Colleges Nationwide Hope New Majors Will Attract Students

Published: Tuesday, August 21, 2018 - 3:01pm
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There used to be a joke that started during the Vietnam War about impractical college majors, you know, the person studying “underwater basket weaving.”

If this is before your time or perhaps you are actually an underwater basket weaver (UA offered a course in 1988), this joke was first about enrolling in any major that would have you to avoid going to war, but it later morphed into a condemnation of majors that fail to make a student employable upon graduation.

Jump ahead to the modern college era, where the liberal arts are fighting for relevance against finance, and in terms of student enrollment, sports communication is a sexier choice than an English degree. So it makes sense that after six straight years of college and university enrollment decline, colleges are looking to new majors to spark interest from potential students.

In fact, the National Center for Education Statistics says over 41,000 new degrees or certificate programs have popped up since 2012 — a 21 percent increase.

And now, we can add ASU to that list. They just added two new majors, including the very specific master's in World War II studies.

The Show turned to Bob Zemsky, author of "Making Sense of the College Curriculum" to ask, just how often are colleges adding these really specific, new majors?

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