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Fashion Design Schools in Raleigh, NC with Degree Overviews

Research fashion design programs in the Raleigh, NC, area, which currently has three schools located about 25 miles from the downtown offering degrees. Read an overview of degree programs, admission info and program requirements for these three Raleigh schools and decide which one is right for you.

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Raleigh, NC, Schools with Fashion Design Programs

Aspiring fashion design students in Raleigh have three schools in the city from which to choose. Each of the three schools offers a Bachelor of Science (BS) program in a relevant field of study, which are summarized below. To assist in the decision process, this resource also includes a comparison table with some key school facts, like acceptance rates and tuition.

  • At 3.8 miles away, North Carolina State University is the closest to downtown Raleigh. Through the university, students can earn a degree in fashion and textile design, fashion development and management, or textile technology.
  • Students who wish to take classes at a smaller campus can do so at Meredith College, located 5.6 miles from Raleigh's downtown. Future fashion professionals at this school can earn a bachelor's degree in fashion merchandising and design.
  • Another option is North Carolina Central University (NCCU), located in Durham about 26 miles from Raleigh. Students at NCCU can pursue an undergraduate program in family and consumer sciences with a specialization in textiles and apparel.

Find schools that offer these popular programs

  • Advertising and Commercial Design
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  • Industrial Design
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Comparison of Schools

School choice can depend on a variety of academic and financial factors, including school costs, size and selectivity, which can be found below.

North Carolina State University at Raleigh Meredith College North Carolina Central University (NCCU)
School Type 4-year; public 4-year; private not-for-profit 4-year; public
Total Enrollment (2014) 33,989* 1,886* 7,687*
Campus Setting Large city Large city Midsize city
Tuition and Fees (2015-2016) $8,581 for in-state students; $24,932 for out-of-state students* $33,730* $5,755 for in-state students; $17,793 for out-of-state students*
% of First-Year Students Receiving Any Form of Financial Aid (2013-2014) 69%* 100%* 98%*
Acceptance Rate (2014) 52%* 61%* 43%*
Retention Rate (2014) 93% for full-time students; 17% for part-time students* 79% for full-time students* 77% for full-time students; 9% for part-time students*
Graduation Rate (students who began in 2008 and graduated within 6 years) 75% (9% transfer-out rate)* 62%* 47% (19% transfer-out rate)*

Source: *NCES College Navigator

North Carolina State University (NCSU) at Raleigh

NCSU has been in existence since 1887 and is the state's largest 4-year university. The College of Textiles, which includes the Department of Textile and Apparel Technology and Management (TATM), offers two degree programs related to fashion design. The College of Textiles, in conjunction with the College of Design, offers a double major related to fashion design and technology. Fashion and textile students can also study abroad at schools in Copenhagen, Panama or Shanghai or participate in an annual, weeklong fashion show.

BS in Fashion and Textile Design (concentration in fashion or textile design)

In the fashion and textile design program, students receive training through classroom instruction and hands-on studio classes. The program admits a limited number of students per year, which allows for more one-on-one attention.

Students who elect fashion design as their concentration take courses in design thinking and design and culture at the introductory and advanced levels, as well as three fashion design courses and two design studios. Other courses cover computer-aided design (CAD) technology and fashion illustration. In the last semester, students complete a capstone studio course.

Similar coursework can be found in the textile design program, which also requires a capstone. Studio courses focus on woven and knitted textiles.

BS in Fashion and Textile Management (concentration in fashion development and project management)

This program teaches students how to create a variety of apparel from everyday wear to bridal gowns. Once enrolled, students learn how to use color and silhouette to design clothing for the consumer market. They also develop a background in managing fashion collections. Concentrated coursework includes topics in consumer fashion, product analysis and design, fashion development and the use of CAD in fashion.

BS in Textile Technology

The goal of the program is to equip students with professional design skills and an in-depth knowledge of the technologies used in fashion design. The textile technology curriculum emphasizes the CAD, digital printing and seamless knitting processes used in fashion design. Students take courses on subjects such as color and light, design thinking, fibers and surface design, knit fabric technology and yarn production.

Meredith College

This private women's college offers 32 majors and ranked as the 5th-best college in the South, according to U.S. News & World Report in 2016. Through the Department of Human Environment Sciences, students can pursue undergraduate studies in fashion design. The school has four fashion design and merchandising faculty members specializing in various areas of the field. Students can benefit from small class sizes and collaboration with professors on undergraduate research projects.

Minor in Fashion Design

This program requires seven courses or 20 credit hours of coursework, through which students explore clothing construction basics and patterns, fashion design and merchandising, costume history, textiles and draping.

BS in Fashion Merchandising and Design (concentration in design)

Design students complete 54-55 hours of coursework on topics such as color and composition, fashion sketching, draping, CAD apparel design and tailoring. They also receive training through internships and study abroad opportunities. Past students of the program have interned with prominent fashion brands, such as Michael Kors, and Vogue magazine in New York City. Students interested in studying overseas can travel to Paris and Italy during the summer; annual trips to NYC's Garment District and the National Fashion Job Fair in Dallas are also available.

North Carolina Central University (NCCU)

NCCU was established in 1910 and was the first public liberal arts college for African Americans in the state. The Department of Human Sciences at NCCU offers a baccalaureate degree in family and consumer sciences with a specialization in textile and apparel. Students enrolled in the textile and apparel specialization can further focus their studies in apparel design, which prepares them to become fashion designers.

BS in Family and Consumer Sciences with a Specialization in Apparel Design (concentration in apparel design)

Courses offered in the apparel design concentration include fashion buying, illustration and merchandising; apparel design; CAD and tailoring. Students also gain real-world experience by attending fashion trade shows and participating in field trips, design competitions and internships. Textile and apparel students can also be a part of a pre-professional student organization called Fashion Inc. This organization sponsors a design competition every year, which provides junior and seniors with the opportunity to display their designs.

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