Individuals interested in shoe design should attend a school with an associate's, bachelor's or master's degree program in fashion design. Many programs offer elective courses or concentrations specific to shoe design and construction, others may offer an all-inclusive accessory design minor.
Ten Schools with Shoe Design Programs
There are many art and design schools, fashion institutes and universities that can provide a foundation of knowledge in shoe design. Below are some of the most reputable.
|College/University||Location||Institution Type||Programs Offered||Undergraduate Tuition and Fees (2015-2016)*|
|The New School||New York, NY||4-year, Private not-for-profit||Certificate, Associate's, Bachelor's, Master's||$43,813|
|Fashion Institute of Technology||New York, NY||4-year, Public||Associate's, Bachelor's||$5,230 in-state; $14,230 out-of-state|
|Woodbury University||Burbank, CA||4-year, Private not-for-profit||Bachelor's||$36,408|
|Fashion Institute of Design & Merchandising||Los Angeles, CA||4-year, Private for-profit||Associate's||$29,930|
|School of the Art Institute of Chicago||Chicago, IL||4-year, Private not-for-profit||Bachelor's, Master's, Post-baccalaureate Certificate||$43,960|
|Savannah College of Art and Design (SCAD)||Savannah, GA||4-year, Private not-for-profit||Bachelor's, Master's||$34,970|
|Kent State University||Kent, OH||4-year, Public||Bachelor's||$10,012 in-state; $18,212 out-of-state|
|Rhode Island School of Design (RISD)||Providence, RI||4-year, Private not-for-profit||Bachelor's||$45,840|
|Pratt Institute||Brooklyn, NY||4-year, Private not-for-profit||Bachelor's||$46,586|
|Drexel University||Philadelphia, PA||4-year, Private not-for-profit||Bachelor's, Master's||$48,791|
Source: *NCES College Navigator
School Selection Criteria
Consider the following when selecting a fashion design college or program:
- Colleges that offer accounting, product development, line building and management courses will help students interested in launching their own businesses after graduation.
- Designers creating for a specific market, such as men, women or children's footwear, should seek schools with complimentary course offerings.
- Choose programs that teach and utilize computer-aided design (CAD); professional designers use this system in every aspect of shoe creation.
- A college that provides internships and contacts with current business professionals can help students get the hands-on experience they'll need to make and distribute footwear.
Associate's Degree in Fashion
A 2-year associate's degree program in fashion or accessories design may include coursework in shoe design. Relevant courses cover topics like shoe pattern drafting, CAD and footwear construction. These programs commonly lead to an Associate of Arts or Associate of Applied Science.
Bachelor of Fine Arts in Fashion
Associate's degree credits may transfer or serve as prerequisites for a bachelor's degree program in fashion design. Applicants may need to demonstrate proficiency in software, such as Adobe Photoshop and Illustrator, or submit a portfolio. Qualifying students explore various areas of fashion and accessories design. Students typically graduate in four years. A senior project and internship may be required.
When considering associate's, bachelor's and master's degree programs in fashion design, prospective shoe designers should take a look at available concentrations and internship options. They might also want to ensure curricula provide training in business and the computer-aided design technology related to the industry.