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Course VI Tops List Of Majors

By Krista L. Niece
Staff Reporter

The Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science once again garnered the largest number of sophomore major declarations, and the biology department saw a significant decrease in sophomore enrollment, according to the annual report of major designations released by the Registrar's Office.

Course VI attracted 337 members of the Class of 2000, an eight percent decrease from last year's draw. About 900 undergraduates are now in the department.

The mechanical engineering department was the second most popular choice, drawing 107 students, approximately the same as last year's number.

The biology department saw a drop in enrollment this year; 104 students declared biology as their major, as opposed to 151 last year.

The Department of Chemical Engineering, with 93 students, and the Sloan School of Management, with 53, rounded out the five most popular departments.

Course VI sees internal shifts

The number declaring VI-3 (Computer Science and Engineering) dropped off significantly, falling to 119 from 153 last year.

The number of sophomores declaring VI-2 (Electrical Engineering rose from 125 last year to 167, and the number choosing VI-1 (Electrical Science and Engineering) dropped to 51 from 80 last year.

The Department Aeronautics and Astronautics saw its sophomore declaration level increase to 41 students. "The aerospace business is hiring like crazy," said Department Head Edward F. Crawley '76. The job market in the industry will remain favorable for the next several years, he said.

However, Crawley said that the apparent increase in enrollment is not as steep as it seems. As with some other courses, a significant percentage of each Course XVI class transfers to other majors, he said. Course XVI is difficult to transfer into due to the Unified Engineering class requirement.

Economics, already the largest program in the School of Humanities and Social Science, continued to grow this year. In all, 40 sophomores chose Course XIV this year, up from 25 last year.

Department Head Paul L. Joskow said that the number of students majoring solely in economics has more than doubled over the past 10 years. He attributed part of the success of the course to its graduate program. "We have the best PhD program in economics in the world." Economics is also a good double major in engineering fields as well, Joskow said.

The rest of the courses underwent relatively minor fluctuations.