Illini 411: What are some of the University’s “extinct” majors?

Question courtesy of Ellen Curtin, MSW ’19

Collage of images representing extinct majors Extinct Majors which includes military tactics, domestic science, botany and zoology and animal physiology (Image by Dana Smith)
Question courtesy of Ellen Curtin, MSW ’19

A: How much time have you got? Over the past 150-plus years, many, many majors have gone the way of the dinosaurs. Some have disappeared through changing nomenclature, while others have evolved into new disciplines. Here are a few of my favorites: mining and metallurgy, military tactics and engineering, domestic science, zoology and animal physiology, botany and vegetable physiology, athletic coaching, public utilities, economic entomology, mental and moral philosophy, and, last but certainly not least, civil polity. As in, “Cornelius never forgot the look on his father’s face when he told him he wanted to major in civil polity.”

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