There are a lot of different options about what to study in college. Schools have hundreds, maybe thousands of majors, and they’re adding new ones all the time. With the plethora of choices, some of them are bound to seem a bit weird. As far as we know, underwater basket weaving is still just a joke, but some of these seem almost as funny.
Sorry if this article offends you because you’re majoring in one of these, but really… you should have expected it going in. If you didn’t know people were gonna make fun of you for majoring in Bowling Industry Management, you’re not ready for college. Just kidding – lighten up, Steve. That’s just like a Bowling major to get offended. So sensitive. Anyway, let’s get started. Below are 10 of the strangest things you can major in.
10. Turfgrass Management
We tend to take the grass for granted. It just grows on its own, right? Well yes, but it doesn’t grow the way we want it to. If you want an example of grass left unchecked, check out the Amazon rainforest. You probably don’t want that many species living in your yard.
So there are very detailed methods to making grass look and feel like we want it to. And so, if you’re passionate about grass – so passionate that you want to devote your life to it – maybe consider a major in Turfgrass Management. We can guarantee grass is easier to manage than people are: it will never disagree with you, and will do what you want as long as you care for it. Apparently opportunities abound in this field, with such diverse career options as lawn management, athletic field management, and golf course management. Athletic fields and golf courses? Wow! You’re almost a professional athlete. It’s as close as you’re gonna get, at least. And it’s probably less damaging on your body.
Although it is rare at many schools, it’s not unheard of for someone to major in some sort of music. If you are very advanced, if it’s your passion, and if you are good enough to make a living with it, then why not? If you’re really good at the violin and practice all the time, you could maybe get a job in an orchestra.
However, there are other instruments that are much less often focused on. One would be bagpipes. A major in bagpipe music might sound like a practical joke, but Carnegie Mellon – an elite academic school, mind you – actually has a program for it. In 2009, there was exactly one graduating bagpipe major, and it seems like being the only one might work out well. Nick Hudson, the lone bagpipe major, made $1,000 playing in bars on St. Patrick’s Day alone. Now, if only it could be St. Patrick’s Day every day. Oh, to dream! If each day could be filled with the joy and booze of the season, then perchance this man’s heart and wallet could be filled to the brim.
8. Ranch Management
What’s one of the few things that you can still do without going to college? Raising livestock? You’d imagine that anyone who wants to work down on the ranch would learn from their parents, or on the job. Well, apparently that’s not always the case. At Texas Christian University, you can major in Ranch Management. This is something we never thought would be taught in a classroom. In the past, that would be something passed down from generation to generation, but we guess some people whose parents weren’t ranchers have decided that’s what they want to do with their lives. They want to ranch.
And these people are willing to pay lots and lots of dollars to find out how. Home, home on the range, where degrees and tuition roam free. Well, not really free. You know what we mean. And, despite our hopes, this degree does not have anything to do with ranch dressing. That, each man must still learn on his own. There’s no class for that… yet.
Drama has long been harassed as a useless major. You aren’t gonna make any money in the theater unless you’re a big star, and chances are you’re not going to be a big star. Especially since the theater’s pretty much dead (well, except for Hamilton, of course). Your grandfather will certainly try to talk you out of it. “Why don’t you major in something useful instead.” Maybe you could make a decent living acting in commercials. Probably not, but maybe.
Well, if you want to make your relatives even more confused, why not major specifically in puppetry? According to the website for the University of Connecticut that’s trying to get you to sign up, graduates of the program work in theaters around the world. But it won’t really matter to your judgmental aunt Martha. Majoring in puppetry is a surefire way to piss off your relatives, and therefore, an excellent choice.
6. Canadian Studies
There’s been a critique of traditional western education that it draws topics primarily from the west, specifically Europe and America.
A lot of schools now are trying to focus more on the study of other countries, like those in Latin America and Asia. Learning about different parts of the world is considered an important part of a rounded education. And it is.
If you really have a passion for a particular exotic locale, it probably won’t kill you to major or minor in its studies. One of the exotic locales offered as a major by the University of Vermont is Canadian Studies. Yes, you can major in the study of the country probably the most similar to the United States, that’s literally an hour drive from the classroom in which you’re studying it. Well, at least you’ll be able to go on frequent field trips.
5. Bakery Science
Culinary school isn’t too weird a concept. You go there and you learn all the different ways to cook and then maybe get a low paying, high stress job in a restaurant. But the advantage of it is that you learn all sorts of different ways to cook. At Kansas State, though, you can decide to instead focus on one of the most common ways to make food taste better: baking.
You can concentrate on either production management or cereal chemistry. Ok, we guess this is different from just a cooking degree and you might get a job in the food production industry. But still, just… come on. Cereal chemistry? Who bakes their cereal? We know that’s not what it means, but that’s what it sounds like. And what it sounds like is ridiculous. Do we really need some pinhead professor to tell us how to pour our Frosted Flakes?
4. Bowling Industry Management
That’s right, that was not a joke. This is an actual major at an actual college that you can actually major in. In actuality.
If you thought the coolest people in The Big Lebowski were the people working at the alley, this major might be for you. Most people in business get more general degrees than this, but if you know what you want maybe you should get really specific – like a degree in Bowling Industry Management. The only college with this option is Vincennes University in Indiana. And if you get bored, take advantage of their onsite 18-lane bowling alley. That’s right: if you need to relax after class, head on over and knock down some pins. On second thought, this doesn’t sound that bad. Sign us up!
People, as a general rule, like alcohol. Most adults drink at least once in awhile. So, there’s probably going to continue to be jobs for the people who make it. But is going to college really necessary to make wine? Well, some colleges think so.
In order to fancy it up even further, colleges actually call these programs Enology, which means the study of wine. Oh, it sounds so sophisticated. Well, at least it will allow you to gain an intensive knowledge of what goes into making wine at the age of 18 or so. We’re sure that you won’t abuse that knowledge.
2. Folklore and Mythology
It’s fascinating and useful to study other cultures. One of the most interesting things to study about other cultures is their mythology. You can learn a lot about a society by studying their folklore. Yep, that’s a great thing to read about in your spare time. But surely it isn’t a full on major anywhere… right? Wait… it is?
Ok, well it’s probably some small school you’ve never heard of. Well, yes, if you’ve never heard of Harvard University. That’s right, the college everyone thinks of when they think ‘prestigious’ has a major in Folklore and Mythology. We suppose you can probably still get a good job with it, as long as you emphasize where you got the major. “You majored in what? Oh, I don’t think… oh, from Harvard. Oh yes, of course, can you start Monday?” We’re assuming that’s how it works, anyway.
1. Whatever you want (Student-designed major)
Turns out, some colleges realize students might have interests that don’t fit neatly within one college major. So, they give them the option to double major. Or even maybe triple major. Or, if that doesn’t work, some of them just let kids make up their own major. At several universities, there exists what is called a student-designed major. The student decides what to call it and they get it put on their diploma if they do what the college tells them to, and they get through all their classes.
Of course, the college has to approve their choice, so it’s not really whatever you want. But you can probably convince them of a lot of different things. Maybe we should send some of our writers to school for listicle studies? That certainly would have been more helpful than our Bowling Management degree. Just to remind you, that’s a real degree. If you take just one thing from this article, let it be that. There are people getting a degree to prepare them for a career in the bowling industry. Come on!