Los Angeles Schools with Sewing Classes
All three of the schools featured in this resource offer certificate and associate degree programs that include classes in sewing. Unique to the individual schools are fashion field trips, field studies and student fashion shows. Program summaries can be found below, along with a comparison table that includes tuition costs and other key school statistics. In the other school options section, sewing students can also find two other colleges that offer classes in the Los Angeles area.
- Santa Monica College offers students two certificate programs and two associate degree programs in fashion design and merchandising. The college is located about 15 miles from downtown Los Angeles.
- Mt. San Antonio College is located just outside of Los Angeles, approximately 25 miles from the downtown. This college also offers certificate and degree programs in fashion design and merchandising.
- Los Angeles Trade Technical College, the only school on this list located in the city, is about 3.5 miles from downtown. The programs at this school can lead to certificates or associate degrees in fashion design or technology.
Comparison of Schools
All three of the featured colleges have fairly large student enrollments and open admission policies. Tuition and retention rates are listed below.
|Santa Monica College||Mt. San Antonio College||Los Angeles Trade Technical College|
|School Type||4-year, primarily associate; public||2-year; public||2-year; public|
|Total Enrollment (2017)||29,760*||29,960*||12,984*|
|Campus Setting||Small city||Large suburb||Large city|
|Tuition & Fees 2017-2018||$1,142 for in-state students; $8,558 for out-of-state students*||$1,349 for in-state students; $8,741 for out-of-state students*||$1,220 for in-state students; $7,538 for out-of-state students*|
|% of First-Year Students Receiving Some Form of Financial Aid (2016-2017)||51%*||70%*||75%*|
|Acceptance Rate (2017)||N/A - Open admissions policy (except for bachelor's program)*||N/A - Open admissions policy*||N/A - Open admissions policy*|
|Retention Rate (Fall 2016 to Fall 2017)||N/A||79% for full time students*||65% for full time students*|
|Graduation Rate||30% (18% transfer rate) Students began in fall 2011*||32% (4% transfer rate) Students began in fall 2014*||27% (8% transfer rate) Students began in fall 2014*|
Source: *NCES College Navigator
Santa Monica College
Santa Monica's Fashion Design Department offers hands-on degree programs for students who are new to careers in the fashion industry. In general, the school's fashion design faculty has academic degrees that relate to the fashion and textile industries, along with many previously held careers in the fashion industry before teaching. Outside of classes, students have the opportunity to show their fashion work as part of a fashion show hosted by the school. In addition, the school organizes field trips for students to meet with professional fashion designers and merchandisers. This allows students to connect their classroom skills to the real world and gain professional experience.
Fashion Design Certificate
For this certificate, students need to take 40 units of fashion design courses, such as pattern design and analysis, draping, design and construction, tailoring and fabrics. In addition, students take classes in art, architecture, business and graphic design.
Fashion Merchandising Certificate
This certificate program requires students to complete 40 units of fashion merchandising courses. As in the fashion design program, students learn about pattern making, fashion trends, illustration and apparel construction; courses in marketing, merchandising and fashion show production are also part of the program. Additional courses in art and business are required.
Associate of Arts in Fashion Design
Students who want to earn this 2-year degree need to complete a total of 60 major units. The core classes cover fashion trends, illustration and apparel construction. From there, students take specialized courses in color analysis, fashion history, pattern design, tailoring and draping. Students also have the opportunity to earn course credit while contributing to the school's fashion show production. Graduates of the associate degree program may be able to transfer to 4-year schools to complete bachelor's degrees.
Associate of Arts in Fashion Merchandising
Fashion merchandising majors also take 60 major units as part of the associate degree program. Once enrolled, students gain an understanding of fashion trends, apparel construction, draping, patterns and fashion illustration. This degree program offers a greater emphasis on fashion marketing, advertising and ethnic design. The program prepares graduates for jobs as fashion merchandisers, buyers, sales representatives or managers.
Mt. San Antonio College
Fashion design and merchandising programs offered at this college teach students about the business, economics and technology of the fashion industry in Los Angeles. Students who earn fashion degrees can go on to careers in marketing, manufacturing, product development and sales. Students who want to advance their studies may transfer to a 4-year school to earn a bachelor's degree in fashion.
Fashion Design Certificate
Students have three different options with this certificate program. The 18-unit Level 1 program is meant for students who are new to the field and would like a general overview of the industry. These classes cover illustration, pattern making and clothing construction so that students are prepared for entry-level work. The 24-unit Level 2 Fashion Design Certificate is for students who have already completed the Level 1 program. The additional 6 units focus on pattern making and draping work.
Students also have the option to earn a 12-unit Fashion Design - Computer-Aided Certificate. It requires five classes that strictly cover the technology used in the fashion industry for pattern making, drawing and design.
Fashion Merchandising Certificate
There are two options within this certificate program. The Level 1 certificate takes 18 units to complete and is for students who want a general overview of fashion manufacturing and retail merchandising. Classes cover , textiles and fashion strategies. The 27-unit Level 2 certificate is for students who already have the Level 1 certificate in fashion merchandising and are ready to complete 9 additional units in clothing construction, fashion aesthetics, and visual display.
Associate of Science in Fashion Design and Technologies
As part of this degree program, students take 30 units of classes for the major alone. Core classes cover clothing construction, draping, textiles, computer pattern making, and digital illustration. Students gain experience through the use of software related to the industry.
Associate of Science in Fashion Merchandising
A total of 27 units of major study are required through courses covering fashion strategies, costume history, clothing construction and textiles. This degree program focuses more on the business side of the fashion industry by including courses on retail management and advertising.
Los Angeles Trade Technical College
As of 2018, the school's Fashion Center employs 13 full-time instructors who bring their professional experience in the fashion industry to the classroom. A large part of the programs involve teaching students the technical and computer skills used in fashion design. In addition, the school offers flexible scheduling; classes are available in the mornings, afternoons and on the weekends. In an effort to give students real-world experience, the school has students participate in fashion shows and show off their work. The fashion programs at Los Angeles Trade Technical College prepare students for careers in design, production, sales and retail.
Certificate of Completion in Fashion Design
For students who'd like to pick up basic skills through evening and weekend classes, the certificate of completion program requires 46 units of study. Required courses concentrate on sample making, pattern making and grading, fashion sketching and design, draping and fashion design.
Certificate of Achievement in Fashion Technology
The certificate requires 28 units and can be completed in less than two years. Students take a series of classes in sample making, pattern making, fashion sketching and gown draping. All of the classes cover design skills and give students real-world experience in the fashion industry.
Associate in Arts in Fashion Design
Students can take 46 units of fashion courses and an additional 18 units of academic courses to earn an associate degree. Fashion design classes cover clothing construction, costume history and textile manufacturing. Students who want to study sewing can learn about pattern making, draping and clothing construction. There are also a number of weekend and evening courses available for students who cannot take classes during the day.
Associate in Arts in Fashion Technology
Evening and Saturday students may complete 42 units in the major plus general education requirements. Topics include pattern making, fashion sketching, draping and sample making. Students gain job experience through an internship.
Other Schools in the Area
Students who want to take sewing classes have a couple of other options. Los Angeles City College offers hands-on skills certificates in costume design. The school is located about four miles from downtown Los Angeles. Another option is Long Beach City College, which is located about 24 miles from downtown Los Angeles. The school offers associate degrees and certificate programs in fashion design and fashion merchandising.