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Undergraduate Multiple Major Co-Ocurrence



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

This is an adjacency matrix of major names that co-occur as part of undergraduate students' double or triple major combinations during the Fall 2019 term.

Use the drop-down menus above to reorder the matrix and explore the data!


For a step-by-step walkthrough of how this adjacency matrix works, scroll down  ⬇  



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 in Fall 2019.

Let's look at
Business Administration,
for example:

Its double or triple major pairings include

Cognitive Science,
Electrical Eng & Comp Sci,
Env Econ & Policy,
Industrial Engineering,

Scroll   ⬇   (a keyboard arrow works too)

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 8 major combinations and have a lighter square than Applied Mathematics and Economics, which co-occur in 43 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 most frequently occur as part of double/triple major combinations are shown in the upper left.

In Fall 2019, L&S Computer Science was part of more double/triple major combinations than any other major on campus, followed by Economics, Business Administration, Applied Mathematics and so on.

That is partially explained by the fact that L&S Computer Science 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, L&S Computer Science drops below other majors such as Statistics, Astrophysics, Applied Mathematics, Mathematics, & Business Administration, all of which have a higher percentage of students who double or triple major.

Note that there are also some smaller majors such as Near Eastern Language and Literature, Dance & Performance Studies, French and Music that rank high in this view since only a handful of double or triple majors translates into a large percentage of their students.

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., Mathematics and Physics) whereas some majors (e.g., Economics and Business Administration) 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 2019. Now let's look at data for

Fall 2009

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, Psychology and Business.

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 Over Time





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 was the program with the largest number of students with double/triple majors until Fall 2017, when L&S Computer Science took the top spot. In comparison, the counts for Sociology have trended downward since 2009, while Political Science and Psychology's decline seems to start around 2011 and 2013, respectively. Business has had a slight uptick after an initial 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 2019.

The likes of L&S Computer Science, Electrical Engineering & Computer Science, Cognitive Science and Environmental Econ & Policy have risen substantially in rank over the last ten years, with L&S Computer Science taking over the top spot in Fall 2017.







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

Each of these majors 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 this graphic on your own, go for it!


Hint: Click on a major name to highlight its trend.












Sources & Methodology:
Notes on Other Available Data: