America's Most Popular Graduate Degrees

Last Updated Aug 25, 2010 7:05 PM EDT

There's been a lot of press about the most popular undergraduate degrees (Business is No. 1), but until View of Wall Street in Manhattantoday I hadn't seen statistics on what are the most popular graduate degrees.

On the master's degree level, according to new federal report, students are continuing their love affair with business administration. By far, the most popular master's degree for both men and women is the MBA.

More than one out of every four men who obtained a master's degree during the 2008-2009 school year earned a MBA. In contrast, about one in 10 women in master's degree programs received an MBA. Beyond the MBA, however, men and women largely pursued dramatically different master's degree choices.

Among those seeking a doctorate or professional degree, law was the No. 1 choice among men and women. There were nearly three times as many men and women becoming attorneys as there were earning a medical degree (MD).

Here is the line up of the most popular master's degrees and doctorate/professional degrees by gender:

Most Popular Master's Degrees for Men

  1. Business Administration and Management 22.3%
  2. Electrical, Electronics & Communication Engineering 2.8%
  3. Education Leadership & Administration 2.7%
  4. Business/Commerce 2.5%
  5. Education 2.2%
  6. Accounting 2.0%
  7. Public Administration 1.6%
  8. Computer Science 1.5%
  9. Mechanical Engineering 1.5%
  10. Computer & Information Sciences 1.4%

Most Popular Master's Degree for Women

  1. Business Administration 11.4%
  2. Education 5.1%
  3. Social Work 4.2%
  4. Elementary Education 3.8%
  5. Curriculum and Instruction 3.6%
  6. Educational Leadership & Administration 3.3%
  7. Special Education 3.0%
  8. Counselor Education/School Counseling 2.6%
  9. Nursing/Registered Nurse 2.1%
  10. Reading Teacher Education 2.0%

Most Popular Doctorate/Professional Degrees for Men

  1. Law 31.5%
  2. Medicine (MD) 10.8%
  3. Pharmacy 5.3%
  4. Dentistry 3.5%
  5. Physical Therapy 2.8%
  6. Osteopathic Medicine/Osteopathy (DO) 2.4%
  7. Chiropractic 2.1%
  8. Electrical, Elec. & Communications 2.0%
  9. Chemistry 2.0%
  10. Educational Leadership & Administration 1.6%

Most Popular Doctorate/Professional Degrees for Women

  1. Law 25.6%
  2. Medicine (MD) 9.9%
  3. Pharmacy 9.2%
  4. Physical Therapy/Therapist 6.5%
  5. Dentistry 2.9%
  6. Educational Leadership & Administration 2.7%
  7. Osteopathic Medicine/Osteopathy 2.4%
  8. Veterinary Medicine 2.3%
  9. Clinical Psychology 2.2%
  10. Psychology 1.4%
Lynn O'Shaughnessy is the author of The College Solution and she also write a college blog for TheCollegeSolutionBlog.

Most popular graduate degrees image by Jorbasa. CC 2.0.

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