Early in a college undergraduate students may meet with their advisor to discuss and choose a major field of study. Given a lack of decision tools that an advisor can employ, degree choices have commonly been constrained to student personal preference and awareness rather than any objective choice. Previous studies on the determinants of the choice of major have assumed a constant probability of success across majors—all students could be equally successful in any degree program. Our model disregards this restrictive assumption in identifying an optimum degree group based on several non-subjective factors such as performance in previous course work, overall GPA, and demographic factors such as gender, residency, and age. The processes and techniques used in this analysis can, with differing degrees of success, be used to provide students with options to examine rather than a prescription for academic success.
Thomas, Joseph; Chongwatpol, Jong; Pengnate, Fone; and Hass, Michael, "Data Mining in Higher Education: University Student Declaration of Major" (2011). MWAIS 2011 Proceedings. 15.