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Clothing Design Schools and Colleges in the U.S.

Clothing design programs are part of both 2- and 4-year colleges. When selecting a school for clothing design, students often take into account the types of degree program offered, specializations within clothing design, the institution type and costs.

Clothing design schools offer programs under a variety of names, including apparel and textile design, fashion design and clothing design. Students will gain the opportunity to focus their studies in the area of fashion that most interests them over the course of the program.

10 Schools with Clothing Design Programs

Many schools offer programs suitable for students interested in studying clothing design. The following are ten such schools, with tuition and fees provided by the National Center for Education Statistics.

College/University Location Institution Type Degrees Offered In-state Undergraduate Tuition (2015-2016)*
University of Minnesota - Twin Cities Minneapolis, MN 4-year, Public Bachelor's, Master's, Doctoral $13,790
Houston Community College System Houston, TX 2-year, Public Certificate, Associate's $1,632 in-district, $3,360 in-state
Michigan State University East Lansing, MI 4-year, Public Bachelor's $13,560
City College of San Francisco San Francisco, CA 2-year, Public Certificate, Associate's $1,598
University of North Texas Denton, TX 4-year, Public Bachelor's $9,730
American River College Sacramento, CA 2-year, Public Associate's $1,104
Santa Ana College Santa Ana, CA 2-year, Public Certificate, Associate's $1,142
Virginia Commonwealth University Richmond, VA 4-year, Public Bachelor's $12,772
Santa Monica College Santa Monica, CA 2-year, Public Certificate, Associate's $1,136
Mt. San Antonio College Walnut, CA 2-year, Public Certificate, Associate's $1,348

Source: *National Center for Education Statistics

School Selection Criteria

Consider the following when looking for clothing design schools:

  • 2-year programs are more suited to those interested in tailoring mechanics and garment construction, while students interested in more complex style and design elements of clothing should enroll in a 4-year program.
  • Not all schools offer courses in areas related to fashion design, such as jewelry and accessory design, so students should check that a school's curriculum covers their area of interest.
  • Students seeking a career in retail or management should ensure that the school offers courses in merchandising.
  • Clothing design degree programs at 2-year schools are often less expensive than 4-year programs, and students should take into account lab or facility fees, equipment fees and material costs as these vary by school.

A fashion design program can be an excellent introduction to the business and mechanics of designing clothes, preparing students to find work in a very wide-reaching industry. Fashion design programs may include some basic business and marketing courses, in addition to coursework on style and design techniques.

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