11 College Majors You’ve Never Heard Of

We didn’t make these degrees up, we swear! Find out where you can study these unique majors and what the programs entail.

By Sydney Nikols | March 18, 2014

Photo: Cmu.edu

According to the National Center for Education Statistics, the most popular majors in America fall under the categories of business, social sciences, health and education. The 11 below are – (how should we put this?) a tad bit more unique. Read on to learn about these real-life majors that we couldn’t have made up if we tried.

1. Bagpipe

In 1990, Carnegie Mellon University made the bold and unique choice to create an entire major centered around bagpiping. The program, which includes lessons in studio performance as well as related history and culture, has only had a few graduates since its inception. Shocking.

If one of these majors strikes your fancy, great! Now you just have to convince your parents that the degree will be worth their hard-earned money

2. Bowling Management

The folks at Vincennes University think that bowling is perfectly good collegiate subject matter: their bowling industry management program prepares graduates for jobs in center management, sales, marketing and technical fields. Their award-winning bowling team and 18-lane alley further prove that they’re being dead serious about this whole thing.

With a degree in bowling management and technology, Vincennes University graduates are prepared to strike it rich with time to spare.
Photo: Vinu.edu

3. Bakery Science

Baking is no frou-frou hobby at Kansas State Universitytheir program teaches students how to test ingredients, dough and products, allowing them to ultimately run their own bakeries and land jobs in product development. Hey KSU Bakery Science students, feel free to crash every single one of our potluck parties from here on out. Seriously.

4. Adventure Education

Plymouth State University’s Adventure Education program prepares students for careers in environmental education and outdoor leadership. Coursework includes backpacking and canoeing, which sounds almost as fun as sitting in a lecture hall for 90 minutes with your eyes firmly placed on the clock, right?

5. Puppetry

University of Connecticut, Storrs offers a popular program in designing and performing with puppets. Here’s hoping these students have some solid post-grad plans that don’t rely on snagging a nine-to-five with their degree.

Almost 500 student puppet productions have been produced at the University of Conneticut since 1964.
Photo: Uconn.edu

6. Canadian Studies

SUNY College at Plattsburgh offers the most comprehensive Canadian Studies program in the U.S., teaching students about the country’s history and culture. This degree can lead graduates to work in such exotic fields as international trade and intergovernmental affairs, causing us to give them kudos for being so impressively Bond-esque.

7. Theme Park Engineering

Students in this program at California State University, Long Beach learn how to design and build roller coasters and attractions, earning a degree that’s half in electrical engineering and half in nurturing their inner-child. Thanks for respecting the kid in all of us, CSULB.

8. Packaging

Packaging majors at the University of Wisconsin, Stout learn how to properly and efficiently package objects, making them hireable at companies like General Mills and IBM. We’ve gotta hand it to these students for choosing a practical major: a recent survey showed that 97 percent of 2012 packaging graduates found a job at an average starting salary of $55,000. We bet they’re glad they passed up that major in Victorian drama and poetry.

9. Poultry Science

Students in this program at Auburn University, Main Campus can choose an emphasis in poultry production, pre-vet, poultry processing and products or food science, none of which we want to hear much about before eating our lunch.

10. Viticulture and Enology

Yes, those are real words, and University of California, Davis is known for its excellent program surrounding them – viticulture refers to the cultivation of grapes and enology involves the science of wine and wine making. So yeah, these students are basically majoring in the science of drinking. It would be silly to pretend we’re not impressed.

UC Davis students take a hands on approach to making wine.

11. Turfgrass Management

Michigan State University has one of the best turfgrass programs (yes, there are several) in the country, and it’s no joke: students have to take classes like Organic Chemistry and Applied Soil Physics in order to learn how to maintain golf courses, athletic fields, and parks. Who knew turfgrass needed so much undying love and attention?

If one of these majors strikes your fancy, great! Now you just have to convince your parents that the degree will be worth their hard-earned money. If your heart’s set on numbers five or seven, might we suggest hiring a professional to state your case?

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