College Major Demographics

An interactive visualization of who chooses different majors.

Colleges have years worth of data on which students have studied what major, but there is often not a good way to visualize this data in a way that promotes insight into what characterizes and connects these majors. The chord plot at right combines many different data metrics in one visualization. The size of each wedge corresponds to the number of students in that major. The thickness of a chord between wedges indicates how many people double-major in those two majors. The coloring indicates the percentage of students in that category that fall into binary categories, such as sex, first-generation status, or whether or not they studied abroad. This kind of visual allows people to see not only how many students are in each major, but also the relationship between majors, and what demographic of students fall into different types of academic programs.

Chord plot. Labels removed for confidentiality reasons. The actual plot is interactive, allowing the user to mouse-over sections to show only those chords and color the chords based on dividers such as sex, first-generation status, and whether or not a student studied abroad.