For the first time in the history of the department, government has been chosen the most popular field of concentration by the Freshman class. 24 concentration blanks have not yet been received by the Committee on the Choice of Electives, however, with the result that the present standings are not final.
Economics, which has been the most popular field for the last four years, has 89 Freshman concentrators, while Government was elected by 91. Although the number of concentrators in both fields has declined since last year, the decrease in Government was less marked.
If present trends continue, moreover, the natural sciences will supersede the social sciences as the most popular area within the next few years. The social sciences include 39.3% of the Freshman class, the natural sciences are a very close second with 36.1%, and the humanities are third with 21.8%.
Social Sciences Decline
These percentages represent a distinct increase in the social sciences and a definite rise in the natural sciences, with the humanities remaining the same. Last year the social sciences had 43.1%, the natural sciences 32.7%, and the humanities 22.9%
History, Government and Economics accounted for most of the concentrators in the social sciences, while the natural sciences gained most of their power in their more numerous but less popular courses. English, as usual, was the leader in the humanities.
The actual number of concentrators in each field at the present time includes Government with 91, Economics 89, History 85, English 75, Chemistry 67, Biochemical Sciences 63, and Biology 55.
English Once Most Popular
Twenty years ago English had more than a quarter of the concentrators in the whole college. Economics, its nearest competitor, had 19.1%, while Government had only 4.3%. Since that time the leadership has fluctuated between English and Economics, but English apparently lost its leadership permanently to Economics in 1935.
History has been the third most popular field practically every year, but it has never attained the top position. The decline of English and the rise of Government are probably the most remarkable changes; the natural sciences have gained steadily but not spectacularly.