11 Points

11 Strangest College Majors
written by Sam Greenspan

At this age, I find myself in a lot of discussions about what you majored in at college versus what your career is now. And, for most people, their college major has little to no relevance to their work today.

Anyway, that's not exactly the smoothest transition into this list, but it's some attempt at a prologue, and that's all I wanted anyway.

I did some research and found 11 of the strangest college majors offered in the U.S. today. Check 'em out...

  1. You wanna manage us, college boy?
    Bowling industry management. At Vincennes University in Vincennes, Indiana (the county seat of Knox County!), you can get your major in running a bowling alley. The course of study includes "pinsetter mechanics, pro shop, lane car, league development" and more.

    I'm assuming it also includes how to take off a guy's hand with a ball return machine if him and Big Ern McCracken come in and, mistaking you for small town rubes, try to hustle you.

  2. Winemaking. At several really good schools... including Cornell and UC Davis... you can major in winemaking. They disguise it a little and go for the more scientific and pretentious sounding name: Enology and viticulture.

    I know! Wine people doing something pretentious. I'm as shocked as you are.

  3. Sports ministry. Belhaven College in Jackson, Mississippi, offers a major in sports ministry... which they describe as "prepar[ing] individuals to use sport as a ministry tool."

    I'm not sure if that means moving to a city and setting up a church basketball league or just walking around, crashing kids pickup games and, afterward, saying things like, "Man, that basketball was fun. But you know what's really fun? Studying Jesus."

    Either way, it makes my journalism degree look pretty boring.


  4. Purdue University: Useless Since Drew Brees.
    Boilermaking. This is offered at Ivy Tech Community College-Southwest in Evansville, Indiana. Students learn "how to make and repair steam boiler parts. They study everything from the principles of steam power to the practice of welding."

    By the way, just 170 miles north, Purdue University does not offer a boilermaking major. Carpetbaggers.

  5. Canadian studies. Schools including SUNY Plattsburgh offer this major. Do we REALLY need to be studying Canada? They say yes.

    According to the SUNY Plattsburgh Canadian Studies department website, this major "will give you a stronger academic focus by experiencing a vibrant international atmosphere on campus ... an appreciation of Canada's cultures [and] intercultural expeiences in Canada."

    I didn't realize crossing the border so you could drink and gamble at age 19 and engage in passionate Moranis-versus-Candy debates counted as intercultural experiences, but then again, I wasn't a Canadian studies major.

  6. Golf course management. Seven colleges offer degrees in golf course management. I'm not trying to be a dick here, but I've never heard of any of them.

    Although Ferris State University in Big Rapids, Michigan, sounds kind of cool. Do you think Big Rapids has an inferiority complex because of Grand Rapids? So they overcompensate by building a ton of golf courses and then having the local college pump out a bunch of kids to manage those golf courses? That's my theory. Which I will not be researching.

  7. Art/dance/drama therapy. Each of these different types of therapy now has a corresponding major. Which clearly read as: "You're an artistic girl. During high school, you dyed your hair no fewer than four colors and went through a two-year period of wearing all black. You want to major in art or dance or drama.

    "But we're your upper middle class parents who are going to pay for you to go to college. So can't you find a way to channel your artistic gifts into an actual job?" And thus, art, dance and drama therapy majors were born.

  8. Home economics. Schools including Idaho State University offer majors in Home Ec. I guess in these modern times of ours, not everyone can be a professional. Someone's got to sew patches and bake tarts, right?

    At Idaho State, home ec majors need to take several core courses, including textiles, nutrition, foods, fashion: diversity, family resource management, and marriage and family.

    In addition, they also need to pick from electives including using fabric, meal management, cultural aspects of gourmet foods and even (the intriguing sounding) experimental foods.


  9. The ideal college classroom.
    Bakery science. They offer this at Kansas State, among others. You learn how to operate a bakery. And while it's on the strange major list I'm making, I'm not putting it here to mock it or anything. It sounds really cool.

    Also, imagine what their building is like on campus. Spending four years going to a building that smells like a delicious bakery 24 hours a day? That's amazing. It's like the opposite smell of the statistics building. Man do those statistics majors smell bad.

  10. Comic book art. This is offered at the Minneapolis College of Art and Design, along with a few others. It's a strange one, and maybe even a candidate for World's Nerdiest Major (sorry, mech-engineers!)... but this has got to be a really lucrative major right now.

    At this point, it seems, the second that a comic book debuts every Hollywood studio beats down a path to the creator's door to try to get the movie rights.

    We're about four years away from every single summer movie being either a comic book super mega blockbuster or a romantic/musical alternative for women.

  11. Motorsports science and engineering. That's offered at several colleges, mostly in the South for some unknown reason.

    Whether you want to own your own racing team, manage a major race track, build stock cars or, I assume, have voice lessons that train you to properly say "Sunday, Sunday, Sunday", a motorsports science and engineering major is right for you.


This post was originally published on Thursday, August 21, 2008 at 11:00:00 AM under the category Misc.

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