For students applying to colleges that review applications based on fit for academic major, like The University of Texas at Austin, the question of which major to choose can be a daunting one. UT Austin offers 170 fields of study across 13 undergraduate colleges and schools, with majors available in 120 of those fields. Even with so many majors to choose from, when I was an application file reviewer for UT, I observed that popular first-choice majors included psychology, biology, business, computer science, and areas in engineering.
While many students produced compelling applications for those majors, I felt that many others could have benefitted from a bit more exploration to identify a major that was a better fit for their demonstrated interests and aptitudes. It was always a treat to come across applications to my top five favorite “hidden gem” majors:
Sustainability Studies - Students majoring in Sustainability Studies are problem-solvers who aim to protect our natural environment while navigating economic, technological and environmental challenges.
Youth and Community Studies - This is a great major for students interested in working with kids, teens and young adults outside a traditional classroom setting, and allows students to specialize in Early Childhood, Special Populations, Coaching, or Youth and Social Services.
Health and Society - With courses taught by faculty in the Colleges of Natural Sciences, Education, Communications and the LBJ School of Public Affairs, Health and Society lends itself to careers in healthcare and public health education.
Arts and Entertainment Technologies - A relatively new major that blends creative expression with technological innovation, AET offers emphases in Music and Sound, Game and Mobile Media Applications, and New Performance Technologies.
Communication and Leadership - A good fit for strong communicators and big-picture thinkers, this major aims to produce effective and ethical future leaders in public service, non-profits, and business.
All of these majors have something in common: they’re interdisciplinary! Interdisciplinary degrees allow students to frame their interests through multiple academic perspectives, producing versatile graduates ready for a range of career fields, graduate programs and professional schools. I encourage you to uncover more “hidden gem” majors by exploring with Wayfinder, a tool offered by UT Austin’s School of Undergraduate Studies.