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Top 75 Fashion Design Schools in the US
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.
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 75 Fashion Design School Programs in the US.
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. The last factor is worthy of further explanation. As we researched schools and spoke with working professionals in the industry, it became increasingly evident that the location of a school matters in the fashion industry, perhaps even more so than in many other professions. For example, students who attend school in a fashion mecca such as New York City, or to a lesser extent in cities such as Los Angeles, San Francisco, or Chicago (to name but a few) often have a distinct advantage over students in other parts of the country in terms of networking opportunities, internships, and career specific part-time work. Does that mean you must attend school in a "major" city to work in fashion? Absolutely not. It simply means that access to opportunity is one of many advantages worth considering when choosing a school. So keep in mind that we are taking geographic advantages into account in our rankings.
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”. If there is anything we have learned in preparing this list it is that there are ten schools who think they are #1, thirty convinced they are Top 10, and another fifty who are certain they belong in the Top 20. And the truth is they all make a pretty strong case for inclusion.
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.
75. Brenau University, Gainesville, GA (top 35% of schools reviewed)
Originally founded in 1878 as a private college for the education of women, Brenau is now a diverse co-educational university with locations across Georgia but the Women’s College remains the cornerstone of the university. The university awards Bachelor Degrees in Fashion Design and Merchandising. Tuition is $10,900 per year.
74. Cazenovia College, Cazenovia, NY (top 35% of schools reviewed)
Founded in 1824, Cazenovia College is an independent liberal arts college that has operated at its original site in the Village of Cazenovia for over 188 years. While earning a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Fashion Design, students can participated in a week-long fashion tour of New York City that takes place each spring. Students participate in a department fashion show and are required to complete a senior research project before graduation. Tuition is $27,550 per year.
73. San Francisco State University, San Francisco, CA (top 35% of schools reviewed)
Located in an edgy and inspiring urban center, SF State University offers a Bachelor Degree in Apparel Design and Merchandising. Students learn the basics in garment construction and design, and have the opportunity to participate in a New York City study tour. Tuition is $3,220 for California residents, with an additional $372 per unit for non-residents.
72. Texas Woman’s University, Denton, TX (top 35% of schools reviewed)
Texas Woman’s University is a public university and the largest university that is primarily for women. The university awards Bachelor Degrees in Fashion Design and Merchandising. Students receive a fundamental liberal arts education plus the professional expertise and contacts necessary to begin a career in fashion. Residents pay $172 per semester hour; non-residents pay $523 per semester hour.
71. Middle Tennessee State University, Murfreesboro, TN (top 35% of schools reviewed)
The university awards Bachelor Degrees in Apparel Design. Students can participate in study tours to New York City, Las Vegas, Dallas and various European cities. The department also hosts a student fashion design organization, which organizes guest speakers, community events and tours. Residents pay $287 per academic hour; non-residents pay $807 per hour.
70. Missouri State University, Springfield, MO (top 35% of schools reviewed)
Earn a 4 year Bachelor of Science degree in Fashion Merchandising and Design from the College of Business, offering two degree options in Merchandising or Design. This rigorous and hands on program emphasizes Product Development, Portfolio Review and Fashion Technologies. Students are engaged in practical real-world experience through classroom curriculum and internships. Design students showcase original designs and senior collections during the annual spring fashion, produced by Merchandising majors and is attended by 1000+ guests. Students are also encouraged to take advantage of international and domestic study tours. Missouri residents pay $6,908 per year; non-residents pay $13,388.
69. Lindenwood University, St. Charles, MO (top 35% of schools reviewed)
Lindenwood is a private, 4-year liberal arts university with an historic 500-acre campus in the heart of St. Charles. The Fashion Design program emphasizes computer-aided design and requires all students to participate in a portfolio review before graduation. The university awards Bachelor Degrees in Fashion Design. Full-time undergraduates pay $22,180.
68. Saint Catherine University, St. Paul, MN (top 35% of schools reviewed)
St. Catherine integrates a liberal arts training and professional development within the Catholic tradition. The university awards Bachelor Degrees in Apparel Design and Fashion Merchandising. The rigorous program has an emphasis on computer-aided design and offers study exchange opportunities in London, Paris or New York City. The university hosts an annual “Katwalk” student fashion show. Full-time annual tuition is $32,896.
67. Michigan State University, East Lansing MI (top 35% of schools reviewed)
Michigan State was founded in 1855 as a land grant institution and was the first college in the United States to teach scientific agriculture. Students can earn a Bachelor Degree in Apparel and Textile Design. The program has more of a theoretical, academic focus, with hands-on experience. However, students are encouraged to apply for a one-year visiting program at the Fashion Institute of Technology in New York City. Annual in-state tuition (including housing and fees) is $21,200 and out-of-state tuition is $41,158.
66. Southern Illinois University, Carbondale, IL (top 35% of schools reviewed)
Southern Illinois University is located in a beautiful part of the state, with access to a state park and national forest. The university awards Bachelor Degrees in Fashion Design and Merchandising. Students at the university must meet required ACT and grade point average requirements to be admitted into the program. A unique feature of this program is the option of specialization as a fashion stylist. Residents pay approximately $5,700 per semester. Out-of-state students pay approximately $12,000 per semester.
65. Illinois State University, Normal, IL (top 35% of schools reviewed)
The first public university in the state of Illinois, Illinois State is a large, premier research university. The university awards Bachelor Degrees in Apparel, Merchandising and Design. Students can participate in study tours both inside and outside the U.S. Participants in the program are also encouraged to participate in the Apparel Merchandising and Design Association. In-state tuition is about $8,900 per semester. Out-of-state students pay approximately $10,000 per semester.
64. Dominican University, River Forest, IL (top 35% of schools reviewed)
Dominican is a private, Catholic university located ten miles west of downtown Chicago. The university awards Bachelor Degrees in Apparel Design and Merchandising with an emphasis on a liberal arts foundation. The department presents an annual fashion show, Pastiche, and hosts student design and merchandising contests. Tuition is $13,740 per semester.
63. University of Hawaii at Manoa, Honolulu, HI (top 30% of schools reviewed)
The Fashion Design and Merchandising bachelors of science program at the University of Hawaii at Mānoa is located in Honolulu, at Hawaii’s flagship campus. Fashion designing in Hawaii is creatively influenced by Asian, Hawaiian, and Pacific Islander, and Western cultures and fashion entrepreneurs are supported by the Hawaii Fashion Innovators community. Design and merchandising courses are taken by all majors, and upper class students focus on fashion design or fashion merchandising with a community internship. In the senior capstone course, fashion design students are challenged to complete a design collection which launches their design career at the annual fashion show produced by merchandising students.
62. University of North Texas, Denton, TX (top 30% of schools reviewed)
The University of North Texas is the most comprehensive university in the Dallas-Fort Worth area. The university awards Bachelors of Fine Arts Degree in Fashion Design. Students have access to the Texas Fashion Collection, which holds over 15,000 garments from the 19th and 20th centuries. Students can also choose to live on campus in an Academic Housing Community with other design majors. Tuition is approximately $4,500 per semester for residents and $11,000 for non-residents.
61. Meredith College, Raleigh, NC (top 30% of schools reviewed)
Meredith College ranks 3rd among colleges in the South and 9th for "Best Value" among colleges in the South by U.S. News & World Report. Students working to receive a Bachelor Degree in Fashion Merchandising and Design benefit from a strong academic foundation combined with real-world industry experience. Students are encouraged to study abroad and complete design internships with prestigious firms and designers. Tuition is $29,106 per year.
60. Georgia Southern University, Statesboro, GA (top 30% of schools reviewed)
Georgia Southern is a public research university that blends theory with real-world practices. The university offers a Bachelor Degree in Fashion Merchandising and Apparel Design. The department offers broad liberal education with a focus on the diverse careers in textiles, apparel production, and fashion industries. Students can participate in study-travel programs in Atlanta and New York City. In-state tuition is $2,426, and out-of-state tuition is $8,564.
59. Mount Mary College, Milwaukee, WI (top 30% of schools reviewed)
Mount Mary is a women’s college, located in a park-like setting on Milwaukee’s west side. The Fashion Department offers Bachelor Degrees in Fashion Design and Merchandising with a focus on real-world experience and technological expertise. Students have access to an Historic Costume Collection. The university hosts CREO, an annual fashion design show, as well as an annual fashion competition for aspiring designers. Tuition is $24,598 per year.
58. Western Michigan University, Kalamazoo, MI (top 30% of schools reviewed)
Western Michigan is one of the top 100 public universities in the United States. While earning a Bachelor Degree in Fashion Design, students can take advantage of study abroad opportunities, internships and a student design organization on campus. The program uniquely requires completion of 18 to 24 credit hours at the Fashion Institute of Technology (FIT) in New York City or The American Intercontinental University in London. Residents pay $4,569 per semester, and non-residents pay $11,209 per semester.
57. Marymount University, Arlington, VA (top 30% of schools reviewed)
Marymount University is an independent four-year Catholic university and the only Washington DC area university offering Fashion Design and Fashion Merchandising programs. The university has a juried annual fashion show, Portfolio in Motion, that brings world-renown designers, such as Michael Kors, to campus. It also provides study abroad programs in Paris, London and Florence as well as internships. The courses deal directly with industry firms, such as Eileen Fisher, Ralph Lauren, Nordstrom and L.L. Bean, etc. The location enables Marymount to cultivate an international perspective.
56. Philadelphia University, Philadelphia, PA (top 30% of schools reviewed)
Philadelphia offers a unique academic approach, Nexus Learning — active and collaborative learning that is connected to real world and infused with the liberal arts. The fashion programs are modeled on the fashion industry and immerse students in the world of fashion as they pursue their Bachelor Degrees. The university has a strong international reputation and offers semester programs in London and Rome. Student work is showcased in annual fashion show and many students are singled out for exceptional work via a series of student fashion awards. Tuition is $31,874.
55. Moore College of Art and Design, Philadelphia, PA (top 30% of schools reviewed)
The vibrant Philadelphia campus of Moore College of Art and Design encourages close collaboration and inspiration from the surrounding city. Students visit studios, showrooms and designers in New York and Philadelphia to gain real-world experience from industry professionals. While working toward a Bachelor Degree in Fashion Design, students can participate in an annual campus fashion show. Tuition is $31,654 per year.
54. Albright College, Reading, PA (top 30% of schools reviewed)
Founded originally as a seminary school, Albright is now a rigorous interdisciplinary liberal arts college. The school offers a Bachelor Degree in Fashion Design and Merchandising, with tracks in costume design and fashion design. Students are encouraged to participate in internships and in the campus fashion show. Tuition is $1,590 per course and includes textbooks and fees.
53. Centenary College, Hackettstown, NJ (top 30% of schools reviewed)
A diverse, private liberal arts college with a Methodist background, Centenary offers small class size and one-on-one attention. While working toward a Bachelor of Arts in Fashion Design, students receive a strong liberal arts foundation, which assists in critical thinking and real-world problem-solving. Full time tuition is $28,500 per year.
51. Academy of Couture Art, Los Angeles, CA (top 25% of schools reviewed)
The Academy of Couture Art prides itself on being the couture fashion school, with a focus on luxury and unique fashion. Tuition is $22,238 for either Bachelor or Associate Degree in Fashion Design or Pattern Design. For those interested in Haute Couture or European-inspired high-end fashion, this school is an excellent choice.
50. Framingham State University, Framingham, MA (top 25% of schools reviewed)
Framingham State is a small public university located 20 miles west of Boston. The school offers Bachelor Degrees in Fashion Design and Retailing. Students explore creative and technical aspects of garment design and construction and build their portfolios. Internships are encouraged. The Costume and Textiles Research Center hosts approximately 4,000 costumes, accessories, textiles, books and periodicals. Tuition is $485 for in-state students and $3,525 for out-of-state students.
49. Washington University in St. Louis, St. Louis, MO (top 25% of schools reviewed)
Washington University in St. Louis is a mid-size independent university. The 169-acre campus is known for its fascinating gothic architecture. The Sam Fox School within the university offers an art major (Bachelor Degree) with an emphasis on fashion design. Undergraduate tuition is $42,500.
48. Marist College, Poughkeepsie, NY (top 25% of schools reviewed)
Marist was originally founded as seminary, but is now a small independent college with diverse academic options. To be admitted into the fashion design program students must already have basic knowledge of garment construction and submit a required design project of original work. The Bachelor Degree in Fashion Design emphasizes a merge of technology and creative design courses. Tuition is $14,750 per semester.
47. Virginia Marti College of Art and Design, Lakewood, OH (top 25% of schools reviewed)
Virginia Marti College, located on the outskirts of Cleveland, offers short, intensive programs for students who would like to quickly finish school and begin working. The college awards Associate Degrees in Fashion Design with an emphasis on technology and a pragmatic, career focus.
46. Indiana University, Bloomington, IN (top 25% of schools reviewed)
Indiana University boasts an extremely high-tech campus, with students from around the country and world. Aspiring designers can earn a Bachelor of Arts in Fashion Design. The curriculum describes itself on focusing on “design” as both a noun and a verb, and blends academic theory with a multidisciplinary approach to utilitarian design skills. The department hosts an annual Bill Blass Lecture, and strongly encourages full-time internships. In state students pay $10,034 per year and out-of-state students pay $31,484.
45. Texas Tech University, Lubbock, TX (top 25% of schools reviewed)
Located on the high plains of west Texas, Texas Tech is a large research university. The Apparel Design and Manufacturing Program offers a campus fashion show, a design competition and chances for real-world internships. An annual fashion tour of New York or Los Angeles is also available to fashion students as they work toward a Bachelor Degree. Tuition is approximately $5,400 for in-state students. Out-of-state students pay approximately $12,000.
44. Louisiana State University, Baton Rouge, LA (top 25% of schools reviewed)
Founded in 1869, Louisiana State University is a nationally-recognized research institution and the largest public institution in the state. With a focus on technical and creative expertise, the program offers Bachelor and Master Degrees in Textile Science, Apparel Design, or Merchandising. Students have access to several textile and design laboratories, as well as a Textile and Costume Museum on campus. Tuition runs at $3,498 per semester for residents, and $11,136 for non-residents.
43. West Virginia University, Morgantown, WV (top 25% of schools reviewed)
West Virginia University is nestled in the beautiful mountains of West Virginia and proudly blends a pioneering heritage with contemporary academics. Students can earn Bachelor Degrees in Fashion Design and Merchandising with a specialization in either track. The university hosts an annual Day of Design to showcase student work. Resident tuition is $6,090 and non-resident tuition is $18,868.
42. University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, MN (top 20% of schools reviewed)
The University of Minnesota, Twin Cities is a large public research university. Apparel Design students build an intimate community within the advantages of a large university, and a growing network of alumni. The university awards Bachelor and Master Degrees in Apparel Design. Students entering the program should already have a basic knowledge of apparel assemble and construction, and be familiar with basic technology. Tuition is $6,030 per 13 credits for residents and $8,655 for non-residents.
41. Purdue University, West Lafayette, IN (top 20% of schools reviewed)
A top-ranked national university, Purdue boasts a competitive student-faculty ratio. While pursuing a Bachelor Degree in Apparel Design and Technology, design students may apply to attend a one-year program at the Fashion Institute of Technology in New York City. The Purdue Fashion Association presents an annual fashion show that showcases student work. Tuition is $9,900 for Indiana residents and $28,702 for non-residents.
40. Ball State University, Muncie, IN (top 20% of schools reviewed)
Ball State is a large research university that is recognized by the Princeton Review as one of the “Best in the Midwest.” The university awards a Bachelor's Degrees in Apparel Design as well as Fashion Merchandising. Students must complete the common core curriculum in the Department of Family and Consumer Sciences and have the opportunity to join the Fashion Design Society.
39. Syracuse University, Syracuse, NY (top 20% of schools reviewed)
Nestled in the rolling hills of Central New York State, Syracuse is an iconic, historic campus. Participation in the Bachelor of Fashion Design program includes the chance to submit student work to an annual fashion show. Professional designers and retail experts often visit campus to offer guidance and critique. Students are required to fashion design as their major before they begin their first year.
38. California State University, Long Beach, Long Beach, CA (top 20% of schools reviewed)
Part of the CSU system, Cal State, Long Beach offers Bachelor Degrees in Fashion Merchandising and Design. A program highlight is the Spring Fashion Show, which attracts design industry professionals and serves as a networking event. Tours of New York are offered every January and summer tours of Europe are often offered. Tuition is approximately $3,120 per semester for California residents. Non-residents pay an additional $372 for each academic unit of credit.
37. North Dakota State University, Fargo, ND (top 20% of schools reviewed)
North Dakota State University is a student-focused, land-grant, research university with more than 14,000 students. Undergraduates can earn a Bachelor Degree in Apparel and Textiles. Coursework integrates design basics with real life experience and students are encouraged to take advantage of national and international study tours. North Dakota residents pay $3,616 in tuition; non-residents pay $8,740.
36. Virginia Tech University, Blacksburg, VA (top 20% of schools reviewed)
Virginia Tech is the most comprehensive research university in the state. The newly created program in Apparel Product Design and Merchandising program awards students with Bachelor Degrees. The well-rounded program combines coursework, internships, study tours and a strong and active fashion student association. Virginia residents pay $383 per credit hour, and non-residents pay $982 per credit hour.
35. Woodbury University, Burbank, CA (top 20% of schools reviewed)
Known for its beautiful campus, Woodbury also offers small class size and one-on-one attention from faculty. The university offers a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Fashion Design, with an annual design show focusing on student work. All students are required to complete an internship with a professional design firm, and students have the opportunity to interact with the Woodbury Fashion Study Collection, a museum-quality collection of more than 6000 pieces, some dating back to the early 1800s. Tuition and fees cost $31,054.
34. Washington State University, Pullman, WA (top 20% of schools reviewed)
Washington State is a large, international research university with a mission of improving the quality of life. Fashion students can earn Bachelor Degrees from the Department of Apparel, Merchandising, Design and Textiles. The department’s unique fashion show falls on what is known as “Mom’s Weekend.” Internships, study tours, student clubs and research opportunities round it this comprehensive academic program. Tuition is $5,693 for Washington residents and $12,234 for non-residents.
33. University of North Carolina Greensboro, Greensboro, NC (top 20% of schools reviewed)
UNC Greensboro is a branch of the larger University of North Carolina system, a powerhouse research university of the South. The university offers a Bachelor Degree in Apparel Product Design. The program offers the basics in textile and garment design and production. Study of foreign language is encouraged and international study is offered. Internships are required of all design students. Tuition is $6,136 for in-state students and $19,934 for out-of-state students.
32. Stephens College, Columbia, MO (top 20% of schools reviewed)
Stephens College is a private women’s college with over 175 years of history as the second women’s college in the country. The college offers Bachelor Degrees in Fashion Design, Communication, or Marketing and Management. Highlights of the fashion program include experience with visiting industry professionals, study exchange at international fashion academies, internships and a fashion show. Annual tuition is $27,210.
31. Central Michigan University, Mount Pleasant, MI (top 15% of schools reviewed)
One of the largest research universities in the country, Central Michigan was originally founded as a school for teachers and business education. Today the university awards a Bachelor Degree in Apparel Design that can be combined with coursework in Apparel Merchandising. The university offers a summer study tour in New York City and classes in New York, London or Paris, and the program requires all design majors to complete an internship. In-state tuition is $10,950 per year; out-of-state is $23,670.
30. Colorado State University, Fort Collins, CO (top 15% of schools reviewed)
Colorado State is a large research university and is known as one of the top public universities in the United States for affordability and quality. The university awards Bachelor Degrees in Apparel Design and Merchandising. The program integrates pragmatic design and development with an academic understanding of the culture, history and the consumer relationship with fashion. Each spring the department hosts a student design show where awards are presented to recognize outstanding achievement. Students who wish to be admitted to the program must participate in a design project before enrolling. Residents pay approximately $400 per academic credit hour and non-residents pay about $1,200 per credit hour.
29. Kansas State University, Manhattan, KS (top 15% of schools reviewed)
Kansas State is a large research university that is rated the safest campus in the Big 12. The university offers a Bachelor Degree in Apparel and Textiles. The academic program emerges from a human ecological framework and promotes environmental and social responsibility. Students must apply to this competitive academic program even after enrolling in the university. Once admitted, students can participate in study tours of New York, London and other major cities. Kansas residents pay $244 per academic hour; non-residents pay $647 per academic hour.
28. University of Rhode Island, Kingston, RI (top 15% of schools reviewed)
The University of Rhode Island is the State’s public learner-centered research university. Fashion design students earn a Bachelor Degrees in Textiles, Fashion Merchandising and Design. Program highlights include strong internships, a study abroad semester and the chance to create a dual degree with a “fashion language,” such as French or Italian. The department boasts one the largest historic costume and textile collections in the country. Tuition is $10,878 for in-state students and $26,444 for out-of-state students.
27. The Art Institutes, Nationwide (top 15% of schools reviewed)
The Art Institutes is a 50-campus system that spans the United States, and describes itself as a place where “creativity never goes out of style.” The school awards both Bachelor and Associate Degrees in Fashion Design or Marketing and Management, depending on the campus. The school’s diverse, urban locations allow fashion students to pull inspiration from their environments.
26. Lasell College, Newton, MA (top 15% of schools reviewed)
The suburban, 50-acre campus of Lasell is located within 8 miles of downtown Boston. The strong Fashion Design Department has several academic areas of focus within the pursuit of a Bachelor Degree: Fashion Communication and Promotion; Fashion Design and Production; and Fashion and Retail Merchandising. All fashion students benefit from hands-on experience, including involvement in campus fashion show productions, contact with industry professionals and academic internships. Annual tuition is $27,800.
25. Academy of Art University, San Francisco, CA (top 15% of schools reviewed)
This high-ranking art school was founded in 1929 by artists for artists. Students can earn Associate and Bachelor degrees in Fashion Design and receive assistance in finding career and job opportunities. Tuition is $20,916 per year. Of note: The Academy of Art University was the first school to show at New York Fashion Week.
24. Baylor University, Waco, TX (top 15% of schools reviewed)
Baylor University is a top-ranked Christian university in Waco. The Apparel Design program at Baylor offers summer study tours and field experience in places like the Dallas Market and many design firms. The Parker Design and Technology Center offers hands-on high-tech experience to aid in design study. Tuition is $32,574 annually.
23. Fashion Institute of Design and Merchandising, Los Angeles, CA (top 15% of schools reviewed)
Located in the fashion mecca of Los Angeles, the Fashion Institute of Design and Merchandising is a school for aspiring designers who know what they want. Within this institution devoted to fashion, students can tailor their fields of study into more niche majors, such as Costume Design or Footwear Design. A two-year program, this college offers Associate Degrees in the chosen field. Tuition is approximately $27,000 per year.
22. University of Texas, Austin, TX (top 15% of schools reviewed)
Located in the quintessential college town of Austin, the University of Texas is a large, internationally renowned research university. Students earning a Bachelor Degree in Textiles and Apparel have access to the Historical Textiles and Apparel Collection, which holds over 5,000 items. The university also hosts an annual Transcend fashion show and provides many opportunities for study trips and internships around the country and abroad. Tuition is approximately $1,400 per semester for residents and $4,800 per semester for non-residents.
21. Virginia Commonwealth University, Richmond, VA (top 10% of schools reviewed)
Virginia Commonwealth is a large research university located in the heart of Richmond. While pursuing Bachelor Degrees in Fashion Design and Merchandising, students produce an annual juried fashion show. Students can participate in domestic field trips to New York City and Las Vegas, as well as international field trips to Paris, London, Florence, Rome and Hong Kong. Virginia residents pay $4,942. Non-residents pay $11,956.
20. Auburn University, Auburn, AL (top 10% of schools reviewed)
A large public school, Auburn is a stalwart southern landmark in terms of academics and sports. The university offers Bachelor Degrees in Apparel Design and Merchandising in a strong program that blends creativity and a solid business foundation. Senior year internships are highly encouraged for aspiring fashion designers. Tuition is $328 per academic hour for residents and $984 for non-residents.
19. University of Nebraska, Lincoln, NE (top 10% of schools reviewed)
A large research university, University of Nebraska offers the traditional undergraduate experience with a strong Textiles, Merchandising and Fashion Design Department. While pursuing a Bachelor Degree, students can participate in research projects, study tours, and internships in highly visible companies. The student organization, Montage, provides social events and community service projects. Tuition is $216 per credit hour for residents and $641 for non-residents.
18. Iowa State University, Ames, IA (top 10% of schools reviewed)
The university awards Bachelor Degrees in Apparel, Merchandising and Design. The annual fashion show is one of the largest student-produced fashion shows in the nation. Students have access to high-end technology and an historical garment collection and clothing museum on campus. In-state students pay $3,324 per semester and out-of-state students pay $9,380 per semester.
17. University of Delaware, Newark, DE (top 10% of schools reviewed)
The University of Delaware traces its origins back to 1743. The Department of Apparel and Fashion Studies awards Bachelor and Master Degrees. Aspiring designers are required to submit a concept statement, mood board, and figure croquis sketches for admission to this rigorous program and can choose to double major in fashion merchandising. Ranked globally as a leader for its emphasis on sustainability. the school also emphasizes global industry opportunities through travel study in leading fashion cities, and internships and student exchange in Hong Kong. Close proximity to Philadelphia and New York City expand opportunities for students to be closely connected with industry. Tuition (including room and board) is $22,560 per year for Delaware residents and $39,650 for out-of-state students.
16. Massachusetts College of Art and Design, Boston, MA (top 10% of schools reviewed)
Known as MassArts, Massachusetts College of Art and Design is the nation’s first independent college of art and design, and the first art school to grant a degree. The Bachelor of Fine Arts Degree in Fashion Design pushes students to develop a global perspective while developing expertise in the fundamentals of fashion design. In-state residents pay $9,700 in tuition and non-residents pay $26,400. Residents from other New England states pay $16,600.
15. Columbus College of Art and Design, Columbus, OH (top 10% of schools reviewed)
Located in downtown Columbus, Columbus College of Art and Design has a competitive faculty-student ratio of 12:1. Fashion Design majors become skilled in basic aspects of garment design and construction. Senior-year designers complete their own collections and participated in a popular campus fashion show. Many graduates go on to work for well-known companies after receiving a Bachelor Degree. Tuition is $27,504 per year.
14. Oregon State University, Corvallis, OR (top 10% of schools reviewed)
Oregon State is a leading research university located 90 miles south of Portland. The University awards Bachelor of Science Degrees in Apparel Design and Product Development. Students must complete 45 hours at the university before applying to this professional program. Oregon residents pay $8,091 per year and non-residents pay $22,212.
13. University of Cincinnati, Cincinnati, OH (top 10% of schools reviewed)
The city of Cincinnati, once called the "Queen City of the West" by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, is near many cultural resources for students seeking a creative degree. Students learn basic skills in design and garment construction while studying a broad liberal arts academic foundation. The program offers the opportunity to participate in a co-op that fuses study and real-world work experience. Ohio residents pay $10,784 per year and non-residents pay $25,816.
12. School of the Art Institute of Chicago, Chicago, IL (top 10% of schools reviewed)
The Fashion Design program at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago fuses real-world professional preparation with an artistic foundation. Students work and study in the Sage Studios for Fashion Design, located in an historic building designed by Louis Sullivan, and have access to the Fashion Resource Center, a hands-on collection of innovated 20th and 21st century garments. While earning a Bachelor or Master Degree in Fashion Design, design students can also utilize the resources of the world-renowned Art Institute of Chicago. Undergraduates pay $1278 per credit hour.
11. Columbia College Chicago, Chicago, IL (top 10% of schools reviewed)
Columbia College Chicago has the motto of “For Creatives. By Creatives,” and the fashion design faculty is composed of industry professionals. With the city of Chicago playing an integral role as a part of the campus, the college has high-end fashion lab and a museum-quality fashion study collection. The college awards Bachelor and Master Degrees in Fashion Design and Fashion Studies. Tuition is $22,132 per year for undergraduate students.
10. California College of the Arts, San Francisco, CA (top 5% of schools reviewed)
Located in San Francisco, California College of the Arts offers a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Fashion Design. The program challenges students to question traditional design practices and focus on sustainable design. The Bay Area location also offers students the chance to partner with world-renowned clothing companies and participate in a high-end annual fashion show. Tuition is $18,480 per term.
9. Cornell University, Ithaca, NY (top 5% of schools reviewed)
Cornell University combines the prestige of an Ivy League college nestled into a tight-knit community. The Bachelor Degree in Fiber Science and Apparel Design has three concentrations: apparel design, fashion design management, and fiber science. Students learn the basics of design, apparel, and fibers and then focus on one concentration for upper level course work. Annual tuition is $43,185.
8. Pratt Institute, Brooklyn, NY (top 5% of schools reviewed)
Pratt takes advantage of New York as an inspiring urban laboratory. Students have access to museums, archives and design studios as they pursue Associate and Bachelor Degrees in Fashion Design. Faculty members are industry professionals representing many major labels and design companies. Students are required to submit a portfolio to be admitted to the program. Annual tuition is $37,500.
7. Rhode Island School of Design, Providence, RI (top 5% of schools reviewed)
A world-class institution, Rhode Island School of Design, has an impeccable reputation in the fashion industry. The annual fashion show, simply named Collection is so popular that it takes place at a nearby convention center and guest critics include renowned designers like Tommy Hilfiger. While finishing their bachelor degrees in Apparel Design, seniors spend six weeks at personally tailored internships in New York City. Tuition is $42,622 per year.
6. Drexel University, Philadelphia, PA (top 5% of schools reviewed)
Drexel is a world-class research institution with a unique co-op education program. Drexel's top-flight Fashion Design program is nationally recognized. The rigorous curriculum consists of a unique six-month co-op experience that complements coursework in conceptual design, presentation skills, CAD, and manufacturing methods. Program offerings include: the Haute Technology Laboratory, Historic Costume Collection, the Philadelphia Fashion Incubator and a student fashion show. Tuition ranges from $33,800 to $41,500.
5. Otis College of Art and Design, Los Angeles, CA (top 5% of schools reviewed)
Otis College of Art and Design offers comprehensive undergraduate study in Fashion Design, culminating in a Bachelor Degree. Students work with mentors from well-known fashion designers and clothiers, and many graduates have gone on to work for top-notch companies. Tuition costs $36,350.
4. Savanna College of Art and Design, Savanna, GA (top 5% of schools reviewed)
Located in midtown Savanna, the Savannah College of Art and Design offers access to museums, parks and shopping. The fashion program hosts a Style Lab mentorship program that provides opportunities for students to work with acclaimed design professionals such as Zac Posen. Students have access to a fashion library and an on-campus art museum and go on to internships and jobs at prestigious clothing and design companies. The college awards Bachelor and Master Degrees in Fashion. Tuition is $30,510 per year for undergraduates.
3. Kent State University, Kent, OH (top 5% of schools reviewed)
The Fashion School within Kent State is endorsed by The Ohio Board of Regents as a "Center of Excellence" at Kent State University and in the State of Ohio. With the lofty aspiration to be the best American fashion school, this program is within the Shannon Rodgers and Jerry Silverman School of Fashion Design and Merchandising and a boasts a strong fashion collection in the Kent State University Museum. Students can study abroad at a Paris campus while working to earn a Bachelor Degree. Tuition is $9,672 for Ohio residents and $17,632 for non-residents.
2. Fashion Institute of Technology, New York, NY (top 1% of schools reviewed)
Part of the State University of New York System, the Fashion Institute of Technology is an internationally recognized college for fashion design. The program is located on 7th Avenue, also known as Fashion Avenue, and boasts partnerships with top designers and design companies. Students have access to critiques, partnerships and internships with some of the best designers in the country. New York residents pay $2884 per semester and non-residents pay $7,715 per semester.
1. Parsons the New School for Design, New York, NY (top 1% of schools reviewed)
Parsons has trained five generations of fashion designers to lead the U.S. fashion industry. With a global perspective, this elite school offers a new program in Paris as an extension of its New York hub. Fashion Design degrees are granted at the Associate, Bachelor and Master level and the fashion program produces its own fashion magazine. Tuition is $19,640 per term.