8 Majors That You Didn't Know IU Offered

You’ve probably heard all about IU’s renowned business, journalism, and foreign language degrees, but what about majors like computational linguistics or outdoor recreation? Here are some of IU’s hidden gems of majors, which prove that there’s truly something here for everyone. 

Game Design

School: The Media School (College of Arts and Sciences) 
Degree: Bachelor of Science 
What you’ll learn: How to combine storytelling and illustration with modern technology to design riveting virtual realities. 
Why it’s so cool: If you’re a video game buff who dreams of working for a cutting-edge tech company, this is the major for you. The Game Design major includes a three-semester intensive workshop where you develop and publish your own game—modeled after working game studios! 

For more info on the Game Design program, click here.

Nonprofit Management

IU School of Philanthropy Website

School: School of Public and Environmental Affairs (SPEA)
Degree: Bachelor of Public Affairs
What you’ll learn: how to manage people, projects, and communication to provide services to a variety of populations. You’ll get a solid background in management by studying cost-benefit analysis, fund development, and financial management.  
Why it’s so cool: You’ll develop the skills necessary to make a real impact in your community—plus, with dozens of nonprofit organizations like Habitat for Humanity and Middle Way House just a short walk from campus, Bloomington is the perfect city to apply your classroom knowledge to a real-world context.  

For more info on the Nonprofit Management program, click here.

Computational Linguistics

IU Kokomo Website

School: College of Arts and Sciences 
Degree: Bachelor of Science 
What you’ll learn: how technology can be used to process and produce human language. This cutting-edge field combines linguistic analysis with computer science, offering critical insight into the inner workings of natural language. 
Why it’s so cool: With a degree in Computational Linguistics, you can dream big—think computers that can write short stories, or robots that mimic human speech. With classes like Language and Computers, you’ll draw together various disciplines to solve complex and exciting problems in both Linguistics and Computer Science.    

For more info on the Computational Linguistics program, click here.

Cognitive Science

 IU Human Cognitive Evolution Website 

School: College of Arts and Sciences
Degree: Bachelor of Science or Bachelor of Arts 
What you’ll learn: How to study the mind from a variety of different angles. Cognitive Science is an inherently interdisciplinary major, drawing from fields like psychology, neuroscience, computer science, philosophy, linguistics, and anthropology; as a Cog Sci major, you’ll use every tool in your academic toolbox to answer questions about mental processes and intelligence. 
Why it’s so cool: You’ll never get bored. IU’s program brings together a wide range of academic disciplines and boasts dozens of opportunities for research, so you can tailor your course of study to answer the questions that most interest you. 

For more info on the Cognitive Science program, click here.

Environmental and Sustainability Studies

       IU School of Public and Environmental Affairs Website 

School: School of Public and Environmental Affairs 
Degree: Bachelor of Arts 
What you’ll learn: How to address sustainability challenges with an interdisciplinary skill set. You’ll develop skills in communication and creative expression, data collection and analysis, environmental science, and economics.
Why it’s so cool: As an Environmental and Sustainability Studies major, you’ll get the unique opportunity to integrate the humanities with the natural and social sciences—all while making a real impact on the world around you. 

For more info on the Environmental and Sustainability Studies program, click here.


Outdoor Recreation, Parks, & Human Ecology

IU CORE Website

For more info on the Outdoor Recreation, Parks, & Human Ecology program, click here.

School: School of Public and Environmental Affairs (SPEA)
Degree: Bachelor of Science in Recreation
What you’ll learn: how to create experiences that change people’s interactions with the natural world—from outdoor recreation to sustainability outreach programs.  
Why it’s so cool: Your required classes include Adventure Education, Interpretation and Tour Guiding, and Ecotourism. Oh, and if you’ve ever wanted to get your Scientific Diver Certification or learn about Shipwreck Parks as Underwater Museums, this is the major for you. 

Individualized Major Program

IU Office of Admissions Website

School: College of Arts and Sciences
Degree: Bachelor of Arts
What you’ll learn: It’s entirely up to you! The Individualized Major Program allows you to combine your own interests and bring together a variety of disciplines to craft your perfect field of study. Past majors have included Marine Biology, Social Justice and Advocacy, Feminist Policy, The History of Rock and Roll, Medieval Archaeology, and Enigmatology, the study of puzzles. 
Why it’s so cool: If you know exactly where you want to go with your education, this major gives you the resources to get there. You’ll have total creative control of your own course of study, so you can dream big; the aforementioned enigmatology major, Will Shortz, is now the editor of Games magazine, NPR’s puzzlemaster, and the crossword puzzle editor of the New York Times. 

For more info on the Individualized Major Program, click here.

Animal Behavior

College of Arts and Science Website

School: College of Arts and Sciences
Degree: Bachelor of Science
What you’ll learn: By honing a combination of biology knowledge and research skills, you'll be set for a number of careers including education, wildlife management and veterinary work.
Why it’s so cool: This top-of-the-nation program is highly flexible towards different outcomes and includes an opportunity at a highly rewarding Animal Behavior internship!

For more info on the Animal Behavior program, click here.

Check out these related blogs:

Four reasons why I love the IU Media School

Q and A With a SPEA Major

You think you know what major you are going to be, but…

About The Author
Margaret SchnabelEnglish/Cognitive Science double major, class of 2021

Hi! I'm Margaret, a current sophomore studying English and Cognitive Science. On campus, you'll find me hosting open mics and writing contests at Collins Living-Learning Center, studying narratives in a one-of-a-kind humanities lab, and geeking out over poetry at every opportunity. I've loved every moment here at IU, and I hope these blog posts help show you what makes life here so exciting!