08/25/2003 at 01:00 AM EDT
In Kaplan's Unofficial, Unbiased Guide to the 328 Most Interesting Colleges, guidance counselors were asked which TV shows and movies are most influential in nudging students toward a field of study. Authors Trent Anderson and Seppy Basili explain the results.
TOP 5 TV SHOWS
1 CSI "Created huge interest in forensic science."
2 ER "Shows a wide range of medical careers."
3 Law & Order Maps out "the legal system's many career paths."
4 Boston Public "Gets students interested in the very rewarding teaching profession."
5 The Practice "The show humanizes attorneys, making law much more attractive.
TOP 5 MOVIES
1 A Beautiful Mind "Motivated more students to explore math."
2 Legally Blonde "Encourages many law school applicants."
3 Drumline "Draws attention to historically black colleges."
4 The Lord of the Rings "Increases interest in computer graphics."
5 Mr. Holland's Opus and The Sum of All Fears (tied) Education and the CIA, respectively, get boosted.