If Property Brothers and Project Runway had a (very fashionable) baby.


So maybe your friends have complimented you on the creative use of fuchsia tones in your bedroom or the ingenious way you've arranged your One Direction posters (er, Beyonce posters…? Skrillex?). Or perhaps you've been designing and sewing your own Halloween costumes since the fifth grade (that carrot monster was fantastic).

Either way, you know one thing for certain: you want to major in design.

Design—both interior and fashion—falls under the umbrella of visual/commercial arts. While each major is unique, they share many of the same qualities. For one, don't expect to fluff your way through college. Design is not a path for the undecided or faint of heart.

Your course load will be rigorous and your instructors will be tough on you. For four years, you'll be drawing, sewing, constructing, and amassing a portfolio to present to future employers. You'll turn a critical eye to Marie Antoinette's wardrobe or the furnishings of the Marblehead mansion.

And you'll probably love every minute of it, you runway diva, you.

A major in design leaves you not only with an eye for aesthetics, but also practical skills. Knowing how to build furniture, knit, sew, design lighting, and create patterns for clothing will make you the envy of everyone on Pinterest and Etsy.

Competition is stiff in both interior and fashion design (as it is in any job in the arts), but there are a lot of opportunities, especially in major metropolitan areas. If you're going after fashion, shoot for New York City, London, Paris, Milan, and Los Angeles.

If you're pursuing interior design, your options are more varied, especially for residential work. After all, who doesn't love opening the door to a beautiful house featuring an interior that's been masterfully modeled after the starship Enterprise?

Famous People who majored in Design

  • Marc Jacobs, former creative director for Louis Vuitton
  • Betsey Johnson, fashion designer
  • Stella McCartney, fashion designer and daughter of good ol' Paul
  • Vern Yip, an interior designer that has been on a variety of HGTV shows
  • Genevieve Gorder, one of the original designers on Trading Spaces

Percentage of US students who major in Design:


Stats obtained from this source.