Yes, There’s A Degree For That


There are a variety of unique degree programs available for students who want to study more than business (photo courtesy of AstroTurfUSA).

If you’ve ever considered attending college you will know that there are a lot of degree programs to select from. Even a degree in business offers numerous minors and concentrations to pursue – marketing, management, finance, administration – the list goes on and on! Plus, as the distance education industry expands, more universities are acknowledging the requests from students to offer degree programs that are of their interest, but also fit into their work and family schedule. Also, more websites are offering free education on the internet, like In turn, we find some of the most unique (and at times surprising!) online and on-campus degree programs.

Associate’s in Fire Science – Online

How can one learn the ins-and-outs of a fire science program while in a distance education program? Columbia Southern University offers multiple degree programs that focus on fire science and health care. Career opportunities, once the degree is completed, could include Firefighter, Fire Captain, and Fire Chief.

Bachelor of Arts in Gerontology – Online

Ashford University, a regionally accredited university based out of Clinton, Iowa, recently launched an online Gerontology program to allow students with an interest in senior citizens the opportunity to help the growing population. With specific classes that focus on the spiritual, social, physical, and psychological aspects of aging, students are prepared for careers in care management, aging wellness, and geriatric analytics.

Minor in Substance Abuse

While it is not a full degree program, Nova Southeastern University offers students the opportunity to minor in substance abuse and develop their knowledge of problems associated with addiction. As a division of the social and behavioral sciences, a minor in Substance abuse can prepare students pursuing a career in management, education, or psychology.

Certificate in Gaming and Casino Management

Leave it to Drexel University to develop a Gaming and Casino Management certificate program. Offered via the school of Hospitality Management, students in this degree program learn about gaming, casino specialization, casino management, and beverage management.

Master in Plant Science – Turfgrass Management

Have you ever wondered who maintains the grounds at football and baseball fields? Who plans the logo designs to be painted on the grass? Who makes the fields usable after rain, sleet, and snow? The answer: those who study turfgrass management. Both the University of Rhode Island and Ohio State University offer masters degrees with the specialization.

Masters in Meat Science

There are multiple universities in the Midwest that offer degrees in livestock. Texas Tech, Texas A&M, Colorado State and Iowa State all have graduate programs in meat science. What is meat science, you ask? When hormones enter the food chain, the preservatives are injected into the packaging process and the e coli bacteria appear in the processing plants, creating meat science!

Master of Fine Arts – Blacksmithing

There are numerous arts and crafts centers that provide basic classes in metalworking, but there is only one university in the country that offers a degree in blacksmithing. The University of Southern Illinois’ degree in blacksmithing was founded in 1968 and has been teaching students how to master the fine art of metalwork and craftsmanship ever since.

Ashley Benson is a distance education professional with five years of experience in the for-profit sector. She has worked coast-to-coast within the United States as an academic advisor, an adjunct teaching assistant and, most recently, a campus Registrar. Through formal education and industry experience, Ashley practices staying informed on the current events and changes within higher education and the students involved.

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