Surprising Online Degrees

  • Homeland Security
  • Nursing
  • Culinary Arts
  • MBA
  • Creative Writing

Though you probably already know that colleges across the country now let you earn a degree online, but you may not know about some of the more surprising degrees you can get online. Many of these degrees are those that previously required you spend a lot of time on a campus. Take a look at some of these unique degrees to see just how much you can accomplish from home.

Homeland Security

The Department of Homeland Security is a large government agencies that oversees different branches like the Coast Guard. While you might picture yourself working as an agent and investigating terrorists, the DHS also needs workers with experience in administration, construction and other fields. Those working for DHS usually need some type of college degree, and several colleges now offer a Homeland Security bachelor’s degree. You’ll learn how to conduct research, the types of crimes this agency investigates and the jobs available within its divisions and branches.


One of the more surprising degrees you can get online is one in nursing. Most nursing programs have some type of clinical rotation component that you do after taking some introductory courses. Those classes teach you how to take patients’ medical histories, take their vital signs and monitor them, but you’ll also learn more about infections, diseases and working with doctors. You then have the chance to actually work in the field and do clinical rotations at a hospital or in another medical facility. Online nursing degrees help you find placement within a local facility to do your rotations but let you take your required courses online.

Related: Top Online Colleges for Nursing

Culinary Arts

If you love cooking and being around food, you might have an interest in studying the culinary arts. Available through community colleges, vocational schools and some more traditional colleges, culinary arts programs not only teach you how to cook amazing dishes, but you’ll also learn about staying safe in a professional kitchen and keeping your work space clean. As one of the more surprising degrees you can get online, culinary arts programs often feature informative videos that you watch that teach you how to improve your knife skills, prepare different dishes and clean up after yourself.


One of the top degrees that you can now get online is an MBA. The Federal Trade Commission warns against enrolling in programs that guarantee you course credit for the experience that you have in the working world as this is a sign of a diploma mill. A good MBA program may give you credit for an internship or fieldwork project you do after enrolling, but it should not give you credit just for going to work or for the work you did before enrolling.

Creative Writing

One of the other unique degrees you can get online is one in creative writing. Creative writing programs help you develop the skills needed to write compelling short stories and books that both readers and publishers will love. Online programs often give you writing prompts to help you come up with new story ideas and let you get your work critiqued by your peers and professors. You may also take classes on how to find a publisher and how to edit your work before meeting with one of those publishers.

While many people think that traditional colleges are the best option for them, online programs now offer a number of benefits for students too. In addition to standard degree programs in fields like psychology or history, you’ll also find some surprising degrees you can get online in unique topics like the culinary arts, Homeland Security or creative writing.