15 Weird Majors You Can Pursue in College
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Choosing what to major in can be challenging, particularly when there are hundreds of traditional and weird majors offered at colleges and universities.
Of the 3 million degrees that were conferred in the U.S. in 2018-19, the most common fields of study were business, health professions, and related programs, according to the National Center for Education Statistics. Majors like engineering, business, and nursing are some of the most in-demand majors of 2022.
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If the most popular college majors don't interest you or you're undecided, there are many cool majors to explore, including amusement park engineering, comic art, and bicycle design and fabrication. These fun majors can lead to unique jobs.
Arizona State University offers a part-time master's degree program for working professionals in biomimicry, the study of design modeled on nature. ASU is the only university in the world to offer a master of science in biomimicry, which is an emerging discipline that can prepare students for Ph.D. programs, biomimicry consulting, and leadership roles.
The 30-credit online graduate program offers core courses in the essentials of biomimicry, elective courses in human-nature connection, and practicum courses like BioBrainstorm Practicum.
2. Cannabis Biology and Chemistry
The undergraduate cannabis biology and chemistry program offered by Colorado State University's Department of Chemistry prepares students for graduate study in biology or chemistry and for jobs in the emerging field of cannabis science. Students in the bachelor's degree program can choose one of two emphasis areas: analytical or natural product.
The analytical area focuses on chemistry and prepares students for careers as biological technicians, biochemists, and biophysicists. The natural product track focuses on biology and includes advanced coursework in genetics, neurobiology, and natural products.
Graduates may pursue careers as agricultural and food scientists, biological technicians, and biochemists.
3. Puppet Arts
Since 1964, the University of Connecticut has offered courses in puppetry, preparing students to work on Broadway, on television, and in schools. One of three universities in the U.S. to offer a bachelor of fine arts (BFA) degree in puppet arts, UConn also offers master's degrees in puppet arts.
Unlike other majors, UConn's BFA dramatic arts students begin taking puppetry classes during their first semester, and two-thirds of students' college classes are in the puppet arts major. The BFA program includes courses like theater production, puppetry techniques, and theater design.
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Learn about start dates, transferring credits, availability of financial aid, and more by contacting the universities below.
4. Viticulture and Enology
As of 2020, there are 5,024 wineries in the U.S., according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). Students in Cornell University's College of Agriculture and Life Sciences' viticulture and enology program study grape-growing and wines.
Undergraduate viticulture and enology students take biology and chemistry classes, as well as elective classes like business and plant science.
Students majoring in viticulture and enology must complete a capstone project and an internship in order to complete the program. Graduates are prepared to pursue careers in winemaking, vineyard management, and hospitality.
5. Fermentation Science
Since 2012, Appalachian State University has been offering a bachelor of science in fermentation sciences. Classes include biology, chemistry, fermentation science, mathematics, economics, and business. Almost every fermentation sciences student completes a minor in chemistry and may also minor in biology or entrepreneurship.
Students have access to several on-campus labs to hone their skills in operations, management, and recipe and product development.
The undergraduate program prepares students for advanced study and to work in fermentation-related industries. Alumni work at wineries, breweries, and biotechnology companies.
6. Bicycle Design and Fabrication
The first degree program of its kind, Minnesota State College Southeast's bicycle design and fabrication major is a two-year associate of applied science program in which students get to design and build a custom bicycle.
Students study metal fabrication, 3D printing, and mechanical design, and take lab courses in welding, prototyping, computer-aided drawing/design, and computer-aided manufacturing/machining.
While designed for students to pursue a career in the bicycle industry, the program also prepares graduates for careers in fabrication, mechanical design, manufacturing, and engineering technology.
7. Digital Mapping
The University of Kentucky's College of Arts & Sciences offers a master's degree in digital mapping geared toward working professionals. The program provides graduate students with the technical and geospatial analysis skills to use big data to create static and interactive maps.
Designed as an extension of UK's Graduate Certificate in Digital Mapping program, students take classes in spatial data analysis and visualization, programming for web mapping, and collaborative geovisualization.
Students who complete the online program may work as data scientists, web designers, and geovisual artists.
8. Bakery Science
Kansas State University is the only university in the U.S. that offers a four-year bachelor of science degree in bakery science and management. Students learn basic principles of baking. Within the first two years, students choose one of two tracks: cereal chemistry or production management.
Kansas State's research labs include a pilot-scale bakery, a flour mill, and a food extrusion lab.
The school claims a 100% job placement during the past five years with starting salaries averaging from $50,000-$70,000. Graduates of the program are prepared to pursue careers in commercial bakeries, restaurants, and testing labs.
The University of New Hampshire was the first university in the U.S. to offer an ecogastronomy program. Ecogastronomy is the study of food, agriculture, and environment.
Students in this dual-major program take courses in agriculture, regional cuisine, hospitality management, and nutrition. Students also complete courses in a second major of their choice.
The ecogastronomy program includes a semester abroad in Ascoli Piceno, Italy. Students are prepared to pursue a variety of careers, including as chefs, community health professionals, dietary technicians, farm managers, food and beverage managers, nutritionists, and sommeliers.
10. Costume Technology
DePaul University's costume technology undergraduate program prepares students to work in the costume industry. As part of The Theatre School, students learn to design and construct costumes and accessories. Costume technology students gain experience as stitchers, firsthands, drapers, craftspeople, and wardrobe and shop assistants.
In the final year of study, students can opt to do an internship. Students also do mock interviews with local costume shops and can participate in The Theatre School's Graduate Showcase in Chicago, Los Angeles, and New York City.
11. Egyptology and Assyriology
Brown University's Department of Egyptology and Assyriology offers two tracks: Egyptology, the study of ancient Egypt, and Assyriology, the study of Assyria and ancient Mesopotamia. Each student must take at least 10 classes that explore these ancient cultures.
Egyptology classes include ancient Egyptian history, archaeology of ancient Egypt, and ancient Egyptian temples and tombs. Assyriology includes classes on the history and culture, ancient scholarship, and archaeology of ancient Mesopotamia and its neighbors.
Graduates go on to advanced study or may work as anthropologists or archeologists. The median annual pay for anthropologists or archeologists is $61,910 as of May 2021, according to the BLS.
12. Comic Art
Minneapolis College of Art and Design offers a bachelor of fine arts in comic art. During the four-year program, students learn how to produce traditional and digital comic books, comic strips, and graphic novels. Students also learn how to be compelling storytellers.
Classes include comic book publishing, drawing, comic storytelling, and experimental comics. The program prepares students to pursue work as comic artists, cartoonists, and storyboarders at design firms, animation companies, film studios, and ad agencies.
13. Popular Music
The popular music program at the University of Southern California's Thornton School of Music prepares musicians to pursue careers in popular music performance. The 132-credit bachelor of music in popular music performance program includes a capstone project in addition to intensive classes, private lessons, and academic courses.
Classes include drumming and keyboard proficiency, introduction to MIDI sequencing, audio recording and editing, songwriting, and introduction to the music industry.
The median hourly wage for musicians is $30.49 as of May 2021. The number of jobs for musicians and singers is projected to grow 11% from 2020-2030, according to the BLS.
14. Amusement Park Engineering
Ohio University's master of engineering management is an advanced, online, graduate degree program for engineers who seek to be engineering leaders. The program is mainly lab-based and includes classes in leadership, project management, and statistics for engineering management.
Alumni of the program typically find work as computer systems analysts, construction managers, industrial production managers, training and development managers, and engineering managers. Engineering managers earn a median annual salary of $152,350 as of May 2021, according to the BLS.
The University of Houston offers a master of science in foresight, the study of predicting what will happen or be needed in the future. The online program can be completed full time in one year and part time in 3-5 years.
Classes include advanced strategies for futures planning, introduction to foresight, futures research, world futures, systems thinking, and social change. Students are prepared to pursue work in the emerging field of forecasting and planning, helping clients and companies anticipate change and plan for the future.