Underground majors that we liked before it was cool

Now that you are in college, you are likely overwhelmed by the myriad life-altering decisions you have to make at this crucial time of your life. At the top of this list is picking a major, which is not a minor undertaking (picking your minor is pretty major, too).

Here are five niche majors to keep in mind when making your major, not minor, major pick.


Fermentation Science and Technology:

While many college students pretend to major in beer, personally researching the subject every weekend in an over-capacity apartment by meticulously analyzing the urine finish of a canned Pabst Blue Ribbon, Colorado State University now offers a legitimate fermentation major for those who are more serious about the craft (pun intended). In fact, this new program offers much more than education on how to brew beer. The program focuses on the science of fermentation related to a variety of foods and beverages and provides hands-on experience with fermentation of cheeses, teas, meats and,of course, beer.

Fun Fact: Two new breweries on campus will be used for research for this major, including the new brewery in the Lory Student Center where new brews will be served to students through Ramskeller.

Apparel and Merchandising:

You told your parents you want to study shopping and clothes in college, they laughed at you, but now you can hone your skills in marketing, design and fashion. The apparel and merchandising major offers students a serious opportunity to turn a passion for fashion into a career. The major prepares students for careers in textile design, retail management, sales, quality control and many other apparel and merchandising fields. If nothing else, it offers students an opportunity to prove their parents wrong, and what is more gratifying than that?

Fun Fact: According to their website, “In both retail management programs as well as design and product development positions, a bachelor’s degree is required for promotion to upper level positions.” If you want a future in the apparel and merchandising industry, it is important to graduate and this program will provide the education, training and tools to succeed in the field.


The unexamined major is not worth pursuing. Socrates said that. Or maybe it was The Black Keys. Black Eyed Peas? Black Sabbath?

What is important is this major will tackle moral and existential quandaries and have you asking questions like what is reality? What is the purpose of existence and why is the Lory Student Center still under construction? These are all unanswerable questions, but it is our inherent duty as humans to examine the unanswerable and practice our natural cognitive advantages over all other species.

Fun Fact: Philosophy majors go on to careers in management, politics, law, theology and other diverse fields. Philosophy majors also go on to impress girls at parties with deep conversational skills, thought provoking encounters and an overall complex demeanor.


So you think you can dance? According to the major’s website, “To be placed into the dance program major, students should have professional quality dance training in both ballet and modern technique, be at the intermediate technical level and have a fitness level which can withstand rigorous daily work throughout the semester.” This major is not designed for the casual performers and the robot move that you break out at parties will not make the cut. In fact, stop doing the robot all together, find a new move. This major provides students with the instruction and training to pursue a career in art of dance, and while it is not Black Swan, it is a competitive program so only those who can really bust-a-move make it in.

Fun Fact: The dance program, as well as other performing arts programs, perform shows at the University Center for the Arts all year.

Metalsmithing and Jewelry:

The majority element group of the periodic table, the prevalent structural component of modern architecture and the polarizing music genre, metal is an ironclad staple of society. Let’s get down to brass tacks, the metalsmithing and jewelry major at CSU provides students with technical training that enables metal enthusiasts the education necessary to pursue a future in the art of metal craft. Alloy me to explain, metalsmithing is a major in the art department and classes range from technique courses to lessons on historical and contemporary practices. This is the gold-standard for hands-on metal training, so if metal is your passion, any other major will foil your dreams. Don’t tarnish your metal obsession with any other major ore you will regret it.


Fun Fact: Steel not convinced? Capstone projects require students to create a unique body of work and participation in required exhibitions which will help establish students professionally.

Collegian Staff Reporter Danny Bishop can be reached at entertainment@collegian.com.

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