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Danny O'Brien's Academic Prospectus

When Danny O’Brien transfers, he’ll be taking advantage of a little NCAA rule that’s become less and less obscure in recent years. That rule allows any student-athlete who’s already completed his undergraduate degree to transfer to a school without having to sit out a year, as long as he works towards a graduate degree that isn’t offered at his old school.

Jeremiah Masoli took advantage of the Parks and Recreation program that Ole Miss offers, and Russell Wilson worked towards a degree in Educational Leadership. Now, there is a difference in this situation; Wilson and Masoli were at their respective schools for less than a year while leading their football teams as hired guns. Danny O’Brien, on the other hand, will have two years at his future school, which is plenty of time to earn a masters in any of a number of programs.

Problem is, Maryland’s a pretty big school too and offers a ton of postgraduate degrees, so in order to find one that only Penn State offers, we might have to get a bit creative. Now, this is by no means a comprehensive list, but Danny, if you’re reading this, here are some suggestions for what you could study while at the helm of this Penn State football program.

Molecular Toxicology

Sample Courseload:

  • Regulation of Cellular and Systemic Energy Metabolism.
  • Gastrointestinal and Immunomodulatory Therapeutics

All the scouts are slobbering over Andrew Luck because he was an architectural engineering major. He’s about to become the #1 pick in the NFL draft. Don’t you want to one-up him? Molecular Toxicology, baby. I don’t even understand the course names. Handle this, and they’ll know you can handle any NFL playbook.


Sample Courseload:

  • Hydropedology
  • Spectropic Analysis

Getting a masters in one hard science isn't cool. You know what's cool? Getting a masters in three hard the same time.

College Student Affairs

Sample Courseload:

  • College Student Environments
  • Higher Education Skills and Clientele

Hey, I get it. You love college so much you're sticking around as long as you can. So why not just totally embrace it? #NeverGraduate, am I right?

Nuclear Engineering

Sample Courseload:

  • Neutron Transport Theory
  • Nuclear Security

True story: support for nuclear energy in the U.S. took a sharp downturn after "The Simpsons" premiered. Well, it’s going off the air soon, so I think America’s going to catch nuclear fever once again! [Ed. note: Nuclear fever is a serious condition associated with prolonged exposure to radiation. If you think you may have nuclear fever, please see a trained specialist.]

Asian Studies

Sample Courseload:

  • History of Chinese Thought
  • Medieval Japan

I see you’re an undergraduate business major, and Asia’s got some major emerging markets. Can’t hurt to learn a little about the continent. But you have to watch out--I hear that 30 minutes after class, you're hungry for more knowledge.

Hotel and Restaurant Management

Sample Courseload:

  • Strategic Hospitality Management
  • Beverage Management and Wine Selection

Look, Danny, I’m not going to pretend you’re not coming to a grad school to try and position yourself to get to the NFL. But what about when you retire, and want to open a bitchin’ sports bar? Penn State’s got you covered.

Rural Sociology

Sample Courseload:

  • Rural Community Theory
  • Human Dimensions of Natural Resources

When Rumspringa comes, all those repressed Amish girls just outside of town are going to need an "English" to teach them the ways of the carnal flesh. Here’s your in. Plus, all the shoo-fly pie and homemade jams you can eat!

Forest Resources

Sample Courseload:

  • Conservation Genetics
  • Elements of Forest Ecosystem Management

I don’t know about you, Danny, but I just saw the Lorax, and it hit me, deep down. With him gone, we need someone to speak for the trees, and I think you’re the man for the job. Unless someone like you cares a whole awful lot, nothing is going to get better. It's not.

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