Sewing Trade Schools and Colleges in the U.S.

Various trade schools and colleges in the U.S. offer sewing programs that teach students important skills, such as how to properly operate sewing machines, cut patterns and sew hems on garments. Although no degree is typically awarded, some sewing trade schools offer certificates of achievement to students who complete training programs.

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There are many types of sewing trade schools and colleges in the U.S. Students interested in sewing classes that do not offer degree programs may enroll in a business-based sewing trade school.

10 Schools with Sewing Programs

The following schools offer sewing and related programs such as fashion design; tuition is for in-state students enrolled in the 2015-2016 academic year.

College/University Location Institution Type Degrees Offered Undergraduate Tuition, In-state (2015-2016)*
University of Minnesota - Twin Cities Minneapolis, MN 4-year, Public Bachelor's $13,790
Michigan State University East Lansing, MI 4-year, Public Bachelor's $13,560
University of North Texas Denton, TX 4-year, Public Bachelor's, Master's $9,730
Virginia Commonwealth University Richmond, VA 4-year, Public Bachelor's $12,772
University of Cincinnati - Main Campus Cincinnati, OH 4-year, Public Bachelor's $11,000
Texas Tech University Lubbock, TX 4-year, Public Bachelor's $8,028
Iowa State University Ames, IA 4-year, Public Minor, Bachelor's, Master's, Doctorate $7,736
Kent State University Kent Campus Kent, OH 4-year, Public Bachelor's $10,012
Drexel University Philadelphia, PA 2-year, Private Bachelor's, Master's $48,791
University of Delaware Newark, DE 4-year, Public Bachelor's, Master's $12,520

Sources: NCES and School Websites

School Selection Criteria

Students can consider the following when looking for schools that offer sewing programs.

  • Degrees in fields related to sewing are available, however, non-degree options are also common and many private sewing trade schools which are part of sewing businesses exist.
  • Students who choose sewing trade schools affiliated with businesses may have the option of choosing the level of training they desire, such as a beginner, intermediate or advanced program.
  • Prospective sewing students and those who are inclined to the field may start their training early since sewing businesses sometimes also provide sewing training for children and teens.
  • For those who decided that they want a career in sewing, choosing a course that is part of a fashion design college program can be helpful in gaining formal education and increase job opportunities.

Non Degree Courses in Sewing

Many community colleges and technical colleges provide standalone sewing courses. Most courses are provided at the beginner level. They usually include a mix of classroom studies and hands-on lab work, in which students complete basic sewing projects like making pillows, bags or skirts. There are also more advanced courses offered at some schools, as well as specialized classes in topics like quilting.

Undergraduate Degree Programs

Students who want to study sewing within a broader degree program can enroll in associate's and bachelor's degree programs with majors such as fashion design, fashion merchandising, apparel merchandising and/or textile design. Some of these programs provide education in sewing-related topics like garment construction, pattern-making and fabric choice. They also include general education coursework.

Graduate Degree Programs

Although master's and doctoral programs in fashion and apparel design and merchandising do not usually provide hands-on sewing training, they can help students who are passionate about the field gain a broader understanding of trends and technologies within the textile industry. Students who want to focus their studies specifically on creating apparel may choose a concentration in creative design and product development.

Sewing programs can be found at various levels in different types of schools. Non-degree options are usually offered by sewing businesses, which may also accept children and teens in their programs.

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