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Fashion Design


Fashion design programs prepare people to design clothing for commercial sale.

In fashion design programs, students learn to:

Students also study:


Several independent fashion design schools and community colleges offer certificate and associate degree programs in fashion design. A certificate program usually takes a year of full-time study. An associate degree program usually takes two years to complete.

Many colleges and universities offer bachelor's degrees in fashion design. A bachelor's degree usually takes about four years of full-time study.

A few universities offer graduate degrees in fashion design. A master's degree typically requires two years of study beyond a bachelor's degree. Doctoral (PhD) degree programs usually require two or more years of study beyond the master's degree.

See schools that offer this program.

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Program Admission

Proprietary schools, colleges, and universities all offer this program. If you want to study at a proprietary school, you can prepare for this program of study by completing your high school diploma or getting a GED. If you want to study at a college or university, you can prepare for this program by taking the following courses: four years of English, three years of math, three years of social studies, and two years of science. Some colleges also require two years of a second language.

You should also complete college-level courses in the following:

Most schools require the submission of a portfolio that shows your drawing skills and capacity for creating both artistic and functional apparel. Portfolio requirements vary.

Below is a list of high school courses that will help prepare you for this program of study:

Typical Course Work

Program Courses

This undergraduate program typically includes courses in the following subjects:

Many of the programs - both undergraduate and graduate - offer some sort of practicum or internship as part of their curriculum. As an example, you might assist a designer at the firm of a notable fashion label with making rough sketches or sewing samples. You would also have the benefit of working under the supervision and guidance of an experienced fashion designer.

Things to Know

Many fashion designers are self-employed. For this reason, you may find it helpful to take courses in business, marketing, and accounting.

Earning an associate degree in fashion design may only qualify you to be a designer's assistant.


East Side Area

Washington State University - Pullman

King-Snohomish Area

Seattle Central College

Seattle Pacific University