Online Degree Programs for Aspiring Fashion Designers

Fashion degrees can prepare you to work in fashion retail stores and showrooms or in promotions as a designer or buyer. Read on to learn more about online degree levels available in the field of fashion, course requirements, and the curricula in the respective degree level programs. Schools offering Fashion Design degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

What Are the Online Degree Options for Aspiring Fashion Designers?

If you're an aspiring fashion designer interested in pursuing an online degree, you have several different educational options. Most online fashion-related degree programs are in fashion merchandising or marketing. Some schools may confer general fashion degrees with optional concentrations in textile or fashion design, and virtually all degree programs teach numerous fashion design skills and concepts.

Most online fashion degrees are undergraduate; a few schools may offer master's degree programs, but they are very uncommon. Online fashion merchandising and design degrees at all levels may be primarily available through for-profit institutions.

Online Degree Programs Fashion merchandising, marketing, textile, and fashion design.
Course Requirements Portfolio of past work, design software, e-mail.
Associate's Degree Curriculum Branding, computer applications, retail pricing, fashion history
Bachelor's Degree Curriculum Textile construction, design evaluation, consumer analysis
Median Salary (2018)$72,720 (for fashion designers)*
Job Outlook (2016-26)3% growth (for all fashion designers)*

Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

How Do Online Programs Work?

Fashion design programs at all degree levels typically require submission of design portfolios for completion. As an online student, you'll likely submit your portfolio virtually, which generally requires you to purchase additional design, imaging or illustration software. You'll also need this programs throughout your time as a student to complete homework assignments in your courses. Assignments are uploaded by e-mail or through a course delivery system. Many online degree programs may also require you to have a scanner to digitally process and submit hand-drawn fashion designs.

What Will I Learn in an Online Associate's Degree Program?

You can earn an online associate's degree in fashion, fashion merchandising or fashion marketing. Most programs incorporate fashion design courses into their curricula, as well as helping you develop the business merchandising skills that help drive product sales. Some programs may offer optional concentrations in fashion design or related areas like visual merchandising and textiles. Associate's degrees are generally conferred in Associate of Arts (A.A.) or Associate of Applied Science (AAS) format.

Course curricula vary based on a program's exact focus; for example, a fashion merchandising program may emphasize business skills more strongly than a design program would. Associate's degree programs in all areas teach you about the visual and marketing functions of the fashion industry.

Merchandising-related courses include branding, merchandising math, computer applications, product development, fashion buying, retail pricing, fashion promotions and consumer behavior. You'll also get a full education in the visual, creative and technical elements of fashion design. Courses in this area cover design foundations and concepts, color and textile theory, fashion history, computer-aided design, patternmaking and aesthetic merchandising.

What Will I Learn in an Online Bachelor's Degree Program?

Most online bachelor's degree programs in fashion focus on business, merchandising or both; however, majors or concentrations in fashion design may also be available. As a student in a bachelor's degree program, you'll learn how to identify visually pleasing, commercially viable fashion designs and how to market them in retail or other promotional environments.

Required courses will address various components of fashion apparel, such as textile construction, design evaluation, clothing manufacturing, consumer analysis, trend forecasting and visual merchandising. You'll also become educated in fashion marketing and promotional concepts, including retail store planning, online marketing, media buying, brand management and fashion show planning.

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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