Fermentation Sciences at Appalachian State University + Viticulture and Enology at Cornell University
It seems obvious that there’s an enormous amount of chemistry involved in brewing beer and making wine. But these programs also prepare their students to run successful breweries and wineries with courses in marketing and business management. They also teach their students to think critically about these products, with a course on the “moral, ethical and legal aspects of alcohol production and consumption.”
Entertainment Design and Engineering at University of Nevada, Las Vegas + Theme Park Engineering at California State University Long Beach
You certainly don’t need one of these specific degrees to design roller coasters or develop the technological systems that drive a casino or a theater. But these programs combine a solid foundation in material science and kinetic structures with their respective proximities to Disneyland and Las Vegas to give students hands-on experience with the current issues in their field.
Recreation and Leisure Studies at University of North Texas
Okay, this one definitely sounds like a made up major, and I’m sure you’re picturing students lounging by a pool or playing guitar on a grassy hill. But in fact, someone had to design that pool and lay out that park, and that person might have majored in recreation and leisure studies. Students combine courses in human anatomy; facilities planning, design, and maintenance; fiscal administration; and inclusion and diversity to prepare for a career overseeing all the places we go to have fun.
Packaging at Michigan State University
While not the sexiest major on this list, packaging is quite possibly the one that impacts us all the most. Packaging technology plays a role in everything from child-proof containers for medications, to properly sealed food that prevents bacterial growth, to the absurdly large boxes Amazon uses to ship a single pen (true story). And beyond practicality, there’s an artistry to packaging that no one knew better than Steve Jobs, a fact I’m reminded of every time I lift the smooth, white lid of an Apple box and see a perfectly coiled set of ear buds settled in its own nook.
...and in case you were wondering, underwater basket weaving is in fact a class you can take at Reed College, UC San Diego, and Rutgers University. It turns out, the reeds are actually more pliable when they’re wet.