Colleges have stepped up their efforts to generate new majors and areas of academic study that are both relevant to the current employment landscape, as well as appealing to the unique interests of millennials. As a result, many colleges are offering new and interesting majors – some even have over a hundred major options! In this first of a two-post series, we highlight some of the more interesting majors we’ve seen recently.
UC Irvine – Program in International Engineering
Most engineering programs are so packed with physics and math curriculum that there’s no time for study abroad. UC Irvine’s PIE (Program in International Engineering) is just the opposite! Students must earn a B average in the first year engineering courses and either must have taken German in high school or take it at UC Irvine. Students spend a quarter abroad and an additional quarter at an international internship. They graduate in 5 years with a BS in engineering and a BA in German, as well as strong work experience on their resume, similar to students who have participated in a co-op program.
For now, German language and a quarter of study in Germany are the only options, but UCI plans to expand to additional countries and languages soon.
University of San Francisco – Performing Arts and Social Justice
USF’s mission statement says that it strives to be an “urban university with a global perspective that educates leaders who will fashion a more humane and just world.” Students interested in dance, theatre and music can combine their passion for art with their desire to make a difference in the world, and in the community, with USF’s Performing Arts and Social Justice major, which infuses its Jesuit social justice mission into the academic arts disciplines.
The PASJ major incorporates both the technical aspects of dance, theatre or music with classes and experiential learning in community engagement. The theatre program takes a full theatre production into a state prison every year, and student performances in the greater San Francisco community are typical.
The Performing Arts and Social Justice major is a great option for students who want to diversify their education, and include a variety of social justice and community outreach opportunities while also intensively practicing their art form.
Carroll College – Anthrozoology
Carroll College’s unique Anthrozoology program is ideal for students who want to work in some way with human/animal interaction. This one-of-a-kind major is perfect for students who want to work with animals but are not interested in becoming a veterinarian (it’s fairly widely accepted that veterinary school is more challenging than medical school). Two of the six professors within the Anthrozoology program are veterinarians, and department chair Dr. Anne Perkins, who has pioneered this field, has been teaching at Carroll for 25 years.
Carroll’s Anthrozoology program can be a great fit for students who see the human-animal interaction as their potential future career – and it’s a growing field. Students take courses in both canine and equine training and learn how service animals play an increasingly important role in many people’s lives. Students who have graduated from this program have gone on to pursue a wide range of careers, from conservation to physical or occupational therapy, as well as veterinary school.
We’ll publish the second part of this series next week. Interestingly, USA Today also just published a piece about some interesting majors last week. Many colleges feature majors focusing on the last two specialties on their list – Ski Business Management (many colleges have a Hospitality Business major) and different aspects of Winemaking/Enology/Viticulture – check out UC Davis and Sonoma State for examples in this field!