Student Life

Rise of the Machines

Over the last 20 years, the UW has grown much, much, much more interested in computer and data sciences.

An infographic shows a line chart of the popularity of 9 majors over the last 20 years. Computer Sciences and Data Science have drammatically increased in interest during this time.

If you wonder why the UW decided to create a School of Computer, Data & Information Sciences, you really should check the data. Over the last 20 years, the number of students majoring in computer sciences has grown at more than 800 percent.

According to the most recent figures, the UW’s top five majors — as measured by seniors in the spring semester — are computer sciences; psychology; economics; data science; and finance, investment, and banking. Four of those five didn’t appear among top majors 20 years ago. In spring 2003, the top five were heavy on humanities and social sciences: political science, English, history, psychology, and biology. Here’s how today’s top majors and those from a generation ago have changed.

Published in the Winter 2023 issue


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