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Top School for Becoming a Fashion Designer - Atlanta, GA

Students interested in studying fashion design in Atlanta, GA, have only a few schools to choose from. Read about the top local schools' degree programs, tuition and ranking info to find the right one for you.

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School and Ranking Information

There are four schools in the Atlanta area for students who want to pursue a fashion design career. Based on degree programs offered, as well as graduation rates, the top three schools in the Atlanta area for training to become a fashion designer are Savannah College of Art and Design - Atlanta (SCAD), Clark Atlanta University (CAU) and Bauder College (BC).

  • Winner: SCAD offers fashion degrees at both the bachelor's and master's levels and has the highest overall undergraduate graduation rate. Its graduate fine arts programs have been nationally ranked.
  • Runner-Up #1: CAU has a bachelor's degree program in fashion design and offers several internship options. It has been ranked among the top 20 Historically Black Colleges and Universities.
  • Runner-Up #2: BC offers an associate's degree program in fashion design with an externship.

School Comparison Chart

Category Savannah College of Art and Design Clark Atlanta University Bauder College
Rankings #127 in Fine Arts Grad Schools in 2012* #15 in Historically Black Colleges and Universities in 2013* N/A
Location Atlanta Atlanta Atlanta
School Type 4-year, private, not-for-profit** 4-year, private, not-for-profit** 4-year (primarily associate's degrees) private, for-profit**
Tuition & Fees (2012-2013) $32,405 (undergraduate)**, $33,170 (graduate)** $19,830 (undergraduate)** $13,500 (undergraduate)**
Fashion Design Degree Levels Offered Bachelor's and master's degrees** Bachelor's degrees** Associate's degrees**
Fashion Design Degrees Awarded (All Levels) in 2011-2012 133 (Savannah campus)** 27** 13**
Most Popular Fashion Design Program (2011-2012) Bachelor of Fine Arts in Fashion (121 awarded at Savannah campus)** Bachelor of Arts in Fashion Design/Merchandising (27 awarded)** Associate of Arts in Fashion Design (13 awarded)**
Undergraduate Graduation Rate (in 150% of normal program time) for 2006 Entering Class 65% (Savannah campus)** 39%** 28%**
Noteworthy SCAD has a Style Lab mentorship program for fashion design students CAU is the largest of the 39 United Negro College Fund institutions BC is located on a site designated on the National Register of Historic Places

Sources: *U.S. News & World Report, **NCES College Navigator

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Winner: Savannah College of Art and Design - Atlanta

  • SCAD offers fashion design-related organizations
  • Fashion design is the fourth most popular major at SCAD, according to U.S. News & World Report
  • SCAD holds an annual fashion show of juried graduate and undergraduate creations

In addition to Atlanta, SCAD also maintains campuses in Savannah, GA, and Hong Kong. SCAD's School of Fashion offers undergraduate and graduate degree programs. The 180-quarter-hour Bachelor of Fine Arts (BFA) includes courses such as fashion concept development, fashion sketching, apparel development, fashion technology and CAD for fashion design. Other graduation requirements include a portfolio presentation and a senior fashion collection. A 40-quarter-hour minor in fashion design is also offered.

Graduate students can earn a Master of Arts (MA) or Master of Fine Arts (MFA) in Fashion. The MA program consists of 45 quarter hours, and the MFA requires 90 quarter hours and a thesis. Graduate courses include fashion materials, accessory illustration, fashion forecasting and multimedia communication in fashion. Fashion master's students also complete studio work.

Runner-Up #1: Clark Atlanta University

  • Study abroad programs in fashion design are available
  • Students can complete multiple fashion design internships
  • The Department of Art hosts visiting fashion professionals, including designers

Students can earn a Bachelor of Arts in Fashion Design, which includes core courses in fashion illustration, draping, clothing construction, accessory design and computer-based fashion design. A fashion show production course is required, as well as a capstone course in which students must produce a design portfolio. Although all students are required to complete at least one internship, they may be able to participate in as many as three. While preparing for their third year at CAU, students may qualify to participate in a study abroad program, which can last for the entire junior year. Students have studied in fashion capitals like Paris, Milan and London.

Runner-Up #2: Bauder College

  • BC was established as a school of fashion and etiquette
  • Employment assistance is offered by BC to eligible graduates
  • An externship is part of the curriculum for the fashion design program
  • Students learn several technical fashion design skills

Bauder College offers a career-oriented Associate of Arts in Fashion Design program. In addition to general education courses, students receive a foundation in subjects such as presentation skills, illustration and design. Practical training is available in such areas as computer-aided fashion design, clothing construction, pattern making, storyboarding, specialty design and draping, and this hands-on learning culminates in participation in the BC fashion show and exhibition. Externships provide practical, real-world experience for prospective fashion designers.

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