Non-traditional college majors you might not know exist

Universities across the country offer a variety of unique majors.


Avery Gross (20') reads through a list of potential majors in an information packet for Johns Hopkins University.

Madeleine Katz, Online Editor

Once again, it’s the time of year when seniors are going through the college application process and deciding what they want to do with their lives. Picking a college major related to the career they plan on working towards is essential. There are always the options of traditional and common majors and courses, but a small amount of students spend their time in college focusing on something more unique.

Bagpiping: At one of the county’s most prestigious schools, ranked the 25th best university in the US by US News, a number of students study bagpiping at Carnegie Mellon every year. The program has been around for over 75 years in honor of the school founders Scottish descent.

Puppet Arts: While many types of theatrical arts are studied at universities, not many students decide on a major in puppet arts. At University of Connecticut, students have been studying puppetry since 1964 and learn a variety of skills such as set design, performing voice overs, and current puppet show trends, according to Fast Web.

Caribbean Studies: The Caribbean is a popular vacation spot, and it’s easy to see why, with the soft white sand and light blue water. Several high ranked colleges such as Pitzer College, Emory University, Dartmouth College, and Columbia University offer a major in the Caribbean Studies. Students who choose this major can expect to study just about everything related to the Caribbean from the economy to the culture.

Social Media: Social media has been an increasingly popular college major and it can be extremely useful in today’s society. Social Media management is important in advertising and is part of the mass communication program at University of Florida. The social media major is available on campus at a variety of out of state colleges but at UF the courses are offered online.

Astrobiology: Several colleges such as Penn State, Florida Institute of Technology, and University of Washington offer a degree in astrobiology, the study of extraterrestrial life and other astronomy related topics, according to NASA. Students who major in astrobiology learn many aspects of astronomy beyond earth and a focus of the major is how to discover alien life if it exits.

Mortuary Science: This major covers just about everything related to death. While it might be a grim subject to study and is not for the faint hearted, this major can be extremely helpful to anyone who hopes to go into a career related to funerals. Mortuary science majors can expect to study how to help people cope with the traumas related to death and learn how to take care of dead bodies and plan funerals. Laws that have to do with death are also a prevalent topic of study. This major is offered at many universities such as St. Johns University, Southern Illinois University Carbondale, and University of Central Oklahoma, as reported by the Princeton Review.

“I think social media would be an interesting major to study because it’s relevant and up to date with today’s times. It would be important to know and understand in today’s society even though I probably wouldn’t consider majoring in it. If I wasn’t going to major in something in the medical field that would be really cool,” said Quinn Ragan (20’).

With such a wide range of majors, there’s something that would interest every student whether it’s a common major or something specific and unique.