I am working on an application for browsing academic programs at a large university. The primary goal is to aid in discovery of majors/degrees that a student would otherwise not know existed, as well as helping new students understand the scope of topics they could potentially get a degree in. I am of the opinion that the best high-level experience to support these goals would be a filter-able browse tool so students could :
- scroll through all programs to see what our university offers
- limit the list by criteria that are important to them (degree type, topic, etc.)
The problem I am running into is figuring out what level to present. There are two in the running:
- Major: The pros are there are only 150 of these, so the list would be more manageable for browsing. The cons are that this would create an additional layer before the student gets to the information about the degree (requirements, admission, etc.)
- Degree: The pros are that this is where the majority of the information lives, so getting students to this information is important. Cons there are around 450 of these, so browsing would be a nightmare (or, at least I think, which gets me to my question).
Does anyone have any research related to the upper limit of items users will browse, or any experience with a similar problem? As this is for a major life decision, my experience is that students tend to dig deeper than they would for a small purchase or web search, however, it still feels like getting into the 400+ range is probably pushing it.