Where Can I Find Free Online Fashion Design Courses?

Free online fashion design courses are typically offered as noncredit courses through accredited colleges and universities. Continue reading to find out what these courses can teach you. Schools offering Fashion Design degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

What You Need to Know

Free non-credit online classes in fashion design are uncommon, but the available courses can help you enhance your current design skills or learn a whole new aspect of the fashion industry. These courses may feature a syllabus, lecture notes and design exercises. Required materials are generally limited to a PDF reader, but suggested materials can include a sketchpad, artist board and digital camera, among other supplies. Courses titled 'introductory' or 'beginner' do not require any prerequisites, but we advise that you check the syllabus before beginning a course.


Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT)

MIT offers non-credit OpenCourseWare (OCW) versions of courses that were originally taught to undergraduates. You can access them either as website content or for download in a zip file.

What Topics Are Included?

The Beginning Costume Design and Construction class emphasizes intermediate fashion design skills, especially in relation to theatrical designs. The materials cover period research, drafting skills and costume design in preparation for stage performances. You may find this course helpful whether you are interested in period or theater costume design, or if you merely want to enhance your level of expertise in various elements of fashion design.

The Craft of Costume Design course examines the art of crafting costume pieces, as opposed to the more standard technique of sewing. Some of the techniques covered include felting, distressing, embellishment, painting, dyeing and working with materials like craft foam and even duct tape.

What Materials Will I Need?

There is a list of suggested materials under the syllabus section of the website, such as a large sketchpad, artist board, costume supplies and a digital camera. The beginner course also involves reading several scripts, which you'd need to obtain yourself. A list of recommended texts is also available if you would like to acquire relevant books, and links to online resources are provided.

What Assignments Will I Complete?

Assignment options include reading, research and design exercises. There are also projects that include visual exercises, concept development techniques and costume research. Your work will not be evaluated by instructors, but you can view an image gallery featuring projects completed by MIT students in order to compare your work.

University of Fashion

The University of Fashion features a series of online videos that cover a variety of fashion topics, all of which can be viewed for free on its website.

What Topics Are Included?

These videos emphasize each step of the design process, from conception to realization. Students can learn about topics such as pattern making, draping, fashion art, sewing, and knits. The school also offers a series of fashion lectures, wherein students can study licensing, branding, retailing, textiles, and trend forecasting.

What Assignments Will I Complete?

While these videos are self-guided and are not graded, students can measure their own performance by completing the tasks shown in the videos. Each video contains detailed instruction on how to perform a particular maneuver or technique, and students can assess their progress and ensure comprehension by performing the same tasks at home.

What Materials Will I Need?

Students will need Internet access and a media player capable of streaming the videos. The CAD course also details applications such as Photoshop and Illustrator, so students may want access to Adobe Creative Suite. Though not required, students are strongly recommended to purchase materials shown in the video so that they can practice. This can include thread, pencils, paper, and more.

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:

    • Bachelor Degrees
    • Associate Programs

    Online Programs Available

  • Regent University

    Regent University responds quickly to information requests through this website.

    Popular programs at Regent University:

    • Master
    • Bachelor Degrees

    Online Programs Available

  • Brenau University

    Brenau University responds quickly to information requests through this website.

    Popular programs at Brenau University:

    • Master

    Online Programs Available

  • Penn Foster High School

    Penn Foster High School responds quickly to information requests through this website.

    Popular programs at Penn Foster High School:

    Online Programs Available

  • Independence University

    Independence University responds quickly to information requests through this website.

    Popular programs at Independence University:

    • Bachelor Degrees

    Online Programs Available

  • Iowa State University

    Campus Locations:

    • Iowa: Ames
  • Howard University

    Campus Locations:

    • Columbia (D.C.): Washington
  • Michigan State University

    Campus Locations:

    • Michigan: East Lansing
  • Texas Tech University

    Campus Locations:

    • Texas: Lubbock