Changing Study Fields During College: Understanding Patterns of Major Switching and Its Relations to Students’ Short- and Long-Term Outcomes


AVDF/ACLS Fellowships for Research on the Liberal Arts




This project uses administrative data and alumni surveys to study college students’ decision-making about switching fields of study — for example, major switching. It examines the patterns of major switching, and how these patterns predict students’ short-term outcomes such as graduation, as well as students’ long-term outcomes such as well-being and earnings 10 years after graduation. It also examines whether these patterns differ by the gender, race, and/or social class of students. This project involves collaboration among scholars from the University of Wisconsin-Madison and the University of California, Irvine.