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Top 50 Fashion Design Schools and Colleges in the US – 2016

Written by FS StaffMay 23, 2016

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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Our 2016 list of the Top 50 Fashion Design School Programs in the US. 

For an explanation of ranking criteria, click here.

1. Fashion Institute of Technology, New York, New York (top 1% of schools considered)

The Fashion Institute of Technology (FIT) was founded in 1944. A member of the State University of New York (SUNY) system, FIT is home to more than 9,500 students enrolled in 37 majors and 12 certificate programs across five schools including the School of Art and Design, Jay and Patty Baker School of Business and Technology, School of Liberal Arts, the School of Graduate Studies, and the School of Continuing and Professional Studies. The School of Art and Design offers a large collection of fashion programs for aspiring designers of all kinds.

Students may choose from a large number of degree levels including AAS, BFA, BS, MA, and MPS programs. In addition, FIT offers one- and two-year options for AAS students and both credit and non-credit Certificates. An international option in Florence is on the menu for fashion design students pursuing an AAS degree, and an option in Milan/New York is available for knitwear and sportswear students pursuing a Baccalaureate degree.

AAS degree programs for aspiring fashion designers include Accessories Design, Fashion Design, Illustration – Fashion and General Illustration options, Jewelry Design, Menswear, Textile Development and Marketing, and Textile/Surface Design. Baccalaureate (BFA and BS) degree programs include Accessories Design, Fabric Styling, Fashion Design (Children’s Wear, Intimate Apparel, Knitwear, Special Occasion, and Sportswear, and Knitwear options), Technical Design, Textile Development and Marketing, and Textile/Surface Design.

Graduate programs for aspiring fashion designers include an MA in Fashion and Textile Studies: History, Theory, Museum Practice and credit Certificate programs include CAD for Fashion Design - Art, Draping, Gemology, Haute Couture, Ladies Tailoring, Leather Apparel, Millinery, Patternmaking, and Performance Athletic Footwear. Minors are available in Ethics and Sustainability, and Fashion Studies, and Non-credit Certificates include Computer Essentials for Fashion Design, Fashion Styling, Wardrobe Technician and Costume Design Specialist, and Certified Technical Designer. 

All FIT Fashion Design students have the opportunity to study abroad in Florence, London, Milan, Nottingham, England, Melbourne, Australia, or Hong Kong. Students also have the opportunity to intern at local, national, or international companies, and all students may participate in the Annual FIT Fashion Show.

2. The New School - Parsons School of Design, New York, New York (top 2% of schools considered)

The New School was founded in New York City in 1919 in the heart of Greenwich Village. The School houses five colleges including Parsons School of Design, Eugene Lang College of Liberal Arts, College of Performing Arts, Schools of Public Engagement, and The New School for Research. The New School is home to more than 10,000 degree-seeking students enrolled in 138-plus degree, diploma programs, and majors, and more than 50 minors.

Options for aspiring fashion designers include AAS and BFA degrees in Fashion Design, an AAS in Fashion Marketing, a BFA Integrated Studies, an MA in Fashion Studies and an MFA in Fashion Design and Society. AAS students study Accessories Design, Drawing, Fashion, Materials and Fabrication, Sustainable Design, and Textiles. BFA students will also study Accessories Design, Drawing, Fashion, and Sustainable Design as well as Fashion History, Theory, and Criticism; Materials and Fabrication, and Textiles. BFA Fashion students also have the opportunity to complete the program at Parsons Paris.

BFA in Integrated Studies students can study everything from Fashion and Textiles to Urban Design. MA in Fashion Studies students can study everything from Branding, Fashion and Textiles to Materials and Fabrication. The MFA in Fashion Design and Society highlights Fashion, Fashion History, Materials and Fabrication, Physical Computing/Wearable Technology, Sustainable Design, Textiles, Design Research, and more. All programs offer the opportunity to study at Parsons Paris, participation in the Annual Fashion Show, and the opportunity to work with 560—the Parsons School of Design magazine.

Notable program alumni include Anna Sui, Donna Karan, Marc Jacobs, Isaac Mizrahi, Mark Badgley and James Mischka, Narciso Rodriguez, and many others.

3. Kent State University, Kent, Ohio (top 5% of schools considered) 

Founded in 1910, Kent State University (KSU or Kent State) is home to nearly 29,000 students enrolled in more than 300 degree programs across 11 colleges and the School of Digital Sciences. The College of the Arts is home to the School of Fashion Design and Merchandising (The Fashion School). The school offers several programs for aspiring fashion designers including BA and BFA degrees in Fashion Design, a BFA in Crafts (Jewelry and Metals), a BFA Crafts (Textile Arts), an MA in Fine Arts (Fashion) and an MFA in Design/Technology – Costume Design. Minors in Accessories, Textiles, Costume Design Technology, and Fashion Media are also on the menu and the College of Business Administration offers an MBA with a Concentration in Fashion Design and Merchandising.

All fashion students are eligible to participate in The Fashion School's Annual Fashion Show—FS2: Crescendo, as well as a variety of international programs. According to the school, “study tours to Europe and Asia are offered on a regular basis.” Fashion capitals such as Florence, Paris, London and Hong Kong are often on the menu.

In addition, The Fashion School has a studio located in New York’s Fashion District. According to the School, the NYC Studio “provides full-semester academic programs for Kent State fashion students in the Fall, Spring, or Summer terms. Guest students, studying fashion at their home school, may also attend the program during Summer Session.” 

4. Savannah College of Art and Design, Savannah, Georgia (top 5% of schools considered)

Savannah College of Art and Design (SCAD) was founded in 1978. The school, which is home to more than 12,000 students from nearly 50 states and more than 100 countries, offers 40 areas of study and 70-plus minors and certificate programs. With campuses in Savannah, Atlanta, and Hong Kong, SCAD offers a variety of programs for aspiring fashion designers. Offerings include BFA, MA, and MFA degrees in Accessory Design, Fashion, Fibers, and Jewelry. The Fashion BFA, MA and MFA are offered at both the Savannah and Atlanta campuses, and the BFA is also offered at SCAD’s Hong Kong campus. 

Students may also earn their MA in Fashion online. According to the school, “SCAD is the first art and design university to receive the Instructional Technology Council’s award for Outstanding Distance Education Program and the rank of Excellence in Institution-Wide Online Teaching and Learning from the Sloan Consortium.” 

Other Fashion Program highlights include participation in the Annual SCAD Fashion Show, and internships and study opportunities at local, national, and international fashion companies. 

5. Pratt Institute, Brooklyn, New York (top 5% of schools considered) 

Founded in 1887, Pratt Institute is home to 4,600 students enrolled in 22 undergraduate degree programs, 26 graduate degree programs, and a variety of Certificate and Minor programs across five schools including the School of Architecture, the School of Art, the School of Design, the School of Liberal Arts and Sciences, and the School of Information and Library Sciences.

Pratt Institute also houses and The Center for Continuing and Professional Studies. Programs for aspiring fashion designers are offered through the School of Design and the School of Art – Department of Fine Art.

The School of Design offers a BFA in Fashion Design and the School of Art offers a BFA in Fine Art with an Emphasis in Jewelry. Specialized BFA/Jewelry classes include History of Jewelry, Stone Setting, Wax Working and Casting, Raising and Forging, Chasing and Repoussé, Color on Metal, Design and Rendering, and CAD. Fashion Design students have the opportunity to participate in “annual design competitions sponsored by the CFDA and YMA FSF and competitions sponsored by companies such as Cotton Incorporated and Supima Cotton.” 

Other program highlights include participation in the annual Pratt Institute Fashion Show, access to coveted internship opportunities with major designers such as Rag & Bone, Ralph Lauren, and Donna Karan, and study abroad and international exchange programs in mora than a dozen locations including London, Milan, Florence, Copenhagen, and Tokyo. 

6. Rhode Island School of Design, Providence, Rhode Island (top 5% of schools considered)

Rhode Island School of Design (RISD or “RIZ-dee”) was founded in 1877. The school offers bachelor’s and master’s degrees in 19 majors to 2,481 students from across the U.S. and 57 other countries. Fashion programs are offered through several departments and divisions. The Department of Apparel Design offers a BFA in Apparel Design, the Textiles Department offers both BFA and MFA degrees in Textiles, and The Fine Arts Division offers BFA and MFA degrees in Textiles and Jewelry + Metalsmithing. 

Apparel Design students have the opportunity to participate in RISD's Annual Runway Show, which is judged by a panel of guest critics. COLLECTION 16 featured “a unified body of work” that showcased professional-level conceptual and technical capabilities from all 19 graduating students. In addition to participation in the Runway Show, students have the opportunity to study abroad in Rome or participate in the World: Exchange Program with partner schools in 26 countries, including the United States and Canada. 

7. Drexel University, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania (top 10% of schools considered) 

Drexel University was established in 1891 by Philadelphia financier and philanthropist Anthony J. Drexel. The school, which began as Drexel Institute of Art, Science and Industry, is home to 25,595 students enrolled in more than 200 degree programs across 15 colleges and schools. The Antoinette Westphal College of Media Arts & Design is home to the Department of Fashion, Product and Design & Merchandising. The Department offers several programs for aspiring fashion designers. Offerings include a BS and an MS in Fashion Design. Students may enhance their degree by opting for a Minor in Retail. Administered by the Design & Merchandising (D&M) program, the Minor “provides basic foundations in retail operations, buying and merchandise planning and e-commerce.” A BS in D&M is also on the menu.

Fashion design students also have access to “studios and specialized labs” at the school’s URBN Center, they have access to the Robert and Penny Fox Historic Costume Collection (FHCC), and students may enroll in the study abroad program which may take them places such as London (London College of Fashion), England, and Florence. In addition, students may submit their creations to national and international competitions each year, and upon completion of the program, they have the opportunity to show their final collections in the Department’s Annual Fashion Show. 

8. Iowa State University, Ames, Iowa (top 10% of schools considered) 

Iowa State University (ISU or Iowa State) was officially established on March 22, 1858 as Iowa Agricultural College and Model Farm. The school, which is home to 36,001 students from more than 50 states and more than 100 countries, offers 100 majors across 10 colleges and schools. The College of Human Sciences is home to the Apparel, Events, and Hospitality Management (AESHM) Department, which offers 15 undergraduate majors. 

Offerings for aspiring fashion designers include BA, MS, and PhD degrees in Apparel, Merchandising, and Design. A Minor is also on the menu. Program highlights include the opportunity to study in “major market areas” such as New York or Chicago, participation in a variety of international study programs in Europe, the opportunity to help produce Trend Magazine (the completely student-run fashion publication,) access to the interactive Textiles and Clothing Museum, and possible internship opportunities at places such as Anna Sui, Rag & Bone, Fossil Group, Kohl’s, Abercrombie & Fitch, Elie Tahari, Nordstrom, Banana Republic, and BCBG.  

In addition, all students have the opportunity to showcase their creations at the campus-based Mary Alice Anderson Reinhardt Gallery and participate in ISU’s Annual Fashion Show—one of the largest student-produced fashion shows in the nation. 

9. Otis College of Art and Design, Los Angeles, California (top 10% of schools considered) 

Otis College of Art and Design (OTIS) was founded in 1918 when General Harrison Gray Otis—publisher of the Los Angeles, “bequeathed his L.A. home to the city for the advancement of the arts.” The school is home to 1,100 students from 43 states and 24 countries, enrolled in more than a dozen art and design programs. Offerings for aspiring fashion designers include a BFA in Fashion Design with several options including Sustainability and Costume Design. 

The Costume Design Emphasis is optional and focuses on “new directions in character development for film, television, live performance, concept art, and video,” according to OTIS. The Sustainability Minor, which is also optional, helps students “develop strategies and systems, as applicable to art and design, which can meet the needs of current generations without compromising those of future generations.” The Continuing Education Department offers a number of single courses for aspiring fashion designers as well. Offerings include Fashion Design, Textile/Surface Design, Jewelry Design, and Illustration.  

OTIS Fashion students are mentored by major brands and designers such as Ruben & Isabel Toledo, A|X, Halston, Billabong, Nike, BCBG, Hurley, Urban Outfitters, Anthropologie, Patagonia, and Johnny Was. Internship opportunities with major brands such as Tahari, GAP, Bob Mackie, Armani Exchange, Ralph Lauren, DKNY, and many others provide real world experience, while fashion show events and other prospects offer the opportunity for students to showcase their designs. The Annual Scholarship and Benefit Fashion Show and the Nieman Marcus window in Beverly Hills are just a few options.

10. Cornell University, Ithaca, New York (top 10% of schools considered)

Cornell University was founded in 1865. It established the first four-year schools of hotel administration and industrial and labor relations, it awarded the world's first degree in journalism and it awarded the first doctorates in electrical and industrial engineering.

Home to 21,904 students, today the school offers 80 undergraduate majors, 90 minors, and 108 graduate fields of study across 14 colleges and schools and 100 academic departments. 

The College of Human Ecology, Department of Fiber Science & Apparel Design (FSAD) is home to a unique collection of fashion programs that combine “design, art, biology, chemistry, engineering and social science concepts and methods” with the long-term goal of “effecting change in design, in materials, in people's health and well-being, in manufacturing, in economic vitality, and in the environment.” Undergraduate offerings include BS degrees in Fashion Design, Fiber Science, Fashion Design Management, and a Dual Degree. 

The Dual Degree Program allows students to earn a BFA and a BA from the College of Arts and Sciences, a BS from the College of Human Ecology or a BS from the College of Engineering. A Minor in Fiber Science is also on the menu. Graduate offerings include MA and PhD degrees in Apparel Design, MS and PhD degreed in Fiber Science, and an MPS in Human Ecology. The MPS program offers a Focus (graduate field) in Fiber Science and Apparel Design.

The Department of FSAD maintains the Cornell Costume and Textile Collection, which features “more than 10,000 items of apparel dating from the eighteenth century to the present, as well as a substantial collection of ethnographic textiles and costume.” The Department is also home to the Cornell Institute of Fashion and Fiber Innovation (CIFFI), which was established to “advance knowledge and foster collaborations between academia and industry in the areas of fashion design, marketing and culture, fiber science, technology, and materials testing.” 

In addition to access to the Textile Collection and CIFFI, FSAD students have the opportunity to compete for the Cornell Design Award and display their collections at the Cornell Fashion Collective Runway Show. 

11. University of Minnesota, Twin Cities (Minneapolis-St. Paul), Minnesota (top 10% of schools considered) 

The University of Minnesota (U of M) was founded in 1851 in the Twin Cities (Minneapolis and St. Paul). The school is home to 30,500 undergraduate students at the Twin Cities campus, and 16,300 graduate and professional students enrolled in more than 400 degree programs across 17 colleges and schools. The College of Design is home to the Department of Design, Housing and Apparel, which offers several programs for aspiring fashion designers. Degree offerings include a BS in Apparel Design and MA, MS, and PhD degrees in Design with an Apparel Studies Track. Minor in Fashion Studies is also on the menu. 

Apparel Design students have access to The Wearable Product Design Center (WPDC), the Wearable Technology Lab, and the Human Dimensioning Lab, as well as the opportunity to show their collections at the College of Design Annual Apparel Design Fashion Show. In addition, all students have the option to study abroad. Study abroad opportunities are available in Sydney, Australia; Florence, Italy; Amsterdam; Istanbul, Turkey; London, England, and Northern Ireland.  

12. Auburn University, Auburn, Alabama (top 10% of schools considered) 

Auburn University was established in 1856 as the East Alabama Male College. Today, the school is home to a co-ed student population of 27,287 students enrolled in more than 140 degree options across 13 colleges and schools. The College of Human Sciences is home to the Department of Consumer & Design Sciences (CADS), which offers several programs for aspiring fashion designers.

Programs include a BS in Apparel Merchandising, Design and Production Management with an Apparel Design and Production Management Option (BS-APDP), an MS in Consumer and Design Sciences – Apparel and Interiors (MS-CAHS), and a PhD in Consumer Design Sciences (PhD – CADS) with a fashion-related Focus in areas such as Functional and Creative Apparel Design, Sustainability, Creativity, or Product Development. 

Apparel Design students have the opportunity to intern at local retailers and design houses as well as opportunities to study in New York (IQLA New York Study Tour) or abroad. Study abroad locations may include Italy, London, Fiji, Jordan, Peru, South Africa, and more. 

13. School of the Art Institute of Chicago, Chicago, Illinois (top 10% of schools considered)

The School of the Art Institute of Chicago (SAIC) was founded in 1866. It is home to 3,590 students enrolled in more than 25 art and design programs across 40 academic departments. The Department of Fashion Design offers several programs for aspiring fashion designers. Options include a BFA in Studio with a Concentration in Fashion Design or Fiber and Material Studies or an Emphasis in Fashion. A Master of Design (MDes) and Post-Baccalaureate Certificate in Fashion, Body and Garment are also on the menu.

Undergraduate SAIC Fashion students have the opportunity to participate in study tours of fashion capitals such as Antwerp, London, New York, and Paris as well as showcase their collections at the SAIC Fashion Show. The show is open to Sophomores, Juniors, and Seniors.

The “intensive” two-year graduate program highlights the Fashion Design Studio. Taken each semester, the Studio “provides a place for an expansive investigation of fashion, body, and garment and for deeper individual investigation of fashion within the broader context of community, sustainability, technology, and the industry,” says SAIC. The program also encourages study in other areas such as Fiber and Material Studies, Writing, and Performance. 

14. Academy of Art University, San Francisco, California (top 15% of schools considered) 

Academy of Art University was established in 1929. The school, which had a 2015 fall enrollment of 8,813 students, offers dozens of programs in the areas of art and design. The School of Fashion at Academy of Art offers several programs for aspiring fashion designers. Undergraduate offerings include an AA in Fashion, a BFA in Fashion with an Emphasis in Fashion Design, Textile Design, or Knitwear Design, BFA degrees in Fashion Product Development and Costume Design, a Certificate in Fashion, and an Online Award of Completion in Fashion Design. Graduate offerings include MFA degrees in Fashion and Costume Design. 

According to the Academy, fashion students have access to facilities that feature “the same leading-edge equipment and resources that top fashion houses enjoy.” Internship opportunities are also available as well as the opportunity to participate in Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week in New York City and the Annual Graduation Fashion Show in San Francisco. According to the Academy, “the show has been heralded as the ‘Fashion Week of San Francisco’ by both local and national members of the fashion industry. 

Graduates of the Academy of Art University have been hired at major companies such as Gap, Kate Spade, Levi Strauss & Co., Louis Vuitton, Chanel, Adidas, Ralph Lauren, and many others. 

15. Oklahoma State University, Stillwater, Oklahoma (top 15% of schools considered)

Oklahoma State University was established on Christmas Day 1890. It is home to more than 35,000 students enrolled in more than 200 programs across a five-campus system and 10 colleges. The College of Human Sciences, Department of Design, Housing and Merchandising (DHM) offers several programs for aspiring fashion designers. According to the Department, “the ADP program at OSU is one of only thirteen apparel programs in North America to receive the American Apparel and Footwear Association (AAFA) approval.” This means that the “curriculum and facilities have met the rigorous standards” of the AAFA.

Program offerings include a BS in Design, Housing and Merchandising (BS DHM) with an Option in Apparel Design and Production (ADP) and an MS in Design, Housing and Merchandising (MS DHM) with a Research Thesis Option or Design Thesis Option in Apparel Design & Production (ADP). A PhD in Human Sciences with a Specialization in Design, Housing and Merchandising (PhD DHM) is also on the menu as well as a Minor in Apparel Design and Production (ADP).

Apparel design students have the opportunity to complete an internship with designers and brands such as BCBG, Lands’ End, Max Azria, Vera Wang, Liz Claiborne, and Victoria’s Secret. In addition, travel-study programs allow students to explore the fashion scene in places such as New York, Dallas, Mexico, Paris, and Berlin. 

16. North Carolina State University, Raleigh, North Carolina (top 15% of schools considered)

North Carolina State University (NC State) has been in existence since 1887. The school is home to 24,015 students enrolled in more than 300 degree programs across 12 colleges and 65 academic departments. The College of Textiles houses the Department of Textile and Apparel Technology and Management (TATM). The Department offers several unique programs for aspiring fashion designers.

Undergraduate offerings include a BS in Fashion and Textile Design and a BS in Fashion and Textile Management with a Concentration in Fashion Development and Product Management. Graduate offerings include both a Master of Textiles (MT) and an MS in Textiles. Design Specializations include Textile and Fashion Design, and Textile Technology.  

TATM fashion students have access to spacious studios outfitted with the latest technology to design textile products and fabrics as well as prototypes. Students may also participate in TATM’s “study abroad-friendly” semester in their junior year, which prevents students from falling behind in their classes. Study abroad locations may include France, the Czech Republic, Australia and India.

17. Colorado State University, Fort Collins, Colorado (top 15% of schools considered) 

Colorado State University (CSU) was founded in 1870 as the Colorado Agricultural College. It is home to 32,236 students enrolled in more than 150 degree programs across 14 colleges and schools. The College of Health and Human Sciences is home to the Design and Merchandising Program. Degree offerings for aspiring fashion designers include a BS in Apparel and Merchandising - Apparel Design and Production, and an MS in Design and Merchandising - Apparel and Merchandising.

The College of Liberal Arts, Department of Art and Art History has several additional offerings for fashion students. Options include BA in Studio, BFA in Studio Art, MA, and MFA degrees with a Concentration in Fibers or Jewelry and Metalsmithing. 

Apparel Design students have the opportunity to work with more than 18,000 artifacts and view collections at the Avenir Museum of Design and Merchandising (formerly the Historic Costume & Textiles Collection). Special collections include designer garments from Calvin Klein, James Galanos, Carolina Herrera, Dior, Yves Saint Laurent, Valentino, and Versace, as well as ethnographic holdings, and The Ruth Payne Hellmann Lace Collection, which features more than 1,500 pieces of historic lace and lacemaking tools.

In addition to having access to Avenir Museum, design students have the opportunity to participate in the internship program and study abroad opportunities. Past design students have studied in Italy, France, Peru, Ghana, and Australia. Some have also participated in Semester at Sea, which typically enrolls more than 600 students from more than 250 colleges and universities.

18. University of Cincinnati, Cincinnati, Ohio (top 15% of schools considered)

The University of Cincinnati was founded in 1819. Home to 44,251 students from all 50 states and 100 foreign countries, the school offers 370 degree programs across 13 colleges and a graduate school. The College of Design, Architecture, Art and Planning (DAAP) houses the School of Design, which offers several programs for aspiring fashion designers. Offerings include a BS in Fashion Design, a Master of Design, and a Fashion Design Studies Minor. 

Program highlights include two focus areas—Realization (Design) or Development, a mandatory cooperative education component where students work full-time in the fashion industry on alternating semesters. In addition, all students have the opportunity to participate in the popular DAAP Fashion Show. 

19. University of North Texas, Denton, Texas (top 15% of schools considered) 

University of North Texas (UNT) was founded in 1890 as Texas Normal College and Teachers’ Training Institute. It is home to 37,000 students enrolled in 100 bachelor’s, 83 master’s and 37 doctoral degree programs across 11 colleges and schools. The College of Visual Arts & Design offers several programs for aspiring fashion designers including a Fashion Design Pre-Major, a BFA in Fashion Design, an MFA in Design with a Concentration in Fashion Design, a Studio Art Pre-Major, and BFA degrees in Studio Art with a Concentration in Fibers or Metalsmithing and Jewelry. 

Program highlights include an internship program that provides the opportunity to work at fashion houses in Dallas and Fort Worth as well as apparel companies in New York, Chicago, Los Angeles, and London. Students also have the opportunity to participate in the annual ArtWear Fashion Show as well as national and international events such as Fashion Group International of Dallas’ Career Day, and The Hispanic Association of Colleges and Universities and Gap Inc.’s Design Your Future competition. 

Graduates of the Fashion Programs at UNT have been hired by major companies such as Calvin Klein, Dillard’s, Fossil, the Haggar Clothing Co., Nicole Miller, Ralph Lauren, Zac Posen, and more.

20. Oregon State University, Corvallis, Oregon (top 15% of schools considered) 

Oregon State University (OSU) was founded in 1868. It is home to more than 30,000 students enrolled in over 200 undergraduate and 80-plus graduate degree programs across 11 academic colleges. The College of Business houses the School of Design & Human Environment (DHE). The School offers several programs for aspiring fashion designers at all degree levels.

Undergraduate offerings include a BS in Apparel Design with Specializations in Active Sportswear, Protective Clothing for Industry, Functional Apparel (for people with physically challenging conditions) and Costuming for the Theater. Graduate options include a Master of Arts in Interdisciplinary Studies (MAIS) and an MS or MA in Design with Concentrations in Textiles or Human Behavior in the Near Environment (Apparel and Housing). The MS and MA programs also offer a Concentration in Design and the Near Environment (Apparel Design and Interior Design). 

Fashion design students have the opportunity to learn from the DHE Historic and Cultural Textile and Apparel Collection, which includes approximately 2,000 Euro-American and ethnic apparel pieces and other textile products. In addition, teaching and assistantships are offered to graduate students, and all undergraduates have the opportunity to participate in the internship program. Students have interned with major designers, brands and retailers such as Anna Sui, Columbia Sportswear, Nordstrom, and Fred Meyer. 

21. Marist College, Poughkeepsie, New York (top 15% of schools considered)

Marist College was founded in 1929. It is home to 6,474 students enrolled in more than 140 degree programs and minors across seven schools. The School of Communication and the Arts offers several programs for aspiring fashion designers. Offerings include a BFA in Fashion Design and a BS in Fashion Merchandising with a Product Development Concentration. Fashion Design majors may also earn their degree in Florence, Italy or choose a Minor in Merchandising or Product Development 

Fashion design students may participate in the School’s internship program, which offers the opportunity to work at companies such as Armani A/X, Betsey Johnson, Calvin Klein, Chanel, DKNY, Escada, MTV, Nordstrom, Polo and many others. Students may also participate in Marist in Manhattan (NYC Internship Experience), Fashion Inc. (club), Marist Fashion Magazine, and the Silver Needle Runway Show.

The School of Communication and the Arts encourages all students to complete two internships, which will give them a strong advantage when it comes to job opportunities. Fashion Program alumni have been hired by companies such as Ann Taylor, BCBG, Chanel, Donna Karan, GAP, Kate Spade, Michael Kors, MTV, Perry Ellis, Saks Fifth Avenue, Tahari, Tory Burch, and many more. 

22. Baylor University, Waco, Texas (top 20% of schools considered)

Baylor University was chartered in 1845 by the Republic of Texas. It is home to 16,787 students enrolled in more than 250 degree programs across nine colleges and schools. The Robbins College of Health and Human Sciences houses the Department of Family & Consumer Sciences, which offers one program for aspiring fashion designers—a BS in Apparel Design & Product Development. 

Program highlights include student membership in Fashion Group International (FGI), study abroad opportunities, access to the Parker Design & Technology Center, which “provides students with the latest state-of-the-art software, equipment, and technology,” and internship opportunities across the U.S. and overseas. Students have interned at Betsey Johnson - NY, Anna Sui - NY, Quick Silver – Los Angeles, XOXO and Rampage – Los Angeles, and Haggar - Dallas. Internships abroad have included Ann-Louise Roswald - London, UK, Amanda Wakeley - London, UK, Christopher & La Lou - Paris, France, and others. 

The program also offers the opportunity to participate in the Annual Baylor Fashion Show, which takes place at the end of spring semester each year. Field experiences are on the menu as well and may include trips to Dallas Market, Studios of Apparel Designers, Apparel Manufacturing Firms, and FGI Dallas Career Day, which is held at the Apparel Mart. 

23. University of Delaware, Newark, Delaware (top 20% of schools considered) 

The University of Delaware (UD) was chartered by the State of Delaware in 1833. It is home to 22,852 students enrolled in more than 300 degree programs across seven schools. The College of Arts & Sciences is home to the Department of Fashion & Apparel Studies, which offers several programs for aspiring fashion designers. Offerings include a BS in Apparel Design, an MS in Fashion and Apparel Studies, and a 4+1 program that allows undergraduate Fashion Merchandising majors to complete the MS in Fashion and Apparel Studies in half the time. A Minor in Fashion History and Culture is also on the menu.

Program highlights include the opportunity to complete an internship at home, overseas, or both and the UD Visiting Student Program. This “cooperative arrangement between the University of Delaware (UD) and the Fashion Institute of Technology (FIT)” allows students to attend FIT for one year and apply coursework towards the BS program at UD. In addition, the

Department of Fashion & Apparel Studies introduced its very first Fashion Week this year. Students have the opportunity to participate in Fashion Week as well as the annual Synergy Fashion Group Student Fashion Show. 

24. Philadelphia University, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania (top 20% of schools considered) 

Philadelphia University (PhilaU) was founded in 1884 as the Philadelphia Textile School. The school is home to 3,200 students enrolled in more than 60 areas of study through the College of Architecture and the Built Environment, the Kanbar College of Design, Engineering and Commerce, and the College of Science, Health and the Liberal Arts. 

The Kanbar College of Design, Engineering and Commerce houses two schools—the School of Design and Engineering and the School of Business. The School of Design and Engineering offers a number of undergraduate and advanced degree programs for aspiring fashion designers. Offerings include BS degrees in Fashion Design, Textile Design, and Textile Materials Technology, MS degrees in Global Fashion Enterprise, Textile Design, and Textile Engineering, and a PhD in Textile Engineering and Sciences. 

Program highlights include internships with companies such as Vogue, Betsey Johnson, Tommy Hilfiger, Urban Outfitters and Abercrombie & Fitch, and study abroad opportunities in London, Rome, Hong Kong, Seoul, Melbourne, Dominican Republic, Scotland, New Zealand, and Denmark. Students also have access to PhilaU’s Historic Textile and Costume Collection as well as “specialized space for individual programs including, engineering labs, fashion design studios, textile studios with state-of-the-art machinery, and industrial design studios.” The Textile and Costume Collection features “museum-quality garments, accessories, and textiles as sources of design inspiration for the modern-day design and product-development process.”

25. California College of the Arts, San Francisco and Oakland, California (top 20% of schools considered) 

California College of the Arts (CCA) was founded in 1907. It is home to 1,968 students enrolled in 22 undergraduate, 13 graduate degree programs and two minors. Programs for aspiring fashion designers include BFA degrees in Fashion Design, Jewelry/Metals Arts, and Textiles. Program highlights include CCA’s internship program, which offers the opportunity to work at San Francisco Bay Area companies such as Levi Strauss & Co, Athleta, and TEA Collection, the opportunity to participate in the Annual Fashion Show, and unique study abroad opportunities in places such as London, Paris, Berlin, and Italy.

Many CCA graduates have found success in the world of design. Some have started their own businesses, while others have landed positions with major companies such as Abercrombie & Fitch, J. Crew, Athleta, Forever 21, John Varvatos, Michael Kors, GUESS, Kate Spade, and many others. 

26. University of North Carolina, Greensboro, North Carolina (top 20% of schools considered)

The University of North Carolina, Greensboro (UNCG) was established in 1891. It houses eight undergraduate colleges and schools, and The Graduate School, and serves more than 19,000 students enrolled in 79 undergraduate programs in more than 100 areas of study, 65 masters programs, and 30 doctoral programs. 

The Bryan School of Business and Economics is home to the Department of Consumer, Apparel, and Retail Studies (CARS), which offers several programs for aspiring fashion designers. Offerings include BS, MS, and PhD degrees with a Concentration in Apparel Design or Global Apparel and Related Industry Studies. A Post-Baccalaureate Certificate (PBC) in both areas is also on the menu. 

All CARS students have access to an Historic Costume Collection with garments and artifacts dating from 1776-2003, internship opportunities at major companies such as Anna Sui, Anne Klein, Barney’s, Bloomingdale’s, Calvin Klein, Polo/Ralph Lauren, Saks Fifth Avenue, and Tommy Hilfiger, and a Global Experience program which offers the opportunity to study in fashion capitals such as Paris and London. Fashion students also have the opportunity to participate in the Annual THREADS Fashion Show. 

27. Texas Women's University, Denton, Texas (top 20% of schools considered)

Texas Women's University (TWU) was founded in 1901 as The Girls Industrial College. It is home to 15,303 students enrolled in more than 150 programs across four colleges and a graduate school. The College of Arts & Sciences offers several programs for aspiring fashion designers. Offerings include a BA in Fashion Design, a BA/BS Dual Degree in Fashion Design and Fashion Merchandising, a BA/BBA Dual Degree in Fashion Design and General Business-Entrepreneurship, and a BA/BS in Fashion Design and Marketing. A Minor in Fashion Design is also on the menu. 

In addition to a variety of programs that teach students how to design, produce and sell their own products, the School of Management offers internship opportunities at companies such as Aldo, BCBG Max Azria, Coach, Express, Michael Kors, and Nordstrom. Students also have the opportunity to participate in the Annual Montage Senior Fashion Show. 

28. Kansas State University, Manhattan, Kansas (top 20% of schools considered) 

Kansas State University (Kansas State or K-State) was founded in 1863. It is home to more than 24,300 students enrolled in more than 250 undergraduate majors and options, and 150-plus graduate study programs (including graduate certificates) across nine colleges and a graduate school. The College of Human Ecology is home to the Department of Apparel, Textiles, and Interior Design (ATID), which offers several programs for aspiring fashion designers. Offerings include BS and MS degrees in Apparel and Textiles, and a PhD with a Specialization in Apparel, Textiles, and Interior Design.

Apparel and Textile students who would like to focus on fashion design may specialize in Apparel Design and Production. In addition, the Department features mandatory internships, faculty-led study tours in the U.S. and abroad, and an annual public exhibition of student work.

29. Columbia College Chicago, Chicago, Illinois (top 25% of schools considered) 

Founded in 1890, Columbia College is the largest private, nonprofit arts and media college in the nation. Home to more than 10,000 undergraduate and graduate students, Columbia offers more than 100 academic majors or programs across three schools including Fine and  Performing Arts, Liberal Arts and Sciences, and Media Arts. The School of Fine and Performing Arts, Department of Fashion Studies offers several programs for aspiring fashion designers including BA and BFA degrees in Fashion Design, and a BFA and Minor in Fashion Business. Those on the entrepreneurial path may choose a double major in Fashion and Fashion Business, or a Fashion Major and Fashion Business Minor. 

Program highlights include a Semester in LA, internship opportunities and access to the school’s Fashion Lab, the Fashion Study Collection (FSC), and the Fashion Study Collection Research Center (workspace and archive). Students also have the opportunity to display their creations in the Fashion Studies Exhibition Windows on campus.

30. University of Texas at Austin, Austin, Texas (top 25% of schools considered) 

The University of Texas at Austin (UT Austin) opened in 1883. It is home to 50,950 students enrolled in more than 500 degree programs and fields of study across 18 colleges and schools. The College of Natural Sciences, School of Human Ecology houses the Division of Textiles and Apparel, which offers several programs for aspiring fashion designers. Offerings include a BS in Textiles and Apparel (TXA) with five fitting options for fashion designers and an MS in Textile and Apparel Technology (MSTAT). BS options include Apparel Design & Conservation - Apparel Design Specialization; Apparel Design & Conservation - Conservation Specialization; Apparel, Functional, and Technical Design,  Retail Merchandising, and Textiles and Apparel Honors. 

Program highlights include access to study abroad opportunities in places such as India and China, internship opportunities with major companies such as Anne Klein, Betsey Johnson, Coach, Marc Jacobs, Michael Kors, Ralph Lauren, Vera Wang, and Zac Posen, and the UT in NYC Program. The NYC program “brings apparel design, conservation and merchandising students together for a broad look at the apparel industry with an entrepreneurial focus.” Students also have the opportunity to participate in the annual fashion show and exhibition. Past sponsors have included Sephora Cosmetics, Cobalt Blue Hair Salon, and Tribeza. 

31. Stephens College, Columbia, Missouri (top 25% of schools considered)

Founded in 1833, Stephens College is the second oldest women’s college in the country and it has a population of around 800 students enrolled in more than 25 programs across four schools including the Schools of Design, Health Sciences, Interdisciplinary Studies, and Performing Arts. The School of Design offers several programs for aspiring fashion designers including a BA in Apparel Studies and a BFA in Fashion Design & Product Development.

Program highlights include study trips to international fashion capitals, the opportunity to intern at companies such as Escada, Cosmopolitan, Baby Phat, and WWD, and participation in The Collections Annual Fashion Show (est. 1944). Past jurors have included supermodel Karlie Kloss and alumna Brianne Ratliff ’03 from Armani Exchange. In addition, students have access to the School of Design Historic Costume Museum and Research Library, which consists of more than 13,000 pieces and designer garments. Bill Blass, Chanel, Oscar de la Renta, and Valentino are just a few.

32. Texas Tech University, Lubbock, Texas (top 25% of schools considered) 

Texas Tech University was founded in 1923. It is home to more than 35,158 students enrolled in 300 degree programs across 10 colleges. The College of Human Sciences is home the Department of Design (DOD). The Department offers one program for aspiring fashion designers—a BS in Apparel Design and Manufacturing (ADM). Fashion students may also choose a minor to enhance their degree. Possible study areas include Art, Business, Retailing, Mass Communications, and Theater.

Fashion program highlights include two annual apparel design contests including the Design Competition and the Senior Fashion Show, undergraduate research experiences in ADM, field trips to New York, Los Angeles, London, Paris and other fashion capitals, and opportunities to submit entries to national and regional competitions such as Fashion Group International, Dallas Career Day, and the Denim Runway Project.

The program also includes a 370-400-hour internship. The Department often places interns with major apparel design companies in Dallas, Los Angeles, New York, and London. According to the school, these internships often lead directly to a job offer.

33. Columbus College of Art & Design, Columbus, Ohio (top 25% of schools considered)

Established in 1879 and home to more than 1,300 students, Columbus College of Art and Design (CCAD) is one of the oldest and largest private art and design colleges in the U.S.

The school offers 35 majors, minors and concentrations including a BFA and a Minor in Fashion Design. Fashion program highlights include internship opportunities at companies such as Abercrombie & Fitch, Justice, and Victoria’s Secret (all headquartered in Ohio), participation in the Annual CCAD Senior Fashion Show, and study abroad opportunities in Chile, China, England, and Italy.

CCAD fashion students also have the opportunity to study in a New York studio for one term through CCAD’s New York Studio Residency Program. Graduates of the program have landed positions at major companies such as Abercrombie & Fitch, Ann Taylor Loft, BCBG, J. Crew, Polo Ralph Lauren, Victoria’s Secret, and White House Black Market. 

34. Washington State University, Pullman, Washington (top 25% of schools considered)

Washington State University (WSU) was founded in 1890 as Washington’s original land-grant university. The school’s main campus is located in Pullman, Washington, and it has regional campuses in Spokane, Tri-Cities (Kennewick, Pasco, Richland and West Richland), Vancouver, and Everett. WSU is home to 28,686 students enrolled 95 undergraduate majors and 85 minors, 120 graduate and professional programs, and 100-plus certificates and in-major specializations across 11 colleges.

The College of Agricultural, Human, and Natural Resource Science (CAHNRS) is home to the Department of Apparel, Merchandising, Design, and Textiles (AMDT). The Department offers several programs for aspiring fashion designers. Options include a BA in Apparel, Merchandising, and Textiles with a Specialization Track in Apparel Design and an MA in Apparel, Merchandising, Design, and Textiles offered in collaboration with the Department of AMDT and the Graduate School. 

Program highlights include study abroad opportunities in more than 70 countries, access to the third largest apparel and textile industry in the country, optional membership in student chapters of two major industry associations—the International Textiles and Apparel Association (ITAA) and the American Association of Textile Chemists and Colorists (AATCC), study tours to places such as Los Angeles, and the opportunity to contribute to Cougar Couture—WSU’s AMDT Newsletter. Students also have the opportunity to participate in several campus events including exhibitions, design and merchandising competitions, and the popular Mom’s Weekend Fashion Show. 

35. University of Nebraska-Lincoln, Lincoln, Nebraska (top 25% of schools considered) 

The University of Nebraska-Lincoln (UNL) was founded on February 15, 1869. It is home to 25,260 students enrolled in hundreds of programs across 12 colleges. The College of Education and Human Sciences (CHES) houses the Department of Textiles, Merchandising and Fashion Design (TMFD), which offers a variety of unique programs for aspiring fashion designers.

Undergraduate offerings include BS degrees in Textiles & Fashion Design, Textile Science, and Textiles, Merchandising & Fashion Design/Communications.

Graduate offerings include MA, MS, and PhD degrees in Textiles, Merchandising & Fashion Design. Aspiring fashion designers may concentrate their coursework in design-related areas such as Textile Science, Textile Design, or Apparel Design. Quilt Studies is another option as well as a Graduate Certificate in TMFD. 

Fashion Program highlights include study tours and international experiences in New York, Paris/Milan, London/Paris, Paris/Prague, Shanghai, and Beijing, and  internship opportunities with major companies such as Vera Wang, Tahari, Nicole Miller, and InStyle Magazine. Students also have the opportunity to showcase their creations at the biennial Student Runway Show. 

36. California State University-Long Beach, Long Beach, California (top 30% of schools considered) 

Home to nearly 37,500 students, California State University Long Beach (CSULB) is the third largest member of the 23-school California State University system. Established in 1949, CSULB offers more than 300 programs across eight colleges. The College of Health and Human Services (CHHS), Department of Family & Consumer Sciences (FCS), and the College of Business Administration offer several programs for aspiring fashion designers. FCS offerings include a BA in Family and Consumer Sciences with Options in Fashion Design or Textiles & Clothing, a Minor in Textiles, and a Certificate in Textiles. Program highlights include the Annual Spring Fashion Show and Fashion Study Tours of New York City offered every January and July, and tours of Paris luxury fashion industries offered every June.

The College of Business Administration offers an MBA with a Specialization in Fashion Merchandising and Design. The MBA is a self-paced, 48-unit evening program designed for part-time, full-time, domestic or international students. An undergraduate degree in business is not required to enter the program. 

37. Louisiana State University, Baton Rouge, Louisiana (top 30% of schools considered)

Louisiana State University (LSU) opened its doors in 1860. The school is home to more than 31,500 students enrolled in over 200 programs across 11 colleges and schools. The College of Agriculture, Department of Textiles, Apparel Design, and Merchandising (TAM) offers several programs for aspiring fashion designers. Offerings include a BS in Textiles, Apparel & Merchandising (BS TAM) with a Concentration in Apparel Design, Textile Science, or Merchandising, and MS and PhD Degrees in Human Ecology with Concentrations in Apparel Design, Textile Science, and Historical/Cultural Aspects of Textiles and Apparel.

Program highlights include optional membership in the Fashion Association at LSU (FALSU), access to state-of-the art facilities such as an apparel production lab, textiles testing and processing lab, and body scanning lab, and access to the LSU Textile & Costume Museum and Historic & Archaeological Textile and Apparel Research Laboratory. Students also have the opportunity to complete an internship and participate in the Annual Fashion Show.

38. University of Rhode Island, Providence, Rhode Island (top 30% of schools considered) 

The University of Rhode Island (URI) was chartered as the state's agricultural school in 1888. The school became the Rhode Island College of Agriculture and Mechanic Arts in 1892, and the first class of 17 members was graduated two years later. Today, URI is home to more than 16,600 undergraduate and graduate students enrolled over 80 majors across nine colleges and The Graduate School of Oceanography.

The College of Human Science and Services, Department of Textiles, Fashion Merchandising and Design offers several programs for aspiring fashion designers. Options include BS and MS degrees Textiles, Fashion Merchandising and Design (TMD), and a Master Seamstress Certificate (Providence Campus). A Minor in TMD is also available. 

Program highlights include the opportunity to complete Textile Science, Apparel Design/Development, and Historic Textiles and Costume internships with major companies and brands such as Gucci (New York), Nordstrom (Providence, RI), Donna Karan (New York), Marc Jacobs (New York), Rhode Island Design Center (Warwick, RI) and Green Envy (Newport, RI), study abroad experienced in London, Paris (at Mod’Spe), Firenze, Italy (at Accademia Italiana), Barcelona, and other fashion capitals, and the option to participate in Summer Study at the Universite de la Mode in Lyon, France. 

Other program highlights include the New York Experience or a Winter Fashion Study Tour of London and Paris, access to the Historic Textile and Costume Collection, the opportunity to earn a degree in a “fashion language” such as French or Italian, and participation in two annual fashion shows. 

39. Mississippi State University, Starkville, Mississippi (top 30% of schools considered)

Mississippi State University was established February 28, 1878 as the Agricultural and Mechanical College of the State of Mississippi. The school is home to 20,873 students enrolled in more than 175 programs across 12 colleges and schools. The School of Human Sciences houses the Fashion Design & Merchandising program. Students in the BS program concentrate in one of two areas—Apparel Production & Design or Merchandising. The Apparel Production & Design curriculum “emphasizes the total design and production process from inception to finished product and its ultimate sale to the consumer.” 

Program highlights include study abroad experiences, internship opportunities at local companies or overseas, and the opportunity to participate in a variety of fashion show events and showcases. 

40. Indiana University, Bloomington, Indiana (top 30% of schools considered)

Indiana University (IU) was founded in 1820. It is home to 114,370 students, eight campuses, and more than 20,000 faculty and staff. Students have access to more than 180 majors, 330 degree programs, and more than 190 master’s, doctoral, and professional degree programs through 15 colleges and schools. The College of Arts & Sciences is home to the Department of Apparel Merchandising & Interior Design (AMID), which offers two programs for aspiring fashion designers—the Fashion Design Bachelor of Arts (FD-BA) and a Minor in Fashion Design. FD-BA students may also choose to add a Minor in Apparel Merchandising. 

Program highlights include internship opportunities, optional membership in the Retail Studies Organization (RSO), and access to the Sage Collection, which features more than 20,000 pieces. Students also have the opportunity to take select upper-level courses at The Indiana University Center for Art and Design Columbus (IUCA+D Columbus) and they may participate in a variety of IU fashion show events. 

41. University of Alabama, Tuscaloosa, Alabama (top 30% of schools considered)

The University of Alabama was founded in 1831 as Alabama's first public college. It houses 13 colleges and schools and is home to 37,100 students enrolled in more than 200 fields of study leading to the bachelor’s, master’s or doctoral degree. The College of Human Environmental Sciences houses the Department of Clothing, Textiles and Interior Design, which offers one program for aspiring fashion designers—a BS in Apparel and Textiles (AT) with a Concentration in Apparel Design. An Apparel Retail Concentration is also available.

Program highlights include internship opportunities, participation in the Annual Fashion Show, and the opportunity to showcase a collection at the Annual Birmingham Fashion Week. 

42. University of Hawaii at Manoa, Honolulu, Hawaii (top 30% of schools considered) 

The University of Hawaii at Manoa (UH Manoa) was founded in 1907. The school is home to 18,865 students enrolled in more than 230 programs across 14 colleges and schools.

The College of Tropical Agriculture and Human Resources (CTAHR), Department of Family and Consumer Sciences houses the Fashion Design and Merchandising (FDM) Program, which leads to a BS in Fashion Design and Merchandising with a Fashion Design or Merchandising Emphasis. 

According to the school, “the curriculum teaches cutting-edge skills in computer 2-D and 3-D fashion design; apparel product development; entrepreneurship; retailing; and consumer behavior, attitudes, and consumption of textile and apparel products around the world.” Program highlights include optional membership in the Fashion Club and participation in the Annual Fashion Show. Graduates of the program are prepared to compete for positions such as Textile and Fashion Designer, Technical Designer, Visual Merchandiser, Costume Designer, Curator, and Fashion Forecaster.

43. California State University Northridge, Northridge, California (top 35% of schools considered) 

California State University Northridge (CSUN) was founded in 1958 as San Fernando Valley State College. The most recent enrollment figures show that school is home to 38,310 students enrolled in 175 programs through nine colleges. The College of Health and Human Development, Department of Family & Consumer Sciences houses the Apparel Design and Merchandising program. Degree offerings for aspiring fashion designers include a BS in Family and Consumer Sciences with Options in Apparel Design and Production and Textiles and Apparel.

According to the Department, the programs combine “design technology, business strategy and fashion merchandising” in its approach to “apparel manufacturing, processing and merchandising techniques, and textile product quality control.” Other program highlights include access to the Historic Costume Collection, internship opportunities at The California Merchandise Mart, design showrooms, textile and apparel manufacturers, major department stores, museums, and textile testing labs, and networking opportunities through the student organization TRENDS.

Students also have the opportunity to develop professional relationships through domestic fashion industry tours, and organizations such as the International Textile and Apparel Association (ITAA) and the Fashion Industry Association (FIA). 

44. San Francisco State University, San Francisco, California (top 35% of schools considered) 

San Francisco State University (SFSU) was founded in 1899 as San Francisco State Normal School. According to the school’s most recent enrollment report, SFSU is home to 30,500 students enrolled in more than 140 undergraduate and graduate programs, 17 credential programs, and 38 certificate programs across seven colleges. The College of Health and Social Sciences is home to the Department of Consumer and Family Studies/Dietetics, which offers several programs for aspiring fashion designers. 

Offerings include a BS in Apparel Design and Merchandising with an Emphasis in Apparel Design and an MA in Family & Consumer Sciences that can be developed around Apparel studies. Program highlights include internship opportunities, participation in the Annual Fashion Show, and study abroad opportunities in Italy, London, and Sydney. 

45. Virginia Commonwealth University, Richmond, Virginia (top 35% of schools considered) 

Virginia Commonwealth University (VCU) was established in 1838. It is home to 31,242 students enrolled in around 226 degree and certificate programs across 15 colleges and schools. The School of the Arts is home to the Department of Fashion and Merchandising which has over 300 students enrolled in two educational tracks: the BFA in Fashion Design and the BA in Fashion Merchandising.

Program highlights include optional membership in The VCU Stiletto Club, internship opportunities in the U.S. and overseas, and study abroad opportunities including Fashion in Florence, VCU Qatar, and options in Paris, London, Scotland, and more. Fashion students also have the opportunity to participate in the VCU Annual Fashion Show. 

46. Central Michigan University, Mt. Pleasant, Michigan (top 35% of schools considered) 

Central Michigan University (CMU) was founded in 1892 as the Central Michigan Normal School and Business Institute. It has more than 20,000 students on its Mount Pleasant campus and another 7,000 enrolled online, and at more than 4​0 locations across North America. The school offers more than 200 academic programs across eight colleges, including the College of Education & Human Services (CHES).

CHES houses the Department of Human Environmental Studies, which offers several programs for aspiring fashion designers. Offerings include BA, BAA, and BS degrees in Fashion Merchandising and Design (FMD) with a Concentration in Fashion Design, a Fashion Design Minor and an MS in Apparel Product Development and Merchandising Technology. 

Fashion Program highlights include study abroad opportunities in Paris, London, Italy, and Hong Kong, the New York City Professional Study Tour (summer), and access to The Center for Merchandising and Design Technology (CMDT). In addition, students have the opportunity to participate in the Threads Fashion Show and intern at companies such as Bloomingdale’s, Louis Vuitton, Jason Wu, Sears, and more.

Graduates of the FMD program at CMU have been hired by companies such as Louis Vuitton, Forever 21, Abercrombie and Fitch, Espirit, Rocawear, and True Religion, Quicksilver, Nordstrom’s, Target, Urban Outfitters, and Club Monaco. 

47. Missouri State University, Springfield, Missouri (top 35% of schools considered) 

Missouri State University’s (MSU) main campus was founded in 1905. The state’s second largest university, MSU is home to more than 20,000 students from Missouri, nearly every other state and 85 other countries. The school offers more than 150 undergraduate majors and 48 graduate programs across six academic colleges, the School of Agriculture, and the Graduate College. The College of Business is home to the Department of Fashion and Interior Design which offers one program for aspiring fashion designers—a BS in Fashion Merchandising and Design with an Option in Fashion Design and Product Development.

Students may choose the three-year or four-year option. Both options require completion of four credit hours’ worth of internship experience. In addition, all fashion students have the opportunity to study abroad in places such as London and Paris, and participate in the Annual Spring Fashion Show. 

48. Woodbury University, Burbank, California (top 35% of schools considered) 

Founded in 1884, Woodbury University is home to more than 1,500 students. The school has two locations (Burbank and San Diego) and it offers degrees in several dozen fields across three schools and one college. The School of Media Culture & Design offers several programs for aspiring fashion designers. Offerings include a BFA in Fashion Design with a new Costume Design Track. Fashion students may also explore other design categories such as Shoes or Children’s Wear or earn a second degree such as the Bachelor of Business Administration (BBA) in Fashion Marketing. The BBA is offered through the School of Business.

According to the School of Media Culture & Design, the Fashion Design program focuses on “classic illustration methods, cutting-edge design, and world-class construction techniques.” The Costume Design Track “encompasses stage and screen with a concentrated emphasis on character development, period construction, digital and manual sketching, as well as an on-set production lab.” Both programs feature internship opportunities with major fashion companies, participation in the Woodbury Runway Show and Costume Runway, and a range of creative workshops.   

49. Syracuse University, Syracuse, New York (top 35% of schools considered) 

Syracuse University (SU) was chartered in 1870. It is home to approximately 21,789 students enrolled in more than 400 programs across 13 colleges and schools. The College of Visual and Performing Arts (VPA), Department of Design offers one program for aspiring fashion designers—a BFA in Fashion Design.

Program highlights include study abroad opportunities in London at London College of Fashion, Florence, and Strasbourg, France and visiting designers and retail experts. Past guests have included major designers such as Oscar de la Renta, Tommy Hilfiger, Russell Simmons, and Mary McFadden. Students also have access to the Sue Ann Genet Costume Collection, and they have the opportunity to participate in the Annual Fashion Show. 

50. Moore College of Art & Design, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania (top 35% of schools considered) 

Moore College of Art & Design was founded in 1848. It is the first and only visual arts college for women in the U.S. The school is home to 440 students enrolled in 10 majors leading to a BFA. Moore also offers five graduate programs, certificate programs, and 17 tracks leading to one of 11 minors to complement the major courses of study. Offerings for aspiring fashion designers include a BFA and a Minor in Fashion Design, and a Certificate in Fashion Studies with two tracks including Apparel Construction and Technical Design.

Program highlights include opportunities to work several shows during NYC Fashion Week, both paid and unpaid internships at major companies such as Ana Sui, Diane Von Furstenberg, Donna Karan, Halston, Marc Jacobs, Nordstrom, Rag & Bone, and Zac Posen, and participation in the Annual Fashion Show. Students may also participate in the “Fashion Critic Program,” which gives students the opportunity to work with a designer from the fashion industry. This ensures that the students’ creations are “professional and marketable.”

Graduates of the Fashion Program at Moore College of Art have worked for major designers and companies such as Adrienne Vittadini, Anne Klein Studio, Badgley Mischka, Fila, Jones New York, Liz Claiborne, Sean John, Tommy Hilfiger, Urban Outfitters, and many others.