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Top Fashion Programs in California

Written by FS StaffJuly 31, 2013
CA

What makes a school a “top” school? This may be up for debate in some circles, but according to a number of student groups, education organizations, bloggers, and alums, roughly a dozen factors separate the best from the rest. Besides offering a quality education, these groups say a top school is also affordable and convenient, it has excellent job placement services, and a diverse collection of student clubs and organizations, intramural sports, cultural opportunities, state of the art facilities, and more. Fortunately, a large number of California schools scored high in all areas. Many of these schools happen to offer some of the finest design programs in the world—including programs for aspiring fashion designers and fashion merchandisers.

Continue reading to learn more about California’s top schools for fashion and what they have to offer. Please note that the schools are in descending order by student population.

Top Fashion School Programs Southern California

Long Beach
California State University Long Beach
Student Population: 30,931
Backdrop: Suburban, 322-acre campus, easy access to Los Angeles, Orange County
Degrees Offered: B.A. Family and Consumer Sciences with a option in Fashion Merchandising or Textiles and Clothing, Minor in Fashion Merchandising, Minor in Textiles

Northridge
California State University Northridge
Student Population: 29,880
Backdrop: Urban, 356-acre campus, easy access to Los Angeles
Degrees Offered: B.S./M.S Family and Consumer Sciences with a concentration in Apparel Design and Merchandising, B.S./M.S. Interior Design

Pomona
California Polytechnic University
Student Population: 20,530
Backdrop: City, 1,438-acre campus, easy access to Los Angeles
Degrees Offered: B.S. Apparel Merchandising and Management with an option in Apparel Production or Fashion Retailing

Los Angeles
Fashion Institute of Design and Merchandising (FIDM)
Student Population: 7,500
Backdrop: Urban, 4-acre campus
Degrees Offered: A.A. degrees in Fashion Design, Fashion Merchandising, Apparel Industry Management, Merchandise Marketing, Fashion Management, Merchandise Product Development, Footwear Design, Menswear, Theater Costume Design, Jewelry Design, Fashion Knitwear Design, Textile Design, Textile Production & Development, Beauty Industry Management, Beauty Industry Merchandising & Marketing

San Diego
Point Loma Nazarene University
Student Population: 3,476
Backdrop: Coastal San Diego, 92-acre campus, easy access to Laguna Beach, Newport Beach,

Irvine
Degrees Offered: B.A. in Fashion and Interiors with a concentration in Fashion Merchandising, B.A. in Fashion and Interiors with a concentration in Fashion Interior Design

San Diego
Art Institute of California
Student Population: 1,618
Backdrop: Urban, 2-acre campus, easy access to Laguna Beach, Newport Beach, Irvine
Degrees Offered: B.F.A. Fashion Design, B.S. Fashion Marketing & Management, Fashion Retailing Diploma

Los Angeles
Art Institute of California
Student Population: 1,365
Backdrop: Urban, 2-acre campus
Degrees Offered: B.F.A. Fashion Design, B.S. Fashion Marketing & Management, B.S. Interior Design

Burbank
Woodbury University
Student Population: 1,301
Backdrop: Urban, 22-acre campus, easy access to Los Angeles
Degrees Offered: B.F.A. Fashion Design

Inland Empire
Art Institute of California
Student Population: 1,209
Backdrop: Urban, 2-acre campus, easy access to Los Angeles
Degrees Offered: B.F.A. Fashion Design, B.S. Fashion & Retail Management, Fashion Retailing Diploma

Orange County
Art Institute of California Orange County
Student Population: 1,144
Backdrop: Urban, 2-acre campus, easy access to Newport Beach, Irvine, Long Beach, Los Angeles
Degrees Offered: B.F.A. Fashion Design, B.S. Fashion Marketing & Management, Fashion Retailing Diploma

Hollywood
Art Institute of California
Student Population: 1,032
Backdrop: Urban, 2-acre campus
Degrees Offered: A.S. Fashion Design, A.A. Fashion Marketing, B.F.A. Fashion Design, B.S. Fashion Marketing & Management, Fashion Retailing Diploma

Los Angeles
Otis College of Art and Design
Student Population: 997
Backdrop: Urban, 5-acre campus
Degrees Offered: B.F.A. Fashion Design

Cerritos
Freemont College
Student Population: 400+
Backdrop: Small city, 1-acre campus, easy access to Los Angeles, Long Beach
Degrees Offered: A.A.S. Multimedia Design, emphasis in Fashion Design or Marketing

Los Angeles   
Academy of Couture Art
Student Population: 50+
Backdrop: Urban
Degrees Offered: A.A. Fashion Design, B.A. Fashion Design, Creative Fashion Design Laboratory Certificate (CFLC), Professional Fashion Design Laboratory Certificate (PFLC)

Top Fashion School Programs Northern California

San Francisco
San Francisco State University
Student Population: 30,500
Backdrop: Urban, 142-acre campus
Degrees Offered: B.S. Apparel Design and Merchandising, B.S. in Interior Design

Sacramento
California State University Sacramento
Student Population: 28,500
Backdrop: Urban, 300-acre campus, San Francisco, Oakland
Degrees Offered B.A. in Family and Consumer Sciences with a concentration in Apparel Marketing and Design

Davis
University of California
Student Population: 25,759
Backdrop: Town, 5,200-acre campus, easy access to Sacramento, San Francisco, San Jose, Oakland, Sunnyvale
Degrees Offered: B.S. Textiles and Clothing, B.S. Fiber & Polymer Science, Minor in Textiles and Clothing

San Francisco
Academy of Art University
Student Population: 11,205
Backdrop: Urban, 3-acre campus
Degrees Offered: B.F.A. and A.A. degrees in Fashion, Fashion Styling, Fashion Merchandising, Visual Merchandising, Knitwear Design, Menswear Design, Textiles, Jewelry & Metal Arts (J&MA online), and Fashion Journalism; M.F.A. in Fashion Design, Merchandising, Knitwear, Textiles, Jewelry & Metal Arts (J&MA online); B.A. and M.A. in Fashion Journalism; M.F.A. B.F.A., AA. and O.A.C. (Online Award of Completion) in Fashion (Online)

San Francisco
California College of the Arts
Student Population: 1,502
Backdrop: Urban, 4-acre campus
Degrees Offered: B.F.A. Fashion Design, B.F.A. Interior Design, B.F.A. Jewelry/Metal Arts, B.F.A. Textiles

San Francisco
Art Institute of California San Francisco
Student Population: 949
Backdrop: Urban, 2-acre campus, easy access to Oakland
Degrees Offered: A.S. Fashion Design, A.A. Fashion Marketing, B.F.A. Fashion Design, B.S. Fashion Marketing & Management, Fashion Retailing Diploma

Sacramento
Art Institute of California
Student Population: 692
Backdrop: Urban, 2-acre campus, easy access to San Francisco, Oakland
Degrees Offered: Fashion Retailing Diploma

Sunnyvale
Art Institute of California Sunnyvale-Silicon Valley
Student Population: 406
Backdrop: Urban, 2-acre campus, easy access to San Francisco, San Jose, Oakland
Degrees Offered: B.F.A. Fashion Design, B.S. Fashion Marketing & Management, Fashion Retailing Diploma

More Programs to Consider:

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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In 2017, workers with a bachelor's degree or higher had almost twice as much
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*Bureau of Labor Statistics


Sources
Peterson’s
Princeton Review
U.S. News & World Report College Rankings