Niche Data Dives
Enrollment Insights Blog

Data Dive: Major and Program Interest for the Classes of 2022 and 2023

You’ll find the most recent Data Dive on majors here.


As users register for an account on Niche to conduct their school search, one of the pieces of information that they can provide is their intended major. This data dive looks at these responses for students graduating high school in 2022 or 2023. The trends were calculated as the absolute difference between the percentage of total responses for 2023 compared to 2022 with positive results indicating an increasing interest and negative results indicating a decreasing interest. These results were calculated from 935,830 completed profiles of students on Niche as of January 24, 2022. This updates a prior data dive on major interest trends.

Explore the full results in Tableau below or read the summary first.

Summary of Results

The highest interest majors for the class of 2022 were:

  • Business (6.93%)
  • Nursing (5.57%)
  • Psychology (5.52%)
  • Biology (5.34%)
  • Medicine/Pre-Medicine (4.00%)

The highest interest majors for the class of 2023 were:

  • Business (6.57%)
  • Medicine/Pre-Medicine (5.99%)
  • Psychology (5.36%)
  • Biology (5.04%)
  • Nursing (3.89%)

The largest absolute increases in interest by major are in:

  • Medicine/Pre-Medicine (+1.99%)
  • Pre-Law (+0.69%)
  • Criminal Justice and Law Enforcement Administration (+0.52%)
  • Undecided (+0.30%)
  • Veterinary Medicine (+0.19%)
  • Family Practice and Pediatric Nursing (+0.19%)

The largest absolute decreases in interest by major are in:

  • Nursing (-1.68%)
  • Kinesiology and Exercise Science (-0.56%)
  • Mechanical Engineering (-0.41%)
  • Computer Science (-0.36%)
  • Business (-0.36%)
  • Elementary Education (-0.36%)

Tactical Response to Trends

  • If your pillar programs are seeing declines, especially looking at broad areas of interest, look for related programs that are on the rise to convert students who may have the right interest but don’t necessarily know about your top programs. For example, environmental studies show declining interest but biology has the second-highest increase. These two are similar enough to be ripe for recruiting students from one program of interest to enroll in another. Create a nurture communication flow that showcases the similarities and areas of excellence in your related program and why students would want to consider it if they had not previously.
  • Our surveys over the last year and a half have shown increasing interest in extracurricular fine and performing arts, and now we’re seeing the same in their intended major. This opens to door to investment in recruiting resources and on-campus facilities. Treat arts recruiting with the same investment as athletic recruitment, students and families are passionately involved in both and there are more career pathways in the arts.
  • Major interest has surprising regionality associated with most programs. Spend time with the map view and Broad Area of Interest by State tab below to inform recruiting trends and understand how your region compares to the US more generally. 
  • Use the Race/Ethnicity by Major Interest tab below to check how the diversity of your applicant pool by program compares and look for opportunities to improve your recruiting of minority students if it does not. How do your faculty, staff, marketing materials, and web assets compare?
  • Prepare for 2023 recruiting by knowing what the hot majors for your target students are. If your imagery is a mismatch from what they want you can test new stories and photos.

Full Results

Prior to coming to Niche in 2019 Will served 9 years at Manchester University in roles as an Admissions Counselor, Associate Director for Admissions Operations, Social Media Coordinator, and ultimately as Digital Strategist. Will surfaces tactical insights from user behavior and surveys to help higher ed build recruitment strategies. In addition to the Enrollment Insights blog, webinars, and podcast; Will is a frequent conference speaker and podcast guest. He has presented at NACAC, AACRAO-SEM, AMA Higher Ed, CASE V, EduWeb, and EMA. Will's work has been featured in Forbes, Inside Higher Ed, CNBC, CNN, the LA Times, and The New York Times among other outlets.