Figure out why you've got that weird thing your mom has.


We know it keeps you up at night. Wondering, worrying, wasting away on Web M.D. and Wikipedia...

"Where did I get these muscular calves?"

Seriously. You don't run, bike, or jog—you seldom even leave your bed, and yet, you can tiptoe longer and farther than anyone you know. Uphill climbs are laughably effortless for you. But how? Why? Were you bitten by something radioactive?

Well, as always, Shmoop is here with the answer. Consider us your wisdom knight in shining factoid armor. Your enviable predisposition for leg muscle growth? It's in your genes.

We'll let you soak in that homophonic goodness for a sec. While your olympian legs may be the result of excellent genetics, our penchant for puns is not.

Spiderman. X-Men. The Incredible Hulk. Aside from being comic books-turned-TV-shows-turned-movies, these works of literature have one other thing in common: genetics. No, we're not saying the main characters are blood relatives (although that sounds like a promising fan fiction topic). We're saying that the plots of these stories all heavily revolve around genetics.

What can we say? Genetics are interesting. Genetics determine whether we have blue eyes, an unsightly birthmark, or a third leg. If you want to study genetics and become a geneticist, there are plenty of career opportunities out there. Even though genetic variances and mutations are how we evolve, they can cause some issues, too. Geneticists work hard to find ways to prevent common ailments and birth defects.

Be forewarned, this is not a "C's get degrees" type of category. You'll want to be planning for a higher degree the whole time, even if you don't pursue one. A gauntlet of sciencey education will be ahead, but when you come out, you'll probably have a job waiting for you. If that's cool with you, you're in for a crazy chromosomal ride of fun. Not as fun as an actual amusement park ride, but close.

Famous People who majored in Genetics

  • George Davis Snell
  • Moira MacTaggert (of X-Men)
  • Martha Chase
  • Sergei Chetverikov
  • Elizabeth W. Jones

Percentage of US students who major in Genetics:


Stats obtained from this source.