Unique majors only found in Florida

Jackson Daniels, Staff Writer

Chemistry, computer science, and communications are all common majors offered at universities around the nation, but what about those who don’t want to follow the conventional path? In Florida, there are many unique college degrees that you can acquire, here are just a few of them.


Bachelor of Science in Citrus and Horticultural studies at Florida Southern College

Requirements: With a 50 percent acceptance rate, Florida Southern College is looking for academically ambitious students with at least a 3.7 GPA. Students may apply test-optional, but the average SAT is between 1120 and 1260 (ACT 24 – 29). Florida Southern’s application can be found both on the Common App and Coalition App.

Program Information: Located in Lakeland Florida, Florida Southern is right in the center of citrus country, allowing students to receive a hands-on and industry-driven education. Focusing on biology, chemistry, and crop production, this degree is only found at Florida Southern College where students can expect to take classes like CIT 4303: Citrus Pest and Disease Management which “examines the insects, mites, and nematodes affecting citrus, as well as fungal, bacterial, and viral diseases of the crop, as well as current methods of managing these problems in a commercial production environment.” In addition, students may select a concentration in business, biotechnology, citrus, or pre-graduate studies.

Career Prospects: Florida’s citrus and horticultural industry generates billions of dollars annually. According to the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services, Florida produces 51 percent of the United States’ oranges and 40 percent of its grapefruit. The average yearly salary for a Horticulturist is between $49,499 and $85,288. 


Associate in Applied Science in Diving Business and Technology at The College of the Florida Keys

Requirements: Situated only five miles from the only living coral reef in North America, The College of the Florida Keys is a public community college in Stock Island, Florida. Students can apply directly on their admissions website and test scores are not required for admissions.

Program Information: The Lockwood School of Diving and Underwater Technology offers students the opportunity to learn directly in the field as they have access to a nearby coral reef and a 40-foot deep dive training lagoon facility. To obtain this degree, students must earn 62 credits from the categories of general education, core requirements, and electives. According to The College of the Florida Keys website, “Completion of this degree will prepare students to manage dive businesses in retail sales, rentals, and equipment repair.” Students can expect to take courses such as MKA 2621: The Business of Diving and MTE 1811: Basic Seamanship. In addition to coursework, students will also have access to obtaining a variety of industry certifications such as a PADI Rescue Diver, DAN Diving Emergency Management Provider, or AUP Repair Technician.

Career Prospects: There is a wide range of careers that recipients of an AAS in Diving Business Technology can work towards, such as a professional dive instructor, public safety diver, diving medical technician, professional research diver, and many more. According to CareerExplorer, the average salary of a diver in Florida is $38,700, 5th in the nation. Between 2016 to 2026, it is expected that the commercial diver job market will grow by 9.8%.


Bachelor of Business Administration in Family Enterprise Management at Stetson University

Requirements: Stetson University has an acceptance rate of 81 percent. Applicants can apply using Stetson University’s Application or the Common App and are expected to have around a 3.84 GPA. Test scores are optional, but most admitted applicants have an SAT score between 1100 and 1285 (ACT 23-29). Additionally, admissions are rolling, meaning that applications are evaluated as they are received rather than on one set deadline. Students must also pay a $50 application fee.

Program Information: The Family Enterprise Management major is catered towards students who seek to manage their family’s existing business and to students interested in becoming a family business adviser. Upon completion of this degree, students will have a better understanding of company operations, family foundation management, consulting, legal services, and financial advising. There are a wide range of courses students may take, such as FENT 235: Foundations of Family Enterprises and FENT 350: Cross-Cultural Negotiation and Conflict Resolution.

Career Prospects: According to Stetson University, “family businesses generate more than 50% of global GDP and contribute to the creation of 60% of all new jobs.” Students often become managers, employees, and advisers of family enterprises with this degree and could earn an estimated average annual salary of $70,000.


Bachelor of Arts in Maritime Studies at the University of West Florida

Requirements: The University of West Florida is a public university in Pensacola with an acceptance rate of 58 percent. This school does require applicants to submit test scores and the middle 50% of admitted students have a SAT between 1060 and 1240 (ACT 21-27) as well as a GPA between 3.6 and 4.2. UWF’s application can be completed directly on their website or on the Common App and students must pay a $30 application fee to submit.

Program Information: If you’re interested in understanding and managing maritime environments, UWF’s Maritime studies is the right program for you. Students study through five primary and interdisciplinary fields of anthropology and archaeology, environmental studies, history, government, and biology. Maritime students will have the opportunity to take a wide variety of courses such as ANT 3137: Shipwreck Archaeology and EVR 4035: Environmental Law. This program also offers field experiences and internships such as HIS 4955: Overseas and Field Study in History.

Career Prospects: Per the University of West Florida’s website, “The maritime industry is a major global employer with many opportunities in many areas. The marine environment covers 71% of the Earth and continued technology advancement has increased pressure on its resources.” Graduates of this degree often become Environmental consultants, maritime attorneys, harbor managers, marine vessel managers, and tourism developers. The average annual salary of a maritime industry worker is estimated to be $60,045.


Bachelors in Hospitality Management with a specialized track in theme park and attractions management at the University of Central Florida

Requirements: The University of Central Florida is the nation’s largest public university by student enrollment with a total student body of about 71,000. This school has an acceptance rate of 45% and expects applicants to have around a 3.8 GPA and 1330 SAT (ACT 29). Similar to Stetson University, The University of Central Florida follows a rolling admissions policy.

Program Information: The theme park capital of the world is located in Orlando, Florida and it is home to eight major theme parks, four water parks, and dozens of other smaller attractions. Located in Orlando, the University of Central Florida has developed the world’s only theme park and attraction management program inside the Rosen College of Hospitality Management. Some of the main courses in the curriculum include HFT 4614: Risk Management in Theme Parks and Attractions and HFT 4795: Entertainment Arts and Events.

Career Prospects: Those specialized in theme parks and hospitality typically work as managers, consultants, and researchers. The average annual salary of an amusement park manager in Florida is around $60,000.