Date of Award

Spring 2021

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts


Educational Studies and Sociology

First Advisor

Daniel Douglas


Over the past decade, the average number of 1.5 generation immigrant students that have enrolled, attended, and graduated from a liberal arts institution has increased drastically. However, their experiences with higher education and the motivation behind their college major selection have continued to be overlooked in the fields of Social Sciences. This study was administered at Trinity College, a small liberal arts institution in Hartford, Connecticut, with the goal of answering how Trinity College's 1.5 generation immigrant students negotiate college major choices due to parental expectations. Additionally, it will explore and explain how these choices and students’ experiences at Trinity College will affect their academic success and economic mobility. Using qualitative research, eight semi-structured video interviews were conducted with 1.5 generation immigrant sophomore, junior and senior students from Trinity College. Interviews focused on the relationship between 1.5 generation immigrant students' parents and the role that they played in their children's educational experience, especially during the college process and their aspirations after graduating. This study was able to identify three groups: students who were influenced by their parents to choose a specific major (Conformists), students who were influenced by their parents to pick a specific major but change it (Rebels) and students who pursued the college major they wanted (Independents).


Senior thesis completed at Trinity College, Hartford CT for the degree of Bachelor of Arts in Educational Studies and Sociology.