College Media Story Ideas: Unusual Majors, Courses

College sweethearts and beer pong battles come and go, but an academic major stays with you forever, on your résumé or at least as a small-talk/first-date aside.

Most students travel the expected route.  A select few opt for more interesting experiences. The most random j-major I have across since starting the blog: equine journalism.  Western Kentucky University recently added a  pop culture major.  Last fall, a Futurist Magazine piece listed five other off-beat programs, including comic book art and nanoscience “or the study of objects one-billionth of a meter in size” (unusual certainly but apparently extremely important for times to come).

Individual courses can be even more random and at the whim of the profs who create them.  Some of the most out-there, according to, include Buffy Studies (as in Buffy the Vampire Slayer), Underwater Basket Weaving, The Art of Walking, and Zombies in Popular Media.

What are the most out-of-the-box majors, minors, and course offerings at your university?  What off-beat majors/courses would students (and profs and even the university prez) most love to see offered?  What majors are the most important or out-of-touch in the current economic or political climates?

And be sensitive here: It is easy to simply poke fun at the unusual, but these majors or courses might be truly worthwhile in a specialized sense.  I know I found the more random courses I took to be the most rewarding, in part because they are often the professors’ personal passion projects, so they are more likely to throw their heart and soul into leading them.

One Response to “College Media Story Ideas: Unusual Majors, Courses”
  1. Crazy majors and crazy courses contain one of the best story ideas for a newspaper in a story slump.

    Even at a community college, you can find the craziest classes that you can report on. I’m graduating from Florida Community College at Jacksonville, where I was the sports editor for the student newspaper; however, even at the community college we had classes like “wine appreciation,” “ceramics,” “ghost story appreciation,” and others.

    I also recommend looking at odd ways that professors are teaching. I did a feature on how teachers are using emerging technologies like Second Life, Google Earth, iTunes, and Amazon’s Kindle in their classes.

    For the student with a full-scholarship, I don’t see why he or she wouldn’t take wine appreciation.