Fashion Design Associate Degree Program

Are you passionate about fashion design and want to explore a future in this field? This article gives you an overview of a common fashion design associate's program, complete with common courses in fashion business and drawing, and provides an overview of the fashion design job market. Schools offering Fashion Design degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

What Are Associate's Degree Programs in Fashion Design Like?

In an associate's degree program in fashion design, you learn the fundamentals of clothing design and production, preparing you for entry-level positions in the fashion industry. You learn about textiles, fashion history and business through hands-on coursework and internships.

You can find associate's degree programs in fashion design at 2-year and community colleges and technical schools around the country. While fully online degree programs in fashion design are rare, you can find schools that offer some online courses. If you're already working, you can enroll in a program with flexible evening and weekend courses or part-time study. Accelerated degree plans are available at some schools, permitting you to apply undergraduate liberal arts, business and studio art credits you've already earned toward your degree requirements and allowing you to graduate in one year.

Common CoursesDraping, sewing, fashion illustration, textiles, computer-aided design
Other RequirementsInternship, portfolio, student fashion show
Online Availability Fully online programs are rare, but many schools offer some online courses
Median Salary (2018)$72,720* (for fashion designers)
Job Outlook (2016-26)3%* (for all fashion designers)

Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

What Courses Will I Take?

In an associate's degree program in fashion design, you typically take courses that include fashion design, computer-aided design, model drawing, patternmaking, draping, sewing and clothing construction, fashion illustration, textiles and fashion business practices. Your curriculum also includes courses in the history of fashion and some general education courses, such as English and math.

Some programs are organized so that you build a portfolio of designs you can present to potential employers upon graduation. Others offer business classes for those students seeking entrepreneurial opportunities. Participation in student fashion shows and internships may be possible.

What Is My Job Outlook?

According to a report by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), competition for jobs in the fashion design industry is expected to be strong. An employment growth of only 3% is expected between 2016 and 2026. The BLS went on to report that fashion design opportunities are expected to be most plentiful in mass-market fashion.

The BLS reported that in May 2018, the median annual salary for fashion designers was $72,720. Fashion designers in New York enjoyed the highest annual mean wage of $95,830, and the state of New York had the highest concentration of fashion designer jobs.

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:

  • 1. Degree Options:
The schools in the listing below are not free and may include sponsored content but are popular choices among our users. Tuition and costs will vary across programs and locations. Be sure to always request tuition information before starting a program.

Popular Schools

  • Southern New Hampshire University

    Southern New Hampshire University responds quickly to information requests through this website.

    Popular programs at Southern New Hampshire University:

    • Associate Programs

    Online Programs Available

  • Ventura College

    Campus Locations:

    • California: Ventura
  • The New School

    Campus Locations:

    • New York: New York
  • The Art Institute of Seattle

    Campus Locations:

    • Washington: Seattle
  • The Art Institute of Philadelphia

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    • Pennsylvania: Philadelphia
  • The Art Institute of New York City

    Campus Locations:

    • New York: New York
  • The Art Institute of Fort Lauderdale

    Campus Locations:

    • Florida: Fort Lauderdale
  • SUNY Westchester Community College

    Campus Locations:

    • New York: Valhalla
  • West Valley College

    Campus Locations:

    • California: Saratoga
  • Seattle Central College

    Campus Locations:

    • Washington: Seattle