Your Guide to Fashion Design Schools and Programs

Fashion design – a glamorous world of creativity, high profile, and potential wealth. But before you strut down that runway, you need the right training. This guide will dissect the top fashion design schools, degree options, and time commitments to help you navigate your way to sartorial success.

Top Fashion Design Schools:

  • Fashion Institute of Technology (FIT): New York’s fashion powerhouse, offering a wide range of degree programs from AAS to MPS, specializing in everything from knitwear to jewelry design.
  • Parsons School of Design: Another NYC giant, boasting over 10,000 students and 138 programs, including drawing, textiles, and sustainable design.
  • Savannah College of Art and Design (SCAD): With campuses in Georgia, France, and Atlanta, SCAD boasts 40 undergraduate and 61 graduate degrees, making it a major player in the fashion education game.

Degree Options and Time Commitments:

  • Associate Degree: Get your fashion fundamentals down in 2 years. Perfect for a quick jumpstart.
  • Bachelor’s Degree: Dive deeper into the world of design with a 4-year program, honing your skills and building a strong portfolio.
  • Master’s Degree: Two more years to specialize in a specific niche and become an expert in your chosen field.

Cost Considerations:

Top schools come with a price tag, but it’s not always astronomical. FIT, for example, charges $2,645 per semester for in-state associate degrees, while online options like Southern New Hampshire University Online and Old Dominion University offer more affordable alternatives. Remember, top schools are competitive, so admission isn’t guaranteed.

Landing Your First Job:

  • Internships: Look for schools with strong internship programs to gain real-world experience before graduation.
  • Business Savvy: Fashion is business; consider taking business courses to understand the industry’s financial side.
  • Build Your Portfolio: Every project matters. Build a strong portfolio showcasing your talent and versatility.
  • Start Small: Don’t expect head designer right out of school. Be willing to take entry-level roles and work your way up.


The path to fashion design stardom isn’t always a glittery catwalk. It’s about hard work, dedication, and choosing the right educational foundation. With the right information and a burning passion, you can turn your fashion dreams into reality.

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