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The Mass Media

Most underrated majors

Compilation of UMass Boston undergraduate programs. Photo provided by UMass Boston.

Early in your college career, you may often find yourself considering changing majors or declaring a major after being undeclared. While this may be a stressful process, it doesn’t have to be. Of course, you can pick a popular major such as Biology, Marketing, Psychology or IT, but you might find yourself in a very popular and broad major. Although many of the most popular majors offer lucrative careers once you graduate, many lesser-known majors offer the chance to study some very interesting topics. Additionally, these lesser-known majors often offer very interesting career choices. These underrated majors are typically in specific disciplines that provide very unique career opportunities. For this article, I will only be discussing majors offered at UMass Boston.

Underrated majors often have super interesting fields and allow you to pursue something different. For this article, I will be discussing two majors I find to be very underrated. The first is criminology. I find criminology to be extremely underrated because students often think criminology students must go and work in the criminal justice system and interact with criminals. While that is the case for some criminology students, many of those who pursue criminology find themselves in highly prestigious fields, such as criminal justice or criminal psychology. The second major I will be looking at will be communication. Communication is often slandered as an “easy” major due to its seemingly easy course requirements. However, communication provides students with skills that are extremely valuable, such as writing and public speaking. These skills are critical in the fields of law, business and marketing. Communication majors often pursue careers that require excellent communication ability.


Criminology is defined as the study of crime and criminals. Criminology is often overlooked because many jobs that value this degree often come with a great deal of stress and anxiety. Dealing with criminals is often involved with highly stressful and dangerous situations. But criminology is not only limited to dealing with actual criminals or analyzing actual crimes. Criminologists can study criminal psychology or study hypothetical crimes in an attempt to prevent them before they even occur. Those who study criminology can go to law school and become criminal defense attorneys or public defenders. Although criminology is often seen as a dangerous field to pursue, the work they do is critical in maintaining a civil society.


In any career, the ability to communicate effectively, concisely and properly is critical whether you’re a doctor, professor or accountant. That’s why communications majors often practice presentations, interviews and writing as a way to improve their overall communication abilities. As the name of the major suggests, communication majors are trained in effective communication and often enter into broadcasting, journalism, business, politics and law. Communication majors spend hours perfecting how they speak, write and present information which makes communication one of the broadest majors. Communication majors can write effectively and convincingly, making them extremely valuable in the fields of law, journalism and business.

Majors are often clouded with mystery, and you might not truly understand what your major implies until you enter the later classes within that major. As such, it’s important to make a well-educated decision regarding what you want to study. Don’t forget, you may need to change your major early on in your college years. Most college students change their major at least once during college. You must make an informed decision before you dive into any one major. Read reviews, look at median salary for majors you are interested in and look at required courses; all of these will help you make an informed decision. 

Picking a major is usually surrounded by misconceptions and the stigma around certain majors. When it comes down to it, majors are just a gateway into the professional world. Pick a major you would enjoy, succeed in, and one that contains content you would be comfortable doing for a living. Picking a major is not the end of the world. However, be sure to remember that jobs often look for students with a range of majors and not just one. As always, don’t be too worried and pick the major that is right for you, not a major someone pressured you to go into.

About the Contributor
Matthew Reiad, Opinions Editor