least competitive majors at ut

Last Updated on June 21, 2024 by Team College Learners

Some majors will always be less competitive: Liberal Arts, Undergraduate Studies, Social Work, and Education. The latter two because they have the least amount of applicants.

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Colorado College is somewhat unique among highly selective colleges in that we choose to support a binding Early Decision program, as well as non-binding Early Action and Regular Action programs, giving students greater flexibility to choose the option that is right for them. This has resulted in a large increase in early applicants and a larger percentage of our class enrolling from an early round. Our percentage of students enrolled through Early Decision – around a third of the class for the fall of 2020 – is consistent with many of our peers.

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least competitive majors ivy league

The “Easiest” Ivy League Schools to Get Into

The eight schools of the Ivy League are some of the most hallowed institutions in the United States, counting presidents, Nobel Prize winners, founders, and CEOs among their alumni. Because of this, the best and brightest minds from around the world compete for admission into the Ivy League. While no Ivy League school is easy to get into, gaining admission into some Ivies is easier than others. Keep reading to learn about the easiest Ivy League Schools to get into. 

What is the Ivy League?

Known for containing some of the United States’ oldest, most well-known and well-respected institutions in the northeast, the eight schools of the Ivy League were originally grouped together as an athletic conference. And while these schools have histories dating back hundreds of years, the Ivy League itself was only formed in 1954. Despite its underpinnings in athletics, the Ivy League today is better known for its scholars more than its sports, as admission into these institutions is highly competitive.

Here are the schools in the Ivy League and some more basic information about them.

School NameLocation Acceptance RateUndergraduate Enrollment
Cornell University Ithaca, New York10.7%14,743
Dartmouth College Hanover, New Hampshire9.2%4,170
University of Pennsylvania Philadelphia, Pennsylvania 9% 9,872
Brown UniversityProvidence, Rhode Island7.7%6,792
Yale University New Haven, Connecticut6.5%4,703
Princeton University Princeton, New Jersey 5.6%4,773
Columbia UniversityNew York, New York6.7%6,170
Harvard UniversityCambridge, Massachusetts5%5,222
The 10 Hardest and Easiest College Majors | CollegeVine Blog

Least Competitive Majors At Ut

The United States is a highly competitive society, where people are expected to have jobs that pay well and require years of study. However, this is not always the case. In fact, there are many jobs that are at the bottom of the earnings scale. This list includes some majors that even college students do not want to pursue anymore because they do not bring in very much money. Below are some of the least competitive majors in America today.


Biology has always been one of the most competitive majors in college. Students who choose this major often spend years studying biology before finding a job where they can use their knowledge. Unfortunately, there are not many jobs available for biology majors because there are so many students who want them. They will have to look hard for one that pays well and has good benefits.

Humanities And Social Sciences

Humanities majors like English or history tend to be less competitive than other subjects because they don’t necessarily make people more money later on in life. However, humanities and social science majors still need an education before they can get hired by companies looking for employees with advanced degrees or experience working within these fields; therefore, it’s important for them to focus on finding internships or positions

3 Easiest Ivy League Schools to Get Into

Note: We want to reiterate that no Ivy League is “easy” to get into, but some historically have higher acceptance rates than others. This is the case for these 3 schools.

1. Cornell University 

Location: Ithaca, New York

Acceptance rate: 10.7%

Undergraduate enrollment: 14,743

Founded in 1865, Cornell University’s motto, “I would found an institution where any person can find instruction in any study,” is as relevant today as when the words were first uttered by its cofounder, Ezra Cornell. The easiest Ivy to get into based on acceptance rate, Cornell offers over 4,000 courses through its seven undergraduate schools, meaning that students are sure to find a subject of interest to study. Cornell was the first university to offer a degree in journalism and the first to teach modern Far Eastern languages. Students will find more than academics to interest them at Cornell—start with these 161 Things Every Cornellian Should Do. Set in the Finger Lakes region of New York, the 2,300-acre campus is replete with green space and natural beauty. 

Note on Cornell’s Acceptance Rate: Cornell requires students to apply directly to one of their eight undergraduate colleges. While the overall acceptance rate at Cornell makes it the easiest Ivy League school to get into, the acceptance rates vary quite a bit by college. For example, below are the acceptance rates for the eight undergraduate colleges in 2021:

  • College of Agriculture and Life Sciences: 11.5%
  • College of Architecture, Art, and Planning: 11.4%
  • College of Arts and Sciences: 10.9%
  • Charles H. Dyson School of Applied Economics and Management: 2.9%
  • College of Engineering: 9.6%
  • School of Hotel Administration: 21%
  • College of Human Ecology: 17.0%
  • ILR School: 15.9%

Explore the different acceptance rates between Cornell’s Colleges further on their website. 

2. Dartmouth College 

Location: Hanover, New Hampshire 

Acceptance rate: 9.2%

Undergraduate enrollment: 4,170

The second-easiest Ivy League school to get into, Dartmouth College was founded in 1769. Dartmouth is the smallest Ivy League school, but don’t be fooled by its diminutive undergraduate class size—the school has a large number of offerings. The university is notable for its outstanding faculty, small class sizes, and incredible research opportunities—the Carnegie Foundation has classified Dartmouth as a university with “very high research activity.” Dartmouth is also home to the nation’s oldest and largest outing club, which provides students the opportunity to explore and enjoy the beautiful natural landscape surrounding the school’s rural campus. 

3. University of Pennsylvania 

Location: Philadelphia, Pennsylvania 

Acceptance rate: 9%

Undergraduate enrollment: 9,872

Founded in 1740 by Benjamin Franklin, University of Pennsylvania seamlessly blends its rich history with the innovative spirit it was founded on: Franklin believed that higher education should focus not merely on the education of the clergy, but on teaching knowledge of arts and humanities, plus the practical skills needed to make a living and to do public good. The University of Pennsylvania is home to the world’s first collegiate business school (the Wharton School), as well as the oldest medical school in the United States. On campus, students can take in a game at Franklin Field, the nation’s oldest operational football stadium. 

Note on UPenn’s Acceptance Rate: When applying to the University of Pennsylvania, you don’t apply to the school as a whole; rather, you apply to one of its four schools: the College of Arts and Sciences, the School of Nursing, Penn Engineering, and the Wharton School of Business. If you’re interested in a dual-degree program and that program falls under the umbrella of two schools, you need to get accepted by both. Acceptance rates for the individual schools aren’t available, but acceptance rates for specialized schools are likely lower than that of the College of Arts and Sciences.

The Rest of the Ivy League Schools

Here are the rest of the Ivy League schools, listed in order of highest to lowest acceptance rate.

Brown University

Location: Providence, Rhode Island

Acceptance rate: 7.7%

Undergraduate enrollment: 6,792

Founded in 1764, Brown is another Ivy League institution with a long and storied history. Known for its unconventional approach to education, Brown’s “Open Curriculum” allows students to develop their own core curriculum and explore more than 80 academic programs before choosing to focus on a particular field of study. Brown’s picturesque 150-acre campus is within easy walking distance of downtown Providence, and provides easy access to the vibrant Thayer Street, which offers numerous shopping, dining, and entertainment options. 

Yale University

Location: New Haven, Connecticut 

Acceptance rate: 6.5%

Undergraduate enrollment: 4,703

One of the leading U.S. institutions of higher education since its founding in 1701, Yale is a beacon to a wide variety of scholars, as it’s equally well-known for its drama and music programs as its more than 800 science, math, and engineering labs. Students are housed in residential colleges, each with their own head and dean who live and eat with the students. This structure creates a unique social system at Yale and a sense of community. The city of New Haven, Connecticut, is often called the “Cultural Capital of Connecticut,” but students looking to escape enjoy easy access to the big cities of Boston and New York. 

Princeton University

Location: Princeton, New Jersey 

Acceptance rate: 5.6%

Undergraduate enrollment: 4,773

Founded in 1746 as the College of New Jersey and renamed in 1896, Princeton University is among the oldest and most renowned institutions of higher education in the United States. Well known for its stunning ivy-covered campus that sprawls across 500 acres and is set in the idyllic town of Princeton, it’s no wonder that almost all undergraduate students choose to live on campus, creating a well-connected and vibrant community. While there are a plethora of restaurants, shopping, art, and culture surrounding Princeton, big cities like New York and Philadelphia are only about an hour away and easily accessed via the “Dinky” train which provides regular service.

Columbia University

Location: New York, New York

Acceptance rate: 6.7%

Undergraduate enrollment: 6,170 

Established by the royal charter of George II as King’s College in 1754 and renamed Columbia College following the American Revolution, Columbia is the fifth-oldest institution of higher education in the United States and the oldest in New York. At the heart of Columbia’s academics is their common “Core” curriculum—a set of classes ranging from literature and humanities to the sciences that every student must take. Outside the classroom, students live and learn in one of the world’s great cities, New York, where they have unparalleled access to leading institutions of media, science, education, health, politics, finance, and technology.

Harvard University

Location: Cambridge, Massachusetts

Acceptance rate: 5%

Undergraduate enrollment: 5,222

The oldest institution of higher education in the United States, Harvard University was founded in 1636 and remains at the forefront of education today—almost 400 years later. Located in the city of Cambridge, Massachusetts, just outside of Boston, Harvard students can take advantage of the university’s world-class resources while surrounded by some of the globe’s most talented and intellectual students, from Harvard as well as neighboring schools like MIT, Boston University, Boston College, Tufts, and Northeastern. 

How Can I Increase My Chances of Getting Into an Ivy League School?

1. Take Rigorous Classes and Get Strong Grades

It should come as no surprise that a common characteristic shared by students accepted into all eight of the Ivy League schools is a strong GPA—just read our blog post, What Are the Average High School GPAs of Admitted Students at Ivy League Schools?, to get an idea of the type of awesome academics you’ll need. None of the Ivy League schools have a minimum required GPA; however, the higher your GPA, the better your chances are at admission.

Although the Ivies don’t have a minimum GPA, many selective schools use the Academic Index as part of the admissions process, which places considerable weight on your grades. Academic Index (AI) is a calculation of a student’s overall academic performance combining factors like GPA, SAT or ACT score, and SAT Subject Test scores into a single metric. This allows admissions offices to establish a minimum AI threshold, where applicants who don’t meet that threshold might be automatically rejected. A good AI will get your foot in the door (it won’t get you automatically accepted!), but a bad one could keep you out. Learn more about the Academic Index in our article, What is the Academic Index? How is it Calculated?

2. Pursue Quality Extracurriculars

In addition to fantastic grades and challenging coursework, you’ll also need impressive extracurriculars to get into an Ivy League school—in some cases, a truly extraordinary extracurricular activity may even help you overcome an underwhelming GPA. An easy way to judge the value of an extracurricular activity in admissions is to use the four tiers of extracurricular activities. 

All extracurricular activities are good—they show depth and paint a more personal portrait of yourself that grades and test scores cannot—but some activities are more impressive than others. The tiers are set up from the extraordinary to the ordinary; the rarer and more distinguished the achievement, the more value placed on it. For example, Tier 1 is reserved for activities such as being selected to play in the McDonald’s All-American basketball game, or winning first prize in the United States of America Mathematical Olympiad (USAMO). Conversely, Tier 4 activities are for more common activities like being a member of your school’s debate team. 

One way that students can improve their extracurricular profile during high school is to take on leadership roles in the clubs and organizations they belong to. The more a student uses their position in a club to guide and shape its future, the more impressive it will be in admissions. For more ways to create a strong extracurricular profile, see our post How to Improve Your Extracurriculars Junior and Senior Year.

3. Write Engaging Essays

Along with extracurricular activities, the essay is the other way in which admissions departments learn about a student’s interests and life outside of the classroom. All eight Ivy League schools accept the Common Application, so understanding how to write the Common Application essays is a vital skill for those with Ivy aspirations. 

Standout essays are engaging to the reader, separate the student from their competition, and give admissions departments a glimpse at the applicant’s personality and identity. With this in mind, a winning essay will answer four key questions: Who am I? Why am I here? What is unique about me? and What matters to me? 

Check out CollegeVine’s extensive collection of blogs and articles about college essays for everything from tips to breakdowns to guides for more information on acing your college essay. 

What Are The 12 Ivy League Schools To Pay Attention To?

We’ve discussed how to choose a major and how to choose the right college. But what if you’ve already chosen your major, and now you want to be sure it’s the least competitive?

Well, unfortunately, there’s no way we can tell you that. There are so many factors that go into choosing a major—like whether or not it’s in demand by employers, what kind of career you want to have, and if it’ll lead to graduate school—that even someone with an advanced degree in statistics couldn’t tell you what will happen for sure.

But we can give you some ideas about where to start looking:

  • First, look at which majors are most popular at your school. If the most popular major only has one professor teaching it, that might be a sign that it’s too competitive for its own good.
  • Second, check out which majors are most popular among students who went on to grad school or found jobs after they graduated. If a lot of people are going back for more studies or using their skills in ways that make them money, then maybe yours will be as well!
  • Finally, check out how many different types of careers your major prepares people for. If there aren’t many options open after graduation (and they

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