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Top 20 Fashion Schools on the East Coast

Written by FS StaffJune 18, 2013
East Coast

Did You Know.... Academy of Art University’s School of Fashion offers BFA's in Fashion, Fashion Merchandising, Textile Design, Fashion Marketing, Fashion Styling, Costume Design, and Fashion Product Development. Learn more.

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Each day we receive emails from aspiring fashion designers asking us for advice as to which fashion design schools are the “best” in the US, a given state, or in a particular area of the country.  As such advice is difficult to provide on an individual basis, we have instead created this list of the Top 20 Fashion School Programs on the East Coast. For the record, we define the East Coast as Virginia, Rhode Island, Maryland, Pennsylvania, New York, Delaware, Connecticut, Massachusetts, Vermont, New Hampshire, and Maine. 

In preparing this list, we considered over 200 schools in the US that offer fashion programs. Our goal with this list is to give fashion design students a starting point to identify programs of interest and to provide some insight as to the quality and quantity of fashion design programs available to them. In the end, choosing a college is one of life's biggest decisions and we endeavor to help students make an informed decision about the school they choose to attend. 

The criteria we used in making this list consists of the following, in no particular order: academic reputation, admission selectivity, depth and breadth of the program and faculty, and geographic location as it relates to cities considered to be fashion industry "meccas".  More info on our criteria.

Like any list, ours is not perfect and is open for debate. There is no single opinion that trumps all when it comes to which school is the “best”. Ultimately every student has different needs regarding the type and academic rigor of a fashion design program, campus culture, as well as cost, lifestyle, and career focus. Our hope is that this list is a starting point for students to discover the schools that are the best fit for them.

1. Parsons The New School For Design, New York, New York
Parsons The New School for Design is an elite design school that offers more than 40 undergraduate and advanced degrees Art, Media, Technology, Urban Design, and more. Established in 1896 by American Impressionist William Merritt Chase, “The New School” or “Parsons,” is located in one of the world’s most coveted cities for creatives—New York.

Established in 1921, Parsons became the first art and design school in the U.S. to found a campus in the bustling city of Paris. The Paris campus offers BFA, BBA, MA, MFA, and MS degrees, as well as non-degree study options. "Outgoing students" may be selected to study abroad in Paris for a year or a semester.

The New York campus is home to 5,000 students, enrolled in five schools including the School of Fashion, the School of Art and Design History and Theory, the School of Design Strategies, the School of Constructed Environments, and the School of Art, Media, and Technology. The NYC campus offers AAS and BFA degrees in Fashion Design, an MFA in Fashion Design and Society, an AAS in Fashion Marketing, an MA in Fashion Studies, and an AAS, BFA, and MFA in Interior Design.

Students may enhance their degree by enrolling in the Design Business Certificate program or the BA/BFA Dual Degree. The Dual Degree highlights areas such as Entrepreneurship, Fashion History, and Sustainable Design. Although Parsons only offers an AAS in Fashion Marketing, like all fashion programs offered here, the AAS program is highly selective. It is also available both online and on-campus. 

2. Fashion Institute of Technology, New York, New York
The Fashion Institute of Technology has partnerships with just about every top fashion school in the U.S. The school offers Study Tours for college credit. The FIT program offers the opportunity to study in New York at FIT and immerse in the city’s fashion scene for up to a semester. The FIT Study Tour program isn’t the only unique program the school offers.

Established in 1944, the Fashion Institute of Technology offers a wide variety of academic programs that prepare students for more than 30 career fields. The school offers Associate’s, Bachelors, and Master’s degrees in a wide variety of areas ranging from Accessories Design to Visual Presentation and Exhibition Design. FIT offers a
BFA in Fabric Styling, AAS and BFA degrees in Fashion Design with Concentrations in Children’s Wear, Intimate Apparel, Knitwear, Special Occasion, or Sportswear, and AAS and BS degrees in Fashion Merchandising Management.

FIT also offers a BS in International Trade and Marketing for the Fashion Industries (including an evening/weekend program), an AAS and BS in Production Management, a BS in Textile Development and Marketing, and an AAS and BFA in Textile/Surface Design. A BS in Technical Design is also on the list of offerings as well as an AAS in Jewelry Design and an AAS in Menswear. The International BFA program offers one year of Fashion Design study in New York and the other in Milan.

All programs offer internships and Study Abroad opportunities. Students have completed internships at companies such as Ralph Lauren, Guess, Liz Claiborne, Nike, Macy's, Jones Apparel Group, Ann Taylor, Perry Ellis, Saks, Calvin Klein, DKNY, Marc Jacobs, and Helmut Lang. Study Abroad locations run the gamut from London, Paris, and Rome, to Hong Kong, Milan, and more.

To enhance their degree, many students choose FIT’s Entrepreneurship program. The FIT BS in Entrepreneurship prepares students to start their own lines, boutiques. or other businesses. It is also a good option for students interested in high-end management positions.

3. Drexel University, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Drexel University is a private research university. Established in 1891 by financier and philanthropist Anthony J. Drexel, the school is situated on a 74-acre campus, in the University City district of Philadelphia. The campus is just 10 minutes from art and culture filled downtown Philadelphia and it is home to nearly 22,000 students, enrolled in more than 200 programs.

Drexel University's Antoinette Westphal College of Media Arts & Design offers BS degrees in Fashion Design and Design & Merchandising. Program highlights include the Drexel Undergraduate Co-op and an annual fashion show. The Drexel Undergraduate Co-op gives students the opportunity to gain six to 18 months of paid career-related work experience at places such as Coach, Calvin Klein, Neiman Marcus, Michael Kors, and many others. The Drexel Fashion Show is described as "a beautifully staged event featuring professional models and prominent media coverage." The Show allows students to showcase their best work to peers and industry professionals.

Although not required, Study Abroad is encouraged. Drexel University offers short- or long-term study abroad programs around the world in countries such as London, Prague, Greece, Australia, France, and Iceland.

4. Rhode Island School of Design, Providence, Rhode Island
Founded in 1877, Rhode Island School of Design was named the best school in the world for design by Business Insiders World's Best 25 Design Schools. The school is home to the Museum of Art, which features 86,000 works of fine and decorative art from ancient times to the present, the Nature Lab, which features more than 80,000 natural history objects, and Fleet Library at RISD. The Fleet Library features more than 150,000 volumes of art, design, architecture, and photography.

RISD or “RIZ-dee” is home to 2,386 students and the school offers Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees in 19 majors. The most common undergraduate degree is the Bachelor of Fine Arts Degree (BFA). Rhode Island School of Design offers a BFA in Apparel Design, and a BFA and MFA in Textiles and Jewelry and Metalsmithing. BFA and MFA program highlights include required internships, seminar speakers, field experiences, visiting critics, interaction with experts in the field, and an annual runway show.

Students are encouraged to participate in RISD’s Study Abroad program. The school provides opportunities for students to study abroad at 45 participating institutions in 26 countries. Study abroad experiences are one semester and past destinations include Copenhagen, Rome, Mexico, France, Japan, New Zealand, Scotland, Switzerland, Cuba, Russia, Paris, Bali, Ghana, Costa Rica, and Guatemala.

5. Pratt Institute, Brooklyn, New York, New York
Founded in 1887, Pratt Institute is a global leader in higher education dedicated to preparing its 4,700 undergraduate and graduate students for successful careers in art, design, architecture, information and library science, and liberal arts and sciences. Located in a cultural hub with historic campuses in Brooklyn and Manhattan, Pratt is a living lab of craft and creativity with an esteemed faculty of accomplished professionals and scholars who challenge their talented students to transform their passion into meaningful expression. Pratt is also home to the first fashion design program in the United States.

As an arts and commerce epicenter, Pratt sets the institutional standard. The college ranks among the top design schools in the world by BusinessWeek and its interior design, industrial design, and architecture programs are consistently ranked among the top 10 nationwide. Additionally, Pratt’s campus was named one of the 10 college campuses with the best architecture by Architectural Digest.

Museums, archives, and design studios familiarize students with design processes and histories; internships at top design companies such as Zero Maria Cornejo, Rag & Bone, Ralph Lauren, and Donna Karan offer Pratt fashion students hands-on experience and professional networking. The department also supports international exchange and intensive summer study abroad programs.

6. Cornell University, Ithaca, New York
Established in 1865, Cornell University is a private university and the land-grant institution of New York State. Also an Ivy League institution that ranks number 15 in the nation, Cornell is home to more than 14,000 undergraduate students and 7,000+ graduate students from just about every state and 120 countries. The school has more than 4,000 courses to choose from in 11 undergraduate, graduate, and professional schools. Cornell also offers programs in Washington, D.C. and New York City.

Cornell University's College of Human Ecology, Department of Fiber Science & Apparel Design (FSAD) offers a BS in Fiber Science & Apparel Design with Specializations in Apparel Design, Fashion Design Management, and Fiber Science. The Fashion Design Management program offers three options including Management and Marketing, Product Development, or Communications. A Minor in Fiber Science is also offered.

The FSAD Graduate program offers five degrees including an M.S. and Ph.D. in Fiber Science, an M.A. and Ph.D. in Apparel Design, and a Master of Professional Studies in Human Ecology, with Concentrations Fiber Science and Apparel Design. FSAD highlights include internship and Study Abroad opportunities in Italy, Australia, England, Israel, Spain, and even a Semester at Sea. Students also have access to the National Textile Center, the Cornell Costume and Textile Collection, and The Cornell Fashion Collective. The Collective is a student-run organization that produces a professional runway show that showcases student designs and fashion management skills. 

7. Massachusetts College of Art and Design, Boston, Massachusetts
Founded in 1873 as the Massachusetts Normal Art School, Massachusetts College of Art and Design is a public, independent college of art and design. The school is home to 2,426 students, enrolled in more than 30 Graduate and Undergraduate programs. Massachusetts College of Art and Design also offers Certificate programs in Fashion Design, Furniture Design, Industrial Design, and Graphic Design.

Founded by "English art educator Walter Smith and Boston Brahmin arts impresario Charles Callahan Perkins," Massachusetts College of Art and Design (MassArt), offers BFA degrees in Fashion Design, Fibers, and Jewelry/Metalsmithing. Program highlights include participation in the Annual Fashion Show and special projects similar to the school’s 2011 Voltage Fashion/Film Story (a collaboration between the Fashion and Film Departments).

Students also have the opportunity to create a signature line to be showcased in the Annual Fashion Show, and they may participate in competitions and team projects. Just a few include the Council of Fashion Designers of America Competition, the Italian Trade Commission Project, the Chadwick's Project, and the Karmaloop Project. During the final years of study, all students must complete an internship. Students have completed internships at Michael Kors, Karl Lagerfeld, Anna Sui, Boston Ballet, Zac Posen, Tory Burch, Betsy Johnson, Armani AX, Tommy Hilfiger, Boston Conservatory, Vera Wang, and Nicole Miller.

8. University of Delaware, Newark, Delaware
Established in 1743, the University of Delaware (UD) is home to more than 21,000 students, enrolled in more than 300 degree programs. The University of Delaware Department of Fashion & Apparel Studies offers a variety of degree programs for fashion students including BS Degrees in Apparel Design and Fashion Merchandising, and an AAS in Fashion Merchandise Management.

The Department also offers a Master of Science in Fashion and Apparel Studies, a Graduate Certificate in Socially Responsible and Sustainable Apparel Business, a Minor in Fashion History and Culture and the 4+1 Program. This program allows undergraduate Fashion Merchandising majors to complete the Master's Degree in Fashion and Apparel Studies in half the time.

All Fashion programs offer the opportunity to participate in field study experiences in New York City, Philadelphia, Washington, D.C., and California. Internship opportunities with top designers such as Marc Jacobs International are available as well as Study Abroad experiences. Hong Kong and Glasgow, Scotland are just a few Study Abroad destinations. Students may also attend the Fashion Institute of Technology (FIT) in New York for one year.

FIT courses may be applied towards the BS in Fashion Merchandising or Apparel Design. In addition, “Students who successfully complete the prescribed courses at both institutions qualify for an Associate's Degree from FIT and a Bachelor's Degree from UD.”

9. Virginia Commonwealth University, Richmond Virginia
Founded in 1838 as the Medical College of Virginia (MCV), Virginia Commonwealth University (VCU) is home to more than 31,000 students, enrolled in more than 222 certificate and degree programs in the Arts, Sciences, and Humanities. Sixty-six programs are unique to VCU.

Virginia Commonwealth University has 11 top 20 ranked programs in the School of the Arts. Just a few include the Master of Fine Arts, which ranked fourth in 2013 by U.S. News & World Report, and Fiber Arts, which ranked 4th in 2008. VCU’s Fashion program is also one of the best in the nation. The program offers a BA in Fashion Merchandising, a BFA in Fashion Design, and an MFA in Fine Arts with Specializations in Fibers, Furniture Design, Jewelry/Metalworking, and more.

Fashion program highlights include participation in the Annual Fashion Show, field trips to New York and the MAGIC trade show in Las Vegas, and short-term international trips to Paris, London, Florence, Rome, Hong Kong, and Australia. Fashion students may also Study Abroad for a semester in places such as Florence, Italy or Guinea, West Africa. Graduates of VCU’s Fashion or Fiber programs have found industry positions at places such as Nordstrom, Cotton Incorporated, Perry Ellis, Harpers Bazaar, Macy’s, William Sonoma, and more.

10. LIM College, New York, New York
LIM College was established in 1939 as the Laboratory Institute of Merchandising (LIM). The school changed its name to LIM College in 2009 and it is now home to more than 1,400 students. The school, one of the nations top design colleges, is also one of the best schools for students interested in both the technical and business sides fashion.

Located in Manhattan, LIM College offers several competitive programs for fashion students. Offerings include AAS, AOS, BBA, and BPS degrees in Fashion Merchandising, BBA degrees in Fashion Marketing and Visual Merchandising, and a Master of Professional Studies (MPS) in Fashion Marketing. Beginning in Fall 2013, LIM College will offer a MPS degree in Fashion Merchandising and Retail Management and an MBA with tracks in Fashion Management and Entrepreneurship.

11. Lasell College, Newton, Massachusetts
Established as the Auburndale Female Seminary in 1851, Lasell College is considered one of the best private, coeducational colleges in the country. Ranked 25th in U.S. News & World Report’s "Best Regional Colleges" for 2013, Lasell College is home to more than 1,800 students, enrolled in 40+ degree programs. In addition to access to a variety of program’s, Lasell students have access to a beautiful 53 acre campus that’s just eight miles from downtown Boston and all it has to offer.

The Lasell College Department of Fashion offers several degrees for fashion students. Options include a BS in Fashion and Retail Merchandising, a BA in Fashion Communication and Promotion, or a BA in Fashion Design and Production. Many students also complete the Marketing, Management or Entrepreneurship BS or Minor in Business to enhance their degree and career opportunities.

Another way to enhance career opportunities is through the Department’s internship program. The program offers hands-on training with companies such as Gucci, Puma North America, Kenneth Cole, Lord & Taylor, and Neiman Marcus. Students in good academic standing are also eligible to enroll in the Department’s Two-Week Travel/Study Program in Paris or Study Abroad for an entire semester or summer in one of 38 countries.

12. University of Rhode Island, Kingston, Rhode Island
The University of Rhode Island (URI) was established in 1892. It is located on a 1,200-acre campus, just 79 miles from Boston and 29 miles from Providence—Rhode Island’s largest city. The University of Rhode Island, the state’s current land, sea and urban grant public research institution, is home to around 16,000 students, enrolled in 80 majors across four campuses.

The URI College of Human Science and Services is home to the school’s Fashion program. The College offers a BS, MS, and a Minor in Textiles, Fashion Merchandising and Design (TMD), a BS in Textile Marketing, a Certificate in Fashion Merchandising, and a Double Major in TMD and Fashion Language (French and Italian). The TMD undergraduate major offers four options including: Fashion Merchandising, Apparel Studies, Textile Science, and Interior Furnishings and Design. URI’s College of Continuing Education also offers a Master Seamstress Program.

TMD program highlights include possible internship opportunities with Gucci, Giorgio Armani, Nordstrom, Christian Louboutin, Tommy Hilfiger, the American Textile History Museum, and Marie Claire Magazine. The program also offers access to the URI Historic Textile and Costume Collection (nearly 20,000 objects), membership in the Fashion Merchandising Society, participation in the Annual Fashion Show, and study abroad opportunities.

The TMD program offers a Winter Fashion Study Tour of London and Paris, Summer Study at the Universite de la Mode in Lyon, France, and Study Abroad for a semester in London, Florence, Paris, Australia, and more. 

13. Virginia Tech University, Blacksburg, Virginia
Founded in 1872, Virginia Tech University is a 2,600-acre, public land-grant university. The school offers more than 215 undergraduate and graduate degree programs, which is the largest number of degree offerings in the state. Virginia Tech also has one of the largest student bodies in the U.S. It is home to more than 31,000 students.

Virginia Tech University has several campuses and facilities. The Blacksburg campus (located in Virginia’s largest town) houses the main campus, and the school has a Study Abroad campus in Switzerland. The school also has a 1,800-acre agricultural research farm near the main campus, and off-campus educational facilities in six regions.

Virginia Tech’s College of Liberal Arts and Human Services is home to the Department of Apparel, Housing, and Resource Management. The Department offers a BS with an Apparel Product Development and Merchandising Management option (APDM). Program highlights include access to the Oris Glisson Historic Costume and Textiles Collection (over 5,000 pieces), textile labs, display windows and product development spaces, and participation in the Annual Fashion Show and the Fashion Merchandising and Design Society.

The Fashion program also offers excellent internship opportunities. Past placements include Seventeen Magazine, Kenneth Cole, Calvin Klein, Macy's, Oscar de la Renta, The Limited, and Ralph Lauren. Students may enroll in any number of International Study programs at Virginia Tech, including more than 200 options in over 60 countries around the world. Domestic field-study experiences are on the menu as well.

14. Syracuse University, Syracuse, New York
Founded in 1870, Syracuse University (SU) is a private, coeducational institution located in Central New York, just 88 miles from Rochester—the state's third largest city. The school also has campuses in Manhattan, Washington D.C., and Sherman Oaks, California. The main campus is home to more than 21,000 students, enrolled in more than a dozen schools and colleges.

The College of Visual and Performing Arts (VPA) at Syracuse University is one of the nations top VPA schools. The school’s Department of Design offers BFA Degrees in four areas including Fashion Design, Communication Design, Environmental and Interior Design, and Industrial and Interaction Design. Fashion Design program highlights include participation in the Annual Fashion Show, visiting designers such as Russell Simmons, Tommy Hilfiger, Nicole Miller, and Todd Oldham, and participation in the Fashion Association of Design Students.

Fashion students have the opportunity to present a six- to eight-piece collection during their senior year, and they are encouraged to study overseas during their junior year via Syracuse University Abroad. Syracuse University’s center in London, England offers a variety of unique areas of study in cooperation with the London College of Fashion. For one semester, SU students may take courses in areas such as millinery design, shoe design, and electronic machine embroidery, in addition to courses they would normally take at the SU campus back home. Other Study Abroad destinations include Australia, Costa Rica, India, Ireland, Israel, Japan, Russia, Egypt, Ghana, Kenya, Namibia, and Tanzania.

1515. Marist College, Poughkeepsie, New York
Marist College is located in an ideal setting overlooking the Hudson River, and just 80 miles or so from New York and Albany. Founded in 1929, the 210-acre campus is home to more than 6,000 students, enrolled in more than 60 undergraduate programs and 13 graduate programs. The school also offers nearly 50 minors.

The Marist College Fashion Program, offered through the School of Communications and the Arts, offers a Bachelor of Professional Studies in Fashion Design and Fashion Merchandising. The School also offers Minors in Fashion Merchandising and Fashion Product Development. Fashion program highlights include Marist in Manhattan: Internships in Art, Fashion, and Media (MinM), participation in the Silver Needle Fashion Show and Fashion Inc. (a student club), and excellent Study Abroad options.

Fashion students may spend a semester or academic year abroad in one of more than 50 locations such as Hong Kong Polytechnic University in China and Marist-Mod’Spe Paris Fashion Program in France. In addition, Marist recently added short-term Study Abroad programs, which take place during winter and spring break. Programs include France: Paris Fashion Program: From Atelier to Market Place (Winter), Italy and France: Fashion Merchandising: Florence and Paris (Spring) and Italy and Spain: Global Fashion Trends: Barcelona and Florence (Spring)

16. Framingham State University, Framingham, Massachusetts
Framingham State University (FSU) is a public university located just 20 miles west of Boston. Established in 1839 by Horace Mann and as America’s first public teacher preparation school, FSU sits on a 50-acre “traditional New England campus,” in the largest town in Massachusetts. The school is home to 6,110 students, enrolled in more than 40 programs.

The Department of Consumer Sciences is home to FSU’s Fashion program. The Department offers a BS in Fashion Design and Retailing. Concentrations include Apparel Design and Merchandising. Program highlights include access to the Costume and Textile Resource Center, The Style Magazine Club and the Fashion Club, study trips to New York, and the internship program.

The Fashion Design and Retailing Program prepares students for the following careers: Fashion Designer, Retail Buyer, Technical Designer, Theatrical Costumer, Retail Merchandising, Patternmaker, Market Researcher, Fashion Coordinator, Costume Curator, Visual Merchandiser, Fashion Merchandiser, and more. Graduates of the program hold positions at companies such as New Balance, Gap, Reebok, TJX, Stride Rite, and US Army Research Center. 

17. Centenary College, Hackettstown, New Jersey
Founded in 1867 as a coeducational preparatory school, Centenary College is a private, four-year baccalaureate and master-level college that sits on 42 acres in suburban Hackettstown, New Jersey. In addition to the main campus in Hackettstown, Centenary College has three centers including the Edison Center (Edison, NJ), the Parsippany Center (Parsippany, NJ), and the Equestrian Center in Long Valley, NJ.

Centenary College is home to around 1,915 students, enrolled in 20 Bachelor's degree programs (with 23 unique concentrations), and more than a dozen Graduate programs. The school offers Associate degree programs and accelerated programs, and a variety of online programs. The Centenary College Communication and Fine Arts Department is home to the school’s Fashion program. The Department offers BFA Degrees in Merchandising and Design and Fashion Design.

“Centenary College is one of only a few colleges to combine innovative Fashion Design and Fashion Merchandising programs with a strong liberal arts education.” Program highlights include paid and unpaid internship opportunities at coveted companies such as Cosmopolitan (New York), DuJour Magazine (New York), Elle Magazine (New York), Mary Kay (Teaneck, NJ), and The Jones Group/Anne Klein (New York), participation in the Annual Fashion Show, and access to top-notch production facilities and studios. The Fashion program at Centenary College prepares students for careers as Fashion Designers, Fashion Illustrators, Patternmakers, Sample Room Supervisors, and more. 

18. Albright College, Reading, Pennsylvania
Established in 1856, Albright College is a national liberal arts college that sits on 118 acres, just 63 miles from Philadelphia. This nationally ranked college is home to around 1,600 students, enrolled in 50 programs of study. Albright College also offers accelerated programs at 10 locations throughout Central and Southeastern Pennsylvania.

The Department of Fashion offers several programs including a BA in Fashion and a Co-Concentration in Fashion. The BA in Fashion offers Tracks in Fashion Merchandising, Design & Merchandising, Fashion Design, and Costume Design. The Co-Concentration in Fashion offers Tracks in Fashion Merchandising, Fashion Design, and Costume Design. Fashion program highlights include participation in the Annual Fashion Show, the opportunity to contribute to Fashion Lion (FL)—the Fashion Department newsletter, and the internship program.

Students may also enroll in study experiences in New York, London, China, Argentina, France, South Africa, and more.

19. Moore College of Art & Design, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Moore College of Art & Design was established in 1848 as the Philadelphia School of Design for Women and the nation’s first visual arts college for women. In 1989, the school became Moore College of Art & Design and it is still the nation’s only visual arts college for women. Home to more than 500 students, Moore College offers nine majors leading to a BFA degree, three Graduate programs leading to an MA or MFA degree, 11 minors, and a Certificate Program.

Moore College offers BFA degrees in Fashion Design and Interior Design. Unique program highlights include regular trips to Philadelphia and New York to visit retailers, suppliers, and designers’ studios and showrooms, and the opportunity to compete for paid internship fellowships. All students may participate in the International Study Program as well. Destinations include London, Rome, and Mexico. The Fashion program also offers a number of fashion events throughout the year, including the Annual Fashion Show. All students may participate.

20. Philadelphia University, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Philadelphia University was established in 1884 as the Philadelphia Textile School. The school was home to just five students and one classroom. Today, Philadelphia University (PhilaU) sits on a 100-acre campus and it is home to more than 3,200 students enrolled in more than 60 areas of study. One area of study—Fashion and Textiles, has a long history at PhilaU.

Philadelphia University was established by “a group of textile manufacturers who noticed a difference in the quality and variety of American textile products and those from Europe.” In 1941, Philadelphia Textile School changed its name to Philadelphia Textile Institute and in 1961, the school became known as Philadelphia College of Textiles and Science. It wasn’t until 1999 that the name was changed, once again, to Philadelphia University.

Today, the popular Fashion and Textile programs are offered through PhilaU’s Kanbar College of Design, Engineering, and Commerce. Program offerings include BS degrees in Fashion Design, Fashion Merchandising and Management, Textile Design, and Textiles Materials Technology. The Fashion Merchandising and Management program offers 10 clusters including Global Brand Marketing, Fashion Entrepreneurship, Fashion Technology, and Fashion Material Insight and Innovation, to name a few. The College also offers an MS in Textile Engineering, Textile Design, and Global Fashion Enterprise and a PhD in Textile Engineering.

Philadelphia University “houses more than 20 laboratories and studios for hands-on experience” in all areas of design, including Fashion Design and Textile Design. In addition to laboratories and studio space, other program highlights include the Annual Fashion Show, the internship program, and Study Abroad experiences. Just a few Study Abroad destinations include Italy, Hong Kong, Manchester, and New Zealand.