Higher education disciplines and degrees have become the model for modern university education. Undergraduate and graduate disciplines are divided to two different specialty catalogues in the country.
Bachelor's degree disciplines have the following features:
1. With regards to decisions and changes to academic disciplines, educational authorities of the State manage revisions of specialty catalogues for bachelor's degrees.
2. College students and academic disciplines impact ideology and society, changing the way education affects specific products, industries and technological orientation.
3. Discipline categories have decreased gradually.
4. Market oriented academic disciplines have strengthened the decision-making power of universities. Changes in the employment status of college graduates have impacted course selection. Thanks to economic globalization and China's entry to the WTO, foreign language and international trade have become popular disciplines. The development of modern information technology and the increased demands of society have made computer science, software, communications and e-commerce more popular in the market. China resumed postgraduate admissions in the 1980s. The State has identified both first-level and second-level disciplines. In June 1997, the Academic Degrees Committee of the State Council and the State Education Commission jointly issued the Lists of Disciplines and Specialties of Master's and Doctoral Degrees. Management study was added as a discipline on the new list, which now has a total of 12 disciplines, 88 first-level disciplines and 382 second-level disciplines.
In awarding degrees for 11 disciplines, engineering was the most popular. Bachelor's degrees in engineering accounted for 44.95 percent of the total. Master's degrees accounted for 37.7 percent, and doctoral degrees accounted for 39.92 percent. The second most popular discipline was science, among which bachelor's degrees accounted for 9.94 percent, master's degree accounted for 10.12 percent, and doctoral degrees accounted for 20.02 percent.