Fashion Marketing Degree Programs in Chicago with Course Overviews

Jan 22, 2019

Research fashion marketing programs in Chicago, which currently has about eight colleges offering this field of study. Read an overview of degree programs, admissions info and program requirements for three Chicago schools no more than 30 miles from downtown and decide which program is right for you.

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Chicago-Area Schools with Fashion Marketing Programs

Students who would like to study fashion marketing have a few options in the Chicago, IL, area at schools that offer programs in fashion merchandising or fashion business. This article looks at three of those institutions, all within 25 minutes of downtown, and the relevant programs they offer. It also includes a table of information important to prospective students, such as enrollment, tuition, financial aid availability and graduation rates. At the end of the article are a few facts about one other area school with a related program.

  • Columbia College is less than a mile from the city center and offers a bachelor's degree program in fashion studies, which includes a fashion merchandising concentration option. The arts school also has degree programs available in fashion design.
  • At Dominican University, students can pursue a bachelor's degree in fashion merchandising. The campus is about 10 miles from downtown Chicago, which is ideal for the fashion events in the city.
  • The College of DuPage offers the opportunity to pursue 1-year certificate and 2-year associate's degree programs in fashion merchandising. The school is about 23 miles from downtown.

Comparison of Schools

There are many factors that a prospective student should consider when deciding what school to attend. The following table offers important data in a format that makes comparison easy.

Columbia College-Chicago Dominican University College of DuPage
School Type 4-year college, private non-profit 4-year university, private non-profit 2-year college, public
Total Enrollment (2017) 7,312 3,127 26,165
Campus Setting Large city Suburb; large Suburb; large
Tuition and Fees (2017-18) $26,474 $32,530 $4,050 in-district, $9,660 in-state, $11,760 out-of-state
% of First-Year Students Receiving Some Form of Aid (2016-17) 88% 100% 72%
Acceptance Rate (2017) 92 65% N/A - Open admissions
Retention Rate (2017) 66% for full-time students 81% for full-time students 74% for full-time students
Undergraduate Graduation Rate (2017) 44% 62% (29% transfer-out rate) 23% (30% transfer-out rate)

Source: *NCES College Navigator

Columbia College - Chicago

Columbia College's fashion programs address the aesthetics of fashion, the business of fashion and factors that influence fashion. Students are encouraged to complete internship experiences to gain job skills and make connections in the field.

Bachelor of Arts in Fashion Studies

The fashion studies degree program promotes minors in areas like marketing, public relations, and business and entrepreneurship. Students will be responsible for 48 credits of program requirements in areas like the principles of fashion design, textiles, supply chain fundamentals, merchandising concepts and trends in the fashion industry. Concentrations are available in merchandising and product development.

Dominican University

Dominican University, located 10 miles from Chicago, is a private, not-for-profit Catholic university. A fashion merchandising bachelor's degree is offered from this school.

Bachelor of Arts in Fashion Merchandising

Students take a variety of courses related to marketing techniques for fashion. Specially, topics in the degree program include apparel design, textiles, societal aspects of fashion, international branding, planning of special events and marketing. An internship is also required.

College of DuPage

The College of DuPage is committed to helping students acquire a solid foundation in their field of study through a combination of lectures and hands-on experience. In the fashion industry, students explore textiles, garment construction, fashion illustration and fashion show production for a well-rounded glimpse of what the fashion industry entails.

Associate in Applied Science in Fashion Merchandising

Through the degree program in fashion merchandising, students can explore topics in fashion promotion, fashion merchandising and techniques in marketing fashion. Other courses address the history of costumes, textiles and quality apparel. Business classes include marketing, management, sales, advertising and fashion motivation. Students can also take electives in fashion promotion, fashion merchandising and visual merchandising.

Certificate in Fashion Merchandising

This 30-credit certificate takes about one year to complete. Students study the principles of marketing, visual merchandising, quality in apparel and textiles. Some classes address specific techniques in fashion marketing as well as business skills important for fashion professionals, including promotions, sales, retail and supervision.

Other School Options

Associate's degree programs in fashion design and fashion merchandising are available at Harper College, which is located about 27 miles from downtown. Harper also has certificate programs in apparel construction and textiles.

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