At the country's best fashion schools, students can enroll in associate's, bachelor's and master's degree programs in fields like fashion design and fashion marketing. Below, you'll find additional information about three of the best institutions, as well as other top-ranked fashion schools in major cities across the country.
The New School in New York, the School of the Art Institute of Chicago and Baylor University are three of the best schools in the nation for studying fashion. These schools offer wide-ranging training in topics such as fashion history, color, textiles, pattern making, sketching and computer-aided design, which are all essential for success in the fashion industry.
The New School in New York, NY
|School Highlight: Located in New York City, one of the world's fashion capitals, students at Parsons School of Design at the New School have unparalleled access to the inside world of fashion.|
The school offers two associate's degrees in fashion, an Associate in Applied Science (AAS) in Fashion Design and AAS in Fashion Marketing. Classes for the fashion design track include draping, pattern making and haute couture. The fashion marketing track includes coursework in consumer analysis, pricing and international trade, and can be completed in a traditional classroom or online.
The Bachelor of Fine Arts (BFA) in Fashion Design can help you find your voice and design style for a specific audience. The program culminates with a 3-piece collection senior year. Classes involve garment construction, fashion drawing, digital design and fashion business.
A Master of Fine Arts (MFA) in Fashion Design and Society is an interdisciplinary program in which you'll develop a global understanding of fashion. Curriculum includes personal identity, photography, ecological issues and fashion cultures. The Master of Arts (MA) in Fashion Studies has an academic focus and is ideal if you wish to pursue a career in fashion archiving, media, teaching and research.
School of the Art Institute of Chicago, Illinois
|School Highlight: Undergraduate seniors are required to travel to New York City to meet with designers and other fashion professionals to make connections and enhance their career prospects.|
The student population at this school was over 2,800 in 2016. The school offers a BFA with an emphasis in Fashion Design, an interdisciplinary program where students learn illustration, accessorizing and fashion theory. You may also select coursework that focuses your program on performance fashion or fashion as a metaphor.
If students have an undergraduate degree in another field, they can choose to pursue a 12-course post-baccalaureate certificate in fashion. The program helps prepare students for work in the fashion industry or entry into a master's program.
The school has a Master of Design in Fashion, Body and Garment, where you can create experimental fashion designs. Classes include design aesthetics, strategy and history. Concentrations in film, performance, writing, sculpture and new media are available.
Baylor University in Waco, TX
|School Highlight: Students can participate in a summer study tour in New York or Montreal, earning elective course credit while experiencing designer showrooms and visiting trend forecasting agencies and apparel manufacturers.|
Through the Family and Consumer Sciences Department at Baylor, students can earn an undergraduate degree in Apparel Design and Product Development. This program provides a wide-ranging education that includes studies in apparel design and construction, marketing and industry-specific technologies. Students can also take advantage of enrichment opportunities such as fashion shows, design competitions and networking events with industry professionals.
Top Fashion Programs
Here are some more schools with strong educational offerings in fashion:
- Students at California College of the Arts in Oakland have interned with fashion houses like Narciso Rodriguez, J. Crew, DKNY and Abercrombie & Fitch.
- At Michigan State University in East Lansing, MI, undergraduate students in apparel and textile design can apply to spend their junior year at the Fashion Institute of Technology (FIT) and receive an associate's degree from that institution at the end of their bachelor's program at MSU.
- Neiman Marcus in Beverly Hills displays the work of junior and senior design students from Otis College of Art and Design in Los Angeles, CA.
- At Philadelphia University in Philadelphia, PA, fashion design students can spend a semester studying in Rome or London, and they can attend shorter programs in Milan, Tokyo and Paris.
- At Pratt Institute in Brooklyn, NY, fashion faculty have worked with top designers like Donna Karen and Ralph Lauren, and they've had designs sold in Barney's New York and Saks Fifth Avenue.
- At Purdue University in West Lafayette, IN, students can exhibit their designs in the school's annual Spring Fashion Show.
- At Savannah College of Art and Design in Savannah, GA, students can get advice and critiquing from top fashion designers through the School of Fashion's Style Lab mentor program.
- The University of Delaware's Historic Costume & Textile Collection on the school's Newark campus includes 18th-century textiles, regional and ethnic artifacts and designer clothing and accessories.
- At Woodbury University in Burbank, CA, students can minor in costume design and create clothing for theater and film.
Students who are looking for the best fashion schools in the country can find broad programs at multiple degree levels from top universities and art institutes around the country.