13 Unusual Masters Degrees {infographic}

Unusual Masters Degrees

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13 “Unusual” Master’s Degrees

The first Master’s degrees were awarded as early as the 12th century and were probably based on degrees given by Emperor Justinian to students at his academies in Rome and Constantinople in the 6th century.

The original three: The European universities of Bologna, Paris, and Oxford, were the first institutions to offer Master’s degrees in fields such as the arts, law, medicine and theology. At that time, a Maste’’s degree from one university would not necessarily be recognized at another.

Modern Times:

688,000: Number of master’s degrees awarded each year by U.S. colleges and universities.

Here are the most popular master’s degrees by gender:

Most Popular Master’s Degrees for Men:

1. Business Administration and Management 22.3%
2. Electrical, Electronics & Communication Engineering 2.8%
3. Education Leadership & Administration 2.7%
4. Business/Commerce 2.5%
5. Education 2.2%
6. Accounting 2.0%
7. Public Administration 1.6%
8. Computer Science 1.5%
9. Mechanical Engineering 1.5%
10. Computer & Information Sciences 1.4%

Most Popular Master’s Degree for Women
1. Business Administration 11.4%
2. Education 5.1%
3. Social Work 4.2%
4. Elementary Education 3.8%
5. Curriculum and Instruction 3.6%
6. Educational Leadership & Administration 3.3%
7. Special Education 3.0%
8. Counselor Education/School Counseling 2.6%
9. Nursing/Registered Nurse 2.1%
10. Reading Teacher Education 2.0%

But not everyone is interested in earning the “most popular” degrees.

1.Master of Science in taxation

Golden Gate University, with campuses in Seattle, San Francisco and Los Angeles.

Golden Gate University has the largest and one of the most respected graduate tax programs in the country, stressing real-world education and practical application of concepts and practices.

The Facts:
GPA requirement: You can be accepted if you earned a 3.0 GPA in any undergraduate degree program.
Specializing in: Focus your success with the specialized knowledge of a tax professional

  • Master of Science in Taxation
  • Master of Science Financial Planning and Taxation
  • Certificate in Taxation
  • Certificate in Advanced Studies in Taxation
  • Certificate in Estate Planning
  • Certificate in International Taxation
  • Certificate in State and Local Taxation

Tuition: based on the total course cost for a 3-unit course: $2,775 per 3-unit course. The total cost would also include room and board, books and personal needs.

2. MFA in Puppetry Arts

U. of Connecticut at Storrs

Who says you have to leave your puppets in a childhood box locked away in the attic? Not the University of Connecticut, which offers an MFA in puppetry arts, where you can take courses ranging from trends in contemporary American puppet theatre to advanced hand puppet theatre.

The Facts:
Where: Earn the degree at the school’s Department of Dramatic Arts, in Storrs, Conn.
How: Call for application and audition dates.
Tuition: $5,112 per semester for Conn. residents, if registering for nine or more credits. Out of state students pay tuition of $13,266 per semester for nine or more credits.

3. Master of Arts in Thanatology

Hood College, Frederick, Maryland

While the word isn’t common, it studies the most common thing in the world: death. 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). Common places of employment after graduation include hospitals and nursing homes.

The Facts:
GPA requirement: The applicant must hold a bachelor’s degree from a regionally accredited college or university with at least a 2.75 cumulative grade point average and meet specified program requirements in a discipline of study.
Tuition: $360 per credit hour
For more information, go to www.hood.edu

4. Master of Science in Grain Science

Kansas State University, Manhattan, Kansas

Wonder how cereal is made? Study grain science at Kansas State University, and you’ll never have to wonder again. Courses in this program include cereal science, bakery layout, management applications in the grain processing industries and pet food processing.

The Facts:
How to enroll: The Departmental Graduate Program Committee has established the following course requirements for admission to its Masters and Doctorate programs.

  • Mathematics, including College Algebra, Calculus and Statistics
  • Chemistry, including Biochemistry and Organic Chemistry
  • Physics
  • Biological Sciences

GPA requirement: Applicants must have a 4-year undergraduate degree with a cumulative GPA of 3.0 or higher.
Kansas resident: $6,829 a year
Out-of-state: $18,122 a year

5. Master of Arts in Folklore

University of California, Berkeley, Berkeley, California

If you want to establish your bona fides as a folklorist, this master’s program at the University of California at Berkeley will fit the bill. The description for a course on the role of monsters (zombies, cannibals, etc.) in folklore contains the following, “This course seeks to investigate our endless fascination with, attraction to, and revulsion at awesome spectacles - displays of the marvelous and the monstrous.”

The Facts:

GPA requirement: The minimum graduate admission requirements include a GPA of 3.0 on a scale of 4.0 and enough undergraduate training to do graduate work in your chosen field.
Tuition: $7669 (residents), $15,220 (non-residents)

6.Master of Gaming and Casino Management

Drexel University, Philadelphia, Pa.

Several schools offer degrees in hospitality management but there aren’t many master’s programs, and fewer still that offer the gaming and casino specialization. Gaming is actually a rapidly growing industry in the U.S. but the number of real facilities still numbers in the hundreds.

The Facts:
GPA requirement: Undergraduate GPA of 3.0 or higher in the last two years of undergraduate work. Graduate work should have a minimum GPA of 3.0.
Tuition: The rate for the academic year 2013-14 is $1,085 per credit. This program consists of 45 credits (15 courses).

7.Masters in Plant Science - Turfgrass Management

University of Rhode Island, Kingston, R.I.
Ohio State University, Columbus, Ohio

This degree provides the educational underpinning for professional sports field managers, golf course managers, and managers in many other commercial horticultural ventures. The professionals in this business make football and baseball stadiums useable during and after horrendous weather interludes. URI and Ohio State University both offer masters degrees with specialization in turfgrass management.
GPA requirement: URI: To be accepted into a degree program, applicants must have maintained an average of approximately B (3.00 on a 4.00 scale) or better in their undergraduate work.
Ohio State: minimum undergraduate GPA is a 3.0.
Tuition : URI: Rhode Island residents, $12,4350; out of state, $28,016; New England regional, $20,610. Ohio State, $12,200 for Ohio resident; $29,512 for out of state resident.

8.Masters in Range Management

University of Idaho, Moscow, Idaho

The care and feeding of agricultural land has extended to grazing land for years, but only after millions of acres of arid pastureland in the West and Southwest was left barren by overgrazing. Today the University of Idaho is one of several schools in agricultural states that have rangeland management degrees.

The Facts:
GPA requirement: All Graduate School applicants must possess a Bachelor degree and have a minimum overall Grade Point Average (GPA) of 3.00 on a 4.00 grade scale.

Tuition: 7586, Idaho residents; $20,662, nonresidents.

9.Masters in Global Apologetics

Liberty University, Lynchburg, Va.

From the catalog: “the…program provides students with in-depth study on the doctrines, views and lives of people from the 12 major world religions. Through this program, students will be equipped with the necessary knowledge and skills to personalize the Christian message for effectively and passionately reaching our increasingly diverse world with the gospel.” Liberty University was founded by Jerry Farwell.

GPA requirements: Minimum undergraduate GPA of 2.00 (on a 4.00 scale)

Tuition: Seminary Master’s tuition: $330 per credit hour. Tuition for seminary students enrolled in nine to fifteen credit hours may qualify for the Seminary Tuition Cap ($2,200 for 2013-2014).

10.Masters of Fine Arts (MFA) - Blacksmithing:

University of Southern Illinois, Carbondale.

There are dozens of crafts centers and art academies that teach basics of metalsmithing. There is only one established university in the country, however, with a Masters in Blacksmithing. The program was founded in 1968; since then it has grown in breadth to include the complexities of fine metalwork and craftsmanship.

GPA requirements: 2.7 (on a 4.0 grading scale) on approximately the last two years of your Bachelor’s degree.

Tuition: $11,820, resident; $29,950, non-resident.

12.Masters in Meat Science:

Iowa State, Ames, Iowa (note: several other universities in the livestock states offer this degree, including Texas Tech, Texas A&M, Colorado State)

Meat science only becomes a science when the hormones enter the food chain, the preservatives are injected into the packaging process and the e coli bacteria appear in the processing plants.
Tuition: $8,880, resident; $21,190, non-resident.

13.Masters in Depth Psychology

The Pacifica Graduate Institute, Carpinteria, Ca.

This degree is offered with three areas of specialization. The program begins with some baseline education on Jungian and archetypal studies and launches from there, “…To study community and ecopsychology in the light of liberation psychology… innovative group approaches [include] council/circle, appreciative inquiry, theater of the oppressed…community dream work, liberation arts, restorative justice, [and] somatic approaches to trauma healing.”

GPA requirement: No mention of GPA. But applicants must have a bachelor’s and/or master’s degree from an accredited or state-approved institution of higher learning. Applicants must also demonstrate aptitude in the following areas: a background in psychology through formal coursework or personal study and experience; a background in interdisciplinary studies, such as the humanities, sciences, and social sciences; a demonstrated interest and ability in scholarly research; and a familiarity with the perspectives of depth psychology, such as psychoanalytic, Jungian, and archetypal psychology.
Tuition: $26,484

Bonus (non USA): MA in The Beatles, popular music and society

Liverpool Hope University, Liverpool, England

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, yeah, yeah, yeah.

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.

Admission requirement: American applicants should have qualifications equivalent to either a first class honors degree from a UK University, or a second class honors degree and a Master’s degree with Merit or Distinction from a UK University.

Tuition: 4,800 U.K. pounds or $7,387 (as of June 6)

All of these non-traditional graduate degrees can lead to promising careers.

Celebrities with not-so-traditional Master’s Degrees

1. Peter Weller:
Peter Weller’s best known for RoboCop and The Adventures of Buckaroo Banzai Across the 8th Dimension also got a master’s degree in Roman and Renaissance Art from Syracuse University, in 2004.

2. David Duchovny:
Before “Californication,” “The X-Files,” and “Twin Peaks,” David Duchovny earned his master’s in English lit from Yale.

3. Dolph Lundgren:
Graduated from Sweden’s Royal Institute of Technology before heading to Australia and picking up a Master’s in Chemical Engineering from the University of Sydney.

4. Kristen Chenoweth:
Kristen is a classically trained opera singer who has a master’s in opera performance from Oklahoma City University.

5. Sigourney Weaver:
Although she would later be immortalized in the Alien franchise Sigourney Weaver started her professional life with a graduate degree. She earned a Master of Fine Arts from Yale University’s School of Drama.

6. Ron Silver:
Ron has had a long and varied career on TV and in film, and he was also a prominent political spokesman before succumbing to esophageal cancer in March 2009. He studied Spanish and Chinese at SUNY at Buffalo, and went on to get a master’s in Chinese history at St. John’s University.

7. Hill Harper:
The skilled CSI: NY actor holds a bachelor’s degree from Brown University, a J.D. from Harvard Law School, and a Master of Public Administration from Harvard University.


Overall source for the list: http://master-degree-online.com/10-most-unusual-graduate-degrees/

Unusual Masters Degrees

6 Musicians You’d Never Guess Had PhD’s

When people think of musicians they tend to think of pot heads with guitars jamming out in their parents basements before getting famous. These 6 musicians are just the opposite of that stereotype. They are the overachievers. These 6 musicians have Phd’s, Thd’s, or MDs. It’s pretty stellar. And the music is pretty awesome too.

Dan Snaith of Caribou

Dan Snaith of Caribou

Music is literally just an equation of the soul. Caribou has a soulful, eclectic sound. It’s obvious to me after listening to it that this music is about mathematics. The Math of Music. Dan Snaith is the mastermind, the creator of this music. And it’s genius is highlighted because of Dan Snaith’s love of mathematics. He received a doctorate in Mathematics from Imperial College London. It’s obvious that just like math sometimes there’s no real explanation how you solved it. Things just snapped together. And for Dan music is the same way.

Greg Graffin of Bad Religion

One might laugh when they discovered that the brain behind Bad Religion Greg Graffin has a PhD, and moonlights as a professor of naturalism and evolution at UCLA. That’s because Dr. Graffin is a musical genius. His PhD is in Zoology which explains his passion outside of music which is teaching evolution, and life sciences. His music actually portrays much of his beliefs if you listen to the undertones, and philosophy. Truly impressive how he’s managed to meld his two lives into one.

Dr James Lilja of Offspring

One of my favorite bands of all time is Offspring. I grew up drinking, swimming, and bathing in it. I was shocked to find out that James Lilja, received his medical degree in Gynecological Oncology, and is now known as Dr. James Lilja, MD. He was a drummer, percussionist and background vocals for the Offspring from 1984- 1987. Dr Lilja practices gynecological oncology and obstetrics and gynecology in northern California. Wow. Just wow. I’m still in shock over the 360 degree shift that he took in life.

Brian May of Queen

Brian May is an English musician, singer, songwriter and astrophysicist who achieved international fame as the guitarist of Queen. No seriously. He’s an astrophysicist. That’s not a typo. He’s also one of the top guitarists of all time. He’s even been honored as a Commander of the Most Excellent Order for his contributions to society in music and charity. He graduated with a PhD from Imperial College, and served as the 4th Chancellor of Liverpool, John Moores University. Basically to translate all the british-speak, “He’s Badass”.

Sterling Morrison of Velvet Underground

Sterlin Morrison was one of the founding members of the rock group The Velvet Underground, usually playing electric guitar, occasionally bass guitar, and singing backup vocals. He had a PhD in medieval literature and poured his heart into it almost as much as music. But somehow he fell in love with boats and moved to Texas and became a Tugboat captain. He returned to The Velvet Underground, but only for a short stint. He died too early of Non-hodgkins lymphoma…

Aaron Riches of Royal City

I didn’t want people thinking I was only going to select famous musicians. I wanted to highlight someone who isn’t super famous but has done some amazing stuff in the educational world as well. Aaron Riches is a Canadian singer-songwriter. He was in the bands Left Hand Red, Curtsy, Fiddle Footed, Burn 51 and Minnow. Afterward, he released two solo-albums, and toured with the Royal City All-Stars, which eventually became the band Royal City, which has also since disbanded. He has a PhD., Systematic Theology, University of Nottingham (UK), 2010. His Thesis: ‘Sequela Christi: Christological Humanism in the Heart of Jesus and Mary’. He has a MA Philosophical Theology, University of Virginia (USA), 2005. He has a MA English Literature, York University (Canada), 2003. He has a BA English Literature, summa cum laude, York University (Canada), 2000. Let’s just say he’s one smart dude who also has a knack for music although it’s obvious his passion is now theology.

Top Online Business Degrees

The following top ten online Business Schools and Degree Programs have been evaluated, and meet the requirements of accrediting institutions. Each school offers flexible schedules and learning formats for students seeking to continue their employment while earning an advanced degree.

Knowledgeable and experienced professionals conduct online classes. There is no trade-off of the quality of instruction or the value of the courses. In many ways, these classes resemble the traditional classroom, except it takes place in a virtual world. The result, students gain a higher education that will improve their career prospects.

Argosy University

Executive Summary
Argosy University has one of the largest online student populations in the country. Its bachelor’s, master’s, and doctorate programs are led by business leaders and professionals who bring a wealth of knowledge to the learning environment.

Click here for additional information about Argosy’s business degree programs http://online.argosy.edu/college/

Cost ranges from $561 to $894 per credit hour, depending on program.

Unique Features
Argosy University Online follows the Socrates Distance Learning Technologies strategy to ensure student success. Each student is assigned an Assistant Director of Admissions, a Student Financial Planner, an Academic Advisor, and a Mentor Professor.

Healthcare Management
Human Resource Management
International Business
Organizational Management

Bay State College

Executive Summary
Originally opened to serve the airline industry in 1946, Bay State College is accredited by The New England Association of Schools and Colleges and the Commission on Institutions of Higher Education. Its Business Management program boasts an extensive curriculum.

For more information about Bay State’s business degree programs click here:


$22,500 for the two year program.

Unique Features
Bay State College finds out what drives student and uses that information to cultivate their success. It has a proven track record of working with students to obtain first-rate jobs upon graduation.

Computer and Information Literacy
Introduction to Business
Public Speaking
Writing for Business
Business Law
Financial Accounting I
Financial Accounting II
Organizational Behavior
Principles of Marketing


Executive Summary
Offering online classes since 1996, Bellevue University is ranked number one in Student Engagement and Assessment by U.S. News. Special attention is placed on the theory of responsible capitalism to help students appreciate the importance of giving back to community.

For more information about Bellevue’s business degree programs click here:


The tuition rate is $10,020 for the undergraduate program.

Unique Features
Bellevue has a rolling deadline, so students may apply at any time.
Information management
Economics and marketing
Finance and accounting
Law and ethics


ITT is accredited by the Council for Independent Colleges and Schools (ACICS). The school emphasizes a student-centered, technology-focused approach.

For more information about ITT’s business degree programs click here:


Most online courses are billed at $325 per credit hour.

Unique Feature
ITT offers associate, bachelor and master degree programs in business, combining traditional business courses with innovative technology.

Organizational Behavior
Managing Business Information Systems
Managerial Economics
Corporate Finance
Ethical and Regulatory Environment
Operations and Process Management
Corporate Communications and Research
Strategic Marketing and Research
Leadership in a Dynamic Information Age
Team Building and Group Process

University of Minnesota

Executive Summary
The University of Minnesota received a top ten ranking for its Crookston’s Bachelor of Business Administration program. It prides itself on offering students courses that prepare them for management-level positions.

For more information about the University of Minnesota’s business degree programs click here:


A variety of factors go into the calculation of tuition rates, including student status and course type.

Unique Features
Students have the opportunity to participate in an internship program to further their career goals.

Principles of Accounting II
Legal Environment in Business
Managerial Finance
Principles of Management
Principles of Marketing

Penn Foster College

Executive Summary
This college is one of the oldest online institutions in the country, and has received accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council (DETC). It offers distance learning programs that prepare students for the most in-demand jobs on the market.

For more information about Penn Foster’s business degree programs click here:


Unique Features
Penn Foster has a reputation for offering graduates a high return on their investment. On average, graduates receive nearly a 16% salary increase.

The affordable tuition cost of $9,130 includes all study materials.

Legal Environment of Business
Corporate Finance
Organizational Behavior
Business Research Methods
International Business
Strategic Business Management

Ivy Bridge

Executive Summary
Ivy Bridge College is the online extension of Tiffin University in Ohio. The college offers an Associate degree in Business Administration.

For more information about Ivy Bridge’s business degree programs click here: http://ivybridge.tiffin.edu/degree-programs/business

Full-time tuition is $4,900 per semester.

Unique Features
The program offers 21 courses that comprise various facets of business such as Accounting, Communications, Marketing, and Organizational Behavior.

Managerial Accounting
Principles of Microeconomics
Business Law I
Spreadsheet Applications for Decision Making
Management of Organizations
Introduction to Marketing

Liberty University (LUO)

Executive Summary
LUO is an online Christian university. It has received top ten positions many times from the Online Education Database for high retention and graduation.

For more information about LUO’s business degree programs click here:


Full-time enrollment costs $325 per credit hour.

Unique Features
Classes are designed around a Christian curriculum.

General Business

Western Governors University (WGU)

Executive Summary
WGU has both regional and national accreditations. This private, online university is accredited by the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities; the Distance Education and Training Council (DETC); and the National Council for the Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE).

For more information about WGU’s business degree programs click here:

WGU charges a flat rate of $2,890 every six months.

Unique Features
WGU has a competency-based learning curriculum, which measures a student’s skill set. The program takes about 54 months to complete.

Columbia College

Executive Summary
Columbia College began in 1851 as Christian Female College. It is built on the foundation of changing with the times. Columbia continues to be at the forefront of implementing new programs.

For more information about WGU’s business degree programs click here:


Tuition costs about $31,602 for the full program.

Unique Features
Students may earn a Bachelor of Arts or a Bachelor of Science degree in Business Administration.

The College offers business degrees in Administration, Marketing, Finance, Accounting, Human Resources and International Business. Click the link above for more information.


Depression Among College Students By The Numbers


Depression is a serious issue among College students.

The change from high to College is complicated by going from childhood to adulthood with the responsibilities that entails, let alone the stress of passing College then eventually finding a job.

Here’s depression among College students by the numbers.

1 in 4 depression

  • 1 in 4 College students is believe to suffer from some form of mental illness, including depression.
  • 44% of College Students report having symptoms of depression.
  • 75% of College students not seek help for mental health problems

suicide booth

  • Suicide is the third leading cause of death among College students.
  • 4 out of 5 College Students who either contemplate or attempt suicide show clear warning signs.


  • The number of students taking psychiatric medicines increase more that 10 percentage points in the 10 years to 2009.
  • 93% of students who accessed College counseling support in one study in 2008 were diagnosed with one mental disorder, that number increased to 96% in 2009.
  • One our of every four to five students who visits a university health center center for a routine cold or sore throat turns out to be depressed




7 Facts About Sleeping That Every College Student Should Know

College life isn’t always known for providing much sleep, however sleep is a very important part of maintaining your health and well being.

Here’s seven facts about sleeping that every College student should know.

smarterSleep makes you smarter

As much as you might be tempted to cram in all night study sessions, you may actually be doing yourself more harm then good.

A Berkeley study (PDF) found that sleeping or even a short nap for an hour helps reset your short-term memory and that in turn allows you to learn and retain facts better when you wake up.

heartSleep can save your heart

A Harvard Study has found that taking naps is good for your heart.

They found that by even taking afternoon naps of 30 minutes each three times a week reduced the risk of heart related ailments by 37%. The study found that this is probably owed to an afternoon nap acting as a stress reliever.

Abandon all nighters

There’s even more research to suggest that all night study sessions can reduce your ability to retain information by up to 40%…actually defeating the purpose of setting off to do an all nighter anyway.

If napping sleep for under 45 minutes

45 minutesIt’s said that  60 minutes of sleep helps you stay alert for over 10 hours, however research has found you’re better off napping for 45 minutes or less if you need to get back into action after waking up.

Napping 60 minutes or more may lead to you drifting into slow-wave sleep which results in sleep inertia, that groggy feeling many of us have often experienced when oversleeping.

cat napShort naps are best

Stranger still, naps as short as 20, 10, or even 2 minutes can provide you with all the mental benefits of sleep, without risking waking up groggy.

Napping can help you lose weight

lose weightA study has found that women who sleep for 7 hours of more weigh less than women who sleep for 5 hours.

The reason is believed to be linked to a lower rate of metabolism for those who don’t sleep as long.

You can’t avoid that down period after lunch by not eating

tired periodHuman bodies go through a number of phases of deep tiredness, generally speaking one is between 2 to 4 a.m. and the other between 1 to 3 p.m.

Some people believe that skipping lunch helps beat the afternoon tired period but the opposite is true: you need to fuel up to get through this period.