Preparing for College

Index of Fields of Study

Question: I'm a parent looking for a detailed listing of all fields of study offering minors, majors, doctorate degrees, etc. Where can I find this?

Such a list no doubt exists, since there seems to be nothing new in the world anymore, and each time we come up with a great idea for a book or invention, it seems that someone has already beaten us to the punch. Unfortunately, however, we don't know where to find the list you seek, but if we knew why you want it, we might be able to suggest alternative routes to your goal.

One resource that we use in our counseling is Barron's Guide to Competitive Colleges which includes a very long appendix covering what we consider to be all imaginable fields of study, from Accounting to Zoology, and with stops along the way at arcane areas such as Apparel and Accessories Marketing , Ceramic Engineering, Hospice Care, and Rural Sociology. Often, if we're working with students who have found high school to be onerous or frustrating, we point out that a college education doesn't have to include only the subjects they've already suffered or snoozed through (English, history, math, etc.). Many indeed are eager to sink their teeth into new areas they find more intriguing--Music Therapy, Recreation Management, Wood Science--that we've culled from the Barron's book. Of course, all the usual suspects are there, too, some with a more specific spin (e.g., Wildlife Biology, Slavic Literature) than the high-school version of the class.

Another place to look for fields of study is on the College Board Web site ( If you click on "Advanced Search" on the home page and then on "Majors and Academics," you'll find a list of several dozen broad fields that can be broken down into many sub-fields once you hit "More detail."

A final suggestion for a comprehensive list of fields of study is below. You can find it in many bookstores or order directly from the College Board at

The College Board Index of Majors and Graduate Degrees

(for $23.95)

"This essential guide helps you find the colleges with the major you want, at the degree level you need. Brief descriptions of every major help you define your goals, and indices of over 20 special academic programs --such as teaching certification, accelerated programs, or combined bachelor's/master's programs -- help you explore more options."

Hope you find what you're looking for, and happy hunting!