The 5 Hottest Majors at the University of Wisconsin Right Now

By Christina Lorey
February 21, 2023

DID YOU KNOW? About a third of college students change their major at least once. Ten-percent change multiple times!

Research shows that less than one-third of college grads have a job that’s even related to their major. Still, it’s interesting to see what today’s college students are studying, and how that’s changed over the years.

The University of Wisconsin-Madison tracked which of its majors added the most students from fall 2018 to fall 2022.

NOTE: The UW-Madison acknowledges there are also many smaller programs (like Legal Studies and Wildlife Ecology) that are surging in percentages relative to their size, in addition to some majors (like Nursing) with capacity caps that limit growth. This ranking only reflects total “headcount enrollment.”

#5. Global Health 

+357 students, since it was first offered in 2019

Housed under the College of Agricultural & Life Sciences, Global Health majors study bioscience and public health as they intersect with climate change, food systems, disease ecology and other issues. Their goal? To improve access to and awareness of health–whether across the ocean or in their own backyard.

#4. Psychology 

+363 students

Psychology majors are in high demand as mental health continues to be an intensifying concern worldwide. This program gives students the skills needed for a variety of careers, including health care, law, business, and education.

#3. Consumer Behavior and Marketplace Studies

+410 students

In the School of Human Ecology, this program helps students positively influence global commerce and technology from a people-first perspective—blending business, analytics, and technology with creativity and empathy.

#2. Computer Science 

+642 students

Computer Science is not only one of the fastest-growing majors, but one of the largest! Designed to help students thrive in the digital age, the UW recently redeveloped all entry-level courses and hired more faculty to keep up with demand. 

#1. Data Science 

+914, since it was first offered in 2019

Like Computer Science, Data Science is part of the new School of Computer, Data and Information Sciences (CDIS), which was formed in 2019 to combine statistics, computer sciences, and the iSchool with new majors in emerging fields.

FUN FACT: The UW-Madison offers 130 different undergraduate majors. Click here for the full list!

And click here to find out which majors fell just shy of the Top 5.


  • Christina Lorey

    Christina is an Edward R. Murrow-winning journalist and former producer, reporter, and anchor for TV stations in Madison and Moline. When she’s not writing or asking questions, you can find her volunteering with Girls on the Run, the Pancreatic Cancer Action Network, and various mental health organizations.

CATEGORIES: Uncategorized


Local News

Related Stories
Share This