If you’re artistic, or if you’ve ever sobbed at the thought of having to sit at a desk and do the same thing for the rest of your life, a degree in fashion might be for you. Fashion designers rely on their creativity and style every day to produce attractive, trend-setting garments for a wide variety of consumers.
A degree in fashion will allow you to study topics such as art, design, textiles, and computer-aided design. You will also develop the skills necessary to work creatively, on your own, and within teams.
What kind of degree in fashion should you get?
Consider your future career goals when deciding what kind of degree in fashion you might want to pursue. Are you interested in learning about what makes a line of clothing sell well to a large variety of industries? Think about your personal preferences and career goals when deciding on a fashion degree, as many programs will provide you with flexible elective options to help tailor your degree to your specific goals.
If you are looking for a degree that is ultra-flexible and allows you to take classes while working at the same time, you should consider an online program. Online programs allow you to continue working at your existing position, or to work your classes around your busy personal and professional commitments. Be sure to check out our list of the 50 Best Online Colleges to help you narrow your search.
How much money do people make with a degree in fashion?
Although some people believe that growth in the field of fashion is slightly slower than average, there are thousands of new jobs created every year in this field, with an expected growth rate of nearly 20 percent. Furthermore, individuals with fashion degrees tend to earn high starting salaries, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
Most fashion designers earn around $67,420 per year. This salary varies depending on the state and industry in which the designer works, with the highest paid individuals employed at wholesale or manufacturing establishments or apparel companies.
What can you do with a degree in fashion?
With a degree in fashion, you can work in all capacities to design, create, and produce your own garments and products. You will likely walk your apparel through all aspects of the development process.
You might create street fashion lines or work as a pattern designer in a textile company. You could even become a designer at a large or small fashion company or set out on your own to create your own line. You could even work in fashion marketing or merchandising. A degree in fashion is ideal for someone who loves to draw, create, and influence future trends.
What are the requirements for a degree in fashion?
Most aspiring fashion professionals only need to obtain an undergraduate degree in this area. If you plan to start your own business or lead a team of other designers, you might also consider pursuing an additional graduate degree in a topic such as Business. This will give you the management and financial skills necessary to be successful in a variety of settings.
While enrolled in your studies, you will take a mixture of courses that are both hands-on and theoretical in nature, with a large amount of time spent working on original designs in the studio.
What are the best degrees in fashion?
The best degrees in fashion are those that allow you to tailor your studies to a specific area of fashion, doing so mostly through the selection of electives and one-on-one studio time. Good programs also include a high level of professional development, providing students with opportunities for internships, cooperative learning experiences, and networking with potential employers and other industry partners.
Search for a program with a high post-graduate employment rate, as well as those that offer strong career and student development services so that you can make the most out of your time in school.
When we are compiling our rankings to determine the best degrees in fashion, we look at a variety of factors to make your decision as easy as possible. We analyze quality, affordability, value, school reputation, and, most importantly, overall student satisfaction. We use real data sources for each factor, including Payscale, the Bureau of Labor Statics, and the International Postsecondary Education Data System.
We want you to study at the best possible school for your style and aspirations, and that’s why we make sure you see only the very best institutions represented on our lists. Check out the Best Fashion Degrees below.
See our rankings methodology page.
University of Delaware
College Choice Score: 100
Average Net Price: $15,894
The largest university in the state, the University of Delaware offers over 135 undergraduate degrees, among them its prestigious Bachelor of Science in Fashion Merchandising. This program, housed in the University of Delaware’s top-ranked Department of Fashion and Apparel Studies, is just one of many integrative options in fashion and design. The university also offers degrees and minors in Apparel Design, Fashion History and Culture, Fashion Management, and other areas.
This program is highly integrated, providing students with internship opportunities as well as a vibrant student exchange program. This program allows students to experience design and fashion work at other universities as well as other states and countries. Additional core courses include:
- Fundamentals of Textiles
- Advanced Apparel Product Development
- Social Psychological Aspects of Clothing
- Global Apparel and Textile Trade and Sourcing
- Strategic Fashion Management
This campus is ideal for developing future fashion designers and merchandisers, offering a range of opportunities for students, both in the classroom and out. The university offers over 300 student organizations, along with dozens of Division I intercollegiate athletics, study abroad programs, and international partnerships. This best-value school, as ranked by both U.S. News & World Report and Kiplinger’s, is a must-see option when you are considering a degree in Fashion Merchandising.
College Choice Score: 96.74
Average Net Price: $28,596
Philadelphia University, which recently merged with Thomas Jefferson University, offers comprehensive professional education in areas such as engineering, health, architecture, science, and, of course, fashion. The Fashion Design program is one of the most popular majors at Thomas Jefferson, and affords students the opportunity to work in the award-winning Fashion & Textiles Futures Center. This center gives students access to immersive, hands-on experiences in the fashion marketplace before finishing their studies.
This program is modeled directly after the fashion industry, relying on input from fashion professionals and industry experts. Students will receive opportunities to immerse themselves in fashion, receiving access to hands-on experiences with production equipment, design courses, and computerized design. Required classes include:
- Design Essentials
- Drawing Essentials
- Fashion Design Research
- Figure Drawing
- Survey of the Textile Industry
This school is ranked as one of the top fashion schools in the world, according to Business of Fashion. Students receive access to international opportunities through study abroad programs at international fashion hubs like London or Rome. Through these experiences, as well as extensive networking with top fashion companies like Donna Karan and BCBG Max Azria, students receive the skills necessary to positively influence the world of fashion design.
University of Georgia
College Choice Score: 96.31
Average Net Price: $14,956
The University of Georgia offers a Fashion Merchandising degree that provides students with direct access to over 20 fashion industry leaders. This quality program is one of many award-winning programs offered on the 762-acre campus. This university, recognized as a Public Ivy for its high quality programs, offers dozens of programs with an 18:1 student-to-faculty ratio.
This program is heavily rooted in business concepts and prepares students with the skills necessary to be competitive in today’s fast-paced market. Classes are demanding and provide students with an overview of historical perspectives as well as current trend analysis and skill development. Required classes include:
- Fundamentals of Fashion Merchandising
- Apparel Quality Analysis
- Textile Testing
- Trend Analysis and Forecasting
- Apparel Line Development and Presentation
University of Georgia graduates are highly successful, with over 84 percent of recent alumni either employed full-time in the fashion industry or attending graduate school. Alumni boast impressive job titles such as Operations Managers, Licensing Assistants, Technical Designers, and Digital Merchant Assistants. This is largely because the university devotes extensive resources to providing students with internship opportunities with leading brands like Anthropologie and major fashion show producers.
St. Catherine University
College Choice Score: 95.89
Average Net Price: $22,519
St. Catherine University is a private Catholic liberal arts university located in both St. Paul and Minneapolis, MN. This university was one of the first schools in the country to offer programs just for women, but now enrolls over 5,000 men and women alike in its exceptional graduate and undergraduate programs. Among them is the award-winning degree in Apparel Design, which balances the artistic aspects of fashion design with the business skills necessary to get ahead of the competition.
This program is highly flexible, allowing students to pursue a wide variety of jobs upon graduation. Students will learn how to design collections and create eco-friendly fashion within ethical guidelines and parameters. Required classes include:
- Fashion Illustration
This program is unique in that it requires each student to create three formal portfolios to share with future employers. These portfolios are all influenced by the sustainable practices that are the core of each St. Catherine’s program. Students learn how to be fashion forward as well as technologically innovative. The program is industry-relevant and designed by an experienced panel of fashion experts and gifted instructors.
Iowa State University
College Choice Score: 95.39
Average Net Price: $13,623
Iowa State is a public land-grant university that offers students unique opportunities to succeed both in class and out. With over 800 student organizations and ample openings for student employment, internships, and study abroad, this is an exceptional school at which to study Apparel Merchandising and Design. Students learn from world-class scholars who teach among eight different professional colleges and countless academic programs.
This program requires a total of 123 credits, with students taking a range of classes in general education as well as apparel industry professional core groups. Additional optional minors are available in topics such as merchandising, textile science, and apparel. Core courses include:
- Fashion Products and Markets
- Textile Science
- Applications in Digital Design and Data Management
- Aesthetics and Brand Image
- Retail Merchandising
This university is top-ranked, receiving numerous recognitions for its overall value and quality programs by publications such as Money Magazine and U.S. News & World Report. In particular, the outstanding excellence of the fashion program has been recognized by Fashion Schools, which notes the program’s curricular quality and competitive edge. The fashion program allows students to focus on the topics that matter most, while at the same time developing the interpersonal and business skills necessary to be successful in the real world.
Fashion Institute of Technology
College Choice Score: 94.71
Average Net Price: $10,430
The Fashion Institute of Technology in New York City offers dynamic degrees in design, business, marketing, textiles, visual arts, and dozens of other fashion-related programs. The school offers the FIT museum that allows students the ability to showcase their work. It also operates a regular lecture series to give students exposure to current designs and future trends.
The Fashion Institute of Technology spans an entire city block in Manhattan and offers day and evening programs. Students may pursue different concentrations in Children’s Wear, Knitwear, Intimate Apparel, Special Occasion, and Sportswear. Key courses include:
- Materials and Construction
- Visual Design Concepts
- Textile Principles for the Fashion Designer
- Fashion Research and Inspiration
- Fashion Art Studio
The Fashion Institute of Technology provides students with extensive opportunities to engage in resume-building activities. For example, the university has more study abroad programs than most comparable universities, offering programs in Barcelona, Shanghai, and more. The university also gives students opportunities to conduct internships with top fashion companies like Saks, Calvin Klein, and Michael Kors.
College Choice Score: 94.42
Average Net Price: $18,219
Among dozens of other accolades, Dominican University is one of the top five “Best Value Schools” in the Midwest, according to U.S. News & World Report. In addition to a Bachelor of Arts in Fashion Design, the university also offers a program in Fashion Merchandising. Each program requires the completion of core liberal arts credits as well as real-world experiences, including an internship, the creation of a portfolio, and participation in the annual fashion show.
This program provides students with access to the most up-to-date computer-aided technology. Students use this technology to create and actualize textile prints. Most students also take classes like Specialty Markets, which allow them to investigate hundreds of clothing markets, and Senior Collection, in which they create their own unique and marketable designs. A sample of courses might include:
- Flat Pattern Design and Draping
- Design Studio
- History of Dress
- Contemporary Dress
- Computer-Aided Design
This program integrates education with experience, providing students with opportunities to demonstrate their skills before leaving campus. The university has a close relationship with the community and gives students access to local fashion shows and competitions. Fashion Design students also design costumes for all Performing Arts Center productions. These unique experiences make students proficient in design and collaboration before moving on to each larger project.
The New School
College Choice Score: 94.01
Average Net Price: $45,504
The New School, offering degrees in Fashion Design, Fashion Studies, and Fashion Marketing, has been producing talented fashion designers for well over the last ten years. This school offers over 40 degree programs across five schools, with popular fashion degrees including Fashion Design, Fashion Design and Society, and Fashion Studies. Students may also pursue Dual Degrees in Entrepreneurship and Sustainable Design.
This program allows students to gain experience in designing fashion for a complex, rapidly changing field. Students will develop skills in problem solving, creative development, and entrepreneurship along with taking core courses in subjects such as:
- Design Studio
- Intro to Fashion Studies
- History of Fashion Studies
The New School’s New York City location is optimal, offering students the opportunity to attend workshops and one-on-one critiques with famous designers like Donna Karan. For added flexibility and diversity, The New School also operates a campus in Paris, France. Most faculty members in this program continue to work in the fashion industry. Students are also granted connections with top retailers and corporations to allow students exposure to current trends and feedback.
Mount Mary University
College Choice Score: 93.37
Average Net Price: $16,576
Mount Mary University’s 80-acre campus is located in downtown Milwaukee, WI, and offers over 35 programs over five schools. This university, which was established in 1913, is home to the School of Arts and Design, in which a superior Bachelor of Arts in Fashion Design is housed. This program was the first of its kind in the state and is accompanied by a related certificate in Fashion Design for those seeking a shorter-duration fashion experience.
In addition to required core courses, each student at Mount Mary is required to participate in travel experiences to places such as New York and Paris to explore trends in textiles and apparel. While there, students also tour studios and showrooms, as well as museums and local shopping districts. Required on-campus courses include:
- Clothing Construction
- Flat Patternmaking
- CAD Graphics
- History of Costume
This program has the unique ability to connect future fashion designers with world-famous designers and trend analyzers, allowing students to get a leg up on the industry before graduation. The university also offers award-winning certificate and degree programs In Business Administration, Entrepreneurship, and Business/Professional Communication. These career-building programs allow students to integrate their creative talents with the sharp business acumen necessary to be successful in the fashion industry.
College Choice Score: 93.34
Average Net Price: $16,892
This college, established in 1871, was one of the first colleges for women in the United States. Now, although the school is still small with a population of 1,500 students, it also welcomes male students. The campus is just 13 miles from Cleveland and offers over 40 academic programs. The Bachelor of Arts in Fashion Design is housed within the School of Graduate and Professional Studies and is offered in collaboration with the Fashion Institute of Technology in New York City.
This program also grants students internship opportunities to local and national companies, as well as access to cutting-edge technologies such as the Computer-Aided-Design Lab, industry-leading drafting tables, and Wolf dress forms. Required classes include:
- Apparel Construction
- Textiles: Concepts and Principles
- Textile Performance
- Costume and Fashion
- Beyond Design: The Synergy of Product Development
Because of this program’s uniquely collaborative relationship with the Fashion Institute of Technology, students actually graduate with an Associate in Applied Science degree from F.I.T. as well as a Bachelor of Arts from Ursuline. This unique experience means that students are granted access to one of the top cities for fashion in the entire world, while also receiving the close-knit education for which Ursuline is famous.
College Choice Score: 93.08
Average Net Price: $27,686
Founded in the late 1940s, Stevenson was originally a medical and secretarial college. Located just outside of Baltimore, this school now operates three different campuses with over 4,200 total students. The dynamic Fashion Design program at Stevenson is incredibly immersive, allowing students to travel to Europe to tour major fashion capitals as well as to New York and other industry settings.
The Fashion Design program at Stevenson is reviewed and redesigned annually by an advisory board comprised of leaders from all aspects of the industry. These leaders hail from fashion retailers, studios, professional organizations, and more, and provide students with close mentoring, networking, and advice. Required classes, organized with the assistance of this board, include:
- Fundamentals of Design
- Garment Construction Techniques
- Fashion Illustration
- Fashion and Portrait Photography
- Principles of Marketing
In addition to participation in expertly instructed coursework, students will also work in dedicated fashion design studios. They have access to the most advanced computer-aided patternmaking software, as well as to two-and three-dimensional manual techniques. Students may participate in Gallery Student Fashion Exhibits locally and in New York City, as well as the Baltimore Fashion Week, Artscape, and other expositions.
Savannah College of Art and Design
College Choice Score: 93.07
Average Net Price: $40,856
With over 9,800 undergraduate students, nearly a thousand of which are enrolled in a Fashion major, Savannah College of Art and Design offers standout, student-oriented programs. The university also operates campuses in Savannah, Hong Kong, and Atlanta, with the Fashion program being one of the top five degrees offered at all campuses. This program features multiple industry connections and a body of faculty members who are skilled and diverse.
In addition to an undergraduate major in Fashion Design, students may also pursue dual degrees in Accessory Design, Jewelry, Fibers, and Illustration Design. Required courses for the Fashion Design major include:
- Advanced Survey of Computer Art Applications
- Fashion Technology
- The Business of Fashion
- Introduction to Fashion Sketching
- Apparel Development I: Introduction to Draping
This program has one of the highest post-graduate success rates in the entire nation, with over 91 percent of all alumni employed within the industry or enrolled in further education within nine months of graduation. This high success rate is largely due to the opportunities afforded to students while they are studying. For example, Savannah students are invited to attend the Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week in New York, and also receive access to mentoring and internship experiences by renowned designers.
College Choice Score: 92.86
Average Net Price: $11,693
Purdue University offers a Bachelor of Science in Retail Management with a concentration in Apparel Design and Technology. One of the few programs of its kind in the country, this degree is designed to give students access to the fast-paced world of fashion business and corporate retail. This program prepares students to work in fashion and textile design, costume design, and countless other hands-on, creative careers.
In this program, students utilize cutting-edge industrial machines and software. Studies at Purdue can be complemented by spending one year of their studies at the Fashion Institute of Technology. The university also offers dozens of other study abroad programs to allow students to hone their skills, in addition to core courses in:
- Apparel Construction
- Patternmaking I & II
- Business Communication
- Computer-Aided Design for Apparel
Purdue University is not only known for its excellence in providing degrees in Fashion – it has also received hundreds of recognitions for its value, quality, and study abroad opportunities by affiliates such as U.S. News & World Report, Forbes, and Kiplinger Report. It’s no wonder – Purdue puts student experiences at the forefront. Fashion students have access to scholarships, industry professional development opportunities, internships, and other field experiences.
University of North Texas
College Choice Score: 90.04
Average Net Price: $10,424
The University of North Texas was originally established as a teacher-training schools, but then quickly expanded to offer over 200 other degree programs across 12 colleges. The school was the first to offer the first fashion-related degree in e-Merchandising, as well as the first Master of Science in Merchandising. One of the most popular fashion degrees at this university is the dynamic Bachelor of Fine Arts in Fashion Design.
In the Fashion Design BFA, students learn topics such as history, fitting, flat methods, draped methods, patternmaking, and more. Students also receive access to the Texas Fashion Collection, which includes over 15,000 pieces of historical clothing. Required classes for the major include:
- Industrial Sewing
- Fashion Drawing
- Fashion History to 1865
- 20th Century Fashion
- Computers in Fashion
The University of North Texas has one of the most prestigious alumni track records, with graduates obtaining well-paid positions at major companies like Dillards, Talbots, Dickies, and others. Internship opportunities are pursued by most students, with others opting to complete studies in Accessories, Fashion Studio, Fashion in New York City.
College Choice Score: 89.59
Average Net Price: $19,650
Brenau University was established in 1878 and offers high-quality graduate and undergraduate programs to 3,500 students online and on-campus. This Gainesville, GA-based college also offers campuses in five other US cities. Fashion Design is offered at Brenau as a Bachelor of Fine Arts as well as a minor. With a student-to-faculty ratio of just 11:1, each student at Brenau is supported and mentored through each step of college life.
This program is anchored in both art and fashion, giving students the opportunity to study apparel design and hone their skills in industry-relevant practices. Each candidate must participate in an internship prior to graduation, and most students also gain experience with dedicated fashion labs 3-D visualization technologies, and other state of the art equipment. Required classes include:
- Foundations: Color
- Patterning and Draping
- Digital Graphic Design
- Art History
- Fashion History
Brenau has repeatedly been recognized as one of the top university in the Southeast by organizations such as The Princeton Review and U.S. News & World Report. It has been recognized for its wide range of quality, low-cost programs, as well as for providing students outlets for community service and artistic expression.
University of Cincinnati
College Choice Score: 89.34
Average Net Price: $19,978
The University of Cincinnati has received world recognition for its 308 programs of study. This campus is listed as one of the world’s most beautiful, and the university was also one of the first to offer degree programs via satellite. The BS in Fashion Design is housed within the College of Design, Architecture, Art, and Planning, and exposes students to courses ranging from Draping to Trend Development.
Students take a series of technical, hands-on courses as well as those that expose them to the business world. Each candidate is required to complete a cooperative education component, in which they work full-time in the fashion industry. This provides students with over a year of professional experience before graduating. Other required classes include:
- Design Methodology
- Art History for Design Majors
- Fashion History
- CAD Applications
- Global Design Issues
This campus is also exemplary in that it provides students with access to participate in the DAAPworks Fashion Show each year. This event is often sold-out, and allows students to display their work at various galleries of the university. Because the university is located in a vibrant artistic community, fashion design students also have the unique ability to pay visits to dozens of art galleries, art museums, and other cultural hubs.
College Choice Score: 89.29
Average Net Price: $35,817
Just 80 miles from New York, Marist College is located on an idyllic 210-acre campus in scenic Poughkeepsie. This college houses over 6,000 students and features 44 different Bachelor’s programs across seven schools. Fashion designers may pursue a Bachelor of Professional Studies in Fashion Design or a Minor in Fashion Product Development. This school is unique in that it offers exceptional student resources, with multiple internship and study abroad programs available, as well as participation in the Silver Needle Fashion Show and student organization Fashion, Inc.
This program trains students in the foundational skills necessary to succeed in the world of fashion, such as collaboration, communication, and creativity. Students will learn how to research target markets and effectively reach and meet the needs of any consumer. Required classes include:
- Fashion in Culture & Commerce
- Fashion Figure Drawing
- Fashion Design I: Drawing & Color
- Creative Process
- Textiles: Studies & Applications
Marist prides itself on offering students programs that blend traditional learning with new technologies. The school has been ranked one of the 25 Most Connected Campuses in America, and allows students to pursue studies both on campus and off. Study abroad programs are available in France, China, Italy, and Spain. These study abroad programs are designed so that students receive access to premier Fashion programs at international universities, as well as to global fashion shows.
College Choice Score: 87.68
Average Net Price: $25,597
Meredith College originally opened its doors in 1891 as a private women’s college, and now has a co-ed population of over 1,800 students. This historic campus is located in idyllic Raleigh, NC, and offers over 85 different academic programs. The School of Education, Health and Human Sciences houses the Bachelor of Science in Fashion Merchandising and Design, as well as an optional concentration in Design and a minor in Fashion Design.
The Bachelor of Science in Fashion Merchandising and Design at Meredith allows students to connect with the local fashion industry in a hands-on, relevant way. Students create window displays for retail stores, conduct fashion shows, compete in local and national design competitions, and assist national designers in product development. Key courses include:
- Apparel Merchandising
- Principles of Clothing Construction
- Visual Merchandising
- Clothing and Society
- Flat Pattern
This program is unique in that it provides students with premier internship opportunities with major designers, publications, and retailers. Candidates have worked in the past with companies such as Michael Kors, Vogue Magazine, and Ella Moss. The program is also immersive, requiring students to participate in field trips to places such as the Garment District in New York City or optional study abroad experiences in Italy, South America, Paris, and more.
College Choice Score: 86.82
Average Net Price: $21,978
Stephens is the country’s second-oldest college for women and offers several undergraduate programs for future fashion designers. The school also provides students with the option to continue on to one of several graduate programs in fashion entrepreneurship. The campus consists of 86 acres just 120 miles from St. Louis, MO. The Fashion Design and Product Development program is ranked as one of the best in the nation, offering students exceptional opportunities to succeed.
This program is unique in that it allows students to complete a combined Bachelor’s and Master’s program in just five years. Additional minors are available in Small Business and Small Business Ownership. Students will learn topics such as patternmaking and draping, and create their own fashion projects while enrolled. Related available programs include:
- Event and Convention Management
- Fashion Communication
- Apparel Studies
- Fashion Marketing and Management
- Integrated Marketing Communications
The Fashion Department hosts over 30 visiting fashion professionals as instructors each year, and also allows students to participate in an annual fashion show. Most students complete internships or study abroad, enjoying experiences at companies such as Vogue and Victoria’s Secret as well as study abroad in locations such as Sweden and Paris. As a result, the program is recognized as one of top fashion degrees in the world, according to The Business of Fashion. It also earned high marks for long-term value and marketability.
College Choice Score: 86.66
Average Net Price: $39,021
Drexel University was founded in 1891 and is located just moments from downtown Philadelphia. This large college operates nine campuses and offers over 200 degree programs. Among them is the popular Fashion Design program. This program combines art, fashion, design, and technology to create a dynamic, internationally renowned program. Students work in recently revamped studios in the design center, and are able to conduct original research and clothing development throughout the course of their studies.
This program is unique in that students are given the opportunity to participate in an annual fashion show, as well as an undergraduate co-op program that places students in temporary paid employment with companies such as Michael Kors, Coach, and Neiman Marcus. A student schedule might include:
- History of Costume II
- Survey of the Fashion Industry
- Fashion Drawing I
- Textiles for Fashion Design
- Construction Skills
Current students and graduates from Drexel are highly successful, with many going on to receive national and international awards. The university features an exclusive study abroad program at the London College of Fashion, allowing students to gain important industry connections both locally and globally. The school also offers short- and long-term study abroad experiences in Prague, Australia, Greece, Iceland, France, and countless other nations.
Villa Maria College
College Choice Score: 84.17
Average Net Price: $11,039
Villa Maria College is a small Catholic undergraduate university. Offering a student to faculty ratio of just 8:1, this school’s collaboration and networking skills simply can’t be beaten. The Fashion Design and Merchandising program at Villa Maria provides students with solid preparation in fashion, granting them the presentation, creative, communicative, technological, and critical thinking skills necessary to be successful.
This program features two different tracks, allowing students to choose their career paths. Tracks include design or merchandising, and provide students with the flexibility to pursue any career in fashion, including those as buyers, designers, and merchandising coordinators. Required classes, regardless of the program track, include:
- Introduction to Fashion Illustration
- CAD for Fashion
- Apparel Evaluation
- Visual Merchandising
- Apparel Flat Pattern Making
Villa Maria has some of the best fashion facilities out of any school on this list. Students have access to dedicated studio and apparel construction labels with up-to-date industry technology (such as a Bernina Activa 240 sewing station). Students also learn how to use My Label 3-D pattern software and multiple types of computer-aided design software, among other industry-standard technologies.
Montclair State University
College Choice Score: 80.90
Average Net Price: $15,131
The Department of Art and Design at Montclair has educated future innovators and creators for over five decades. Accredited by the National Association of Schools of Art and Design, the department offers three different programs in Fashion. These include a minor in Fashion Design, a minor in Fashion Merchandising, and a Bachelor of Arts in Fashion Studies.
This program grants students access to fully-equipped studios and allows them the ability to showcase their work in one of two university-operated galleries. Students also participate in professional galleries in New York City and New Jersey and learn from designers from all over the world. Core courses include:
- Perceptual Drawing
- Process and Media I – Surface
- Drawing as Research
- Color and Light
- Process and Media II—Space
Graduates of Montclair benefit from one of the ideal locations in the country to study fashion. With close access to New York City, students can market their newly developed skills and talents to an internationally renowned fashion center. The Department of Art and Design operates several facilities to provide students with the ability to hone their skills, such as fully equipped studios and computer-aided design labs.
Texas State University
College Choice Score: 80.59
Average Net Price: $12,647
Texas State University is a large school with exemplary Southern charm located in San Marcos, Texas. This university is home to nearly 40,000 students studying in around 200 different degree programs. This university has the sixth-highest graduation rate of public universities in the state and offers small, stimulating classes taught by master instructors. The Fashion Merchandising degree at Texas State is one of few of its caliber in the entire nation.
Fashion Merchandising students at Texas State gain valuable hands-on experience through computer-based activities, internships, travel study, and field trips. All students must complete a business administration minor, giving them greater expertise in management and financial planning before setting out on their own. Key courses include:
- Introduction to Fashion Merchandising
- Gender, Appearance and Society
- Aesthetics and Branding
- Introduction to Merchandising Technology
Faculty members at Texas State are exemplary, demonstrating extensive academic and professional industry experience. All fashion courses are heavily influenced by a Fashion Merchandising Development Board, which is comprised of the leading minds in the industry and academia. This school is also the only new fashion leadership program for minority and first-generation program. This program, called the JCPenney Leadership Lab, provides opportunities for students to visit the JCPenney Home Office for an inside look at the corporate world of retail.
California State University
College Choice Score: 80.38
Average Net Price: $9,867
This Long Beach-centered program is located just 22 miles south of downtown Los Angeles, allowing students access to a laid back beach town as well as an up-and-coming city center. The university offers 85 different undergraduate degree programs, among them multiple degrees for aspiring fashionistas. The Department of Family and Consumer Sciences offers a Bachelor of Arts in Apparel Design (Textiles and Clothing) as well as a double major in Fashion Merchandising and Textiles and Clothing.
This program is exceptional in that each course includes tailored seminars. These seminars are held in a variety of apparel design businesses, manufacturers, and textile design companies. Students also attend regular field trips to museums and other cultural sites. Important classes include:
- Quick Sketch for Fashion
- Fundamentals of Apparel Production
- Introduction to the Fashion Industry
- Fashion Strategy for Consumers
Upon graduation, students of these disciplines can enter into multiple careers, including those as designers, stylists, buyers, and merchandisers. In addition to a well-rounded core curriculum that exposes students to technology, business, and design, students also receive access to an annual fashion show, fashion tours of hubs like New York City, and study abroad at over 70 universities in countries such as Sweden, Zimbabwe, New Zealand, and more.
University of the Incarnate Word
College Choice Score: 78.25
Average Net Price: $21,462
The University of the Incarnate Word offers several different degree options in Fashion, including a Bachelor of Arts in Fashion Design, a Bachelor of Arts in Fashion Management with the ability to concentrate in fashion Merchandising or Product Development, and a Bachelor of Arts in Fashion Studies. All programs allow students to add a minor in Business Administration for added marketability and versatility.
This industry-driven, professional degree grants students knowledge and experience in fashion production, branding, and design, among other valuable topics. Students participate in the annual Cutting Edge Fiesta Fashion Show, providing them with further hands-on experience in the field. Other required classes include:
- Computer Applications
- Fashion Illustration
- Patternmaking Methods
- Computer Illustration
This university is the largest Catholic university in the state and is the top conferrer of bachelor’s degrees to Hispanic students. This university’s dedication to diversity and excellence carries through to all departments. International students comprise nearly 15 percent of the student body, and 75 percent receive financial aid. Many students are first-generation college students. As a result, the university is a leader in educating students from all backgrounds and disciplines.