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D.C. may be the nation’s capital, but local universities are teaching more than just political science. Feel like you aren’t making good use of your free time? Want to learn how to cure cancer? Check out these programs that are creating some unique young professionals.

Program: Major in Leisure Studies

School: Howard University

Description: Prepares students for a leadership role in the leisure and recreational industries that educate the 21st century society on “the potential use of free time”

Requirements: 57 courses including Recreation Leadership and Sociology of Leisure

Program: Graduate Certificate in Addiction and Addictive Behavior

School: American University

Description: Helps students understand the research and pharmacology behind drug use and abuse

Requirements: 18 credit hours of approved coursework, a 3.0 average in certificate courses including the Biochemistry of Behavior and Psychopathology


Program: Master’s degree in Comparative and International Disability Policy

School: American University

Description: A two-year virtual degree program that can be accessed online and is available for blind, deaf or mobility-impaired students

Requirements: Lessons are taught from a virtual classroom and can be accessed live or by recording. Applications are global and students can join lessons from low-bandwidth areas.


Program: Major in Political Communication

School: George Washington University

Description: Students learn the impact of media on politics and public opinion in what the school calls a mix between communication, journalism, and political science

Requirements: Roughly 22 courses for the major, some taught by journalists, diplomats, and political strategists


Program: Master’s degree in Water Resources Management

School: University of the District of Columbia

Description: Combines laboratory work in water resources with policy analysis on local water issues

Requirements: 35 credits including Stream Restoration, Surface & Groundwater Hydrology, and a capstone internship


Program: Cancer Biology Prevention and Control

School: University of the District of Columbia

Description: In a partnership with Georgetown University, students study cancer research while trying to address community health problems and disparities

Requirements: 36 credit hours including some community service, research and classes in Tumor Biology, Cancer Education, Outreach, and Field Study

Illustrations by Carey Jordan