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Top 10 Weird College Majors: Strange but True Programs of Study

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By now you’ve probably met someone with a degree that made you ask, “What on earth were you thinking?”

CBS Money Watch included child and family studies, elementary education and social work as three of the 20 Worst Paying College Degrees in 2010, but they’re all relatively common fields of study. The 10 weird college majors included in the list below aren’t necessarily low-paying—some are actually far from it—but they’re definitely programs that will make you raise your eyebrows.

Top 10 Weird College Majors

1. Bagpipes

The Carnegie Mellon School of Music offers Bachelor of Fine Arts degrees in music performance in every orchestral instrument, which is the norm at music schools. However, Carnegie Mellon is the only college in the United States that allows students to major in bagpipe performance. The degree program focuses on both studio performance and the history and culture behind bagpiping, explains the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.

2. Blacksmithing

Blacksmiths create objects from iron or steel by using tools to hammer, bend and cut the metal, which is first heated until it is soft enough to work with. Modern-day blacksmiths also use welders. According to the Artist-Blacksmith’s Association of North America, several schools in the United States teach blacksmithing, including the Tennessee Tech University Appalachian Center for Craft, where students can earn a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Metals.

3. Bowling Management

Students at Vincennes University in Vincennes, Indiana can study Bowling Industry Management and Technology. Bowling majors receive training in all phases of bowling center operations, including sales and marketing, a necessity in today’s highly competitive recreational fields. Students also receive hands-on training at the university’s fully-equipped 18-lane center which is furnished with the latest in industry equipment.

4. Comic Art

Various art schools offer students the opportunity to major in comic book art, including the Minneapolis College of Art and Design. Comic Art is a major offered in the school’s four-year Bachelor of Fine Arts degree program. Comic artists at the school master the serious art of storytelling by studying line, color and composition as well as character development, storyboarding and plot.

5. Egyptology

Egyptology is also offered at several colleges and universities across the country; in fact, all Ivy League schools except Dartmouth have Egyptology programs. At the Yale Egyptological Institute in Egypt, Egyptology is a discipline within the Department of Near Eastern Languages and Civilizations. Egyptology majors receive instruction in the philology and cultures of ancient Egypt and Nubia, including lectures, seminars and reading courses on topics such as art history, administration and society, burial practices, ceramic technology and military history.

6. Equestrian Studies

Williams Woods University in Fulton, Missouri is home of the first four-year Equestrian Science degree program in the country. The Division of Equestrian Studies offers students a traditional American approach to horsemanship which includes exposure to Saddle Seat, Hunt Seat, Western and Dressage. Program graduates benefit from a broad foundation in horsemanship as well as a strong liberal arts education.

7. Golf Management

Love hitting the links or playing putt-putt? Then golf course management might be just the major you need. The University of Florida at the Fort Lauderdale Center in Davie, Florida offers a Bachelor of Science in Golf and Sports Turf Management, which combines the study of grasses, soils, water, pests, and business. Ferris State University in Big Rapids, Michigan offers a Bachelor of Science in Business in Professional Golf Management. The program is even sanctioned by the Professional Golfers’ Association (PGA) of America.

8. Holistic Health

Front Range Community College in Colorado is home to a certificate program in Holistic Health, a growing profession in delivering alternative practice modalities such as massage therapy and herbology. The certificate program was designed to augment the scope of practice of individuals in the healthcare profession and to enhance personal growth for the layperson.

9. Winemaking

The Viticulture and Enology major in Integrated Plant Sciences at Washington State University was created for students interested in wine-grape growing and winemaking, as well as contributing to critical research and development opportunities in the wine industry. It offers the technical, scientific, and practical experience needed to gain the essential skills for producing high quality grapes and premium wines. Washington State is not alone—several other colleges across the country offer similar programs.

10. Retail Floristry

The College of Agriculture and Life Sciences at Mississippi State University offers a Horticulture major with concentration in Retail Floristry Management, a multimillion dollar business nationwide offering career opportunities in designing, product development, display work and consulting as well as the opportunity to establish one’s own business. Students enrolled in retail floristry have the opportunity to work and manage a professional flower shop owned and operated by the Department of Plant and Soil Sciences on the MSU Campus.


Melissa Rhone+

Melissa Rhone earned her Bachelor of Music in Education from the University of Tampa. She resides in the Tampa Bay area and enjoys writing about college, pop culture, and epilepsy awareness.

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