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Unusual College Majors

By Pamela Mood

June 05, 2007

“I didn’t know you could major in that!”

With so many new and unusual undergraduate majors at colleges and universities across the country, today’s students have more options than ever. Fans of the outdoor life can major in adventure recreation at Green Mountain College in Poultney, Vermont. Students with this major can also gain professional certification in areas such as whitewater rafting, open water diving, skiing and snowboarding. Students at the University of Denver can earn bachelor’s degrees in computer gaming and animation.

At Mansfield University in Mansfield, Pennsylvania, the biology department offers an undergraduate fisheries major through which students can be certified as associate fisheries scientists.

Students at Texas Christian University (TCU) in Fort Worth can get bachelor’s degrees in ranch management.

A love for horses can lead to a major in equestrian science or equestrian business management for students at Stephens College in Columbia, Missouri. The major is designed for students who want to work professionally in a horse-related field.

Dance the night away at Birmingham-Southern College (BSC) in Birmingham, Alabama, where students can major in dance education.

Though some of these majors may sound like fun and games, many have tough prerequisite and core classes.

Green Mountain requires all students who want a bachelor’s in adventure recreation to take classes in outdoor emergency care and leadership skills.

Before TCU students can take any ranch management classes for their major, they are required to complete a business minor. Business classes include economics, accounting and finance.

Required courses for fisheries majors at Mansfield include ichthyology (the branch of zoology that studies fish) and limnology (the study of fresh-water life).

In addition to taking riding classes, Stephens students majoring in equestrian science or equestrian business management also take classes in business and management, horse nutrition and applied equine anatomy.

BSC students in the dance education major must complete all the dance major requirements before they can earn a teaching certificate.

Students who graduate with a degree in an unusual major have a variety of job options to choose from after they graduate.

Fisheries program grads can find jobs with private fish farms or the U.S. Department of Agriculture, for example.

Equestrian graduates can earn livings as barn owners or managers, horse trainers, riders and teachers. Graduate school is also an option for equestrian majors. Some students earn an MBA or go to veterinary school.

Graduates of a ranch management program can start out as ranch managers or assistant ranch managers.

Article reprinted with permission from ext Step Magazine.

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