Undergraduate Major Co-Occurence








Ever wonder what combinations of
double and triple majors
are happening on the UC Berkeley campus?

If so, scroll on!   ⬇





This is an adjacency matrix of major names that co-occur as part of students' double or triple major combinations during the
Fall 2016   term.

The majors are listed in alphabetical order along the side and along the top of the matrix...

Each colored square represents a pairing of majors that co-occur.

Let's look at
Business Administration,
for example:

It has double or triple major pairings with

L&S Computer Science, Media Studies,
and Statistics.

The darker the square,
the larger the number of this major combination.

Now let's consider
Applied Mathematics:

Applied Mathematics and Cognitive Science are part of only 4 major combinations and have a lighter square than Applied Mathematics and L&S Computer Science, which co-occur in 40 cases.

hint: mouseover any colored square to see the number of multiple majors in the upper left of the matrix

Now instead of viewing majors alphabetically, let's order this matrix by frequency.

The majors that occur the most as part of double/triple major combinations are shown in the upper left.

In Fall 2016, Economics was part of more double/triple major combinations than any other major on campus, followed by L&S Computer Science, Statistics and so on.

That is partially explained by the fact that Economics is one of the largest undergraduate majors on campus.

Let's now look at the prevalence of multiple majors as a percentage of the total number of students in each program.

In this view, Economics drops below other majors such as Astrophysics, Statistics, and L&S Ops Research & Mgmt Sci which have a higher percentage of students who double or triple major.

The colors represent major clusters determined by the Louvain method of community detection.

Majors that are the same color are more likely to co-occur with each other than with majors outside of their community.

Notice that some majors tend to co-occur with others within their cluster (e.g., Statistics and L&S Computer Science) whereas some majors (e.g., Economics and Psychology) co-occur broadly across communities, represented by the grey cells outside of their cluster.

It's important to note that
this is an approximate representation in terms of overall counts and percentages.

Majors that are part of fewer than four double/triple major combinations were excluded from the matrix.

Why? Well, if all co-occurrences are included, the matrix becomes quite large and the data more difficult to explore.

A great way to see the complete data for specific majors is to visit the Cal Answers Multiple Majors Dashboard (requires a UC Berkeley CalNet ID).

If we take this massive matrix and order it by count, it is easier to see the subset of data that is presented in our co-occurence analysis.

The area that is demarcated by the orange border roughly reflects the major combinations represented in the final matrix.









Have any trends emerged from this multiple major data?

Until now, we've been focussed on Fall 2016. Now let's look at data for

Fall 2006

Looking at this view ordered by count, the program with the largest number of students with double/triple majors ten years ago is... Economics, followed by Political Science, Business, and Psychology.

Note that it's a bit difficult to see the big picture in terms of trends by simply looking at one semester at a time.

Multiple Major Trends

This trend leaderboard ranks majors by the count of multiple majors over time and can serve as a summary of the last 10 years of matrices...

Economics remained the program with the largest number of students with double/triple majors for the past ten years. In comparison, the counts for Business and Psychology have trended downward in recent years while Political Science seems to be on the rise again after a five-year decline.





Let's now look at the same majors ranked by the percentage of students with double/triple majors.

In this view, these four large majors drop below other majors having a larger portion of students who are double/triple majors.








Now let's look at trends in ranking by count with a focus on Fall 2016.

The likes of L&S Computer Science, Statistics, Applied Mathematics, and Physics have risen substantially in rank over the last ten years.







... And again let's switch to a ranking by percentage of multiple majors in each program.

Statistics, L&S Computer Science, Physics and Applied Mathematics have risen substantially not only in rank by count but also in rank by percentage.




Thanks for following along! If you're interested in exploring the complete versions of either of these graphics on your own, go to:

Multiple Majors Matrix

Multiple Majors Leaderboard