5 majors that nurture self-expression

It’s been said that once you master the rules, you can break the rules. We find this sentiment particularly applicable when it comes to CSU majors known to encourage and nurture self-expression. After all, some of the best creatives take unconventional paths after (and during!) college, and end up creating inspiring, authentic pieces that dazzle the world, inspire others, and even start impactful cultural movements. Where do those people come from? We think they’re encouraged in their crafts and had their perspectives and experiences nurtured along the way. (Psst. That’s something we do pretty well here.) Here are five Colorado State majors that nurture self-expression.

#1. Interior Architecture and Design

apparel students sketch at design tables

Do you love the idea of a creative outlet that has a functional outcome? The Interior Architecture and Design major offers a challenging learning environment that guides you to combine your creative perspective along with coursework to help you hone your skills in the field. You can expect to learn everything from the technologies involved in interior design to entrepreneurship, visual communications, design thinking, and construction management. Along the way, you’ll study the cultural, environmental, and historical perspectives in the design process and how it influences successful solutions, and you’ll have opportunities to apply your education in multiple design settings.

#2. Art (Bachelor of Fine Arts)

An art student sketches in front of a wall of artwork

With 10 art mediums to choose from and a year of exploration built into your program, the Art (B.F.A) degree isn’t your run-of-the-mill academic experience. While you explore everything from electronic art to fiber art to sculpture to painting, you’ll also work on a portfolio that can showcase your experience and growth in visual arts. Once you chose a concentration area, you’ll delve deeper into one specific art form, and you’ll be encouraged to push your imagination, your personal perspective, and your skills to create things that not only showcase your unique viewpoint, but also challenge others to look at things in a new way.

#3. English

An english student reads a short story and takes notes

The English major at CSU has five concentrations, each varying quite a bit in terms of focus. But whether you choose to study literature or writing, you’ll spend a considerable amount of time developing your writing skills along with your ability to dig deep and pull your experiences and perspective into your work. Each student in the English major takes courses in advanced composition, poetry, and literature in order to not only read the greats but apply their skills toward their own writing, as well. If you love the idea of weaving yourself and your perspective into new stories, Creative Writing concentration might be right up your alley.

#4. Apparel and Merchandising

An apparel student pins fabric on a costume figure before a fashion show

Were you the kid with the unique style in school? Who knew your creative closet to could translate to an academic path you love with creative career prospects afterward? The Apparel and Merchandising major at CSU pushes your creative juices while boosting skills in the creative and the business side of the fashion and apparel industry. You’ll design and create attire, analyze consumer behavior, and discover how everything from textile design to product development to brand marketing can help shape cultural understanding and awareness. You’ll even participate in a student-run apparel exhibition, allowing you to experience what it takes to plan, design, and run a big fashion show.

#5. Dance (Bachelor of Fine Arts)

Dance students perform an interpretive, dramatic dance with ribbons

Don’t worry, movers and shakers; this one is for those of you who want to incorporate self-expression into their academic experience, but find themselves more drawn to interpretive expression over material. The Dance (B.F.A.) major is designed to both teach you the technical skills you’ll need to excel in a world of dance, but also encourages personal artistry, choreography, and even exhibition creation. Your time in the major will include all four years of ballet and modern technique, along with options for jazz and tap. Along the way you’ll have opportunities to dance in historical adaptations and express yourself in original works. You’ll work with other dancers, dance professors with decades of industry experience, and even visiting artists to hone your skills and enhance your own creations.

Looking for a few more options?

Check out these five majors that can lead to careers in creation and design.


Prairie Smallwood

Prairie Smallwood is a writer and content creator for the Office of Admissions at Colorado State University. She is passionate about education and exploration, and knows that going to college can be both an adventure and an overwhelming experience. She aims to create content that helps students through that journey — the wonderful, the scary, and everything in between.