November 20, 2018 | ° F

Go beyond ordinary with hidden Rutgers programs


We all know college is the time to explore new opportunities, find yourself and figure out what you really want to study. But let’s be honest — how many people do you know majoring in biology, psychology or business? If the typical, run-of-the-mill majors aren’t your thing, there are plenty of unusual, hidden programs of study that might spark your interest. Here are some programs you don’t hear every day. Who knows — you might just find your future calling.

1. The dream job for game addicts

When you’re running from the cops in “Grand Theft Auto” or deciding between characters in “Super Smash Bros.,” did you ever think you could actually make a career out of video games? One of the most up-and-coming programs is the game production and innovation specialization within the Information Technology & Informatics major at the School of Communication and Information. Fun fact: Video games are a multi-billion dollar industry.

What you can do with this major: video game designer, programmer, producer, multimedia or web designer, software engineer

2. The grass is always greener…

… When you major in turfgrass management! Believe it or not, Rutgers has an entire program dedicated to helping people succeed in the green industry. As part of the Plant Science program, within the School of Environmental and Biological Sciences, this program takes landscaping to a whole new level. Fun Fact: Our very own High Point Solutions Stadium was replaced with Field Turf in 2004.

What you can do with this major: golf course superintendent, sports field manager, lawn and landscaping professional, sod producer

3. Finding your future in the past

One of the most obscure majors here at Rutgers is classics. Did you enjoy those mythologies about Zeus and Poseidon or the tale of “The Odyssey” you studied in high school English? Within this major, you’ll get a chance to learn all about life and culture in ancient Greece and Rome. You’ll also come to master grammar and terminology, along with a bit of Greek and Latin. Fun fact: The Department of Classics will give you an added edge in law and medical school because you’ll catch onto the terminology faster.

What you can do with this major: historic building inspector, historian, political scientist, conservation officer, educator of Greek and Latin, anthropologist, archaeologist, sociologist

4. Make George Washington proud 

Delve deep into the culture and politics of your beloved United States of America and major in American studies. If you’re finding yourself stuck between liberal arts majors, this might be the one for you. The best aspect of this major is it accommodates a variety of interests: our pop culture media, our history and folklore, our system of government or simply being a citizen of the beautiful land of the free. Fun Fact: You can actually study a diversity of cultures at Rutgers: Africana studies, Middle Eastern studies, Latin American studies, Asian studies, European studies, Italian studies, Jewish studies, etc. 

What you can do with this major: teacher or professor, interpreter, government agency employee, museum curator, city planner, historic preservationist

5. Talk about “finding your calling”

We’ve all walked past that shiny new building on the College Avenue campus. It’s all brick and glass, and there’s a certain sacredness about it because there never seems to be anyone entering or exiting. That’s the building for the New Brunswick Theological Seminary. Whether you’re planning to become a minister or just interested in historic world cultures, you’ve got plenty of options within the Department of Religion. Fun Fact: Martin Luther King Jr. was a graduate of theology.

What you can do with this major: theorist, Civil Service worker, clerical or secretarial worker, minister, pastor, social worker or counselor, educator 

6. More than just singing in the shower

Combine your academic side with your creative side and you get a major in musicology! Within the Mason Gross School of Arts, you can get a Ph.D. or an M.A degree. You’ll be able to express your passion for music while becoming familiar with the professional field and perfecting your performing skills. Fun Fact: For those with more specific interests, Rutgers even has programs of study in conducting and jazz and classical music.

What you can do with this major: musicologist, music theorist, composer, performer, music educator, music technology developer

7. When all else fails:

Independent major. If you’re finding that none of the already existing undergraduate majors are suiting your fancies, you can actually plan your very own major. Just name the degree and compile your courses, and you’re good to go. All you have to do is submit your proposal before your junior year.

What you can do with this major: anything.


Natalie Lin

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