There are four requirements to obtain a fashion design degree: build a portfolio, find an accredited school, pay the tuition fee and complete the coursework. All four are required to get a fashion design degree. Fashion design degrees provide training in textiles, elements of design, business and fabrics.
There are three types of institutions where you can obtain a fashion design degree: university, community college or a private fashion school. The university degree is four years in length and the college degree is two years. Private institutes typically issue a three year degree, with the third year being a specialization in a particular area of fashion design.
In order to apply for admission to a fashion design degree program, you will need a portfolio. This is a collection of your best work across at least two different types of design. There are many evening and weekend programs available to help you prepare your admissions portfolio. This process takes at least one full year, so it is best to begin in the last year of high school.
When you are looking for a fashion design degree program, make sure that the school is accredited. In the United States, the National Association of Schools of Art and Design is responsible for the accreditation process. Through accreditation, this association validates the quality of the instruction program, the administration processes and allows them to grant degrees. Only accredited schools can offer government student aid programs.
The tuition fees for a fashion design degree program are in the mid-range, with the average tuition fee between $8,000 and $12,000 US Dollars (USD). Many people look for programs that are available part time, with classes on the evenings and weekends. This allows them to keep a full time job while following their dream. In addition to tuition, this program also requires software, sewing equipment and mannequins.
The typical coursework includes the study of color, pattern making, sewing and computer assisted design. All designers must be able to sew, read a pattern and work with a wide range of fabrics. Even though the designer may not have to sew, they need to have this experience so they can provide proper instructions. Additional courses include human anatomy, mathematics, business and psychology.
Fashion design degree graduates can find employment in manufacturing, retail stores and marketing departments. Many students start their own businesses as fashion designers, personal stylists or tailors. Think about your goals, your personality and level of commitment and select the path that is right for you.