Apparel and Fashion Design Bachelor's Degree

Learn how to choose a bachelor's degree program in apparel and fashion design. Discover information on program specifics and the career outlook, as well as what you can earn as a fashion designer. Schools offering Fashion Design degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

Where Can I Earn an Apparel and Fashion Design Bachelor's Degree?

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) states that the National Association of Schools of Art and Design (NASAD) has about 300 accredited postsecondary schools that offer degree-granting programs in art and design. Many of these programs are in fashion design. You may be able to purchase a copy of the directory of schools at the NASAD website. The National Center for Education Statistics (NCES) is a free source you might use to locate a program in this field. You can gain access to a list of more than 70 postsecondary institutions offering bachelor's degrees in fashion and apparel design. According to the BLS, your chances of being hired as a designer are enhanced if you hold a 2- or 4-year degree and exhibit a broad knowledge of the industry.

Common Courses Clothing construction, pattern design, draping, product development, CAD for fashion design
Degree Options Bachelor of Arts, Bachelor of Fine Arts
Online Availability Fully online programs are rare; individual courses may be more commonly available online
Median Salary (2018)$72,720* (for fashion designer)
Job Outlook (2016-26)3% growth* (for all fashion designers)

Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

What Are Some Program Specifics?

In a bachelor's degree program, you learn about the techniques and practices that are common in the contemporary fashion design business. A program generally takes four years to complete and may lead to a Bachelor of Arts or Bachelor of Fine Arts. Typical courses can include clothing construction, pattern design, draping, design concepts, product development, merchandise promotion and computer-aided design (CAD) for fashion design. You may have a chance to specialize in an area such as sportswear, children's clothing or intimate apparel. A capstone project can entail developing an entire line of clothing. Most programs also require you to complete an internship, with some schools offering them as study abroad opportunities.

What Are Some Online Options?

You may be able to find bachelor's degree programs in fashion design delivered entirely online, but they are quite rare. Online degree programs in fashion merchandising are more common and typically contain fashion design courses. Also, there are online, stand-alone fashion design programs offered by for-profit schools, companies and organizations.

What Is the Occupational Outlook?

The BLS projected that employment of fashion designers would increase 3% from 2016-2026. Though fashion-manufacturing jobs may decrease due to outsourcing, firms tend to keep designer positions in-house. Salary statistics from 2018 state that the median annual wage for fashion designers was $72,720, per the BLS.

To continue researching, browse degree options below for course curriculum, prerequisites and financial aid information. Or, learn more about the subject by reading the related articles below:

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