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You can actually major in these unusual college subjects

Subjects like economics, political science, and business are often considered a safe bet to study at university, thanks to their relatively abundant job opportunities and high-salary prospects. Tens of thousands of students graduate from these programs every year, armed with a degree and a head full of knowledge as they hit the job market—but what about students who choose something a bit more off the beaten path? Not every degree is meant to prepare one for a job in an office. These five majors you can actually study are proof of that.

Bakery science

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Culinary arts schools have been around for ages as a necessary step for chefs aspiring to enter the world of fine dining. However, bakery science is not a specialty or course offered at a culinary arts program. Rather, it’s a bachelor of science degree offered at Kansas State University. Students of bakery science study microbiology and milling among other scientific concepts applied in commercial baking. Truth be told, bakery science is far more of a pragmatic choice for a major than one might think, bordering on a trade.

Nautical archaeology

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This isn't your typical “underwater basket-weaving” class. Nautical archaeology is the study of the remains of boats and ships and the cultures that created and used them. Surprisingly, nautical archeology is not a rare area of undergraduate study. Two separate programs offer bachelor’s degrees in the subject, one at Indiana University and the other at the University of West Florida, while the University of Connecticut and the University of Rhode Island offer the focus as a minor.

Turf grass science

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Beyond simple golf coure management, Penn State created a program to prepare students to grow grass. The school website explains:

“As the first university to offer a two-year technical program specifically for golf course superintendents, and as the first to offer an undergraduate major in turfgrass science, we built a solid foundation for the turfgrass management programs that we offer today through the World Campus.”

So, there you have it. Golf luncheons aren’t going to happen on their own.

Astrobiology

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As you hear the grumblings about the job prospects for a history major, a new class of graduates from The Florida Institute of Technology will be graduating with their degrees in astrobiology. The study of extraterrestrial life at Florida Tech falls within the science program and, therefore, proffers a bachelor of science degree. It’s not all fun and games: The curriculum includes planetary science, math, physics, and biology. It is also taught by a former astronaut.

Puppet arts

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You had to know that this list wasn’t going to disappoint. Yes, the University of Connecticut offers a degree in the study of America’s thriving puppet arts industry. In fact, you can obtain both a BFA and an MFA in the study of puppetry at UConn. Courses include set design and vocal performance techniques among others.