Document Type

Thesis - Open Access

Award Date


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)

Department / School

Biology and Microbiology

First Advisor

Greg Heiberger


Higher Education, Pre-health, STEM, STEM Careers, STEM Majors


The purpose of this study was to determine the STEM and pre-health online mention volume change regarding STEM and pre-health majors, careers, and universities, with the data collection period encompassing August of 2018 through June of 2021. We evaluated if the mention sentiment shifted between academic year periods. The data gathered for this study was procured in collaboration with Campus Sonar and the social-listening tool of Brandwatch, which allowed for specifications of the data collected. Kruskal-Wallis tests were used to determine the means of the majors, careers, and universities mentions and mean sentiment volumes. Changes in not only online conversation volume but sentiment associated with each STEM and pre-health mention signals the utility of social listening by university leaders to understand prospective student career interest more rapidly in the current and future highly dynamic world.

Library of Congress Subject Headings

Social media and college students.
Vocational interests -- Decision making.
Science -- Study and teaching (Higher)
Technology -- Study and teaching (Higher)
Premedical education.
Online social networks.


South Dakota State University



Rights Statement

In Copyright