Money doesn’t buy happiness — but the right college degree program can. Research into the mental health of students in different degree fields has uncovered that certain programs are almost certain to make you feel happier and more relaxed than other fields, and not just during a student’s time at school. If you are eager to invest in a degree that continues to improve your mood for the rest of your life, you might enroll in one of the following bachelor degree programs:
Though humanities majors are often confronted with the irksome question, “What will you do for work?” it seems that students focused on humanities degrees are some of the happiest on campus. Humanities degrees encompass a variety of studies of the human world, from English language and literature to history and geography, philosophy and religion, law, archaeology and anthropology, arts, modern languages and more. Many humanities studies confront questions about what it means to be happy and how true happiness is achieved, which is perhaps why this degree field is the one most likely to bring joy to students now and into the future.
Sports and Exercise Science
The human body needs regular movement for proper regulation. In fact, one of the first and best treatments for mental disease is an exercise regimen. Thus, it makes sense that students committed to understanding the physical needs of the human body are often quite contended on college campuses. Certain exercises allow the body to release endorphins that elevate the mood immediately and improve emotional outlook in the long term. Students who are so committed to sports and exercise science that they pursue a degree in the field will likely maintain healthy physical habits, thus all but guaranteeing themselves happiness.
Perhaps a surprising degree on this list, engineering consistently ranks among the happiest degrees — primarily for the job security and high salary awaiting students after graduation. There are all sorts of engineering disciplines for students to explore to find a field that they feel passionate about and capable in. Though engineering programs can be competitive and require exceedingly complex knowledge and skill, students who are committed to engineering are able to find happiness while they pursue their degrees and for decades after.
The natural sciences are a field of study focused on understanding phenomena of the natural world. Some examples of natural sciences include chemistry, physics, biology and geology, though each of these can be further divided into myriad disciplines and specializations. Often, students study the natural sciences because they already feel passionately about them, which means every course offers them more opportunities to explore their passion and refine a skill they know and enjoy. Like the humanities, there are not always clear career pathways for students in the natural sciences, but that does not stop them from experiencing happiness in their studies.
It makes sense that one of the most popular degree programs is also among the most fascinating. A bachelor’s degree in psychology provides students with unique insight into the workings of the human mind, which remains one of the most powerful and mysterious organic tools in the universe. Psychology is a relatively young field, which means there is still plenty of opportunity for students to experiment and innovate new theories to explain human thought, emotion and behavior. When it comes to achieving happiness, psychology students have decades of research to utilize as blueprints, so they are more likely to develop healthy mental and emotional patterns during and after their degree program.
Arts and Design
Humans have been creating art for far longer than we have been practicing math, pursuing scientific inquiry or writing down histories and laws. There are many theories regarding humankind engages in artistic endeavors, but many art students have a clear and easy answer: joy. Making art involves expressing oneself, and that act can bring balance that leads to a profound and lasting happiness. What’s more, because creativity is often lacking in more career-oriented degree fields, there are plenty of opportunities for success in arts and design after graduation.
Plenty of students in degree programs outside of these six experience happiness — just not to the extent of students pursuing degrees in the above fields. If you don’t know what you want to do but you do know you want to be happy, enrolling in one of the above degree programs is a safe choice.