Mythology and Folklore
The #1 major for terrifying your friends at campfires and sleepovers.
Chances are, you've been preparing for this major since you were only a few years old. Sure, some economics majors can boast that they've read multiple books on Keynesian economics by the ripe age of fourteen, but you'll have a jump on those overachievers.
That's because mythology and folklore majors will have been exposed to their subject matter since they were wee bairns being read bedtime stories. In fact, those bedtime stories are pretty much the subject matter.
Okay, so people probably won't need you to explain the significance of vampires in popular culture. Also, a deep knowledge of werewolf origins won't matter that much on a resume. However, if you can use that knowledge to create something not only captivating but also marketable, then you can find a great niche to make some serious moolah.
Just ask Stephenie Meyer. We'd tell you to ask J.R.R. Tolkien, but…well, you know.
If you never put down your copy of Beowulf or collections on the occult, then you just might find yourself at home amongst the folk and myth students. Studying folktales can provide insight into some of the most beloved stories in all of human history. You'll be able to answer all the hard-hitting questions, like: Is it "wizard" or "warlock"? Why is Zeus such a jerk? And if Chris Hemsworth is so strong and powerful, why does it take him forever to capture Loki?
Seriously. We want to know.
It's also pretty incredible how the same themes and characters can be seen across cultures, some of which have never had any contact with each other. Hey, originality is overrated anyway.
People will tell you that this major isn't all that applicable; it doesn't prepare you for life as a surgeon or lawyer or accountant. It's true, Shmooper. This is like a very specific liberal arts degree, which means you'll know a lot about things that most employers could care less about. To be blunt, you're not going to have people clamoring outside your door throwing amazing job opportunities at you just because of your degree.
That would be nice, though, right?
Famous People who majored in Mythology and Folklore
- Nathan Lump, editor of Travel + Leisure, Time, Inc.
- Aesop, that one Greek fabulist
- Wilhelm and Jacob Grimm, a.k.a. the Brothers Grimm
- Adam Holland, project coordinator at Harvard
- Sir Thomas Malory, English writer
- Homer. This one, not that one.
- Virgil, Roman poet who wrote Aeneid
Percentage of US students who major in Mythology and Folklore:
Stats obtained from this source.