What are the most popular majors at the University of Kentucky?

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Students walk along the University of Kentucky campus in Lexington, Ky., on the first day of classes for the fall semester Monday, August 23, 2021.

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Health care and business majors were among the most popular at the University of Kentucky last year.

Students will return to the UK in the coming weeks, with courses for the autumn semester starting on August 22. The UK had over 31,500 students enrolled last fall and has over 200 degree programs at the university.

Thinking back to the previous school year, here are the most popular majors in the UK. Enrollment information for each major is from the Fall 2021 semester and has been provided by the UK.

1. Nursing

The UK nursing major is its most popular degree. The first class graduated from the College of Nursing in 1964, and since then the program has grown and now includes thousands of graduates, according to the UK site. Nurses are in high demand throughout Kentucky as the state faces a nursing shortage.

For the 2021 autumn semester, 1,360 nursing students were enrolled in the UK.

2. Biology

Students considering a career in the medical field may choose to major in biology for their undergraduate degree. The second most popular major in the UK is biology with 1,152 students enrolled last year.

The UK established the Thomas Hunt Morgan School of Biological Sciences in 1966, bringing together three different departments. In 2002, the school became the Department of Biology that exists today, according to the UK site.

3. Psychology

Students choosing the third most popular major in the UK, psychology, have a wide variety of careers to choose from, including as a psychologist, counselor or researcher.

There were 1,111 students enrolled in the psychology major last fall.

4. Finance

Several majors at Gatton College of Business and Economics are among the most popular in the UK, including finance. Students in this major could choose careers as stockbrokers, corporate finance, or banking.

There were 1,030 students enrolled in the finance major last year.

5. Marketing

Also at Gatton College, Marketing is another major in the UK. Students majoring in marketing can pursue careers in research, logistics, and sales positions.

There were 997 students enrolled in marketing in the UK last year.

6. Mechanical Engineering

Students majoring in mechanical engineering can pursue careers in manufacturing, equipment design, and aviation, as well as work for consulting firms or government agencies.

There were 895 students enrolled in mechanical engineering last year.

7. Management

Another business school major is also among the most popular in the UK. The management major includes courses in human resources, organizational behavior, and business strategy and management, allowing students to pursue careers in a wide variety of fields.

There were 868 students enrolled in the UK management major last year.

8. Kinesiology

Kinesiology, or exercise science, prepares students for careers in fields such as physical therapy, sports medicine, coaching, and training.

There were 791 students enrolled in kinesiology in the UK last year.

9. IT

The Computer Science UK program is one of the oldest computer science departments in the country, established in 1966, according to the UK website. Students majoring in computer science can pursue careers in software development, computer programming, and web development, all high-demand jobs.

There were 585 students in the computer science major last year.

10. Communications

To complete the list, the tenth most popular discipline in the UK is communication. Students in this major can pursue careers in a variety of fields, including public relations, corporate communications, and social media management.

There were 558 communications students in the UK last year.

Monica Kast covers higher education for the Herald-Leader and Kentucky.com. Previously, she covered higher education in Tennessee for the Knoxville News Sentinel. She is from Louisville, Kentucky, and graduated from Western Kentucky University.
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