the lists of both www.thehighschoolgraduate.com and the Princeton Review. Unlike elementary education, these classes include multicultural education, counseling and psychology of education. Possible careers include college professor or administrator, and guidance counselor.

7. English
English literature and language ranks seventh on the Princeton Review list, sixth on www.collegecrunch.org, and ninth on www.collegegrotto.com. Classes include American, English and world literature, poetry, creative writing, and business and technical writing. While you could become an author, you're more likely to find yourself a journalist, editor or business writer.

8. Political Science
Political science ranks eighth on most lists, but it doesn't offer an immediate career like nursing and elementary education do. You'll study different types of government, public policy and statistics. Careers with this degree include foreign service, journalism and education.

9. Economics
Economics, ranked ninth by Princeton Review and others, studies how government funds are allocated and the consequences of those allocations. Courses include accounting, statistics and international business. Two possible careers are economist and stockbroker.

10. Marketing
Marketing is 10th on both www.thehighschoolgraduate.com and Princeton Review lists. You'll study consumer needs, services and products. Classes include sales management, finance and marketing. Careers include public relations, management consulting and advertising.

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