Earning a Ph.D. 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. Earning a Ph.D. gives you the 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.

A Ph.D., 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:

  • Ph.D. in Packaging

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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 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 program offered in the US.

  • Ph.D. in Parapsychology



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 this category of the unexplained, discover your ESP and investigate by opting for this Ph.D. degree.

  • Ph.D. in Fisheries Science

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Do you enjoy fishing? What if you can become a certified expert in the field? Yes, a doctorate in Fisheries Science is an interesting route that complements the fishing hobbyist in you. However, Ph.D. in Fisheries Science will not require you to go fishing all the time. Ph.D. students in this field analyze fish population and the impact of water quality to 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.

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As its name suggests, a Ph.D. in Wood Science is 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 the 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.

  • MPhil/Ph.D. Degree in Anglo-Saxon, Norse & Celtic

    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 the Medieval literature and history.

  • Ph.D. in Viticulture and Enology

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Put simply, Ph.D. in Viticulture and Enology is 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.

  • Ph.D. in Safenology

    With the commitment to address the pressing issues associated with safety, the Meiji University’s Frontier Sciences and Innovation Program offers Ph.D. in Safenology. With the ultimate goal of creating a safe and secure society, Ph.D. in Safenology promises to prepare graduates with research and strategic capabilities to address emerging social issues. Safety issues in the environmental, systems, urban and architectural, and resource and materials sectors are of high priority.

  • Doctorate in Letters

    The top of the doctorate food chain, Doctorate in Letters (DLitt), is considered to be the most prestigious among all the Ph.D. degree programs. Drew University offers DLitt under their Arts and Letters Program. This is the ultimate manifestation for your love of Liberal Arts!

  • Ph.D. in Folklore

    Folklore is a research discipline in the United States and abroad that immerses researchers in the oral and literary history of traditional culture. It is an investigation of the “vernacular tales, customs, and beliefs that were in danger of vanishing”. Holders of Ph.D. in Folklore or Folklorists look at these traditional sources using a holistic and ethnographic approach. There are Folklore Programs (MA and Ph.D.) offered both in the United States and Canada.

  • Ph.D. in Information and Library Science

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    Earning a Ph.D. in Information and Library Science could be every bookworm’s ultimate dream. This doctorate program zeroes 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 in 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. in Dramaturgy

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    Performative Arts is a growing industry both in the academia and in professional theatres. A Ph.D. in Dramaturgy urges 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 making standardized tests and assessments, this Ph.D. degree is for you! James Madison University offers Ph.D. in Assessment and Measurement training students opportunities to research and utilize assessment methods. Graduates play an important role in maintaining the national standards in 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.

  • Doctoral Program in Manga

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    Kyoto Seika University in Japan offers the world’s first Doctoral Program in Manga. Students focus on Manga theories and expected to become professors, researchers, authors, and manga artists. As Ph.D. candidates, they conduct cutting-edge research in Manga, which has become Japanese subculture on its own. They 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 to the world.

  • Ph.D. in Ceramic Sciences

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    Ceramics is not just a hobby with origins that go way back to the prehistoric times. Advanced programs that take progressive research, Ph.D. in Ceramic Sciences is 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 of 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 is the backbone of 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 the graduate degree. 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

    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

    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. Ph.D. in Thanatology is perfect for the 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. of Thanatology is an excellent choice.

No matter how unusual these Ph.D. degrees 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!