42 Unusual Majors Your College Probably Didn't Offer

Rawpixel/iStock via Getty Images Plus
Rawpixel/iStock via Getty Images Plus

Undeclared undergrads are a dime a dozen, but the majority of incoming freshmen—along with most graduate students—have a firm idea of where their professional futures lie. And it’s not always in a traditional occupation. From beer to bagpipes and pot to pop culture, here are 42 of the strangest college majors and grad school concentrations students can actually major in.

1. Business of Cannabis

A doctor's hand with a vial and dropper in front of a marijuana plant
At Oaksterdam University, you can study the business of cannabis.
Tinnakorn Jorruang/iStock via Getty Images Plus

The College: Oaksterdam University

Leave it to California to open the country’s first cannabis college. Then again, considering the thriving—and legal—industry that existed for medical marijuana in The Golden State before full legalization in 2016, it really only makes sense that there would be a trade school for the cannabis industry. And one where classes in the history, politics, and legalities of the herb are taught alongside seminars on growing and methods of ingestion. But don’t be surprised if your classroom time gets interrupted by a raid by the Feds; that’s exactly what happened in April of 2012, when a bevy of DEA, IRS, and U.S. Marshals Service agents showed up on the school’s doorstep.

2. Comedy

A man with a microphone stands before a red curtain
Humber College will put your improv skills to the test.
jacquesdurocher/iStock via Getty Images Plus

The College: Humber College

Think you’re funny? Whip out your diploma and prove it. Toronto’s Humber College takes its laughs seriously with its Comedy: Writing and Performance program, which is aimed at helping sort of funny people become really funny people by perfecting their comedic timing and understanding of how the funny business works. The college uses a faculty of working comedians and puts on weekly shows at the nearby Yuk Yuk’s Comedy Club and an industry showcase at Second City—all in the name of helping students make it big in stand-up, improv, sketch comedy, and/or screenwriting.

3. Fermentation Sciences

A brewer examines a pint of beer
Cheers to Appalachian State University's degree in fermentation sciences.
Oleksandra Polishchuk/iStock via Getty Images Plus

The College: Appalachian State University

As tempted as one might be to call this a degree in beer-making, there’s a lot more to a career in suds than cracking open a cold one. The official description of this B.S. is “an interdisciplinary degree offered in the A.R. Smith Department of Chemistry and Fermentation Sciences, within the College of Arts and Sciences, intended to provide students with a strong background in chemistry and biology as well as a considerable focus in business, marketing, and entrepreneurial principles.” Hands-on experience comes courtesy of the Ivory Tower Brewery, an on-campus, nonprofit brewery and plant managed by the school’s students and faculty. We’ll drink to that!

4. Sexuality

Aerial view of a man and woman lying under a duvet
Let's learn about sex, baby.
Artem Peretiatko/iStock via Getty Images Plus

The College: San Francisco State University

A career in sex doesn’t have to come with an X rating. The M.A. degree at SFSU is an academic program more than five decades in the making, where students immerse themselves in a wide range of topics surrounding human sexuality, from its representation in arts and literature to social justice for sexual minorities. It’s academia at its most titillating.

5. Viticulture and enology

 Farmers hands with freshly harvested black grape
Cornell University offers an Ivy League education in making wine.
mythja/iStock via Getty Images Plus

The College: Cornell University

College-age connoisseurs who know the difference between a Zinfandel (good) and a White Zinfandel (bad) might be ripe for a career in wine—an industry where demand is outgrowing the supply of qualified professionals to oversee the vineyards that produce the best vino and manage the wineries that sell them. Translation: job security, kiddos! While Cornell students will face the unique challenges of growing grapes and making wine in a northeastern U.S. climate, the schooling they get in soils, pests, grape varietals, and growing markets can be easily translated to any of the world’s wine countries (and make the job that much easier).

6. Decision sciences

Feet in yellow heels in front of two arrows and a question mark drawn in chalk on the sidewalk
Indiana University will teach you how to make decisions at the highest level.
Valeriy_G/iStock via Getty Images Plus

The College: Indiana University

A Ph.D in Decision Sciences is really the antithesis of being “undecided,” with doctoral candidates at IU amassing expertise in a range of quantitative methods to make business decisions at the highest level. These aren’t yes or no questions we’re dealing with; graduates emerge with the skills to apply research, data, and analysis to solve problems in a range of precise disciplines, from finance to information technology.

7. Popular culture

Retro orange TV receiver on table front mint green wall background
At Bowling Green State University, Netflix binges may actually help you earn a degree.
BrAt_PiKaChU/iStock via Getty Images Plus

The College: Bowling Green State University

And you thought all those hours spent binge-watching Breaking Bad had no professional merit! The official pitch for BGSU’s B.A. is that “by examining television programs, movies, cars, houses, music, museums, celebratory events, holidays, magazines, and many other manifestations of culture, insights can be used to examine society presently and historically.” On a more practical level, students can parlay their studies into a career in journalism, mass media, advertising, or public relations.

8. Floral Management

Cropped image of a customer paying with credit card for bouquet
At Mississippi State University, flower bouquets aren't just for graduation.
LightFieldStudios/iStock via Getty Images Plus

The College: Mississippi State University

Running a flower shop isn’t as easy as Janet made it look on Three’s Company, what with all the sourcing, purchasing, marketing, merchandising, and selling that’s required. Floral Management students at MSU get an up-close look at what a career in floral retail, wholesale, design, styling, or display gardening feels and smells like, courtesy of The University Florist, an on-campus flower shop owned and operated by the Department of Plant and Soil Sciences.

9. Auctioneering

Man hand use wooden gavel knock for sale fish bidding
This Harrisburg Area Community College program will let you enter the workforce with a (gavel) bang.
sutteerug/iStock via Getty Images Plus

The College: Harrisburg Area Community College

Do I hear 20 credits? A first step toward becoming a licensed auctioneer in the state of Pennsylvania is completing the Auctioneering program at HACC, where students develop an eye for procuring the best merchandise for auction, using the best appraisal sources and techniques, and developing that all-important auction “chant.” Going once, going twice ...

10. Poultry science

A chicken making a funny face while running
Want to study poultry? Then this Texas A&M program may be eggsactly for you.
TomasSereda/iStock via Getty Images Plus

The College: Texas A&M

As Frank Perdue would tell you, it takes a tough person to make a tender chicken. Hence the need for an education in the science of poultry, where academics, research, and service play equally important parts in a career in this major agricultural commodity. The program’s wide-ranging curriculum includes courses in biology, chemistry, zoology, and statistics. Bonus points for determining once and for all which came first: the chicken or the egg?

11. Entertainment engineering & design

Close up of the screen of a slot machine in a row
This University of Nevada, Las Vegas program is more than just fun and games.
welcomia/iStock via Getty Images Plus

The College: University of Nevada, Las Vegas

A keen understanding of casino game design and engineering is as essential to the people who design the games in Vegas as it is to the pros who try to beat them. Which makes it all the more appropriate that Sin City is the setting for this B.S. degree, which educates students on both the art and business of the entertainment industry, from venue design and rigging to biomechanics and animatronics. Plus, students are never too far from a casino in which to ply their trade.

12. Turf and golf course management

Aerial view of scenic golf course
The University of Maryland has keeping golf courses pristine down to a (bachelor of) science.
floridastock/iStock via Getty Images Plus

The College: University of Maryland

Golf courses require a lot of upkeep, so UMD offers a plant science degree in Turf and Golf Course Management to help train the greenskeepers of the future. The B.S. program requires a bit of biology and chemistry, but there are also more enticing classes like “Weed Science” and “Pest Management.” One can only hope that the latter class includes a screening of Caddyshack.

13. Turfgrass science

 Landscape designer holds a roll of an artificial turf in his hands
This Penn State University program isn't your ordinary walk in the park.
Dmytro Varavin/iStock via Getty Images Plus

The College: Pennsylvania State University

For opportunities beyond the local country club, the more generalized B.S. in Turfgrass Science prepares students for careers in professional lawn care, sod production, athletic field maintenance, and beyond. Though the degree may sound like a walk in the park, courses lean toward the science side of the equation (biology, chemistry, and meteorology are required courses).

14. Family enterprise

Vietnamese senior man and his adult son making furniture in small garage workshop
At Stetson University, learn how to run your business without breaking the bank—or your family ties.
DragonImages/iStock via Getty Images Plus

The College: Stetson University

Countless entrepreneurs have been warned about the dangers of doing business with friends—but family? That’s another story. Some of today’s biggest corporate success stories—including The Gap, Walmart, Ford, Motorola, and White Castle—are technically “family businesses.” In DeLand, Florida, Stetson’s Family Enterprise Center has been teaching students the right (and wrong!) ways to mix business with relatives since 1998. Topics of interest include personal, professional, and leadership development and legal, estate, and asset protection.

15. Canadian Studies

A Canadian flag against a bright blue sky
O Canada, we go to class for thee.
HStocks/iStock via Getty Images Plus

The College: Johns Hopkins University

Canada looms large and expansive just north of the United States, but most of us are pretty uneducated about what the heck goes on up there. Master’s students who want to learn more about our neighbors to the north can absorb the culture, politics, and history of Canada through a Canadian Studies concentration at Johns Hopkins. This sounds like possibly the only academic track in which there’s a slight chance you’ll have to watch Strange Brew as part of your coursework. If you’re not ready to go the whole hog, a few other schools, like SUNY Plattsburgh and the University of Vermont, offer Canadian Studies minors.

16. Egyptology

Two camels lying down with the pyramids of Giza in the background
At Brown University, delve deep into the history of the ancient civilization.
sculpies/iStock via Getty Images Plus

The College: Brown University

We’re pretty sure all of the great pyramids have been discovered, but on the off chance that there’s still a sphinx or two waiting to be stumbled upon, would-be Indiana Joneses would do well to have a degree in Egyptology. Established in 2006, Brown’s Department of Egyptology and Assyriology—which offers B.A. and Ph.D degrees—brings students back to the birthplace of Western civilization as we know it with “Middle Egyptian Hieroglyphic Texts” and “Ancient Egyptian Religion and Magic” among their required courses.

17. Jazz Studies

A jazz band plays on the streets of a city
Get ready for some smooth studying.
DimaBerkut/iStock via Getty Images Plus

The Colleges:University of North Texas

, East Carolina University & University of Louisville

For whatever reason, jazz seems to inspire college music departments to start majors more than its fellow musical genres. A number of colleges around the country offer degree programs in jazz studies. These programs usually include both playing jazz and studying its history, cultural significance, and major figures.

18. Pop Music

Rihanna sings during The Concert for Valor in Washington, D.C. Nov. 11, 2014
In University of Southern California's pop music program, you'll learn much more than how to bang out the next bop.
DoD News Features, Wikimedia Commons // CC BY 2.0

The College: University of Southern California

For those who aren't classically (or jazzically) inclined, USC can set you on the path to writing the next Taylor Swift or Sam Smith jam. The program obviously isn't just about listening to the hits on the radio (although there's almost definitely plenty of that). It's a comprehensive study of the history and construction of popular music that requires the musical know-how necessary to go out and make something big.

19. Bassoon

Bassoon player in orchestra
Students at The University of Arizona can choose to focus on mastering one of the most difficult orchestra instruments.
Photo_Concepts/iStock via Getty Images Plus

The College: The University of Arizona

After completing the basic requirements for a bachelor’s degree in instrumental studies, students at UA’s School of Music choose their melodic weapon of choice. And for some would-be musicians, that means a bassoon—that 19th-century woodwind that mimics the sound of a male baritone so well and plays prominently in a number of orchestral and chamber music ensembles.

20. Piano pedagogy

Young woman watching a girl play piano
If tickling the ivories tickles your fancy, Belmont University will teach you how to become a professional piano teacher.
DragonImages/iStock via Getty Images Plus

The College: Belmont University

It may seem odd, since so many folks took their childhood piano lessons from someone who didn’t have collegiate training, but the B.Mus degree at Nashville’s Belmont University doesn’t sound like a bad career move from a stability standpoint: Moms forcing their kids to take piano lessons is an economy-resistant tradition. Want to take that education one step further? The University of Oregon in Eugene offers advanced graduate degrees in the discipline.

21. Bowling industry management and technology

A red bowling ball resting in front of ten bowling pins on a lane
For bowling enthusiasts, this Vincennes University sounds gutterly delightful.
tarasov_vl/iStock via Getty Images Plus

The College: Vincennes University

Being a pin monkey may be Homer Simpson’s unreachable dream, but you can make it your reality at Indiana’s first college, which offers the country’s only program in Bowling Industry Management and Technology. Required classes for this A.S. degree include “Lane and Pinsetter Maintenance,” “Pro Shop Operations and Instructions” and “Responsible Alcohol Service.” The program’s site proudly touts its facilities, including an 18-lane bowling center that acts as a laboratory for students to gain hands-on experience.

22. Costume technology

A man and woman in medieval outfits
Costume designers are crucial in bringing a performance to life.
sandr2002/iStock via Getty Images Plus

The College: DePaul University

Much like film editors are to movies, costume designers are the unsung heroes of the theater—the people upon whom the audience (unknowingly) relies to take them into a fantasy world. Needless to say, there’s a science to this talent that goes far beyond a flair for fashion. Costume Technology majors within DePaul’s Theatre School will explore the world of costuming from a variety of disciplines, from art and architecture to ethics and business management. Draping, cutting, and designing are, of course, part of the package, too.

23. Diving business & technology

Diving instructor and his student swimming near a coral reef
Florida Keys Community College lets you dive deep into the science of swimming with the fishes—literally.
Konoplytska/iStock via Getty Images Plus

The College: College of the Florida Keys

It’s the dream of many a beach bum to spend their days carting tourists around and showing off the undiscovered corners of their waterfront worlds. The College of the Florida Keys can get you one knot closer to this goal with an A.A.S. curriculum that merges diving science with instruction, leading the way to a thriving—and oh-so-freeing—career as a divemaster, scuba instructor, commercial diver, water-based medical technician, research diver, or underwater photojournalist.

24. Foresight

A young woman stands amid a futuristic projection screen
You may not be able to predict your grades, but you will learn how to anticipate future events.
metamorworks/iStock via Getty Images Plus

The College: University of Houston

Crystal balls are for Halloween parties. If you’re curious about what the future holds—and who isn’t?—there are scientific ways to make educated guesses. At this school’s College of Technology, M.S. students dive into the amazing world of futurism. Courses like “Introduction to Foresight,” “Social Change,” and “World Futures” will teach you how to anticipate oncoming events by reviewing transformational and systemic changes.

25. Ecogastronomy

Woman holding big wooden box with fresh vegetables
From farm to plate to University of New Hampshire dual major.
Prostock-Studio/iStock via Getty Images Plus

The College: University of New Hampshire

In 2008, UNH launched a dual major in EcoGastronomy, a program that educates students on how food gets from farms to their plates. With an eye toward sustainability, pupils study food at a number of steps along the road to their mouth to gauge the ecological impact of what they eat. EcoGastronomy students will also pick up knowledge about the hospitality industry, nutrition, and agriculture in this major. And will undoubtedly get to sample a ton of tasty fresh foods.

26. Packaging

The hands of a designer over sketches of a cardboard gift box, holding one box
This Michigan State University offers the complete, well, package.
Chaosamran_Studio/iStock via Getty Images

The College: Michigan State University

MSU’s School of Packaging offers B.S., M.S. and Ph.D programs. What does the School of Packaging study? Exactly what it sounds like: all sorts of packaging in an effort to improve functionality and environmental impact. Since we’re unlikely to revert to a system in which goods are sold loose without packages any time soon, this major might lead to a steady career of putting things into things.

27. Equine studies

A handsome bay horse stares off into space
An equine studies degree is more than mere horse play.
Courtesy of Kerry Wolfe

The College: Becker College

If you like horses, why not major in them? Several colleges offer degree programs in studying horses, each with its own focus. Some programs, like this one at Becker College in Worcester, MA, offer students the choice of concentrating in riding instruction so that they can eventually teach lessons. The University of Maryland has another well-regarded equine studies program, which covers everything from pasture management to horse reproduction.

28. Bakery science

A male baker takes a batch of bread out of the oven
Kansas State University offers the ingredients needed to successfully run a bakery.
RossHelen/iStock via Getty Images Plus

The College: Kansas State University

Smelling like a loaf of fresh-baked bread might just be the most brilliant way to make new friends. Modern commercial baking relies pretty heavily on science to achieve consistency and efficiency, and this major teaches prospective bakers and managers the cereal science, microbiology, and milling expertise they’ll need to run a successful bakery.

29. Southwest Studies

Saguaro National Park with cacti in the foreground and mountains in the background
Go west, young man, and learn about the Southwest at Colorado College.
Jay Pierstorff/iStock via Getty Images Plus

The College: Colorado College

You’d be hard-pressed to name any region that’s been as thoroughly romanticized as the American southwest. Combining history, ecology, and art appreciation, this unique degree prepares students for careers in a wide variety of fields. Plus, those who major (or minor) in southwest studies at Colorado College get to participate in field trips through some of the most breathtaking countryside on the entire continent.

30. Comic art

Pop art style woman reading a pop art comic book
Learn how to transform your comic book obsession into a fulfilling career.
drante/iStock via Getty Images Plus

The College: Minneapolis College of Art and Design

Master the serious art of storytelling, while studying the use of line, color, and composition, as well as character development, storyboarding and plot. In other words: become the next Stan Lee with this BFA program from the world-renowned Minneapolis College of Art and Design, with a dual emphasis on the history of comic art and individual, experimental expression.

31. Gunsmithing

Armory display of historic guns and pistols in a overhead view on a vintage wooden table background
Want to learn how to be a gunsmith? The program at Lassen Community College is a sure shot.
anaimd/iStock via Getty Images Plus

The College: Lassen Community College

Founded in 1945, the Gunsmithing school at LCC in Susanville, California, is the oldest institution of its kind in the United States. Its NRA-affiliated A.S. degree programs offer such courses as “Machine Shop for Gunsmiths,” “Basic Rifle Barreling,” and “Cowboy Action Shooting Short Guns.”

32. Puppet Arts

Traditional handicraft puppets
At UConn, pulling strings may actually get you a good grade.
intek1/iStock via Getty Images Plus

The College: University of Connecticut

Like something out of a Spike Jonze movie, puppetry has been an academic specialty of UConn since 1964, when master puppeteer Frank W. Ballard—who died in 2010 and for whom an on-campus museum is named—first started teaching classes. In the five decades since the subject’s introduction, the school has put on nearly 500 puppet productions, with graduates of the BFA and MFA programs going on to design and perform for some of the world’s best-known theaters, television shows, film studios, schools, museums, and beyond.

33. Adventure education

Female climber dangles from the edge of a challenging cliff
Take on the natural world with an outdoor education degree from Plymouth State University.
gregepperson/iStock via Getty Images Plus

The College: Plymouth State University

There’s a reason why the Boy Scouts chose “Be Prepared” as their motto. Mother Nature is wondrous and enriching, but you can’t just trudge up Mount Washington without the proper training or equipment. PSU’s Adventure Education majors work with ecologists, physicians, and canoeing maestros to build up their outdoor skill sets.

34. Astrobiology

The Rosette Nebula (NGC 2237, Caldwell 49) in the constellation of Monoceros
Astrobiology makes for an out-of-this-world course of study.
dzika_mrowka/iStock via Getty Images Plus

The College: Florida Tech

Is there life on other planets (or moons)? Astrobiology, the marriage of astronomy and life science, interrogates that age-old question while considering other big topics like the origin of life on earth. At Florida Tech, you can earn a B.S. in this fascinating discipline. En route, you’ll learn about the ongoing search for Martian microorganisms, discuss the future of lunar colonization, and gaze at extrasolar planets through a spectacularly big research telescope.

35. Shakespeare Studies

Exterior of Shakespeare's Globe Theatre
Shall I compare thee to a master’s degree?
LanceB/iStock via Getty Images

The College: King’s College London

England is the land of Shakespeare, so naturally there’s a Bard-centered degree program at one of London’s most prestigious universities. A collaboration between King’s College and the world-famous Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre, the course load details both modern and historic perspectives on the great playwright and his contemporaries. Students are also made to grapple with the practicalities of staging classics like Romeo and Juliet or The Tempest at a 21st-century playhouse. All the world’s a stage, but times do change.

36. Paper science and engineering

A stack of paper labeled Dunder Mifflin
"Real business is done on paper, okay? Write that down." - Michael Scott.
Kristin Dos Santos, Flickr // CC BY-SA 2.0

The College: North Carolina State University

Michael Scott would’ve loved this curriculum. As NC State’s official website explains, their Paper Science and Engineering majors “learn applied skills on our $12 million in-house laboratory equipment, including a state-of-the-art paper machine. We are the only school in North America with equipment in-house that can convert any biomass material, such as grass, cornstalks, and wood, into pulp and paper.”

37. Bagpipe performance

Traditional bagpiper in the Scottish Highlands
Carnegie Mellon University brings the sounds of Scotland to Pennsylvania.
Lukassek/iStock via Getty Images Plus

The College: Carnegie Mellon University

Located in western Pennsylvania, Carnegie Mellon was founded by a pair of entrepreneurial Scotsmen, Andrew Carnegie and Andrew Mellon. In keeping with its ancestral roots, the school’s been training bagpipers for decades. Back in 1990, CMU introduced its Bagpiping Performance bachelor’s degree program, which remains a campus staple.

38. Bicycle design and fabrication

Father teaching his son cycling at a park
The Minnesota State College Southeast program may not always be as easy as riding a bike.
jacoblund/iStock via Getty Images Plus

The College: Minnesota State College Southeast

If you love cycling, why not go pro? At Minnesota State College Southeast, you can earn a two-year A.A.S. degree that covers the ins and outs of everybody’s favorite human-powered vehicle. And hey, classes like “Physics for Bikes” ought to make triathlons way more interesting.

39. Greenhouse operations

Confident female botanists discussing over seedlings in plant nursery
Life's a garden, and you can dig it in Gateway Technical College's greenhouse operations program.
IPGGutenbergUKLtd/iStock via Getty Images Plus

The College: Gateway Technical College

Seasonal temperature and humidity extremes are the bane of many-a-gardener’s existence. That’s why good greenhouses, which allow horticulturists to control such factors, are a godsend to plant-growers. Wisconsin’s Gateway Technical College has an A.A.S. degree in their maintenance and care. Completing the coursework can open all kinds of doors into landscape management, floral design, and other botanical career paths.

40. Citrus and horticultural science

Fruiting orange trees in a sunny grove
Studying citrus at Florida Southern College seems like a pretty sweet choice.
morganvaleks/iStock via Getty Images Plus

The College: Florida Southern College

While oranges technically aren’t native to Florida, the Sunshine State has an ongoing love affair with the fruit. Students enrolled in FSC’s Citrus and Horticultural Science bachelor’s program can choose to—ahem—concentrate in a wide range of topics pertaining to lemons, grapefruits, oranges, and whatnot. Some program alumni have attained high-profile jobs within the industry, according to one recruitment video.

41. Resort management

Tropical beach resort with lounge chairs and umbrellas
Ferris State University teaches students how to lead people into lives of luxury.
dibrova/iStock via Getty Images Plus

The College: Ferris State University

Helping others feel relaxed can be really hard work, especially at a resort. Good thing the professors at Ferris State know what it takes to maintain a golf course, keep a well-stocked bar, and advertise your little slice of heaven. Get ready for a lifetime of enviable Yelp! reviews.

42. Social media

Hand using smart phone surrounded by social media icons
Learn how to put all that scrolling and swiping you do to good use.
CASEZY/iStock via Getty Images Plus

The Colleges: Pace University, University of Florida, University of Southern California

A number of schools have created Social Media degree programs in recent years (usually at the Master’s level). And why wouldn’t they? Love it or hate it, this new frontier in information-sharing technology transforms businesses, connects communities, and reshapes our public discourse on a global scale. So yeah, it sounds like something more of us ought to study.

10 of the Most Popular Portable Bluetooth Speakers on Amazon

Altech/Bose/JBL/Amazon
Altech/Bose/JBL/Amazon

As convenient as smartphones and tablets are, they don’t necessarily offer the best sound quality. But a well-built portable speaker can fill that need. And whether you’re looking for a speaker to use in the shower or a device to take on a long camping trip, these bestselling models from Amazon have you covered.

1. OontZ Angle 3 Bluetooth Portable Speaker; $26-$30 (4.4 stars)

Oontz portable bluetooth speaker
Cambridge Soundworks/Amazon

Of the 57,000-plus reviews that users have left for this speaker on Amazon, 72 percent of them are five stars. So it should come as no surprise that this is currently the best-selling portable Bluetooth speaker on the site. It comes in eight different colors and can play for up to 14 hours straight after a full charge. Plus, it’s splash proof, making it a perfect speaker for the shower, beach, or pool.

Buy it: Amazon

2. JBL Charge 3 Waterproof Portable Bluetooth Speaker; $110 (4.6 stars)

JBL portable bluetooth speaker
JBL/Amazon

This nifty speaker can connect with up to three devices at one time, so you and your friends can take turns sharing your favorite music. Its built-in battery can play music for up to 20 hours, and it can even charge smartphones and tablets via USB.

Buy it: Amazon

3. Anker Soundcore Bluetooth Speaker; $25-$28 (4.6 stars)

Anker portable bluetooth speaker
Anker/Amazon

This speaker boasts 24-hour battery life and a strong Bluetooth connection within a 66-foot radius. It also comes with a built-in microphone so you can easily take calls over speakerphone.

Buy it: Amazon

4. Bose SoundLink Color Bluetooth Speaker; $129 (4.4 stars)

Bose portable bluetooth speaker
Bose/Amazon

Bose is well-known for building user-friendly products that offer excellent sound quality. This portable speaker lets you connect to the Bose app, which makes it easier to switch between devices and personalize your settings. It’s also water-resistant, making it durable enough to handle a day at the pool or beach.

Buy it: Amazon

5. DOSS Soundbox Touch Portable Wireless Bluetooth Speaker; $28-$33 (4.4 stars)

DOSS portable bluetooth speaker
DOSS/Amazon

This portable speaker features an elegant system of touch controls that lets you easily switch between three methods of playing audio—Bluetooth, Micro SD, or auxiliary input. It can play for up to 20 hours after a full charge.

Buy it: Amazon

6. Altec Lansing Mini Wireless Bluetooth Speaker; $15-$20 (4.3 stars)

Altec Lansing portable bluetooth speaker
Altec Lansing/Amazon

This lightweight speaker is built for the outdoors. With its certified IP67 rating—meaning that it’s fully waterproof, shockproof, and dust proof—it’s durable enough to withstand harsh environments. Plus, it comes with a carabiner that can attach to a backpack or belt loop.

Buy it: Amazon

7. Tribit XSound Go Bluetooth Speaker; $33-$38 (4.6 stars)

Tribit portable bluetooth speaker
Tribit/Amazon

Tribit’s portable Bluetooth speaker weighs less than a pound and is fully waterproof and resistant to scratches and drops. It also comes with a tear-resistant strap for easy transportation, and the rechargeable battery can handle up to 24 hours of continuous use after a full charge. In 2020, it was Wirecutter's pick as the best budget portable Bluetooth speaker on the market.

Buy it: Amazon

8. VicTsing SoundHot C6 Portable Bluetooth Speaker; $18 (4.3 stars)

VicTsing portable bluetooth speaker
VicTsing/Amazon

The SoundHot portable Bluetooth speaker is designed for convenience wherever you go. It comes with a detachable suction cup and a carabiner so you can keep it secure while you’re showering, kayaking, or hiking, to name just a few.

Buy it: Amazon

9. AOMAIS Sport II Portable Wireless Bluetooth Speaker; $30 (4.4 stars)

AOMAIS portable bluetooth speaker
AOMAIS/Amazon

This portable speaker is certified to handle deep waters and harsh weather, making it perfect for your next big adventure. It can play for up to 15 hours on a full charge and offers a stable Bluetooth connection within a 100-foot radius.

Buy it: Amazon

10. XLEADER SoundAngel Touch Bluetooth Speaker; $19-$23 (4.4 stars)

XLeader portable bluetooth speaker
XLEADER/Amazon

This stylish device is available in black, silver, gold, and rose gold. Plus, it’s equipped with Bluetooth 5.0, a more powerful technology that can pair with devices up to 800 feet away. The SoundAngel speaker itself isn’t water-resistant, but it comes with a waterproof case for protection in less-than-ideal conditions.

Buy it: Amazon

This article contains affiliate links to products selected by our editors. Mental Floss may receive a commission for purchases made through these links.

Google Teams Up With The Conscious Kid on a Book List to Promote Racial Equity in Classrooms

Tomi Adeyemi's Children of Blood and Bone is on the list, and for good reason.
Tomi Adeyemi's Children of Blood and Bone is on the list, and for good reason.
Craig Barritt/Getty Images for Glamour

Google has teamed up with The Conscious Kid—an organization that promotes racial equity in education—to curate a list of books and other resources aimed at helping teachers establish more inclusive classrooms and foster conversations about racism and acceptance.

The reading list groups works by grade level, and many of them have corresponding teaching guides with discussion questions, writing prompts, and other activities [PDF]. For Lupita Nyong’o’s Sulwe, which tells the story of a young girl bullied because of her dark skin, students in preschool through second grade are presented questions like “Why do you think Sulwe believes she must have lighter skin in order to make friends? What advice would you give to Sulwe?” For Tomi Adeyemi’s Children of Blood and Bone, high-schoolers are asked to create a travel brochure for the fictional country of Orïsha, “emphasizing its positive aspects and great variety.”

The online packet also contains a number of guidelines for teachers to consider when choosing their own reading material. One helpful tip, for example, is to re-evaluate the “classics” before assigning them to make sure they don’t reinforce racist, sexist, anti-Semitic, or other harmful messages. Another is to foster healthy racial identity by avoiding books “where characters of color can only succeed when conforming to white values or norms.”

It’s part of Google’s broader campaign to amplify diversity in public education by providing educators with the resources needed to do it. Last year, the company donated $5 million to DonorsChoose—a platform that teachers can use to crowdsource funds for classroom projects—for the launch of #ISeeMe, an initiative that highlights projects submitted by Black and Latinx teachers, as well as those that focus on diversity and inclusion. This year, Google pledged an additional $1 million to matching donations made to #ISeeMe projects.

You can see The Conscious Kid’s full reading list here [PDF], and learn more about contributing to #ISeeMe projects here.