Many schools offer degrees in the broader field of fashion design and students may choose footwear design as major, although the Fashion Institute of Design and Merchandising does offer an Associate of Arts (A.A.) advanced study program specifically in footwear design.
Schools with Fashion Design Programs
These are ten schools with fashion design undergraduate programs, many of which include courses or specialization options in shoe design. Tuition data is provided for the 2015-2016 school year.
|College/University||Location||Institution Type||Degrees Offered||Tuition (2015-2016)*|
|Fashion Institute of Design and Merchandising||Los Angeles, CA||4-year, Private||Associate's, Bachelor's||$29,930|
|The New School||New York, NY||4-year, Private||Associate's, Bachelor's, Master's||$43,813|
|Washington University St. Louis||St. Louis, MI||4-year, Private||Bachelor's||$48,093|
|Syracuse University||Syracuse, NY||4-year, Private||Bachelor's||$43,318|
|Baylor University||Waco, TX||4-year, Private||Bachelor's||$40,198|
|University of Delaware||Newark, DE||4-year, Public||Bachelor's||$12,520 for in-state/$31,420 for out-of-state|
|Purdue University||West Lafayette, IN||4-year, Public||Associate's, Bachelor's||$10,002 for in-state/$28,804 for out-of-state|
|Michigan State University||East Lansing, MI||4-year, Public||Bachelor's||$13,560 for in-state/$36,360 for out-of-state|
|St. Catherine University||St. Paul, MN||4-year, Private||Bachelor's||$35,500|
|Drexel University||Philadelphia, PA||4-year, Private||Bachelor's, Master's||$48,791|
Sources: *National Center for Education Statistics
School Selection Criteria
Consider the following when selecting a fashion design school:
- Earning a degree from an accredited school may be more appealing to potential employers than obtaining credentials from non-accredited institutions.
- When deciding between associate's and bachelor's degrees, students need to know what they desire out of a program, such as length of studies, comprehensiveness of education, etc.
- Students who want to specifically pursue shoe design should look for programs that allow specific concentrations within the broader field of fashion design.
- For practical training, students should consider programs that include specific coursework in shoe design and those that have a dedicated shoe design studio or workshop.
Associate of Arts in Footwear Design
Most footwear design programs are offered through fashion design schools. Earning an associate's degree in footwear design takes two years and consists of coursework in both the creative and business side of the fashion industry. Classes may include footwear collection development, marketing strategies, and creative design, and computer aided drafting (CAD) software may be utilized as part of the program. Completion prepares graduates for several careers in the footwear fashion industry, including shoe designer, line builder, or product manager.
Bachelor's and Master's Degree in Fashion Design
Bachelor's degrees in fashion or fashion design may be offered by various colleges or art institutions. Generally, they take four years to complete and allow students to concentrate in some area of the industry, such as textile design, merchandising, or fashion design. Alongside major coursework, students need to complete general education and liberal arts requirements to fill out their degree. Master's degree programs, on the other hand, combines studio-based projects with research. Graduate students are also able to present their collection in runway shows which help in gaining work opportunities.
While footwear design degrees are uncommon, many schools offer undergraduate and graduate education in general fashion and apparel design fields. Students should consider programs that cover footwear and shoe design and those that offer specializations to help them prepare for prospective employment in the fashion industry.