To invest in education is to invest in your future. But choosing how to make this investment requires careful consideration.
As job markets become saturated and new opportunities emerge, colleges around the country seek to adapt. In turn, new college majors arise and existing majors evolve through updated curricula designed to reflect the ever-changing demands of the job market.
But staying on top of all the available degree options presents quite the challenge for many students.
Many universities offer hundreds of subjects to major in.
And when you factor in all the available specializations within college majors, your options only multiply. This often results in analysis paralysis—where students feel paralyzed by all of the available options.
But fear not, in this guide we list all college subjects to major in so that you can explore your options conveniently in one place.
Many students find the idea of a college major intimidating due to a perceived finality.
Students may wonder, “What if my interest changes?”
The truth is that majoring in a subject offers far more flexibility than it once did.
Business careers, for instance, have become far more accepting of various vocations that were previously considered tangential to business studies—such as majors including psychology, statistics, or philosophy.
Universities display increasing flexibility, too. Specifically, many universities allow students to tailor studies towards their interests through opportunities like independent research and internships.
In short, choosing a single subject to major in serves as a foundation on which to build.
And the career built on this foundation may or may not branch out from the subjects you chose to study in your degree program.
In fact, while college majors may not always lead to your expected destination, the lessons learned and knowledge gained provide invaluable tools to navigate your professional development.
So while choosing a subject to major in requires commitment and dedication you shouldn’t feel like it represents a lifelong determination. But of course, some careers are more forgiving than others in this regard. But students should note that doctoral programs require students to demonstrate commitment to a particular field throughout their academic journey.Back to Top
The ability to earn a degree online offers a new level of freedom.
Because you can earn a degree remotely. without having to attend a classroom, adults around the world find it easier to return to education. In fact, the average age of an online student enrolled in a bachelor’s program is 32 years old.
Because of this there’s far less stigma surrounding later-age education. And adults with busy schedules can earn a degree even while holding down full-time employment.
In short, there’s never been more options and more convenience available to students looking to earn a degree.
But this begs the question, “What should you study?”
So, let’s list all areas of study available to you. We’ll move through these subjects in alphabetical order for easy searching.Back to Top
In this field of study, you will explore the components of the agricultural industry. As such, agriculture majors study animals, plants, and soil sciences.
Students may choose to further specialize in subjects such as agricultural engineering or agriculture business.
Anthropology majors choose as their subject of study the human species.
Anthropologists explore the history and current state of human behaviors across various cultural environments.
As opposed to psychology, anthropologists explore the full picture of human behavior with a special focus on factors like culture, sexuality, and socioeconomic status.
Master’s of anthropology programs typically focus on advanced study of one of these factors.
Students who major in art will explore their creativity and refine particular skills related to the liberal arts.
Most art majors will choose to specialize in a more specific area such as photography, sculpting, or drawing. You’ll also read classical and modern literature that explores theory or artistic expression.
Students who major in religious studies or biblical studies will explore the origins and impact of religious texts.
What texts will be studied will depend on the particular program one attends. As such, students will want to take special care to explore the available curriculum before enrolling.
As a biology major, you will explore the biological sciences at the core of nature.
In this field of study you will build a strong understanding of physiology and the chemical processes that enable life as we know it.
Master’s of biology programs typically offer more specialized curricula structured around topics such as the following:
Want to run your own business? Maybe you want to work towards graduate business school. Or perhaps you’re unsure what direction you want to take.
Regardless of your desired profession, a degree in business serves as a strong foundation for many different careers. For this reason, the business major is one of the most common choices.
When progressing into a master’s of business program, students will study specialized curricula such as the following:
Chemistry majors learn how the building blocks of the physical world interact with one another.
By mastering the fundamentals of the periodic table, chemistry students will develop the skills needed to navigate the laboratory and conduct experiments.
At the graduate level, master’s of chemistry students will likely specialize in a particular area of study such as the following:
As a communications major, you will learn the key theories of proper communication in various contexts. As such, communications plays a vital role in countless organizations and business operations.
Principal areas of study include advertising, social media, mass media, and international communication. At the graduate level, master’s of communications students will choose to specialize in one such area of study.
Those studying computer sciences will explore what makes computers work and what they’re capable of doing. Or if you’re interested in breaking into the gaming industry, you can major in game design and you can earn a master’s of game design, too.
Specifically, you’ll learn the basics of programming language and how computational processes are executed in different languages.
Popular courses include data structure, computer architecture, and computer engineering. In a master’s of computer science, you will progress through a more specialized program built around such sub-topics.
Criminal justice majors study legal doctrines, their historical origin, and modern importance.
In a criminal justice program, you will explore prominent literature relating to legal theory and political sciences.
This major is a popular choice among those with interests in legal professions such as becoming a lawyer, judge, or activist. Advanced education is often required in these professions.
Master’s of criminal justice programs typically focus on one of the following specializations:
Cybersecurity represents a fairly new field of study wherein students explore key concepts of security in a modern world that is increasingly interconnected online.
As such this major involves study of computer sciences with special focus on networking and data architecture.
Majoring in data science is an excellent choice for those wanting to work at the intersection of statistics and business.
Data scientists build a strong foundation in different maths and statistical sciences to glean actionable conclusions. For instance, data scientists are often contracted to search for operational dysfunction within large corporations.
A master’s of data science programs will offer specialized tracks such as the following:
Students who major in design will develop creative skills and explore design theory in the arts.
Programs typically cover both design in digital mediums and analog mediums, however some programs may focus on one medium more than the other.
If you’re interested in leveraging an arts degree to excel professionally, design majors often apply their skills as marketers and web designers.
Those who major in Earth science will study factors of nature such as natural hazards, climate change, and the earth’s many ecosystems.
The central subject of this major is to explore the constituent parts of the earth and how they are related to one another.
Each school will offer a slightly different curriculum, so students looking to pursue specialized areas of study may need to broaden their search (check out our Earth Science Student Guide for more information).
This is doubly true for graduate Earth science programs where curricula become more focused on building certain specializations:
Students who major in economics choose as their central subject the study of resources and how people use them.
Specifically, economics majors will learn how corporations, nations, and individuals use their limited resources to achieve desired outcomes.
In an economics program, you will also explore peer reviewed literature from the world’s leading economists. In advanced studies, such as in a master’s of economics program, you will pursue more specialized study in topics such as:
Education majors study the fundamentals of how to teach subject matter to an individual or group. As such students explore psychological and social sciences related to the exchange of knowledge.
Master’s of education programs tend to focus on specific types of education such as the following:
Engineering students progress through an interdisciplinary curriculum that combines math, physics, and business. Check out our Engineering Student Guide for more information.
Engineering majors will progress through programs with curricula based on the following topics:
In an engineering master’s program, you will pick a specialty based around one such topic.
English majors will master the use of the English language and develop strong communication skills.
In an English major program, you will read some of mankind’s most formative literature including both fiction and nonfiction.
If you’d like to get a headstart on your writing skills, check out our guide to college writing resources.
Popular topics in a master’s of English program include:
Environmental science majors will explore the fundamental sciences related to the natural forces of the earth’s environment.
Specifically, students will study the biological, chemical, and physical components that make up the environment. While Earth Studies majors will cover many of the same topics, environmental science programs employ a stricter focus on environmental factors.
Popular topics include:
Gender studies majors will progress through a curriculum that’s designed to highlight the role of gender in society.
As such gender studies majors will explore gender across multiple disciplines with popular topics such as the following:
Healthcare majors will complete a curriculum designed to prepare them to take positions of management within healthcare facilities.
In a healthcare major, you will learn about the different components of healthcare facilities’ operations and how to successfully manage them.
Popular topics include in a master’s of healthcare administration program include:
History majors explore the events and cultural achievements of mankind throughout time.
As such, students will read prominent historical literature to experience different perspectives on key events in the past.
Popular topics include:
In a master’s of history program, you can expect to dive deeper into such topics.
Informational technology (IT) majors build an essential skill set needed to operate and troubleshoot various technological interfaces.
An IT major represents an interdisciplinary field of study that combines computer science, business, and communications.
Popular topics include:
Students interested in majoring in pre-law will build the ideal knowledge and skills to excel in a legal profession.
A law major will incorporate elements of a criminal justice curriculum with interdisciplinary topics of psychology, business, and philosophy.
A leadership major will study the fundamentals of upper-level management and communication in a business environment.
If you think of an organization as a vehicle, then leadership majors learn how to become the driver.
Popular topics include:
Marketing majors will learn how to leverage communication skills and design theory to optimize outreach from businesses to consumers.
Marketing curricula typically emphasize topics related to consumer trends, market economics, and business theory. Other popular topics include:
Earning a master’s of marketing will typically confer a specialized focus such as in digital marketing, business strategy, or B2B services.
Mathematics majors progress through a curriculum that presents an array of various topics in math and approaches to problem solving.
Popular topics in math include:
Medicine majors leverage a deep knowledge of disease and biological science to explore medical treatments in a healthcare capacity.
Students pursuing a major in medicine typically leverage this degree to go on to medical school where they will earn the proper credentials and experience needed to become a medical professional.
For students who prefer a more research-oriented medical profession, a master’s of medical science would likely be appealing.
A nursing program will prepare students to pursue a career in nursing.
As such, most programs will cover the perquisites needed to pursue advanced education in nursing. Students will explore topics related to medicine, sociology, and healthcare.
Philosophy majors will be tasked with pondering the existential questions of life.
Each course you take will explore a different philosophical perspective or tradition.
Popular topics in a master’s of philosophy program include:
Physics majors explore the natural forces of the world around us and seek to measure these forces with staggering accuracy.
As a physics major, you will explore the historical evolution of physics and how modern theories evolve to create a more complete picture of the natural world. Students will also have the opportunity to conduct experiments in a laboratory, which is ideal for those who enjoy hands-on experience.
Master’s of physics programs will delve into advanced topics such as:
Political science majors will study opposing views on political structures and how they should operate.
curricula explore political discourse, governmental structure, and societal impact. In a master’s of political science program, you will explore advanced topics:
A psychology major will explore the sciences related to the human mind and how the mind relates to human behavior.
Popular topics in psychology include:
In a master’s of psychology program, you will likely choose to specialize in one such sub-specialty.
Those who major in social work will study how a society intercedes on behalf of populations that are in need. At its core, the social work major represents an exercise in exploring and enforcing human rights in various contexts.
Specifically, social work majors will study government welfare systems as well as both private and public assistance programs that provide aid to those who need it most.
A master’s of social work program will explore these topics in more depth, and prepare students for social work jobs of higher position.
Sociology majors study human behavior and how individuals behave in different circumstances. Mainly, sociologists are concerned with the form and function of social interactions.
Popular topics include:
A master’s of sociology program will include in-depth study of more advanced topics:
Statistics majors become masters of equations, learning to wield them as solutions to real-world problems.
Specifically, statistics majors learn how to gather and analyze data in order to see trends that others would miss.
Popular topics include:
Sustainability majors concern themselves with learning how to manage the earth’s limited resources.
To learn this skill set, students will pull knowledge from a wide range of disciplines such as environmental sciences, the humanities, and social sciences.
Popular topics include:
Get valuable tips and expert advice with a look at our Career Guidance homepage.
See our Complete Guide to the College Admissions Process for more.
Or jump to our Resources Guide for much more on studying, starting your job search, and more.