In plenty of films, you see that dinner table scene where the young adult, when asked his plans, announces his decision to go to law, medical or business school. It’s of course met with respect and little debate.
But some graduate degree announcements, in similar scenarios, may be met with confusion and raised eyebrows. Here are five unusual master’s degree programs.
Master of Science in taxation
If you’ve seen the film “Stranger than Fiction” or have met rebellious types, you know that some people look unfavorably on tax professionals. But maybe if they saw your fancy master’s in taxation degree, they’d change their minds and happily pay taxes.
Golden Gate University boasts having the most comprehensive taxation program in the field with specialized subjects such as gift tax and international tax. You can earn the degree online or at one of the school’s west coast campuses in Seattle, San Francisco or Los Angeles and can be accepted if you earned a 3.0 GPA in any undergraduate degree program.
It’s not a typical degree, but think about it this way: The tax field isn’t going anywhere.
MFA in puppetry arts
Who says you have to leave your puppets in a childhood box locked away in the attic? Not University of Connecticut, that’s for sure.
UConn offers an MFA in puppetry arts, where you can take courses ranging from trends in contemporary American puppet theatre to advanced hand puppet theatre. It may seem like a niche field, but the school’s website describes it as “a crossroads of many disciplines,” where, “virtually all of the arts and many of the humanities and sciences feed directly into the form that is referred to as Puppetry.”
Maybe it’s time to reconsider that childhood dream of yours and open up that box in the attic.
Master of Arts in thanatology
Thana what? While the word isn’t common, it studies the most common thing in the world: death. Yes, morbid, but it’s actually a necessary field.
This master’s degree, offered by Hood College, prepares students to work with the terminally ill and to be death educators. The program is 39 credits and includes classes such as THAN 523 (dying and principles of care for the dying) and PSY 501 (theories of personality). Many who work with the terminally ill find it a fulfilling career, since they get to comfort people during their final days. Common places of employment after graduation include hospitals and nursing homes.
If you can handle learning and thinking about death often, then this could be the field for you.
Master of Science in grain science
Have you ever been eating cereal and wondered how it’s made? Well, if you study grain science at Kansas State University, you’ll never have to wonder again.
Some courses in this program include cereal science, bakery layout, management applications in the grain processing industries and pet food processing. It’s a hands-on, practical program, which takes advantage of the many facilities on campus, such as the school’s feed mill and cereal chemistry laboratories. Just be sure to bring cereal home for family and friends if you take this route.
If you’re gluten free, however, you may want to consider a different degree program.
MA in The Beatles, popular music and society
No list of unusual college degrees is complete without this degree offered by Liverpool Hope University. It might not be on your home turf, but they grant you a master’s for studying The Beatles, for goodness sake.
The program examines the significance of the band’s music and, according to the school’s website, “by doing so it will suggest ways to understand popular music as a social practice, focusing attention on issues such as the role of music in the construction of regional identities, concepts of authenticity, aesthetics, meaning, value, performance and the use of popular music as a discursive evocation of place.” It’s a one-year program if done full-time and two years if done part-time.
If you earn this degree, you will no doubt impress people at parties. Oh, and also, you can contribute to fields like musicology.
All of these graduate degrees can lead to promising careers. Just have that dinner table pitch prepared if you choose one of them because friends and family will likely have lots of questions for you.
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