Factors influencing choice of academic major: A comparison of agricultural and non-agricultural degree programs



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Texas Tech University


The purpose of this study was to examine the factors that influence selection of college major by students entering agricultural and non-agricultural degree programs at Texas Tech University in the fall of 2007. Moreover, this study examined the role psychological type has upon students' selection of an academic major.

According to Washburn, Garton, and Vaughn (2002), colleges of agriculture traditionally spend vast amounts of time, energy, and finances in the recruitment of students and the marketing of programs. Yet efforts such as these are typically not based on empirical research, and consequently research is warranted to identify most effective recruitment strategies. Furthermore, a limited pool of data exists relative to specific recruitment practices which influence students' choice of colleges of agriculture.

Nationally, post-secondary institutions hold an interest to attract the best and brightest students, and colleges of agriculture continually seek new and innovative ways to appeal to audiences such as these (Wildman & Torres, 2001). Recruitment was indicated by Wildman and Torres as beginning with the initial recognition of prospective students followed by the discovery of what factor has the greatest impact on a students' decision to select agriculture majors. Wildman and Torres identified five principle factors considered influential in this decision process. However, from their research, it was determined that although no single variable may influence students' decisions to major in agriculture, more research in this area needs to be conducted.



Major choice, comparison, Major choice, Non-agricultural degree program, Agricultural degree program