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  • There are thousands of college majors, including many new and unusual areas of interest.
  • These unique college majors cover everything from animal behavior to video game design.
  • Aim for a major that holds your interest and can lead to a job you’d like.

Choosing a college major is a big decision. You want to pick something that will hold your interest over the long haul—including into a lucrative, long-lasting career. Learning about under-the-radar majors could open up new possibilities if you aren’t sure what to study. Depending on your college, you may be able to choose your own path and create your own unique major. Check with your school to see what opportunities they offer.

In the meantime, consider the unique college majors below. Your future major, minor, area of concentration, or graduate degree might be on the list. You might also be able to pair one with your current major or minor.

1. Animal behavior major

If you love animals and are interested in psychology, this major might draw you in. It blends animal biology and behavior. There’s also a strong focus on the evolution of animal behavior. You might pursue a career in veterinary medicine, but there are many other possibilities to consider.

Courses might focus on

  • Behavioral ecology
  • Mechanisms of animal behavior
  • Learning and motivation
  • Biology of marine mammals
  • Behavior modification 

Potential career paths

  • Wildlife technician
  • Wildlife conservationist
  • Animal shelter director
  • Animal behaviorist
  • Zoo/aquarium director

2. Comedic arts major

This college major is all about fine-tuning your funny bone, but comedic arts programs go far beyond joke-telling. They provide students with an in-depth history of comedy—and ways to bring a sense of humor to life, often through writing and acting coursework. It may be a good path for students who want to pursue careers in entertainment.

Courses might focus on

  • Sketch writing
  • Stand-up comedy
  • Sitcom writing
  • Improvisation 
  • Acting

Potential career paths

  • Comedy writer
  • Stand-up comedian
  • Screenwriter
  • Show producer
  • Theater manager 

3. Bakery science major

Majoring in bakery science is about more than making sweet treats, though that is part of it. This major takes a deep dive into ingredient technology and the science behind dessert-making. It could be a great fit if you want to learn more about the culinary arts and venture into the business of baking.

Courses might focus on

  • Basic nutrition
  • Principles of cooking
  • Baking theory
  • Mobile food fundamentals
  • Plant-based baking

Potential career paths

  • Baker/pastry chef
  • Chocolatier 
  • Recipe researcher 
  • Food scientist
  • Food sales marketer

4. Pop culture major

The study of pop culture focuses on past and present cultural trends and how they influence society—and vice versa. As the old saying goes, life imitates art. Expect to learn about media, human behavior, and how to conduct your own research.

Courses might focus on

  • American culture
  • Film, television, music, and gaming
  • Popular literary genres
  • Graphic narratives
  • Gender and sexuality 

Potential career paths

  • Pop culture writer 
  • Film/television director
  • Arts critic 
  • Photographer
  • Pop culture museum director

5. Theme park engineering major

This unique college major might be attractive if you like bringing abstract ideas into physical form. It provides a mix of science, creativity, and big-picture thinking. Theme park engineering is meant to prepare you to work for amusement parks or companies that support them—like third-party design and manufacturing firms.

Courses might focus on

  • Physics
  • Electrical engineering
  • Civil and mechanical engineering
  • Electrical power
  • Hydraulics

Potential career paths

  • Roller coaster engineer
  • Structural designer 
  • Audio/visual engineer
  • Attraction designer
  • Theme park creative director 

6. Video game design major

Majoring in video game design allows you to spin a career out of a passion for gaming. The job of a video game designer is to tell a compelling story using advanced technical skills. This major teaches you the fundamentals, whether you’re looking to design your own games or work for a video game company.

Courses might focus on

  • Foundations of game design
  • Digital storytelling
  • Experimental interface design
  • Animation
  • UX design

Potential career paths

  • Software developer
  • Visual designer
  • Video game programmer
  • Data scientist
  • Graphic designer

7. Food science major

As far as unique college majors go, this one may be ideal if you’re a foodie who’s interested in becoming a food industry leader. That extends beyond running the front or back of house in restaurants. With a food sciences degree, you could start your own catering company or work for a government agency that improves food quality nationwide.

Courses might focus on

  • Food chemistry
  • Food quality control
  • Food processing
  • Food safety
  • Fermentation 

Potential career paths

  • Food scientist/technologist
  • Restaurateur 
  • Fermentation scientist
  • Fermentation technology engineer
  • Health/safety inspector

8. Astrobiology major

Astrobiology studies the evolution of life on a grand scale—including potential life on other planets. It combines different scientific disciplines and research projects, all while encouraging you to ask the big questions—and prepare for a future career where you may even answer some of them.

Courses might focus on

  • Physics
  • Chemistry
  • Biotechnology
  • Physical mechanics
  • Planetary science

Potential career paths

  • Space sciences researcher
  • Environmental researcher
  • Researcher at a university, government agency, or private institute 
  • Biomedical researcher
  • College professor

9. Social media major

Social media is more than just a way to stay connected with the world. It’s also a powerful business tool. Majoring in social media can be a good track if you’re interested in digital marketing trends, want to learn how to leverage social media for sales and marketing—or even want to become an influencer yourself. Students learn about the world’s leading social media platforms, focusing on important metrics, strategies, and everything in between.

Courses might focus on

  • Video storytelling
  • Mass communication
  • Social media advertising
  • Social media branding
  • Social media metrics

Potential career paths

  • Influencer/content creator
  • Digital marketing expert
  • Social media analyst 
  • Sales and marketing manager
  • Brand strategist


10. Family history major

Similar to a genetics major or anthropology major, a family history major offers a deeper understanding of ancestry. The result is a unique blend of science and history. You’ll likely study topics like genetic testing, how to analyze evidence, and ways to evaluate ancient writing systems.

Courses might focus on

  • World geography
  • Personal genomics
  • History
  • Technical writing
  • Forensic genealogy research

Potential career paths

  • Historian
  • Genealogist 
  • Archivist 
  • College professor 
  • Historical writer

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