College Majors You Never Knew Existed

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Check out these seven unusual degrees you have to study to believe.


By Terence Loose  

Think Greek studies is as unusual as it gets in terms of college majors? Think again.

Though it might not be as popular as biology, business, or even forestry, you'd be surprised at the other unusual degrees that are out there.

For instance, did you know that you could major in blacksmithing or race track management? Or perhaps you'd prefer arctic studies or decision making. If you can't make up your mind, try decision making.

The fact is, there are degrees offered in just about any subject imaginable. If you don't believe us, read on for more info on some of the more unusual degrees.

Unusual Degree: Bowling Industry Management

If you thought that bowling was merely a pastime for people who love colorful shoes and tricky math, think again. With more than 70 million people bowling per year, according to the United States Bowling Congress, bowling is serious biz.

Hence, Vincennes University's major in bowling industry management. To help students learn the business, this university in Indiana has a state-of-the-art instruction facility, with four complete lanes, synthetic and wood surfaces, Brunswick pinsetters, and a Vacu-Jig drill machine.

Courses: According to Vincennes University's website, students in this major study such things as speech, pro shop, pinsetter mechanics, and lane care. But there's no mention of classes in scoring or how to make a 7-10 split.

Possible careers: Bowling lane owner or manager, manufacturer sales representative


Unusual Degree: Puppetry

Thought puppet shows were just for kids? Think again. The art of puppetry can actually be studied at a handful of colleges, such as the University of Hawaii and Washington's Evergreen State College.

The University of Connecticut even offers a master's degree in the art of puppetry. And nearly 500 student puppet productions have been presented since 1964, according to the University of Connecticut's website.

Courses: To master the art of puppetry, students need to take classes such as advanced rod puppet theatre, advanced paper sculpture design, and advanced shadow theatre, according to the University of Connecticut's website.

Possible careers: Puppeteer, puppet maker, puppet theater director

Want to study something creative? Find the right Art and Design program for you.


Unusual Degree: Comedy Studies

At most colleges, higher learning is no laughing matter. But apparently, that's not true at Southampton Solent University in the United Kingdom. They were the first university to offer a degree in comedy studies in 2009.

Yes, all those class clowns that got sent to the principal's office in third grade can now earn a college degree for their "gifts." Let's just say there are a lot of last laughs come graduation time.

Courses: According to Southampton Solent University's website, as a future scholar in everything funny, students take classes such as key moments in comedy history, analysis of comedy, and physical comedy (please bring cream pie to study group).

Possible careers: Stand-up comedian, comedy writer, clown

Think a Communications degree might be right for you? Click to find programs now.


Unusual Degree: Auctioneering

Some people talk so fast that no one knows what the heck they're saying. Those people might just be destined to major in auctioneering. Preparing students to pursue a career as a licensed auctioneer, this program is offered at such schools as Pennsylvania's Harrisburg Area Community College.

Auctioneers don't merely run estate and art sales either. They handle everything from cars to cattle, and study public speaking, sales law, and contracts, according to College Board, a nonprofit educational organization that administers tests like the SAT. Just remember: speak loudly and carry a small gavel.

Courses: According to Harrisburg Area Community College's website, some of their auctioneering classes include procurement and appraisal of merchandise, audience communications, and auctioneering law.

Possible career: Auctioneer


Unusual Degree: Citrus Studies

With the only citrus studies bachelor's program in the United States, it's probably a safe bet that students at Florida Southern College get their daily dose of Vitamin C.

The degree is part of the horticultural sciences school, which contains 80 varieties of citrus trees. Can you guess who gets to bring the limes for the beer at those college parties?

Courses: According to the Florida Southern College's website, courses in their citrus studies program include everything from citrus pest and disease management to citrus grove management to citrus postharvest practices.

Possible careers: Citrus grove manager, citrus fruit researcher


Unusual Degree: Packaging

Have you ever wondered if some mad scientist packaged your products? You may have been right. Michigan State University offers not only bachelor's and master's degrees in packaging, but a doctorate degree in it as well.

In fact, for over 50 years, Michigan State University's School of Packaging has awarded more than 7,000 degrees. It currently houses approximately 500 undergraduates and 90 graduate students.

So the next time you rip open some product's packaging, pay a little respect. It might represent years of sleepless study sessions.

Courses: Long gone are the days of cheap cardboard boxes; today's packaging is quite advanced. According to Michigan State University's website, some courses include advanced packaging dynamics, permeability and shelf life, and polymeric packaging materials.

Possible careers: Package researcher, packaging specialist, packaging instructor

Interested in the marketing side of packaging? Click to find Marketing programs now.


Unusual Degree: Bakery Science

Cookies, cakes, muffins...this is heaven for some people. For others, it's homework.

That's right: Kansas State University is the only U.S. university to offer a bachelor's degree in bakery science.

Students can either choose a focus in cereal chemistry or production management. And Kansas State University contains a pilot commercial bakery and bakery laboratories in which students can practice their future craft. Bon appétit.

Courses: Students who study this degree do more than just watch dough rise. According to Kansas State University's website, bakery science students study such areas as chemistry, physics, economics, bakery layout and design, nutrition, and cereal science.

Possible careers: Baker, baking product developer, bakery manager

Want to learn about more broad culinary techniques? Click to find Culinary Arts programs now.


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