Drexel University: Fashion Design, Design & Merchandising, Product Design
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Department of Fashion & Design & Merchandising

Drexel’s Fashion Design program educates and trains visionary designers to use an integrated approach toward the creation of contemporary fashion within the context of an expanding, yet converging, global economy and society. Through a series of courses, 1st year students explore the challenges facing our industry and learn how to implement inclusive, responsible, and sustainable solutions in their design process for sourcing, manufacturing, production & presentation. The fusion of art, design, science, and technology serves as a springboard for the production of unique apparel for the 21st century, and represents a trans-disciplinary approach that requires flexibility and focus. Check out our Instagram to see what our students are up to! 

In the 2nd year, students use 3-D digital programs to create patterns and produce garments through a series of courses. Students take intro to knitwear where they learn knit design programming on Apex SDS-One software to realize swatches and garments, using the Shima Seiki production machinery. Students use the Adobe suite to develop technical design packages and textile surface design along with visual communication.  

During their 3rd year, students are provided with commercial studio/atelier training that goes hand-in-hand with classroom instruction through the University’s cooperative education program. Fashion Design students complete a six-month co-op experience, working full-time at major designers and with national and international brands in New York City, Los Angeles, and in other fashion-centric cities all over the world. Cooperative education offers invaluable opportunities for students to observe and participate in the fashion industry at the ground level. Critiques by visiting professionals are included in all upper level courses and provide valuable “real world” input as well as future career connections. 

Many students spend a term studying abroad during their sophomore year in the world’s great fashion capitals, including London, England and Florence, Italy. Students can also choose from a range of intensive courses abroad (ICA) such as Drexel's Fashion Break in South Korea: Korean Fashion Industry in Seoul, one of Korea’s largest fashion markets. Students visit fabric markets, tailors, expert pattern-makers, and factories where they design, source, and realize their garment or accessory. 

Each year, Fashion Design students submit their designs to national and international competitions, such as the Supima Design Competition, International Fashion Illustration Competition in Korea and the YMA Fashion Scholarship Fund—the largest fashion scholarship program in the world. Students are also taught to think globally with participation in the Global Capstone Exchange Project, a collaborative sustainable design course with Seoul’s Sungkyunkwan University School of Art. Students collaborate via Skype and then travel to Korea at the end of the term to complete, present and critique the projects. 

Fashion Design students present their research and senior thesis work in a live fashion show and a digital portfolio platform on our website. Fashion 2021is a comprehensive display of the students work, their design ethos and in-depth process images including personal designer interviews adding context to their mission to make the world a better place through the lens of fashion. 

The Graduate Fashion Design Program is a first professional degree accepting students from a variety of undergraduate disciplines such as, but not limited to design arts, fine art, and art history. Classes in concepts, history and making of fashion apparel and accessories, in concert with ethical, sustainable design and production processes, and a required industry internship, prepare the student for lead design positions in industry and as sole proprietors.   

The Design & Merchandising program provides instruction from concept to consumer.  The Bachelor of Science degree educates students to conceptualize, plan, develop, market, and measure the opportunity for products and services for consumers through physical stores, online channels, televised content, and interactive media. Students develop a thorough knowledge of how products come to life through sustainable textiles, design, and production, and strategize the optimal assortment, inventory, and pricing for business goals  

Drexel’s online master's program in Retail & Merchandising provides a broad overview of the retail and merchandising industry, focusing on topics such as branding, fashion, visual communication, omni-channel marketing, product development, and supply chain management. 

Considering both theoretical and practical approaches, the curriculum develops students' abilities to think critically, research and solve problems, and implement innovative solutions in a dynamic global marketplace.

What fashion related programs and degrees does Drexel University offer?
As of 2011, Drexel University offers the following degrees:
B.S. Fashion Design
B.S. Design & Merchandising
B.S. Product Design

What’s the school’s contact information?
Drexel University
Department of Design & Fashion & Merchandising
33rd & Market St.
Philadelphia, PA 19104
Phone: 215-895-2390

Type of School? Private

How much is tuition?
Annual tuition: not available
Room & Board: not available

What’s the typical student profile?
Drexel University total undergraduate students: not available
Fashion program students: 350

What are the requirements to enter program?
All programs require a 3.0 GPA.  The Fashion Design major also requires a portfolio review.

How long does it take to complete program?
It usually takes four years to complete a B.S. degree, two years to complete a M.S. degree and two or more years to complete a Ph D program.

How many faculty members does Drexel University’s Fashion program have?
Faculty members: 25-28

What career placement services does Drexel University provide?
Students are required to complete an internship in their junior year, where they are typically placed among top fashion companies.  Study abroad opportunities are available in Europe and Australia.

All data is as of 2011.