Where to study Fashion design - Top 30 Fashion schools in the USA
After we've made an overview of the Top 30 Fashion schools in Europe, today we are going to present you a list of the 30 of the best schools in the USA, where you can receive quality Fashion design education (ordered alphabetically by the states codes).
Fashion Institute of Design & Merchandising (Los Angeles, CA)
About: FIDM was founded in 1969 and today has four campuses - in Los Angeles, San Francisco, San Diego and Orange County.
Programs: The college offers nine Bachelors degree programs in Professional Studies, including International Manufacturing & Product Development, Textile Production & Development, Entertainment Set Design & Decoration, Film & TV Costume Design, Footwear Design, and Menswear.
Nota bene: FIDM served as the location of 'Project Runway' Season Six and 'Project Runway: Under the Gunn'. Alumni: Lubov Azria, Amanda Bynes, Gessica Brooke, Karen Kane, Monique Lhuillier, Pamela Skaist-Levy (Juicy Couture co-founder), Randolph Duke.
Otis College of Art and Design (Los Angeles, CA)
About: Established in 1918, Otis is now well known for its BFA degrees offered in Fashion design. Under the direction of Rosemary Brantley, this program is considered one of the top fashion design programs of its kind in the U.S.
Programs: Fashion design
Nota bene: Students benefit from working closely design mentors and are trained in all aspects of the design process while emulating a fashion design studio, and following the industry's seasonal schedule. Visiting critics have included designers such as Bob Mackie, Francisco Costa for Calvin Klein, Vera Wang, Diane von Fürstenberg, Isabel Toledo, Isaac Mizrahi and Todd Oldham. Major designers such as Eduardo Lucero and Rick Owens are alumni of the program.
Academy of Art University (San Francisco, CA)
About: Academy of Art University was founded in 1929 and today students pursuing a Fashion Design degree have access to the tools and cutting-edge facilities needed for creating collections that garner accolades at New York Fashion Week and the Graduation Fashion Show in San Francisco.
Programs: BFA Fashion, Fashion Styling, Knitwear design, Textile Design, Fashion Merchandising, Fashion Visual Merchandising, BA Fashion Journalism, AA Fashion, Fashion Journalism and Fashion Styling.
Nota bene: The only fashion school that shows at NY Fashion Week. Alumni: Kara Laricks.
California College of the Arts (San Francisco and Oakland, CA)
About: CCA was founded in 1907. Nowadays the Princeton Review designates CCA as one of the most environmentally responsible colleges in the United States and Canada.
Programs: BA Fashion design, Textiles, Jewelry/Metal arts.
Nota bene: BusinessWeek magazine calls CCA one of the world's best design schools. In terms of salary potential, PayScale ranks CCA the top art and design college in the United States and in the top 10 of all colleges and universities on the West Coast.
University of Delaware (Newark, DE)
About: UD was established in 1743. Its Department of Fashion & Apparel Studies offers a variety of unique programs for inspired fashion designers.
Programs: BS in Apparel Design, MS in Fashion and Apparel Studies, Graduate Certificate in Socially Responsible and Sustainable Apparel Business, Minor in Fashion History and Culture, 4+1 program allowing undergraduate Fashion Merchandising majors to complete the Master's degree in Fashion and Apparel Studies in half the time.
Nota bene: UD offers internship opportunities with top designers such as Marc Jacobs International.
Savannah College of Art and Design (Savannah, GA)
About: SCAD was founded in 1978. Today it has campuses in Savannah, Atlanta (GA), Lacoste (France) and Hong Kong.
Programs: Accessory Design, Fashion, Fashion Marketing and Management, Luxury and Fashion Management, Menswear. BA, BFA, MA, MFA, Minor.
Nota bene: Program 'Fashion' has an eLearning option.
Columbia College (Chicago, IL)
About: Columbia College was founded in 1754 and nowadays it is highly selective in its admissions. For the class of 2015, the college accepted 6.4% of its applicants, the second lowest acceptance rate in the Ivy League and in the country, behind Harvard.
Programs: BA Fashion Studies (Fashion Design + Fashion/Retail Management)
Nota bene: Columbia college has a great journalism program, too. Fashion students have access to world famous art museums such as the Art Institute of Chicago, beautiful Millennium Park and the Magnificent Mile (Mag Mile).
School of the Art Institute of Chicago (Chicago, IL)
About: SAIC is one of America's largest accredited independent schools of art and design and it's established in 1866.
Programs: Bachelor of Fine Arts, Master of Design in Fashion, Body and Garment, Post-Baccalaureate Certificate in Fashion, Body and Garment.
Nota bene: Alumni: Cynthia Rowley, Maria Pinto, Halston, Matthew Ames. In January 2013, The Global Language Monitor ranked SAIC as the #5 college in the U.S., the highest ever for an art or design school in a general college ranking.
Massachusetts College of Art (Boston, MA)
About: MassArt was founded in 1873 and today is the only publicly funded free-standing art school in the United States.
Programs: BA and MA in Fine Arts
Nota bene: Businessweek recognized MassArt as one of the top global design schools
University of Missouri (Columbia, MO)
About: Mizzou was founded in 1839 and today is the largest university in Missouri.
Programs: Textile and Apparel Management (NO DESIGN), Journalism Minor.
Nota bene: Mizzou doesn't offer a Fashion design degree, but a very unique program offering insights into the production and business of fashion.
University of North Carolina-Greensboro (Greensboro, NC)
About: UNCG was established in 1891 and nowadays has a population of more than 17,000 students and more than 200 graduate and undergraduate programs. UNCG's Bryan School of Business and Economics is home to the Department of Consumer, Apparel, and Retail Studies (CARS).
Programs: BS in Apparel Product Design, Global Apparel and Related Industry Studies, Retailing and Consumer Studies. MS and PhD in Consumer, Apparel, and Retail Studies.
Nota bene: The Department offers opportunities to study abroad in Africa, Asia, South America, Australia and Europe. Past opportunities, both locally and internationally, include Polo Ralph Lauren, Hanesbrands, VF, the International Textile Group, and Kayser-Roth.
North Carolina State University (Raleigh, NC)
About: Established in 1887, NCSU is home to more than 34,000 students and offers 300 undergraduate and graduate degree programs through 12 colleges and 65 departments.
Programs: College of Textiles - BS degrees in Fashion and Textile Design, Textile Technology, Textile Engineering, Polymer and Color Chemistry, Fashion and Textile Management. Master of Textiles. MS degrees in Textiles, Textile Chemistry, Textile Engineering. PhD in Fiber and Polymer Science, Textile Technology Management. Certificates in Nonwovens Science and Technology, Consumer Textile Product Design and Development, Textile Brand Management and Marketing,Textile Supply Chain Management. College of Design - BA in Art + Design Studio-Fashion and Textile Production Design, Design Studies, Fibers and Surface Design with a Focus in Weaving, Fiber Arts, Surface Design. Master of Art + Design-Fibers and Surface Design. Minors in Art + Design and Design Studies.
Nota bene: NCSU is home to one of the region's most popular student fashion shows - Art2Wear. The annual fashion showcase gives Design and Fashion students the opportunity to create and present their art + design collections to a broad audience made up peers, professionals in the industry, professors and more. NC State is also the home of Project Runway contestant (season 12) and College of Design Assistant Professor, Justin LeBlanc.
University of Nebraska-Lincoln (Lincoln, NE)
About: UNL is home to more than 24,000 students, which makes it one of the largest universities in the Midwest. It offers more than 200 programs across 10 colleges. All fashion students have access to the Mary Mitchell Fashion Studio, Splinter Laboratory, the Robert Hillestad Textiles Gallery and the Historic Textile & Costume Collection.
Programs: BS in Textile Science, Textile & Apparel Design, Textiles & Fashion Communications. MA, MS and PhD in Textiles & Fashion Design. Graduate students have several unique Focus Areas to choose from including Textiles &Apparel Design, Textile Science and Textile History & Quilt Studies.
Nota bene: UNL offers a very active internship program, which features sponsors such as Vera Wang, Nicole Miller, InStyle Magazine, Elie Tahari, etc. Study Tours to London, Italy, Paris, Prague, Shanghai and Beijing are also available.
Pratt Institute (Brooklyn, NY)
About: Pratt Institute was founded in 1887 and today is divided into 5 schools and more than 28 departments and divisions offering over 22 undergraduate majors and 25 graduate majors.
Programs: BA and MA in Fashion design
Nota bene: One of the few design programs which offers electives in fashion editorial/magazine publishing.
Cornell University (Ithaca, NY)
About: Established in 1865, Cornell University is one of the nation's top Ivy League schools. It houses 14 colleges and schools offering more than 80 formal major fields, 70 minors, and dozens of graduate and professional degrees.
Programs: BS in Fiber Science & Apparel Design with Specializations in Apparel Design, Fashion Design Management, Fiber Science. The Fashion Design Management program offers three options including Management and Marketing, Product Development, Communications. A Minor in Fiber Science is also available. MS and PhD programs in Fiber Science, Apparel Design, MPS in Human Ecology. MPS Concentrations include Fiber Science and Apparel Design.
Nota bene: Cornell University's College of Human Ecology, Department of Fiber Science & Apparel Design (FSAD) offers internship and Study Abroad opportunities in Italy, Australia, England, Israel and Spain.
Fashion Institute of Technology (New York, NY)
About: The Fashion Institute of Technology, generally known as FIT, is a State University of New York (SUNY) college of art, business, design and technology connected to the fashion industry.
Programs: AAS, BFA and BS degrees in Fashion design plus programs in Fashion marketing, Fashion business, Textiles, Visual arts and countless other fashion-related degrees.
Nota bene: Alumni: Reem Acra, Francisco Costa, Nina Garcia, Carolina Herrera, Calvin Klein, Michael Kors, Nanette Lepore, Ralph Rucci.
LIM College (New York, NY)
About: LIM College, founded in 1939, is focused on the business aspects of the fashion industry.
Programs: BA in International Business, Fashion Merchandising, Visual Merchandising, Marketing, and Management. Associate degrees in Fashion Merchandising. Master of Business Administration (MBA) degree with concentrations in Fashion Management and Entrepreneurship and Master of Professional Studies degrees in Fashion Merchandising & Retail Management and Fashion Marketing.
Nota bene: NO DESIGN! Concentrations are available in fields including Digital Business Strategy, Cosmetics, Entrepreneurship, Event Planning, Fashion Communications, Fashion Merchandising, Fashion Publishing, International Marketing, Retailing, Styling.
Parsons The New School for Design (New York, NY)
About: Parsons offers 25 undergraduate and graduate programs in art and design and is ranked as the #1 fashion school in the United States and the #2 fashion school in the world (just behind Central Saint Martins in London).
Programs: BFA Fashion design, Illustration, Photography. MFA Fashion design and society, Photography. MA Fashion studies. AAS Fashion design, Fashion marketing (offered also as an online program).
Nota bene: Alumni: Donna Karan, Marc Jacobs, Tom Ford, Narciso Rodriguez, Alexander Wang, Anna Sui, Jason Wu, Jenna Lyons (J.Crew), Jack McCollough and Lazaro Hernandez (Proenza Schouler), Behnaz Serafpour, Doo Ri Chung, Sophie Buhai and Lisa Mayock (Vena Cava), Flora Gill and Alexa Adams (Ohne Titel), Prabal Gurung, Steven Meisel, Thakoon Panichgul, Carmen Marc Valvo.
University of Cincinnati (Cincinnati, OH)
About: Founded in 1819 as Cincinnati College, today UC is one of the 50 largest universities in the United States. In the 2010 survey by Times Higher Education (UK), the university was ranked in the top 100 universities in North America and as one of the top 200 in the world.
Programs: BS Fashion design. Minor Fashion design studies. Master of Design.
Nota bene: The Design program, in general, consistently ranks as one of the best in the USA.
Columbus College of Art & Design (Columbus, OH)
About: Originally founded in 1879 as the Columbus Art School, CCAD is one of the oldest and largest private art and design colleges in the United States.
Programs: BFA Fashion design, Fine arts (including painting, drawing, ceramics, sculpture, printmaking and glassblowing), Illustration. Multidisciplinary MFA degree in Visual Arts.
Nota bene: Alumni: Bruno Grizzo (fashion designer and illustrator who won 2 Gen Art fashion awards), John Urbano (art director, photographer, and video director; won 2 VMAs for One Direction's 'What Makes You Beautiful' video).
Kent State University (Kent, OH)
About: Established in 1910, today KSU offers over 300 degree programs, among them 250 baccalaureate, 40 associate's, 50 master's and 23 doctoral programs of study. It is ranked by the Carnegie Foundation as one of the top 77 public research universities in the US and one of the top 76 in community engagement. In 2010, Kent State was ranked as one of the top 200 universities in the world by Times Higher Education.
Programs: BA and BFA in Feshion design. Combined Baccalaureate in Fashion Merchandising/Master of Business Administration (MBA) with a concentration in Fashion Design and Merchandising (about 5 ½ years).
Nota bene: KSU has a garment center studio in NYC where 120 students per year go to study. It offers also study abroad programs in Paris and Milan a huge endowment for scholarships.
Oregon State University (Corvallis, OR)
About: OSU was established in 1868. The 2010 edition of Academic Ranking of World Universities (ARWU) ranked Oregon State in the "101 to 150" tier for universities worldwide. Several independent publications and websites rank Oregon State as one of the nation's best online colleges.
Programs: Apparel Design, Merchandising Management.
Nota bene: The design and merchandising programs at OSU are feeders for Nike, Pendleton, Adidas, Columbia Sportswear and Eddie Bauer.
Drexel University (Philadelphia, PA)
About: Founded in 1891, today Drexel has a large network of more than 1,600 corporate, governmental and non-profit partners in 28 states and 25 international locations. The College of Arts and Sciences (CoAS) has 15 majors (BS, BA), 12 MS, 7 Ph.D and several minor and dual-degree programs.
Programs: Fashion Design, Design & Merchandising.
Nota bene: Drexel has a fully internet-based job database, where students can submit résumés and request interviews with any of the thousands of companies that offer positions. Students also have the option of obtaining an internship via independent search. A student graduating from Drexel's 5-year degree program typically has a total of 18 months of internship with up to three different companies.
Moore College of Art & Design (Philadelphia, PA)
About: Established in 1848, Moore College of Art & Design (originally named 'Philadelphia School of Design for Women') is still the nation's only visual arts college for women.
Programs: BFA in Fashion Design and Illustration. Minors in Textile Design, Fashion Design, Fine Arts and Illustration. Certificates in Fashion Studies: Technical Design, Fashion Studies: Apparel Construction, and Fashion Merchandising + Production.
Nota bene: The Fashion program offers a number of fashion events throughout the year, including the Annual Fashion Show and frequent trips to New York and Philadelphia to visit design studios, retailers, suppliers and showrooms, the opportunity to compete for paid internships and International Study programs.
Philadelphia University (Philadelphia, PA)
About: Established in 1884 as the Philadelphia Textile School, today PhilaU includes 3 colleges and Kanbar College of Design, Engineering and Commerce houses the Fashion and Textile programs.
Programs: BS in Fashion Design, Fashion Merchandising and Management, Textile Design, Textiles Materials Technology. MS in Textile Design, Textile Engineering, Global Fashion Enterprise, Surface Imaging. PhD in Textile Engineering and Sciences.
Nota bene: PhilaU houses more than 20 laboratories and studios for hands-on experience in all areas of design, including Fashion Design and Textile Design. Other program highlights include the Annual Fashion Show, a successful internship program, career discovery workshops, and Study Abroad experiences (Italy, Hong Kong, Manchester, New Zealand, etc.). Jay McCarroll, winner of Bravo's inaugural season of Project Runway is former PhilaU's student.
Rhode Island School of Design (Providence, RI)
About: The RISD campus is contiguous with the Brown University campus. The two institutions share social, academic and community resources and offer joint courses. RISD is a member of the Association of Independent Colleges of Art and Design (AICAD), a consortium of thirty-six leading art schools in the United States.
Programs: BFA Apparel design, Illustration. BFA and MFA Jewelry/Metalsmithing, Printmaking, Photography, Textiles. MFA Teaching & Learning in Art & Design
Nota bene: RISD is annually ranked as the top art and design school in the United States. Within subdivisions of Fine Arts, the school was ranked 1st in graphic design, printmaking and industrial design; 2nd in painting; and 3rd in ceramics and photography. Alumni: Nicole Miller, Sari Gueron, Philip Crangi, Marcia Patmos, Sarah Welsh & Madeline Davy (formerly of Octopi).
University of North Texas (Denton, TX)
About: UNT was established in 1890 and was the first school to offer a Bachelor's degree in e-Merchandising and Master of Science (MS) program in Merchandising, offered completely online.
Programs: UNT's College of Visual Arts & Design (CVAD) - Department of Design offers BFA and MFA degrees in Fashion Design.
Nota bene: According to CVAD, BFA graduates have landed design positions at major companies such as Dillards, Liz Claiborne, Fossil, Sag Harbor, Talbots, Tandy Brands, Panhandle Slim, Dickies, Gloria Vanderbilt, Nieman Marcus, Zales, and Calvin Klein. MFA graduates 'typically progress into teaching at the college level.' Several recent graduates accepted 'tenure-track positions in the Fashion Design Department at Kent State University'.
Baylor University (Waco, TX)
About: Chartered in 1845, in the 2014 "Best Colleges" rankings by U.S. News & World Report, Baylor is No. 75 (up two spots since 2013) out of 262 national universities.
Programs: BA Apparel Design & Product Development, Apparel Merchandising.
Nota bene: Baylor has the largest collection of fashion design, merchandising, and product development software and technology of any university in North America, including a state-of-the-art fabric printer so students can easily make their own fabrics.
Virginia Commonwealth University (Richmond, VA)
About: VCU was founded in 1838 and today, more than 31,000 students pursue 222 degree and certificate programs through VCU's 13 schools and one college. It is designated as a research university with very high research activity. It is home to VCUarts (including the Department of Fashion Design & Merchandising) - one of the nation's best schools of art and design. VCU has a branch campus in Education City, Qatar.
Programs: BFA Fashion Design. BFA and MFA Fine Arts with a Specialization in Fiber Arts or Jewelry/Metalworking.
Nota bene: Program highlights include participation in the Annual Fashion Show, field trips to New York and the MAGIC trade show in Las Vegas, and short-term international trips to Paris, London, Florence, Rome, Hong Kong and Australia. Graduates of VCU's Fashion, Fiber and Material Studies programs hold positions at Nordstrom, GUESS, Harper's Bazaar, Burberry, Ann Taylor, Ralph Lauren, Cotton Incorporated, Williams-Sonoma, Li and Fung, Calvin Klein, Nautica, Jonathan Saunders, Avia, A/X Armani Exchange, Tracy Reese, Perry Ellis, Macy's and more.
Mount Mary University (Milwaukee, WI)
About: The university was founded in 1913 by the School Sisters of Notre Dame and was Wisconsin's first four-year, degree-granting Catholic college for women. Today, the university serves women at the undergraduate level and both women and men at the graduate level. The School of Arts & Design offers several programs for fashion designers.
Programs: BA in Fashion Design. Certificate in Fashion Design.
Nota bene: Each year, students travel to Fashion capitals to explore textile and apparel museums, attend fabric fairs and tour design studios, apparel showrooms and shopping districts. For business-oriented students the university offers also BA in Business Administration or Business/Professional Communication, Minor in Entrepreneurship, Certificate in Business Administration or Business/Professional Communication.
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