English, sociology, business … these are all pretty standard bachelor’s degrees. But have you ever thought about studying puzzles? Or puppets? There are some truly unusual bachelor’s degrees out there, and they’re a reminder that you really can do anything with your education and your career that you want. You just have to find the right people to teach you how.
Bachelor’s Degrees in Puppetry
Plenty of us grew up watching Sesame Street or other Jim Henson creations and in awe of the powerful messages that can be delivered through puppets. But how many of us thought that we’d want to go to school to study puppetry? Apparently enough of us that the University of Connecticut offers both a Bachelor of Fine Arts and an MFA in the field. From how to craft the puppets themselves to how to perform with them, students in this program no doubt have much different things to worry about at finals time than their friends in more commonplace programs.
Bachelor’s Degrees in Adventure Education
Most people who’ve gone on a guided mountain climbing or hiking tour, a long-distance camping trip, or a whitewater rafting excursion remember it as one of the most memorable experiences of their lives. But what they probably don’t know is that Green Mountain College in Vermont offers a bachelor’s degree in Adventure Education, teaching students everything from managing the business of outdoor trips to teaching them how to rock climb, mountain bike, and SCUBA dive. And there’s even fieldwork involved: part of the degree requirements include students leading multiple-day excursions by themselves.
Bachelor’s Degrees in Blacksmithing
I don’t know about you, but the last time I saw a blacksmith in person was when my parents took me to Colonial Williamsburg when I was a kid. It’s not a profession you see around very often – but a handful of schools like Northern Michigan University wouldn’t mind changing that. Their BFA program in Art and Design concentrating on Jewelry, metalsmithing, and blacksmithing gives students exposure to a wide range of metalworking techniques and processes, from bronze casting to welding – with multiple required seminars in metalsmithing. While there might not be as great a need for blacksmiths to create horseshoes or fix the dull edge of your sword, a continued tradition of artisan metalworking is a good thing to have around.
Bachelor’s Degrees in Race Track Management
The University of Arizona’s Race Track Industry Program prepares students to enter a wide range of careers within the horse racing industry. From breeders to trainers to business management, this program sends students into the world of horse racing with completely unique training and a skill set dedicated entirely to their chosen field. Graduate pursue jobs everywhere within the industry, from horse farms to racetracks to OTB (off-track betting) locations and other related service industries.
Bachelor’s Degrees in Surf Science and Technology
You don’t have to look too hard to find people passionate about surfing and surf culture… but how often have you run into someone with a degree in the field? Hang around Plymouth University in the UK and you just might. Their Surf Science and Technology degree teaches students everything from wave and beach dynamics to sports physiology to tourism marketing. Thanks to Plymouth’s location on the southwest coast of England, it’s one of England’s biggest surf spots, and now the local university is seeking to turn its beach bums into beach barons.
Bachelor’s Degrees in Enigmatology
This might be the rarest degree out there – there’s currently only one person known to hold the degree. Will Shortz, the editor of the New York Times’ crossword puzzles, graduated from Indiana University with this degree – thanks to his design of his own curriculum – in 1975. Enigmatology is the study of puzzles, and their creation and solution. Few would dispute that Shortz has put his unique education to very good use, as his crossword puzzles are renowned the world over.
These degrees are just a small handful of what’s available at colleges around the country. It’s a healthy reminder that there’s almost no limit to the jobs and fields of study available to students – all it takes is a passion and the patience to find a place to study!