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Number of engineering majors up from last year

By Annabelle Boyd

The School of Engineering attracted 66.3 percent of those members of the Class of 1992 who declared majors last May, according to the Registrar's current count. The figure represents a small increase from 1988 when 61.9 percent of declared majors were in engineering.

One hundred thirty of the 982 outgoing freshmen have yet to choose a department. Students are not required to designate majors until the end of the sophomore year.

The percentage of students entering the Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science rose slightly over last year, ending a three year downward trend in enrollment. Of those students who chose departments, 233 (27.3 percent) declared majors in EECS. Last year, 24.3 percent of the freshman class chose that major. Just three years ago, 33 percent of the freshman class declared Course VI.

More freshmen declared majors in EECS than in the second and third place departments -- mechanical engineering and aeronautics and astronautics -- combined. Mechanical engineering showed a slight rise from the last year, while aeronautics and astronautics experienced a small dip in its share of the class.

Chemical engineering attracted 56 majors, compared to 46 last year. Nuclear engineering and material science and engineering each experienced modest decreases in their percentages of the outgoing freshman class. Civil engineering showed a substantial 40 percent drop in its share.

About 22.5 percent of the Class of 1992 who picked departments chose to major in the School of Science -- a moderate decrease from last year's 25.2 percent. The school has so far attracted 192 new students. Among the science departments that have shown declining strength are physics, math, biology, and earth, atmospheric and planetary sciences. Only chemistry showed an increase in enrollment.

The School of Humanities and Social Science registered a drop in its percentage of majors -- to 3.2 percent from last year's 4.4 percent. Political science showed a marked increase in new enrollment, but economics had a sharp decline.

The number of students entering the School of Architecture and Planning dropped to 25 from last year's 44. The Department of Cognitive Science, which is in the Whitaker College of Health Sciences, Technology, and Management, has so far attracted 12 new students. The Sloan School of Management drew 30 majors, one less than last year.