Skip to navigationSkip to content
Reuters/Brian Snyder
Where’s the laptop?

Intro to computer science is now the most popular course at Harvard

Harvard students know which way the wind is blowing. According to a report from the Harvard Crimson, the school’s introductory computer science class (CS50) has a record 818 undergraduates this fall. Twelve percent of undergraduates are taking the course, making it the most popular Harvard course in at least a decade.

Here’s the increase in course enrollment since 2004, the year Mark Zuckerberg created Facebook in his Harvard dorm room:

Despite its reputation as one of the school’s hardest courses, CS50 has surpassed the perennial favorite, Principals of Economics (Ec10A). There appears to be some cannibalization: CS50 enrollment jumped to 818, from 768 last year. Ec10A enrollment dropped to 711, from 772.

It’s a rational response to rapidly rising salaries for computer science graduates, reports of skill shortages, and the growing roster of tech billionaires.

Subscribe to the Daily Brief, our morning email with news and insights you need to understand our changing world.

By providing your email, you agree to the Quartz Privacy Policy.