College Majors You Never Knew Existed

By Lucy McGuigan
Add Comment Add Comment | Comments: 0 | Posted Aug. 24, 2010

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Drexel University: B.S. in Culinary Science

A degree in the culinary arts will equip you with the skills to make a kickin’ chicken cordon bleu, but a degree in culinary science combines the knowledge of the kitchen with food science (the study of food at the molecular level), natural science, liberal arts and business administration. Culinary science majors practice the arts of gastronomy and food styling in the cooking labs at the university’s Academic Bistro, where the public can enjoy the made-from-scratch offerings of Drexel’s budding restaurateurs.

Potential future career: Restaurant ownership/management (you could be the next Stephen Starr!); upper-level positions in food manufacturing.

University of Pennsylvania: B.A. in Visual Studies

In the modern world, we are bombarded with thousands of natural and manufactured images each day. Yet few courses of study have examined the implications of society’s increasing dependence on visual modes of communication and culture. Visual studies majors, whose curricula include courses in psychology, philosophy, studio art and art history, culminate their undergraduate career with a yearlong capstone project, recent topics of which have included representations of African-Americans in comic books and the creation of a Web site that allows museum-goers to collectively curate an exhibition.

Potential future career: Advertising (if you’re willing to throw all your stick-it-to-the-man ideals out the window); graphic design; museum/arts administration.

Temple University: B.M. in Music Therapy

Sure, we all like to pop in our ear buds for those long subway rides, but rarely do we stop to consider the true healing power of music. Temple students studying Music Therapy must accumulate a strong understanding of music theory and music history, in addition to taking several courses in psychology and human behavior and 1,200 work hours in clinical experience. Music enthusiasts be forewarned: A simple love for tunes won’t get you in. The MT program requires a successful audition in an instrument or voice.

Potential future career: Intended to prepare students for a career as a music therapist, but could be useful for a host of music-related careers including music journalism or artist management.

Villanova University: Concentration in Augustine in Dialogue with Faith and Culture

Since the Catholic Villanova was founded by the Friars of St. Augustine, the dude is a pretty big deal around campus (fun fact: the Nova crest contains seven symbols in reference to Augustine). The Augustine in Dialogue with Faith and Culture program traces the theological and philosophical significance of Augustine’s thoughts, from ancient civilization to present, supplementing religious studies with history, sociology, political science, and peace and justice courses.

Potential future career: An education like this could give you an excellent preparation for Catholic priesthood, but if you’re planning to use your time in college to sin beyond redemption, a solid knowledge of Augustinian thinking could give you a leg up in academia, where you can partake in all of the theoretical musing with none of the Catholic guilt.

University of the Arts: Minor in Typography

Take a careful look at these letters. Think the choice in typeface was arbitrary? Think again. Each font used in print conveys a subtle message to readers. At UArts, students studying typography will learn how to design typefaces, modify existing ones, and arrange text for maximum visual effect. Budding typographers can practice their skills at the Typography/Imaging lab, a fully operational printing press.

Potential future career: Art directing at an online or print publication; product design.

University of the Sciences: M.S. in Biomedical Writing

If reading your science textbooks confused you to no end, consider applying your skills as a writer to the biomedical field, where your literary concision and clarity will be a godsend for any doc up to their ears in scientific jargon. USP is the only university to offer an accredited program in the subject, which includes traditional studies in composition in addition to seminars in regulatory documentation.

Potential future career: Composing documents for drug companies or chemical manufacturers; health journalism.

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