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184 members of the Class of 2026 declared Economics. We broke down Declaration Day.

Tiger on a table with orange tablecloth, with a cloth titled “PRINCETON POLITICS” draped on the table.
Declaration Day for the Class of 2025.
Aarushi Adlakha / The Daily Princetonian.

The Class of 2026 Declaration Day was originally scheduled for April 12, but was rescheduled for April 19 due to a forecasted thunderstorm. Declaration period for sophomores pursuing A.B. degrees ended on April 15. 439 members of the class — 27 percent — who are pursuing B.S.E. degrees declared last April.


The most popular major declared for the Class of 2026 was economics, a shift from last year’s School Public & International Affairs and computer science B.S.E. for the Class of 2024. Near Eastern Studies, Religion, Slavic Languages & Literatures, and French and Italian all had fewer than three members join the major.

“I declared economics because there’s so much you can do with it: from behavioral economics to finance,” economics major Sophia Shepherd ’26 wrote in a statement to The Daily Princetonian.

“Coming into college, I was unsure about what exactly I wanted to do, so economics seemed like a path to a wide variety of potential careers down the road,” she said.

For others like Koda Gursoy ’26, economics provides a path to academia. “I declared econ because I would like to go to grad school and do a Ph.D. in economics and eventually hopefully be a professor,” he said to the ‘Prince’. 

As for why he likes economics, Gursoy said that “you can really answer questions that are so relevant to daily life in terms of policy questions.” 

“It really combines a lot of my favorite fields. It’s very interdisciplinary, it has elements of math, like really high-level math, you can use tons of computer science methods, there’s a history side to it, there’s law and philosophy, economics,” he said.


Gursoy thinks the popularity of economics is due to “[Princeton] not having a business school.”

“Students who want to go into fields that are not necessarily particularly economics related, maybe not economic policy or anything but for which econ is a useful major, like whether it’s consulting or quantitative finance … I think it catches a lot of people that might be in other majors at other schools that offer them, but are not offered here,” he said.

5.2 percent of the Class of 2025 declared history. For the Class of 2026, this percentage dropped to 2.97. The School of Public and International Affairs is the third most declared concentration with 8.99 percent of the Class of 2026 declaring SPIA. This percentage is the lowest since the Class of 2023, where 8.80 percent of the class declared SPIA.

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“SPIA brings in policy practitioners … [and] the chance to take seminars with these practitioners is extremely valuable for someone like me,” said Abby Lu ’26, a SPIA major.

Lu also highlighted certain SPIA programs that drew students into the major. “I really appreciate the policy task forces,” she said. Task force members draft policy memos to tackle real-world issues. Lu highlighted the opportunity to “present [work done in task forces] to actual practitioners, like governments [and] international organizations.”

“Field work experience at the undergraduate level is very valuable,” she said.

Lu is a former Prospect contributor for the ‘Prince.’

Electrical and Computer Engineering (ECE) experienced a surge in popularity among the Class of 2026, with six percent of the Class of 2026 declaring ECE, compared to 4.3 percent of the Class of 2025. Sanjana Venkatesh ’26, an ECE major, said that she declared ECE through “process of elimination.”

“I was looking through the engineering majors, and this seemed like the least bad one,” she said.

Over the past ten years, the percent of rising juniors declaring a humanities major has been steadily decreasing. For the Class of 2026, 11.57 percent of the class declared humanities, down from 11.6 percent of the Class of 2025 and 16.7 percent of the Class of 2017. The most popular humanities concentration declared was history, making up 2.97 percent of the class. Even then, the proportion of students declaring history has declined since previous years, down from 5.7 (79 members to 45 members) percent of the Class of 2025.

At the same time, the percent of sophomores declaring an engineering major has steadily increased. 33.25 percent of the Class of 2026 declared B.S.E, up from 31.4 percent of the Class of 2025 and 26.7 percent of the Class of 2017. 

This year’s Declaration Day marks the first time a B.S.E. dropout pin will be handed out by TigerTale. Students may wear these pins on the 2026-styled black sweaters that all class members had the opportunity to purchase for $10.

Declaration Day festivities will take place April 19 on Cannon Green between 1:30 p.m. and 5:30 p.m. with banners for each major for photos. Members of the Class of 2026 can also complete a bingo card to win prizes, with challenges such as “wear all orange to class” and take a “photo w/ Eisgruber or Dean Dolan.”

Suthi Navaratnam-Tomayko is head Data editor and Sports contributor for the ‘Prince.’

Andrew Bosworth is head Data editor and Sports contributor for the ‘Prince.’

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