Twenty percent of undergrads are in one of five majors

One in five Iowa State undergraduate students this fall is working toward a degree in one of the university's top five undergraduate majors. In descending order, those are: mechanical engineering, kinesiology and health, aerospace engineering, animal science and computer engineering. Combined, they account for 5,920 Iowa State undergraduates.

The top-five list looks much as it did a decade ago, although computer engineering has replaced civil engineering in the fifth spot. The office of the registrar compiles and posts enrollment data every semester.

Top 5 by gender

When gender is factored in, the undergraduate lists diverge significantly. The male list is dominated by engineering majors -- mechanical, aerospace, computer and software -- with computer science claiming the No. 5 slot. The highest numbers of female undergraduates show up in animal science and elementary education. Kinesiology and health is No. 3 for female undergraduates, with psychology and biology majors rounding out the top five.

Iowa State's undergraduate student body this fall is 57 percent male and 43 percent female.

Excluded from the top five lists are several significant groups of students -- pre-business in the Ivy College of Business, open option in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences and Design Core in the College of Design. These categories aren't majors but do account for large numbers of freshmen and sophomores in those colleges.

Fall 2018: Most populated majors, with student number

No.

All undergraduates

Male undergraduates

Female undergraduates

1

Mechanical engineering (2,151)

Mechanical engineering (1,913)

Animal science (785)

2

Kinesiology and health (1,044)

Aerospace engineering (883)

Elementary education (687)

3

Aerospace engineering (987)

Computer engineering (726)

Kinesiology and health (574)

4

Animal science (968)

Software engineering* (686)

Psychology (510)

5

Computer engineering (800)

Computer science (580)

Biology** (499)

*Students in Engineering and LAS colleges
**Students in AGLS and LAS colleges

 

By college: Top five undergraduate majors

College

Students

Agriculture and Life Sciences

4,397

  Animal science

968

  Agricultural business

470

  Animal ecology

414

  Agricultural studies

331

  Biology**

296

  Subtotal

2,479

 

 

Business

4,612

  Pre-business*

1,905

  Marketing

611

  Finance

556

  Accounting

449

  Management information systems

382

  Supply chain management

345

  Subtotal

2,343

 

 

Design

1,742

  Pre-majors/Design Core*

397

  Architecture

323

  Graphic design

239

  Industrial design

200

  Interior design

186

  Landscape architecture

120

  Subtotal

1,068

 

 

Engineering

8,194

  Mechanical engineering

2,151

  Aerospace engineering

987

  Computer engineering

800

  Civil engineering

708

  Chemical engineering

697

  Subtotal

5,343

 

 

Human Sciences

3,770

  Kinesiology and health

1,044

  Elementary education

777

  Apparel, merchandising and design

495

  Event management

336

  Child and family services

284

  Subtotal

2,936

 

 

Liberal Arts and Sciences

6,906

  Open option*

739

  Psychology

667

  Computer science

651

  Biology**

470

  Software engineering***

390

  Criminal justice studies

358

  Subtotal

2,536

*Not a major, but captures a significant student number; not included in subtotal
**Biology major is coordinated by two departments jointly administered by two colleges
***Interdepartmental degree program with Engineering college