The Best Training for
Fashion Design in 2021

If you want to work for Donna Karan, Alexander McQueen, or Ralph Lauren, you should enroll in the best school of fashion design you can find. The top fashion design schools will help you develop a futuristic perspective of the fashion industry. You will have the proper training to work with top industry brands.

This guide surveys the best fashion design schools and programs for students to launch or solidify their careers in fashion. These top programs will equip you with the tools and techniques to succeed in fashion design.

Rundown: The Top 10 Fashion Design Programs in 2021

The fashion industry is one of the most prestigious industries to join in 2021. Whether you are a fashion designer or a tailor, you cannot deny the zeal that comes with being part of one of the most creative industries. If you want to wind up with the Jimmy Choos or Pradas of this world, you should sign up for a program in fashion design.

Below you will find the best fashion design programs available in 2021. All the tuition information is from the schools’ official websites. Unless otherwise specified, the cost listed for each school is the annual tuition rate.

School State Programs and Tuition Cost Certifications
Parsons, The New School for Design NY Associate Degree in
Fashion Design
$25,861 per semester
Bachelor of Fine Arts in
Fashion Design
$25,861 per semester
Master’s in
Fashion Management
$54,600 in total
Fashion Business Certificate
$6,512–$6,552 in total
Certificate of Completion for
the Fashion Business
Certificate Program
The Fashion Institute of Technology NY Associate Degree in
Fashion Design
$2,645.00 per semester
(in-state)
$7,935.00 per semester
(out-of-state)
Associate Degree in
Fashion Business Management
$2,645.00 per semester
(in-state)
$7,935.00 per semester
(out-of-state)
Bachelor of Fine Arts in Children’s Wear,
Intimate Apparel, Knitwear, Special Occasion,
or Sportswear
$3,585 per semester
(in-state)
$10,846 per semester
(out-of-state)
Fashion Styling Certificate: Advanced
$1,410 in total
Fashion Styling Fundamentals
Certificate Program
$1,600 in total
Certificate of Completion for
the Fashion Styling
Certificate Programs
The Fashion Institute of Design & Merchandising CA Associate of Arts in
Fashion Design
$63,000 in total
Bachelor of Science in
Apparel Technical Design
$60,970 in total
None
Massachusetts College of Art and Design MA Bachelor of Fine Arts in
Fashion Design
$14,200 (in-state)
$31,800 (in other
New England states)
$39,800 (outside of
New England)
Fashion Design Certificate
$9,000 in total
Certificate of Completion for
the Fashion Design
Certificate Program
Istituto Marangoni‘s School of Fashion England,Spain, France Bachelor of Arts in
Fashion Design & Marketing
$31,045.18
Graduate Certificate in
Fashion Design
Free
Certificate of Completion for
the Graduate Certificate in
Fashion Design Program
Rhode Island School of Design RI Bachelor of Fine Arts
Apparel Design
$55,220
None
Drexel University PA Bachelor of Science in
Fashion Design
$54,766
Master in Science in
Fashion Design
$1,088 per credit hour
None
Thomas Jefferson University PA Bachelor of Science in
Fashion Design
$41,900
Master of Science in
International Fashion
Design Management
$36,780 in total
None
Harcum College PA Associate of Science in
Fashion Design
$26,600
None
Pratt Institute NY Bachelor of Fine Arts in
Fashion Design
$51,754
None
How to Pick the Best Fashion Design School for You

How to Pick the Best Fashion Design School for You

When looking for the best fashion design school, you must keep in mind a few factors that can catapult your career in the industry. Below are the top three things you should consider before signing up for a degree in fashion design.

Affiliations in the Industry

It is important that you enroll at a well-connected school. The fashion industry operates majorly on referrals. Select a school that has industry partners who may employ you after graduation.

Celebrity Graduates

Top fashion schools are responsible for the incredibly talented fashion designers in the industry. These schools’ design programs will give you a chance to follow in the footsteps of Michael Kors and other famous designers.

Accredited Programs

Before you base your decision on affordable tuition costs, check whether the school is accredited. Accreditation is important to ensure you receive a high-quality education from the program. Check out these top fashion design programs to help you succeed in the industry.

The Best Fashion Design Schools of 2021

Get to know in-depth details of the best fashion design programs in 2021. These programs are essential in learning both the basics and advanced topics in fashion design.

Parsons, The New School for Design

Programs

Associate of Applied Science in Fashion Design, Bachelor of Fine Arts in Fashion Design, Master’s in Fashion Management, Fashion Business Certificate

Accreditation

National Association of Schools of Art and Design (NASAD)

Online Options

Available

If you seek to change your career and become a fashion designer, you should consider attending The New School for Design. The Associate of Applied Science (AAS) in Fashion Design will help you learn the skills and processes of fashion design. You will learn how to sew, draw, drape, and tailor as part of the curriculum.

The AAS will help you start your career as a stylist, fashion designer, merchandiser, public relations specialist, or fashion marketer.

If you want to advance your skills in fashion, you should consider taking up either the BFA in Fashion Design or the online Master of Professional Studies (MPS) in Fashion Management. The one-year degree MPS program will help expand your creative horizons and your perspective of the fashion industry.

See below for a detailed look at what you will learn in the associate program.

AAS in Fashion Design Curriculum

Parson designed this program for students who want to change their careers and work in the fashion industry.

The instructor will help you learn different concepts such as drawing, pattern making, sewing, and tailoring.

The curriculum features career services that will help you prepare for a job in the industry. The career services will help you ace any job interview.

The Fashion Institute of Technology

Programs

Fashion Design (Associate and Bachelor’s), Associate Degree in Fashion Business Management, Fashion Styling Fundamentals Certificate, Fashion Styling Advanced Certificate

Accreditation

NASAD, Accreditation Council for Business Schools and Programs

Online Options

Available

This New York-based institution is internationally recognized as a center for fashion, art, design, and business. The Fashion Institute of Technology (FIT) provides a rigorous and unique curriculum fit for students who want to start their careers in fashion.

With famous graduates like Calvin Klein, Nina Garcia, Michael Kors, and Ralph Rucci, the school attracts worldwide attention.

Would you like to start your career in fashion design? Take a look at what the FIT fashion design curricula have to offer.

Fashion Design Degree Program Curriculum

You will learn draping, sewing techniques, and pattern making. This will help you develop a design from scratch to finish.

Your instructors will also teach you how to use Computer-Aided Design (CAD) to help you work on your design vision.

As part of the program, you will connect with different industry leaders and build your professional network.

There is also an option to study abroad in Italy in your first year.

The Fashion Institute of Design & Merchandising (FIDM)

Programs

Bachelor of Science in Apparel Technical Design, Associate of Arts in Fashion Design

Accreditation

NASAD, Western Association of Schools and Colleges Senior College and University Commission

Online Options

None

FIDM offers students a set of prestigious programs to explore their creative side when it comes to design. The school features a dynamic approach to its classes. You will study a combination of modern and traditional design aspects.

Below you will find the details of FIDM’s exceptional fashion design bachelor’s program.

BS in Fashion Design Curriculum

The school designed the program to help you learn creative design, computer applications, and pattern drafting.

This curriculum will help you learn how to incorporate technical and artistic elements into fashion design.

If you want to learn how to use CAD, you should consider this program.

The school’s internship program will give you an opportunity to demonstrate your skills and develop the right work experience to succeed in the field.

Massachusetts College of Art

Programs

Bachelor of Fine Arts in Fashion Design, Fashion Design Certificate

Accreditation

National Architectural Accrediting Board, NASAD

Online Options

None

MassArt combines innovation and traditional concepts of fashion design to drive the process of creativity. The school prides itself on 45 years of educating students in fashion and design. By joining MassArt, you’ll be part of over 1,635 enrolled students aspiring to join the industry.

Check below for specifics about the BFA curriculum, which will help you launch your career in fashion design.

BFA in Fashion Design Curriculum

You will master drafting techniques currently used by industry professionals.

As part of the curriculum, you will also go through personal development. You will be well trained in proper time management, collaborative skills, and professionalism.

You will develop the technical competency needed to excel in the industry. You will learn clothing construction, draping, and how to work with different fashion design software.

Istituto Marangoni’s School of Fashion

Programs

Bachelor of Science in Fashion Design & Marketing, Graduate Certificate in Fashion Design

Accreditation

Ministry of Education, University, and Research; National Commission of Professional Certifications

Online Options

Available

The fashion school offers students an opportunity to expand their knowledge in fashion. You can choose to specialize in fashion business styling or design. The school designed the program for beginners to join the extensive network of fashion design professionals. The complete education will equip you with the necessary skills to succeed in the industry.

Read more about its three-year course in fashion design and marketing below.

BS in Fashion Design & Marketing Curriculum

You will learn the basics of hand drawing techniques to creative research.

As part of the curriculum, you will also cover fashion retail environments. You will learn the current technologies used in the fashion world. The instructor will teach you the entire concept from analysis to deconstruction.

By the end of the lessons, you will be able to create an original collection from scratch. This experience will come in handy during product development for an organization.

Rhode Island School of Design (RISD)

Programs

Bachelor of Fine Arts in Apparel Design

Accreditation

New England Commission of Higher Education, NASAD

Online Options

Available

With over 2,227 students enrolled for its apparel industry degree, RISD prides itself on allowing beginners and experts to advance in their careers. Take advantage of its small student-to-teacher ratio and join the apparel design program. Its application process is quite simple and has a high acceptance rate of 20 percent.

Take a look at what the Apparel Design program can do for your career.

BFA in Apparel Design Curriculum

The four-year program will help develop your unique voice in apparel design.

You will also work on sharpening your analytical skills. By the end of the lessons, you will be able to easily identify the target market and develop business insights to drive sales.

You will build a solid foundation in drawing, pattern drafting, 3D mapping, and fitting.

You will also learn project planning, problem-solving, and practical communication skills.

Drexel University

Programs

Bachelor of Science in Fashion Design, Master in Science in Fashion Design

Accreditation

Middle States Commission on Higher Education, NASAD, NAAB

Online Options

Available

Would you like to major in fashion design? Drexel University offers students an opportunity to explore the creative industry through its four-year program. The school combines a studio learning environment with a rigorous curriculum to ensure you grasp all the essential aspects to become successful.

The BS in Fashion Design attracts students from all over the world. See below for curriculum details.

BS in Fashion Design Curriculum

In the first year, you will tackle challenges facing the fashion industry. This will help you broaden your view of the global fashion scene.

As part of the curriculum, you will also work for six months for an international brand in Los Angeles, New York, or another global fashion capital.

You will also have an opportunity to study abroad in your sophomore year. You can choose to go to England, Italy, or South Korea.

Thomas Jefferson University

Programs

Bachelor of Science in Fashion Design, Master of Science in International Fashion Design Management

Accreditation

Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools

Online Options

None

Thomas Jefferson University provides a beginner-friendly program to aspiring fashion design professionals. You can gain extensive experience to become an invaluable member of any fashion design team in only four years. Although some universities struggle to prepare students for the workforce, Thomas Jefferson University isn’t one of them.

Learn more about the fashion design bachelor’s degree program below.

BS in Fashion Design Curriculum

You will have an opportunity to study abroad in London or Rome.

The program will prepare you to work for top brands such as Coach, Donna Karan, Free People, and Tommy Hilfiger.

Score an internship with companies like Anthropologie, Betsy Johnson, and Vogue.

Harcum College

Programs

Associate of Science in Fashion Design

Accreditation

Middle States Commission on Higher Education

Online Options

Available

If you are looking for flexible learning programs, join Harcum College, which features an outstanding fashion design program. You will learn the current trends in fashion design used by professionals in the industry. In only two years, you can easily launch your career.

Learn more about the associate degree below.

AS in Fashion Design Curriculum

Learn CAD and 3D prototyping at Harcum College.

The instructors will also teach you the creative and production aspects of fashion design.

The curriculum is an excellent launching pad to transfer into a Bachelor’s Degree in Fashion Marketing or Apparel Design.

Pratt Institute

Programs

Bachelor of Fine Arts in Fashion Design

Accreditation

Middle States Commission on Higher Education

Online Options

Available

The fine arts school offers students an opportunity to learn world-class techniques in the fashion design industry. The program reflects the school’s commitment to authenticity and creativity in design. You will develop the right mindset and approach to solidify your career in fashion design.

Below you will learn more about Pratt Institute’s BFA in Fashion Design.

BFA in Fashion Design Curriculum

As part of the curriculum, you will spend a lot of time in museums, design studios, and archives to familiarize yourself with top brands and the history of fashion.

You will also have access to internship opportunities at top companies such as Donna Karan, Ralph Lauren, and Zero + Maria Cornejo.

The program also features annual design competitions. These competitions will be invaluable for professional networking and exposure.

How Much Can You Earn as a Fashion Designer

How Much Can You Earn as a Fashion Designer?

According to ZipRecruiter, the average annual salary of a fashion designer is $50,793. The fashion designer salary ranges between $18,000 and $106,000 per year. Your level of education, job location, experience, and creativity determines how much money you can make in a year.

Below you will find the best-paying jobs in fashion design.

The Highest-Paying Fashion Design Roles

Role Required Education Approx. Average Salary
Fashion director Bachelor’s degree $130,287
Fashion designer Bachelor’s degree $75,810
Fashion buyer Bachelor’s degree $65,000
Technical designer, apparel Bachelor’s degree $60,463
Retail general manager Bachelor’s degree $57,353
Fashion Stylist Associate degree $52,153
Apparel production coordinator Bachelor’s degree $50,876

Why You Should Be a Fashion Designer in 2021

You should become a fashion designer in 2021 simply because of the competitive nature of the industry. Because the industry is always on the move, employment opportunities are cropping up all the time. There will always be a demand for creative minds who can bring fresh ideas, new concepts, and innovative technology to the industry.

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