Karen Barrera, 18, is a liberal arts major in her second semester at Suffolk. She chose the major because she wasn’t sure what she wanted to study.
“After a semester at Suffolk, I realized there’s nothing wrong with not knowing what I want to study,” Barrera said. “I’ve been thinking of a math professor, but we’ll see what the rest of the semester brings me.”
Barrera isn’t alone.
According to research by Urban.org, 40 percent of students arrive in college with a small idea of what they want to study, or what career they aspire to have in the future. When it’s time to choose a major, it’s usually undeclared or liberal arts, general studies.
In fact, among the five most common majors at Suffolk County Community College, in each of the last five years, liberal arts majors accounted for more than 40 percent of Suffolk’s graduates, according to the school’s 10-year graduation report.
The next most common majors include criminal justice, nursing and business administration.
Emmanuel Louis-Jeune, 20, is in his third semester at Suffolk. He’s currently studying criminal justice. He grew up watching “Law & Order” with his brothers and uncle and said it played a role in him choosing this major.
“Me and my uncle used to always do everything together, we watched “Criminal Minds” and I grew a huge passion for it,” Louis-Jeune added.
In the 2016-17 school year, there was a 2.6 percent decrease in the number of students who graduated with liberal arts degrees. But that still made up for 42.7 percent of the graduating population.
The 2015-16 school year saw a 4.61 percent increase in the numbers of students in liberal arts from the previous year, with 44.5 percent of students choosing it as their major.
In the 2014-15 school year, there was a minor decrease in the amount of students enrolled, as it was 3729. But, Liberal Arts still remained as the most popular major with 44.7 percent enrolled in it. 16.36 percent of students chose the previous four.