Virginia has few colleges that offer bachelor's degree programs in the fashion design field. The two universities that do host bachelor's programs offer students the opportunity to advance their sewing skills through basic courses, as well as advanced production classes. Students gain practical training in fitting, alteration, dressmaking and finishing techniques. Both universities offer internships and study-abroad opportunities. Learn more about these programs below.
Virginia Commonwealth University
Located in Richmond, Virginia Commonwealth University offers a Bachelor of Fine Arts with a concentration in fashion design in which students learn technical design skills and develop sewing techniques. Students receive sewing instruction early in the program through a construction techniques course. Both sewing and finishing are addressed with a majority of the course devoted to studio hours. As the program progresses, studio classes give students the chance to hone their overall design and finishing skills. Foundation courses in drawing and art history are part of the core curriculum, along with computer-based design and planning courses using Adobe Photoshop and Adobe Illustrator.
Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University
Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University in Blacksburg offers a Bachelor of Science degree with a major in fashion merchandising and design. This program focuses on clothing design and portfolio production through hands-on experience. Through the 120-credit hour degree program, students learn about apparel construction and marketing strategies.
Coursework includes a class in apparel structure and fit, covering fitting and alteration techniques. A required course in advanced apparel assembly covers advanced dressmaking techniques. Students also have the opportunity to complete a study-abroad program or a fashion tour in New York.
School Comparison: At a Glance
|School Name||School Type and Setting||Sewing Programs Offered||Undergraduate Tuition and Fees (2015-2016)|
|Virginia Commonwealth University||4-year, public; midsize city||Bachelor of Fine Arts with fashion design concentration||$12,772 (in-state); $31,464 (out-of-state)*|
|Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University||4-year, public; small city||Bachelor of Science in Fashion Merchandising and Design||$12,485 (in-state); $29,129 (out-of-state)*|
Source: *National Center for Education Statistics