Ten Quirky and Unusual Online Degrees and Courses

Published on: December 14, 2022

We’ve already looked at some of the online degrees available for students who like to venture off the beaten path (https://www.academicinfo.net/blog/2021-12-07-online-degrees-for-students-who-like-to-venture-off-the-beaten-path/), but there’s a world of unique online courses available. Some of them might not be the most popular, but they are definitely interesting. If you would like to further your studies online and don’t mind a course that might make some people do a double take, check out the following quirky online degree and course options.


Students who would like to conduct their own research projects and assess research involving people and plants can enroll in an online ethnobotany training program. This type of degree involves studying the interrelationship between people and plants, both historically and cross-culturally. Completing this training program can prepare students for entry-level positions as natural resource technicians or working in home and cottage industries that deal with plants. 


Thanatology is a rather morbid subject but can be interesting for students who want to improve their understanding of death and how it affects individuals. Unlike other degrees that deal with death, Thanatology is not about palliative care or medical treatment. Instead, the focus is on grief and bereavement issues, counseling, and the religious concepts of dying and death. Courses might include topics such as the search for meaning, crime victims, crisis counseling, metaphysics, and more. Students who complete a degree in Thanatology often pursue careers in funeral homes, hospitals, hospices, churches, and non-profit organizations. 


Students interested in the question of whether or not there is life elsewhere in the universe can try out an Astrobiology graduate certificate program to find some answers. Astrobiology is an interdisciplinary field that combines aspects of astronomy, biology, chemistry, geosciences, and physics. It explores the origin, evolution, and possible distribution of life outside of earth. Courses may include orbital mechanics, microbial ecology, physics of planets, molecular evolution, radiative processes, and the origin of complex life. Astrobiology is a relatively new and niche field compared to long-established fields like astronomy and planetary sciences. Still, it can lead to careers in research, lecturing, press offices, science policymaking, and more.

Floral Design

Floral design is a competitive field, and students who want to pursue this career can benefit from studying it online. Floral design degrees and courses also contain more than just knowledge on how to cut and arrange flowers like a professional. Students will also learn the history of floral design and the business skills needed when working in the industry and gain familiarity with the tools of the trade. In the process, they can develop their own style and hone their skills in making arrangements suitable for weddings, funerals, romantic occasions, and more. 

Packaging Science

A degree in packaging might be a good fit for students who want to do more than think outside the box. Virtually everything that is purchased comes with some packaging, and the process involves a lot more than people might think. Most institutions that offer courses and degrees in packaging recommend that students have strong science and math backgrounds if they want to achieve success. Students learn about the intricacies of packaging design, materials, polymers, and distribution. Some courses also offer an emphasis on specific areas, such as materials, food, and health care packaging, package design and graphics, and distribution, transportation, and engineering technology. 


Everyone loves a good story, but it is actually possible to pursue a degree in digital media and storytelling. This type of course teaches students what makes a compelling story and how to create professional messages and stories. Storytelling degrees also help students evaluate and critically assess information and its credibility. Since students can hone their techniques to engage and inform audiences, it is an excellent degree for anyone interested in publishing, journalism, communications, public relations, marketing, advertising, design, and other creative industries. Some online storytelling degree programs also allow students to choose whether they want to specialize in public relations or digital storytelling. 


Students with excellent statistical and analytical skills and a passion for testing, measurements, and assessments are ideally suited for a psychometrics degree. It is a field of psychology that is devoted to these disciplines. Therefore, psychometrics degrees are generally aimed at individuals employed within the educational, mathematics, and psychological communities, such as administrators, teachers, policymakers, etc.). 

Archival Studies

Archival studies is a great field for students who love keeping things neat and organized. Archival studies used to focus on the curation of archives containing anything from historical documents or photographs to diaries, analog films, rare manuscripts, and so on. However, these days digital record-keeping has also become an essential aspect of archival studies. Students with strong analytical skills and organization expertise will enjoy archival studies, and it can lead to a career in any institution possessing archival collections.

Family History Research

If a family historian or genealogist career sounds appealing, a Family History Research degree can be helpful. Online degrees in this field provide students with an advanced understanding of the principles and practices needed for family history research. It also educates them on the methods and tools used to gather information, analyze evidence and write conclusions. A degree in family history research can prepare students to work as professionals in the genealogical field or use their organizational, data entry, research, and analysis skills to work in other areas. 

Rangeland Science

Students interested in helping to manage the world’s wildlands can benefit from a rangeland science degree. This online degree program focuses on the study and sustainable management of landscapes across various biomes. It provides students with the skills and knowledge they need to tackle some of the most critical issues facing our global society in regard to natural and human ecological systems. A rangeland science degree can prepare students for any work involving soil and water conservation, wildlife habitat management, sustainable land stewardship, and more on private and public lands.

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