I was an English major. My best friends majored in things like Biomedical Engineering, Human & Organizational Development, Political Science, and Biology. I have a deep respect for each and every one of those areas of study – but there’s a lot more out there than people realize. If you’re still undecided and nothing seems to click, this blog post is for you. Expand your horizons. Follow your heart! (And just pause for a moment to think how amazing it would be to tell someone you’re going away to college to study baking or puppetry… seriously.) Here are nine “out there” majors for someone who wants to explore a bit off the beaten path.
Carnegie Mellon University
OK so, I’m pretty sure you can’t actually enroll in this major without any previous bagpiping experience, but I couldn’t omit it from this list. A student at Carnegie Mellon University became the first graduating bagpipe major in the nation in 2009, and he won’t be the last. Apparently, bagpipe majors typically become professional bagpipers or bagpiping instructors. (I am just curious if their dorm rooms are full of kilts.)
Kansas State University
Are you imaging baking cupcakes for homework and doing in-class cake tastings? Because SAME. In reality, Bakery Science students at Kansas State take science-heavy course loads about the science behind baking, learn about bakery and restaurant management, and so on. Per their website, “A variety of cereal food manufacturers, food ingredient manufacturing facilities, research and development laboratories, and commercial bakeries are examples of the types of local, national, and international companies who compete for our graduates.” I’m sure there are some cupcakes involved, though.
I’ve watched costume designers win Oscars, but I’ve never stopped to think how, exactly, they’ve perfected their craft. According to the DePaul University website, “The Theatre School’s Bachelor of Fine Arts (BFA) degree in Costume Technology is designed to prepare students to work in the costume industry in a variety of roles. In addition to the four year course sequence, students gain practical production experience as stitchers, firsthands, drapers, craftspeople, wardrobe, and shop assistants in our production season.” If you loved every moment working on costumes in high school theater… why not take it further?
At Brown University, you can pursue a degree in Egyptology, the study of ancient Egypt’s languages, history, and culture. Students take courses like Ancient Babylonian Magic and Medicine, Ancient Scientific Texts, and Archaeology and Text, and go on to become things like historians, Egyptologists (of course), or even archaeologists.
Appalachian State University
Interested in working in a fermentation-related industry? Not sure what a fermentation-related industry is? Alcoholic beverages like beer and wine are created through fermentation, and according to the university’s website, “North Carolina has more than 100 wineries, over 200 craft breweries and now dozens of craft distilleries.” By getting a degree in Fermentation Sciences and taking courses like Vine Physiology and Vineyard Establishment, Brewing Science and Analysis, and Sensory Analysis of Wine and Beer, graduates are well-equipped for a job in a vineyard, a brewery, a distillery, or even in the biotechnology field.
Mississippi State University
I don’t think I fully appreciated the artistry behind floral arrangements prior to planning a wedding, but now I recognize that florists are truly visionaries. The Floral Management major goes well beyond simply arranging flowers, however, and “involves sourcing, purchasing, distributing, marketing, designing with, and selling floricultural products.” While pursuing their degree, students even get to work at the on-campus University Florist flower shop!
You’re either interested in this field or absolutely, positively not interested in this field. Mortuary Science majors take courses like Funeral Service Law, Forensic Pathology, Death and Dying Across Cultures, Grief Counseling, and Embalming Procedures. This is a major for someone interested in becoming a coroner, funeral director, or something similar.
Bowling Green State University
Alright, this is the first major on this list that has made me question all my life choices. Students pursuing a Popular Culture major at Bowling Green State University take classes like Popular Culture and Media, Black Popular Culture, Television as Popular Culture, and History of Popular Literature. They typically go onto careers in things like public relations, journalism, advertising, and mass media.
University of Connecticut
The University of Connecticut offers both Bachelor’s AND Master’s degrees in puppetry. Yes, that is a real fact I learned today. According to the website, puppetry classes were first taught at UConn in 1946 and soon, they had to cap class sizes because so many students wanted in on it. Graduates of the Puppet Arts program “perform and design for many theatres around the world. They appear in, build for and manage internationally recognized television programs… and films, write books, design toys, teach children, and direct prominent schools and museums.”
If you feel lost when thinking about which professional path is right for you, The Enrichery can help! Our certified Birkman professionals will walk you through the career typing or signature Birkman assessment to help you figure out where you may want to go to college and what you want to study there. It can even help you figure out what you want to do beyond graduation!
And, of course, when you’ve figured out where and what you want to study, we’re here to help you make that a reality too. At the Enrichery College Workshop, we’ll help you write a killer essay and finish all of your apps before senior year even starts! We’ve got a few spots left for this summer, so book your spot ASAP.