Are you curious about earning an unusual Ph.D. degree? Earning a doctorate degree is a process in itself and not an easy one at that! But because graduate students are fueled by the desire to advance human knowledge, they carry on until they reap the rewards of their hard work. Ph.D. programs give you an obvious advantage both in your personal and professional life. Also, it offers you that incredible sense of fulfillment and, even as you don’t demand it, you command respect in your field of specialization. For all the right reasons, this academic road less traveled is your golden ticket to a lucrative career.

Are You Sure It’s a Ph.D. Degree?

That said, a doctorate degree is not only for the serious and the conventional. There are also Ph.D. programs for the unique and the unusual! Ever heard of chocolate studies? You do not have to sacrifice your passion and interest–and taste!–for the sake of science.

Ph.D. programs or an online doctorate degree, no matter how obscure it may sound, is, by all means, an achievement waiting to be earned. If you think you have an unusual interest, we got you! Check out our list of the world’s most unusual Ph.D. and Doctorate degrees and see if anything sounds odd enough for you!

If an odd and unusual Ph.D. program is not for you, check this out: The 20 Most Affordable Online Doctoral Programs in Business Administration (DBA)

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Most Unusual Ph.D. and Doctorate Degrees

Ph.D. in Packaging

unusual Ph.D. degree

Packaging saves lives. That is one of the missions of the School of Packaging at Michigan State University (MSU), the world’s leader in packaging research. The graduate doctorate program focuses on the science and technology of packaging which is ultimately aimed at making lives better. After all, consumer products, especially food, need sustainable packaging innovation to positively impact the human experience. MSU’s Ph.D. in Packaging is the number 1 and the sole doctorate degree program offered in the US. Doctoral degrees in this field may seem unusual and random, however, are of the utmost importance for everyone’s well-being.

Ph.D. in Parapsychology

unusual Ph.D. degree

If you believe that human psychology and human interactions defy the laws of science, consider a Ph.D. in Parapsychology. Immerse yourself and investigate the paranormal or the “psychic” phenomena. The Koestler Parapsychology Unit (KPU) of the University of Edinburgh looks into the field in a broad sense. Belief in the paranormal and the recorded history and accounts of anomalous events are interesting, to say the least. If you’re in this category of the unexplained, discover your ESP and investigate by opting for this doctoral degree.

Ph.D. in Fisheries Science

unusual Ph.D. degree

Do you enjoy fishing? What if you can become a certified expert in the field? Yes, a doctorate program in Fisheries Science is an interesting route that complements the fishing hobbyist in you. However, Ph.D. programs in Fisheries Science will not require you to go fishing all the time. Doctoral degree students in this field analyze fish populations and the impact of water quality on its rise or drop. An advanced degree in Fisheries Science will catapult you to a sought-after career in the fisheries and wildlife industry verticals. Oregon State University and Michigan State University offer the country’s top Ph.D. in Fisheries Science programs.

Ph.D. in Puppetry

Puppets are not just for kids; it is an art form. Puppet Arts are a combination of various disciplines. It encompasses arts, humanities, and the sciences. The University of Connecticut’s Puppet Arts Program offers a wide range of graduate degree programs fully committed to studying the ins and outs of Puppetry. UConn is a university that offers a master’s degree, the MA/MFA in Puppetry.

Ph.D. in Wood Science

unusual Ph.D. degree

As its name suggests, Ph.D. programs in Wood Science are a research field that focuses on wood and wood products. Wood Science and Technology is an in-depth study of the physical, mechanical, and as well as anatomical features of wood, a renewable natural resource with countless uses in modern society. Offered by the State University of New York College’s College of Environmental Science and Forestry, this doctorate degree includes research on the material science of wood which is a crucial aspect in utilizing and manufacturing it.

Ph.D. in Anglo-Saxon, Norse & Celtic

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Ph.D. in Anglo-Saxon, Norse & Celtic (ASNC) is definitely a doctorate degree program of choice for individuals who are passionate about the history, culture, language, and literature of the British Isles, and Scandinavia. Anglo-Saxon, Norse & Celtic is a special area of interest offered at Cambridge University which naturally attracts legions of people who are engrossed in Medieval literature and history. Ph.D. programs in this field are exciting. You will find your studies helpful to others as well.

Ph.D. in Viticulture and Enology

unusual Ph.D. degree

Put simply, Ph.D. programs in Viticulture and Enology are the study of wine. These two fields usually go hand and hand. Viticulture is the science of grape growing while enology is the study of wine and winemaking, covering an array of research areas including developing the wine palate, to measuring the amount of patience that winemaking requires. As the wine sector is one of the highest-grossing industries worldwide, you earn an advantage by pursuing a Ph.D. in Viticulture and Enology.


Do these unusual Ph.D. degrees make you nervous? Do you need a more traditional Ph.D. degree? Check this out: The 20 Fastest Online Doctoral (Ph.D. and Ed.D.) Degree Programs


Ph.D. in Safenology

Earning a Ph.D. in Information and Library Science could be every bookworm’s ultimate dream. These doctorate degree programs zero in on the process and the methodology of retrieving and managing information in any form. However, with the technological advances in society especially in publishing, Library Science has seen a decline in demandLibraries are symbols of the academic world and it is important to prioritize and preserve the knowledge in books’ precious pages–and it all starts by keeping the actual building protected.

Ph.D. in Parks, Recreation and Tourism Management

Leisure and recreation are indispensable to the human experience. It is only natural that experts invest time and research in order to study their effects on human lives. University of Utah’s Ph.D. in Parks, Recreation, and Tourism (PRT) is a great choice for students of Public Administration. Ph.D. programs in this field can be fun and exciting!

Ph.D. in Dramaturgy

Performative Arts is a growing industry both in academia and in professional theatres. Ph.D. programs in Dramaturgy urge students to analyze the subjects of dramaturgy. Most importantly, it requires hands-on, practical experience in drama and theatre. If you’ve always found acting and entertainment fascinating, find the most ideal choice for you among the various graduate programs in Dramaturgy.

Ph.D. in Educational Assessment/Testing/Measure

If you enjoy taking standardized tests and assessments, this Ph.D. degree is for you! James Madison University offers Ph.D. programs in Assessment and Measurement. They train students in opportunities to research and utilize assessment methods. Graduates play an important role in maintaining the national standards and upholding the reputation of educational assessments. Degree holders will fill and meet the demands for professional evaluation and measurement.

Ph.D. in Animal Husbandry

If working with animals and raising them are activities that interest you, consider a Ph.D. in Animal Husbandry. This basically entails in-depth research and proper training to master animal breeding. Agricultural schools offering the degree include the Royal Agricultural College in the UK. The basic philosophy behind the field is to improve the science and technology of modern animal breeding through these Ph.D. programs.

Ph.D. in Manga

  • Doctoral Program in Manga

  • Kyoto Seika University in Japan offers the world’s first Doctoral Program in Manga. Students focus on Manga theories and are expected to become professors, researchers, authors, and manga artists. As Ph.D. candidates, they conduct cutting-edge research in Manga, which has become a Japanese subculture on its own. In these types of Ph.D. programs, students also study the artistry behind every page. While it originated in Japan, international students who appreciate Manga share this type of art and form of entertainment with the world. For one of the truly most unusual PH.D. programs, check out this interesting art form.

    Ph.D. in Ceramic Science

    Ceramics is not just a hobby with origins that go way back to prehistoric times. Advanced Ph.D. doctoral programs that take progressive research in Ceramic Sciences are concerned with the process, characterization, and applications of the structure and functions of ceramic materials. Because ceramic materials show potential for various engineering applications, it requires the attention of researchers, especially Ph.D. candidates. The University of Manchester in the UK offers Ph.D. in Coatings and Ceramics with a special focus on researching the techniques used in various industries.

    Ph.D. in Acoustics

    Sound design and engineering are the backbones of a Ph.D. in Acoustics. Acoustics and noise control have scientific implications and require years of research to be perfected. Purdue University is a world-renowned center for graduate degrees. A Ph.D. program in this university is driven by the engineering aspect of the field to produce practical real-world solutions to lapses in sound design.

    Ph.D. in Industrial Hygiene

    The Ph.D. program in Industrial Hygiene focuses on contributing to the field of occupational diseases. Its goal is to conduct research on injury prevention in various industries including the environmental and agricultural sectors. The University of Iowa’s Ph.D. in Industrial Hygiene Program prepares students to recognize, assess, and control the hazards to prevent further diseases and injuries. Because of the training, graduates of this Ph.D. degree are deemed ready to contribute to the overall environmental health.

    Ph.D. in Thanatology

    Who knew there were doctoral programs that focused on this topic? The grim realities of life, death and the process of grief associated with the latter make up the center of focus in a Ph.D. in Thanatology degree. As a student of the program, you gain the training and expertise to help aging individuals cope with dying, death, and grief. Doctoral graduates in Thanatology are perfect for becoming compassionate caregivers in hospice facilities. Practicing professionals in health sciences and even in the academe benefit from the fundamentals of the human experience. The University of Maryland Graduate School Ph.D. in Thanatology is an excellent choice.


    These professional doctorate degrees may leave you scratching your head. Who knew they existed, right? No matter how unusual these Ph.D. degrees or doctoral programs are, we assure you that they exist and are available for you! Take your pick and immerse in years of in-depth research as you prepare for career advancement–all while satisfying your curiosity or having fun at it!

    And, for some doctoral students, online doctoral degree programs are often available in these fields. Busy working professionals often enjoy learning through an online degree program as they shuffle busy schedules. In addition, you may also find that many universities will offer a fully funded program to fit your needs. Doctoral studies don’t have to be drab… It can be fun as you earn one of the most unusual Ph.D. degrees!

    Additional information: The 90 Best Accredited Online Ph.D. Programs