News, Academics, Top Story

BC’s Most Popular Majors and Minors: Finance Remains on Top

For the second consecutive academic year, finance is the most popular major at Boston College, according to the BC Fact Book—an annual release of University facts and figures compiled by the Office of Institutional Research & Planning.

In last year’s rankings, finance surpassed economics and topped the list for the first time in 15 years.

The order of the top 10 majors for this year is identical to last year’s. 

    1. Finance (1,461)
    2. Economics (1,278)
    3. Biology (816)
    4. Political science (691)
    5. Psychology (615)
    6. Communication (567)
    7. Computer science (556)
    8. Nursing (429)
    9. Neuroscience (417)
    10. Applied psychology and human development (380)

Although there are only 105 students majoring in environmental studies, the program experienced a 600 percent jump in enrollments since it first became a major in 2014, according to the Fact Book.

In a BC News release, Program Director for the Environmental Studies Major Tara Pisani Gareau attributed the growing popularity of the major to students’ increased awareness of global environmental challenges.

When we ask graduating seniors their primary reason for choosing Environmental Studies, the most common answer is that they are passionate about solving these complex and existential environmental problems,” Gareau said in the release. “This is a watershed moment in human history and the Environmental Studies program prepares students with the knowledge and skills to envision and enact positive and lasting solutions that sustain people and the planet.”

Finance also continues to be the most popular undergraduate minor at BC, the Fact Book reveals.

    1. Finance (606)
    2. Marketing (298)
    3. Management and leadership (285)
    4. Managing for social impact and the common good (204)
    5. Philosophy (157)
    6. History (131)
    7. Computer science (117)
    8. Global public health (106)
    9. English (105)
    10. Accounting for finance and consulting (104)

Though finance has been the most popular minor since its introduction in 2018, the program has also experienced a 129 percent increase since garnering 265 enrollees during its founding year.

The number of students minoring in managing for social impact and the public good (MSI) has more than doubled from the program’s 97 enrollees in the 2020–2021 school year, according to the release.

“It offers students a chance to blend elective courses—more than 200 of them—from throughout the University in really interesting combinations,” Senior Associate Dean for Undergraduate Programs Ethan Sullivan said in the release.

Students minoring in MSI often seek opportunities in nonprofits and jobs connected to social impact initiatives, while others will utilize their knowledge in their personal lives through acts like volunteering, Sullivan said in the release.

“Whether or not that always happens, we are helping to form great citizens with a mindset to solve problems,” Sullivan said in the release.

Though the data allows for comparison of BC students’ career interests on a broader level, administrators and faculty suggest the school’s faith identity be considered while interpreting the metrics, according to the release.

“Studies in or related to business, nursing, psychology, biology, economics, computer science, communication, and political science tend to be highly enrolled throughout American higher education,” the release reads. “However, say administrators and faculty, it’s instructive to view BC’s numbers in the context of a major national Jesuit, Catholic university and the students it attracts.”

March 21, 2024