We’ve previously talked about the most common majors among recently graduated undergraduate students in the United States, but what are the least popular majors? Using the data published by the U.S. Department of Education, National Center for Education Statistics, Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (IPEDS) for 2020-2021, we’ve put together a list of 10 of them! Keep reading to find out which areas of study are the road less traveled, plus get some insight into what you can do with the major if you decide to jump on the opportunity!
10 of the Least Common Majors
1. Precision Production
Only 28 students graduated in 2020-21 with a degree in Precision Production! This area of study focuses on giving students technical knowledge and skills to work on certain products such as mattresses, furniture, automobile seats, and others. Students will take courses on various machinery and tools, math, production processes, design, and similar subjects.
Some career options with a degree in Precision Production include machinists, cabinet makers, carpenters, and woodworkers.
Library science majors acquire skills that will help them organize, store, administer, and use a variety of different collections in print, audiovisual, and electronic formats. Many students who study this as an undergraduate will go on to become librarians, but many librarian jobs do require a graduate degree in Library Science as well.
Only 119 students graduated with a degree in Library Science in the 2020-21 academic year!
Military Technologies and Applied Sciences majors study military science, intelligence gathering, military technology, national security, military operations, and more. Courses will generally cover computer science, military strategy, management, leadership, field training, ethics, and other subjects that support the area of study.
As of 2020-21, there were only roughly 1,524 students who majored and graduated with a degree in Military Technologies. Graduates can go onto work with defense and military contractors or join the military, but other career options include teaching, engineering, and criminal justice.
4,557 students received a bachelor’s in Communication Technologies in 2020-21. These programs focus on the study of economics, management, communications, media production, and technology. These students can go onto work in a number of careers including as a business analyst, marketer, network engineer, film and video editor, and sound engineering technician.
A major in legal studies is not required in order to become a lawyer, but the Legal Professions and Studies programs do open the doors to several careers in the legal field and could be a strong foundation for students who are interested in going to law school. Common career paths lie in law enforcement, public service, business, and higher education.
In 2020-21, 4,589 students graduated with a bachelor’s in Legal Professions and Studies.
Majoring in Transportation and Materials Moving means studying about the operation, build, and management of transportation equipment, logistics, safety, and similar subjects. Students can take it a step further and decide to study Air Transportation or Marine Transportation.
While this major is seeing some growth at the moment, only 5,993 students graduated with a degree in it in 2020-2021. Those who graduate can go onto work in highway maintenance, trucking, logistics, piloting, equipment operation, air traffic control, and rail transportation.
Theology and Religious Vocations majors mainly focus on theology and prepare students for a religious vocation. Students can expect to take classes in biblical studies, world religions, history, philosophy, literature, and others. Graduates can then go on to become teachers, campus ministers, writers, church music director, youth pastor, or another related career.
In 2020-21, 6,737 students graduated with a degree in Theology and Religious Vocations.
About 7,374 students majored and graduated with a degree in Area, Ethnic, and Gender Studies in 2020-2021. Those who pursue this area of study will learn about the defined areas, countries, and regions as well as defined minority groups and issues that affect collective groups.
Job opportunities with a degree in Area, Ethnic, and Gender Studies can range from teaching to human resources and research assistance to product coordinator.
Among the least common majors in the US between 2020 and 2021 was Architecture and Related Services with only about 9,296 students earning their degree in the major. The area of study focuses on engineering, art, drawing, designing, the theory of design, layouts, and the history of architecture.
In addition to being an architect, those who earn a degree in this major can go onto work as a professor, project coordinator, interior designer, and building surveyor.
Those pursuing a degree in Philosophy and Religious Studies will focus on building various skills such as communication, critical thinking, problem solving, and writing. Courses in particular dive into human interactions and existence, humanity, meaning, morals, values, and beliefs. Although many students will take a philosophy or a religion related class during their time in college, only 11,988 graduated with a degree in this area of study.
This particular area of study opens the door to several job opportunities including business and finance, education, nonprofit work, medicine, and law.
Even if your intended majors are among the “least common”, don’t let it discourage you from pursuing the area of study. These 10 and other less common options all have fantastic career paths that can pay off. Less popular does not mean there are fewer opportunities. Want to check out some of the most popular majors? See them here.
Thinking about majoring in one of these less popular areas of study? Then it’s time to find the right school for you! Since these can be niche, it’s important to find a college or university that offers a strong program within the major. To find the best school for you, use our free College Match tool today.