Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Weird College Degrees

"Weird College Degrees"


Simon Fuller

eHow mom

Not all college students major in traditional subjects such as classics, history or chemistry. Degree courses of varying levels have sprung up all over the world that focus on subjects many would consider niche, highly specialized or just plain weird. Unusual college degree courses are often only offered at one or two institutions worldwide, though some are more widespread.

Creative Arts

Some weird degree courses prepare students for a career in a rather niche field of the creative arts. The University of Connecticut, for example, is one of the few U.S. colleges to run courses in puppetry. These courses educate students in the latest trends within puppetry, and on how to construct a puppet for use as part of a theater show. Ultimately, the course intends for students to go on to create and manipulate puppets on TV shows and in educational roles.

Comic book fans might want to explore a degree course in graphic storytelling, offered as an Associate of Applied Science degree by the Community College of Aurora in Colorado. Students taking this course are instructed in both the writing of comics and graphic novels and in illustrating them, using traditional and more modern techniques.


Science isn't limited to physics, biology and other traditional subjects; take the Bachelor of Science in viticulture degree, for example, run by Fresno State College in California. This course educates students in the science of producing wine, and college facilities include access to vineyards and processing equipment. The University of California at Davis also offers a drink-focused course, in the form of its Master Brewer's program, equivalent to a typical college degree. This course teaches students about the engineering behind brewing, including fluid flow processes, as well as the scientific aspects, such as fermentation and malting.


Sports science courses are fairly common in colleges, but weirder are degrees that focus on specific aspects of sports. For instance, the Golf Academy of America runs courses all about the sport of golf, unsurprisingly, with students learning about playing techniques as well as the golf industry, including topics such as golf course management. The end result is an Associate of Applied Business degree.

Students with more of a passion for horses should consider the Race Track Industry Program, run by the University of Arizona, which allows students to learn the know-how for a career as a horse trainer or in race course management.


Business is a pretty broad area, so it's little surprise that niche subjects exist. Indiana University's Kelley School of Business has a whole doctorate course designed around decision sciences, which teaches students how to make the best choices through careful analysis of information. A bunch of skills are involved, including mathematical techniques, and students learn about decision making using artificial intelligence, too.

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