Date of Graduation


Document Type


Degree Type



College of Education and Human Services


Curriculum & Instruction/Literacy Studies

Committee Chair

Patricia Obenauf.


This research examined the extent to which future job prospects, peer and parental influence and or intrinsic interest impacted the college major selection processes utilized by freshmen and sophomores. Using a mixed method approach, the researcher interviewed six college recruitment officers, administered surveys to 466 freshmen and sophomores and also conducted a document analysis of college brochures and view books all in a bid to ascertain what combination of factors define the major selection process. Data analysis revealed that economic propensity which translates into projections about future job placement, job advancement and or job security somewhat played a role in the major selection process. Besides economic factors, familial and peer influence played a role in students' prospective major choices though the culminating choice was driven heavily by intrinsic interest. Students tended to be proactive towards meeting their academic commitments while utilizing other support networks. Analysis of interview transcripts confirmed student proclivity for self-direction however, the tendency to settle for majors with proven economic promise was a recurring subject in college recruiter interviews. Interview transcripts also revealed that attendant college overhead costs such as tuition and fees affected student college major choices especially for out of state students. Document analysis also revealed that colleges valued scholarship and intellectual prowess over the promotion of economic promise post-graduation. Given the spiraling nature of factors that define the college major choice process, it is safe to consider a myriad of factors, situations, and or conditions when determining the character and disposition of students with regards to major selection.