What NCAA tournament players study

Can you guess the most common major being pursued by members of teams in the 2011 NCCA basketball tournament?

Over at Slate.com, Justin Peters did a massive amount of research on every team that qualified for the tournament (excluding seven schools that did not provide information or sent it too late: UConn, Penn State, Gonzaga, Boston University, Florida, Indiana State, and UNC-Asheville).

Here are the most popular majors, and you can find out a lot more about the academic pursuits of the players, complete with an interactive widget, here.

1) business

2) humanities

3) communications

4) sports management

5) sociology and social work

6) science

7) criminal justice/criminology

8) education


How does this compare with the general population fo colleges students? According to the Education Department’s National Center for Education Statistics, these were the most popular bachelor’s degrees conferred across the United States in 2007-08, the latest available data.

1) business

2) social sciences and history

3) health professions and related clinical sciences

4) education

5) psychology

6) visual and performing arts

7) engineering and engineering technologies

8) communications, journalism and communications technologies

Follow my blog every day by bookmarking washingtonpost.com/answersheet. And for admissions advice, college news and links to campus papers, please check out our Higher Education page at washingtonpost.com/higher-ed Bookmark it!

Valerie Strauss covers education and runs The Answer Sheet blog.

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