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Getting a Degree in Fashion Design

Fashion Design Degree

Fashion Design Degrees

If you have a love of fashion, going on to get a degree in fashion design can be a good idea. Fashion designers use their creative and technical skills to create clothing and accessories. Those within this major, create and study the industry to stay informed of current trends as well as predicting future styles. 

Many who go into fashion design go on to get at least a bachelor’s degree but you can also start with an associate’s degree. Those who want to open their own design firm or shop might want to have a combined major of fashion design and business or marketing. 

Associate’s Degree in Fashion Design

An associate’s degree in fashion design will take about two years. You would study fundamental and technical design skills and create a foundation for your career in fashion design. You can find a job after you graduate or use it as a stepping stone for a bachelor’s degree in fashion design. 

In an associate’s of fashion design program, you might take classes such as basic design, color theory, or intro to marketing. When looking for programs, the New School, Southern New Hampshire University, and Genesee Community College are all highly rated. For online programs, the New School, Mt. San Antonio College, and LIM College are all highly rated. 

Jobs with an Associate’s degree in Fashion Design

  • Visual Merchandisers, who help promote an image with products as well as services within retail businesses and other organizations, have an average salary of $38,656 according to Glassdoor
  • Retail Store Managers, who are responsible for the day-to-day operations of a retail store, have an average salary of $49,757, according to Payscale.
  • Sales Reps, who showcase and sell a product or products to organizations, businesses, and government agencies, have an average salary of $54,758, according to Glassdoor.

Bachelor’s Degree in Fashion Design

If you want to go further within the fashion design career, getting your bachelor’s degree would be a good idea. This will take four years, and you can do so online or in person, depending on what would work best for your schedule. 

While working on your bachelor’s degree, you may have to have an internship, which would be in person. Some of the classes you could take would be sketching and illustration, principles of art and design, or CAD for fashion design. 

When looking for programs, the Fashion Institute of Technology (FIT), the New School, and Pratt Institute are all highly rated. For online programs, the New School, Mt. San Antonio College, and LIM College are all highly rated. 

Jobs you can get with a Bachelor’s Degree in Fashion Design

  • Fashion Designers, who design sketches and make textile patterns on a given theme and create prototypes and work with manufacturers to create clothing and accessories, have an average salary of $65,674, according to Payscale
  • Fashion Buyers, who decide which items to buy for inventory and find ways to increase profits, have an average salary of $65,000, according to Payscale
  • Textile Designers, who take clothing and fabrics and create art from them, have an average salary of $59,840, according to Payscale.

Master’s Degree in Fashion Design

If you want to go further along the fashion design career path, you should go on to get your master’s degree in fashion design. Most programs will take around two years and you should be able to find either an in-person or online program. 

In a master’s of fashion design program, advanced fashion design knowledge will be combined with business. Some classes students might take would be fashion journalism, advanced styling, and business management. 

When looking for programs, the New School, Fashion Institute of Technology, and Savannah College of Art and Design, are all highly rated. For online programs, Thomas Jefferson University and LIM College are all highly rated. 

Jobs you can get with a Master’s Degree in Fashion Design

  • Costume Designers, who design costumes for a film, stage production, or TV show, have an average salary of $56,926, Glassdoor.
  • Senior Fashion Designers, who create clothing, shoes, and accessories for companies or fashion lines, and manage a team to do the same, have an average salary of $99,470, according to Glassdoor.
  • Art Directors, who coordinate visual imagery for a fashion company, have an average salary of $79,461 according to Glassdoor.

Doctorate in Fashion Design

There is also the option to continue on past a master’s degree and go for your Ph.D. You would most likely be able to pursue a Ph.D. in apparel design, fiber science, or textile and apparel management. Programs will take at least two years and you could take classes such as fashion theory, portfolio development, or fiber science and analysis. 

Those who get these types of Ph.Ds. or a similar subject go on to become professors in apparel and design, work as a design director, or in another part of the fashion world. Cornell University, Iowa State University, and Ohio State University all have top-rated programs. 

Related Majors

  • Fashion Marketing
  • Interior Design
  • Studio Arts
  • Marketing
  • Theater Design 
  • Industrial Design

Fashion Design Scholarships

Getting your degree in fashion design means you can apply for certain scholarships just for fashion design or similar majors. Here are a couple of them:

CBC Spouses Visual Arts Scholarship 

This scholarship is for full-time African American or Black students that are pursuing a degree in visual arts including fashion. Students need to exhibit leadership to be active in the community. For more info, please go here.

FSF Case Study Scholarship 

The FSF (Fashion Scholarship Fund) scholarship applies to tuition, summer intern housing, study abroad, and more. Winners will be able to join the FSF Mentor Program and select a mentor, will be invited to the FSF Awards Gala in NYC, and have access to internships and full-time jobs. They will also be able to join the FSF Alumni Association. Students must be a full-time sophomore, junior, or senior that are enrolled in an FSF member school. For more info, please go here.

 

 

About the author

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Julie Provost is a freelance writer, blogger, and owner of Soldier's Wife, Crazy Life, a support blog for military spouses. She lives in Tennessee with her National Guard husband and three boys.