Freshman majors dominated by natural sciences

As the fall semester begins, another round of admissions at Augustana comes to a close. Of the 1,486 potential students who received Augustana acceptance letters, 29% have chosen Augie to be their home.

The top six majors for the incoming 430 students are biology, nursing, exercise science, psychology, biochemistry and exploring. For context, the top five majors across all undergraduate students at Augie are nursing, biology, business administration, elementary education and psychology.

Biology, biochemistry and chemistry majors make up 32% of the freshman class, with 101 students declaring biology as their major.

126 students of the 2023 class have identified pre-med as a pre-professional program of interest. 29% of freshmen show some level of interest in the medical field and possibly medical school.

According to Augustana’s website, the 10-year cumulative student acceptance rate to medical schools is nearly twice the national average.

“A very large percentage are declaring biology, hoping to go the pre-med route,” Mo Hurley, an Augustana admissions counselor, said. “A lot of students [right] out of the gate plan for that to be their pursuit. Some stick with it, others find alternate science-related career paths but veer away from the medical route.”

Considering the number of freshmen who are undeclared, promoting the humanities and arts may help students find a field of study they are passionate about, Hurley said.
“Some will take a poetry class or something really engaging in religion, and that will upend all their plans and shift their focus towards a study they would have never thought of. To me, that’s the beauty of a school like Augie,” Hurley said.

Error: The first publication of this story included misquoted information that implied the departments at Augustana are in competition. According to Augustana admissions councilor Mo Hurley, this is not the case. Review of the recorded conversation confirmed this error, and the quotation has been removed. A correction will also be run in the Oct. 11 print edition.

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