Author(s)

Jill Edmonds

Date Approved

7-19-2012

Document Type

Thesis

Degree Name

M.A. School Psychology-Professional School Psychology

Department

Psychology

College

College of Science & Mathematics

First Advisor

Dihoff, Roberta

Subject(s)

College majors

Disciplines

Higher Education | Student Counseling and Personnel Services

Abstract

The purpose of this study was to identify factors that are most influential to students when deciding their academic major. During the Spring 2012 semester students from the Rowan University subject pool and other classes (n = 60) participated in an online survey. Using a Likert scale, from 1 being extremely influential to 4 being not at all influential, participants were asked to rank a list of factors that may have influenced their decision of college major. All factors were then grouped into three subtypes of influences (practical, interpersonal, and personal) to determine where the greatest influence on students today stems from. Analysis of the data rejected the researcher's hypothesis that practical influences outweigh personal and interpersonal influences in the current economic conditions. The data yielded non significant results as there was almost no difference between the three subtypes on how they influence students. This finding was contrary to previous literature stating that the factors of each student's personal beliefs were the most influential on their decision making. Additional research is needed with a larger sample in order to apply results generally across populations, or retest the hypothesis of this research.

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