Jun 12, 2009

Major Developments

It's not your classic major, but Golf Course Management has become a surprisingly popular line of studies at a number of colleges and universities, many of which just happen to be located in warmer climates. In fact, the PGA now offers accreditation to a select few schools meeting their exacting requirements:

PGA of America Golf Management University Program

In its comprehensive listing of majors, the College Board stresses that these programs aren't "all fun and games" and seriously warns that "Golf greens don't stay green all by themselves." While the Bureau of Labor Statistics has yet to provide a separate listing for the profession, their publications acknowledge the field and suggest the possibility of a growth industry, so to speak.

Why am I suddenly interested in Golf Course Management? Because at least one of my clients has expressed an interest and because it is one of a number of majors that simply weren't available in the Dark Ages, when I went to college. Not surprisingly, some of these 21st century majors recently came to the attention of the Wall Street Journal:


This sent me running to Steven Antonoff's wonderful collection of lists compiled and updated regularly in The College Finder. Some of the more interesting majors I found include:

Carnegie Mellon: Bag-Piping
University of Connecticut: Puppetry
Flagler College: Deaf Education
Florida Southern College: Citrus Studies
Gannon University: Mortuary Science
Mississippi State University: Broadcast Meteorology
University of Nevada at Reno: Basque Studies
SUNY: Motorsports Technology
Rochester Institute of Technology: Biomedical Photography and Medical Illustration
Temple University: Sports Ministry
Warren Wilson College: Blacksmith Crew
University of West Virginia: Petroleum Engineering

More locally, you can find an Historic Preservation major at the University of Mary Washington or a course in Wedding Planning and Management (part of the Tourism and Events Management major) at George Mason University. The University of Richmond offers a unique and highly-respected major in Leadership Studies, which BTW, is very difficult to get into.

When all is said and done, my boring degree in English Literature seems less than glamorous if not nearly as useful as some of these more creative ventures. Dream on. There's something out there for everyone!


  1. Don't forget wine making! That's a popular (and growing) major at Washington State University, supporting the increasingly recognized wine industry in the south-east quadrant of the Evergreen State.


  2. In addition to being one of few colleges or universities offering the Viticulture/Enology major (Cornell, Oregon, and some of the UC's are others), WSU operates a student-managed ice cream parlor! Ferdinand's Ice Cream features ice cream, milkshakes, and "award-winning" Cougar Gold cheese--all produced on site with milk from the WSU dairy cattle that peacefully graze on campus. You can even watch students making cheese in an observation room located above Ferdinand's.

    All that aside, you've got to love a school with HEATED sidewalks and a huge pool formed in the shape of Washington State! Even the islands are represented in their 50-person hot tub. And if you're interested in Grizzly Bears, WSU has large-scale research programs designed to study hibernation with the hope learning more about human heart function. The big bears are housed right on campus!

    Yes, there's lots to see and do at WSU. Thanks for giving me the opportunity to tell others!