Top 19 Best Fashion Schools In The US

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Fashion is an energetic industry that is receiving acclaim throughout the world. If you are interested in learning about fashion or you want to start a career in this field, you must have sufficient knowledge and ideas. Since there are many fashion schools, selecting the right one might be difficult, but is vital for the overall success of your career.

Apart from top science, engineering, and medical universities, the US has some best fashion schools. There are a variety of fashion design courses ranging from bachelor to M.A. This article talks about 19 such fashion schools to help you choose the right one.

1. The Fashion Institute of Technology (FIT)

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  • Location: New York
  • Average Tuition Fee: In-state ($6,170) and Out-of-state ($16,750).
  • Programs: Jewelry Design, Business, Illustration, Styling, Marketing, and others.

FIT is one of the most prestigious and renowned fashion schools in the United States. It is a public university founded in 1944 and is a division of the State University of New York (SUNY). The university centers on art, design, mass communication, business, and technology attached to the fashion industry.

The acceptance rate of this university is 52%. Students come from around the world to study fashion in this school. Notable alumni include Michael Kors, Calvin Klein, and others.

2. Parsons School of Design

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  • Location: New York
  • Average Tuition fee: $46,960
  • Programs: Fashion Design, Fashion Marketing, Fashion Studies

Parsons School of Design, popularly known as Parsons is a privately owned art and design college founded in 1896. Situated in the Greenwich Village, Parsons is one of the historic schools of art and design in the city of New York. Divided into five departments, the school provides undergraduate, graduate, and non-degree programs.

It was the first school to provide programs related to fashion design, interior design, graphic design, advertising, and lighting design. The acceptance rate of this school is 35%. Notable alumni include Tom Ford and Marc Jacobs.

3. Pratt Institute

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  • Location: Brooklyn, NY
  • Average Tuition Fee: $55,590
  • Programs: Fashion Design, Graphic Design, Industrial Design

Pratt is a private university founded in 1887. Initially, it was established with a main focus on engineering, then architecture and fine arts. The motto of this institution is “Be true to your work, and your work will be true to you.” With six schools, this institution is an upcoming fashion school that provides creative leaders of tomorrow.

With a 67.9% acceptance rate, you might quite easily get into this well-known fashion school in the US. Popular majors include Industrial and product design, interior design, graphic design, and others.

4. Savannah College of Art and Design

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  • Location: Savannah, Georgia
  • Average Tuition Fees: $41,377
  • Programs: Fashion Design, Fashion Marketing & Management, Accessories Design, etc.

Founded in 1978, the Savannah College of Art and Design is a private art school located in Savannah, Atlanta, and Lacoste, France. The school is seeing changes with lots of connections with famous industrialists. With 81% acceptance, you can easily get admission here.

The school has been standing tall in one of the top positions due to its commitment and energy to motivate students to think creatively. The Luxury and Fashion Management programs of this school are creative and they stand out from the rest of the programs.

5. Otis College of Art and Design

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  • Location: Los Angeles, California
  • Average Tuition Fees: $51,988
  • Programs: Fashion Design, Digital Arts, Industrial and Product Design etc

Otis College of Art and Design is a private university founded in 1918. Otis offers one of the top US design programs in the country and the school is frequently visited by design experts. They also provide a mentorship program headed by famous designers.

The school has an acceptance rate of 80%. Some of the factors make this fashion school different from others. They focus on sustainability and empower others to use sustainable elements. The other factor is their mentorship program and the last is the cooperative environment.

6. Fashion Institute of Design & Merchandising (FIDM)

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  • Location: Los Angeles, California
  • Average Tuition Fees: $42,240
  • Programs: Footwear Design, Costume Design, Jewelry Design, Textile Design, Merchandising, and others.

The Fashion Institute of Design & Merchandising is a private college founded in 1969. After being part of Arizona State University's (ASU), fashion education program, FIDM and ASU will function together in Los Angeles and Phoenix. FIDM provides 26 associate of arts degree programs, a bachelor's degree in business, and nine bachelor's degree in art programs.

This college is affiliated to WASC Senior College and University Commission. The acceptance rate is 36%. Overall the college is well-known for its standard and exceptional resources used for studying fashion.

7. Columbus College of Art and Design (CCAD)

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  • Location: Columbus, Ohio
  • Average Tuition Fees: $38,150
  • Programs: Design, Photography, Production, Advertising, and others.

Columbus College of Art and Design is one of the historic private art and design colleges in the US founded in 1879. Situated in downtown, Columbus, the college has 14 buildings and is close to the Columbus Museum of Art. With 92% acceptance, the chance of not getting admission is very low.

As compared to other fashion schools, CCAD is quite budget-friendly for those who want to begin a fashion career. In order to motivate and inspire their students even more, the college has developed labs and studious for better performance. An interesting fact about the college is that they organize their own fashion show.

8. Rhode Island School of Design (RISD)

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  • Location: Providence, Rhode Island
  • Average Tuition Fees: $58,746
  • Programs: Apparel Design, Jewelry and Metalsmithing, Textiles, etc.

Rhode Island School of Design is one of the most reputed and respected design schools in the globe. The school is known to polish and deliver the finest designers. This is an authentic design school that teaches you the basics as well as extremes of fashion design. Founded in 1877, it is one of the first art and design schools in the US.

Admission here is very selective with an acceptance rate of 19%. The tuition fees are quite expensive with an average of $57,505. RISD offers 20 different bachelor’s and master’s programs.

9. Drexel University

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  • Location: Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
  • Average Tuition Fees: $58,293
  • Program: Fashion Design, Design & Merchandising

Drexel is a private institution founded in 1891. Drexel Fashion Design major is a studio-oriented, boutique-type undergraduate program. This program is considered one of the top five programs in the United States and is equally recognized all over the world. The university trains students to be creative thinkers in the fashion industry.

Some of the greatest designers are involved as educators and the university organises a fashion show where original art is represented. Apart from that students can involve in the exchange program with well-known fashion universities in London and others.

10. Academy of Art University

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  • Location:  San Francisco
  • Average Tuition Fees: $27,034
  • Program:  Textile Design, Fashion Journalism, Fashion Design, and Fashion Merchandising & Marketing

Established in 1929, the Academy of Art University is known as one of the largest private art and design schools in the US. The school is mostly featured in NY Fashion Week and they harbour great fashion journalism, merchandising, and business programs. On top of that, their student fashion blog is quite famous.

The university provides flexible online classes and you can join online courses in fashion, animation, game design, architecture, fine arts, and many more programs. With a 100% acceptance rate, you get direct admission.

11. Thomas Jefferson University

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  • Location: Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
  • Average Tuition Fees: $44,350
  • Program: Fashion Design and Fashion Merchandising and Management.

If you are willing to have great exposure, a manifold curriculum, and a high chance of deployment, then Thomas Jefferson University's fashion program might be the best for you. The Bachelor of Science degree is recognized worldwide for its talented students who have knowledge about the linkage between design, production, and commerce. This four-year program emphasizes creating competent skills and authenticity followed by the basics of liberal arts.

The course helps students to acquire greater opportunities and expose them to the fashion cities of London, Rome, and Paris. They are linked with some top brands like Tommy Hilfiger, Calvin Klein, and others.

12. Kent State University

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  • Location: Ohio
  • Average Tuition Fees: $12,674 for In-state and $22,144 for out-of-state.
  • Program: Fashion Design, Fashion Merchandising

Kent State University is another preferred institution for pursuing a major in fashion design. The university is well-known and creative due to its fashion design and merchandising program along with a fashion-based MBA degree. Not just that students get the chance to participate in exchange programs with top fashion colleges in top cities like Paris Academy in Paris, and the University of Palazzo in Florence.

Kent State University is a public research university founded in 1910 with seven regional campuses. The Shannon Rodgers and Jerry Silverman School of Fashion Design and Merchandising was opened in 1983. The school focuses on business and design.

13. Iowa State University

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  • Location: Ames, Iowa
  • Average Tuition Fees: $29,522
  • Program: Textile Science and Product performance, Textile design, etc.

Iowa State University also has one of the best fashion schools. Many fashion schools have fewer options to major in, however, Iowa provides students with diverse options to major including Apparel, Merchandising, and Design (AMD). This diverse scope helps students to open new pathways for greater opportunities.

The fashion school at this university offers a 4 years program that has been supported by the National Association of Schools and Art and Design. The AMD major offers scientific, humanistic, and technical knowledge about apparel, textiles, and similar products.

14. Maryland Institute College of Art (MICA)

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  • Location: Baltimore, Maryland
  • Average Tuition Fees: $53,815
  • Program: Graphic Design, Photography, Environment Architecture and Design

MICA is a private institution founded in 1826. It is leading the visual arts through its undergraduate, graduate, and other programs. It is another oldest art colleges in the US. The college provides Bachelor of Fine Arts (B.F.A), which is a basic undergraduate program for students whishing to pursue studies in the visual, fine or performing arts.

Popular majors include Grpahic Design, Illustration, Multimedia, Panting, and others. The institution conducts many fashion shows, the popular one being an experimental fashion where they try and create unique elements.

15. Marist College

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  • Location: Poughkeepsie, NY
  • Average Tuition Fees: $45,330
  • Program: Fashion in Culture & Commerce, Merchandise Planning & Control, and others.

Marist College is a private university founded in 1905. The college provides 47 bachelor's programs, 11 master's programs, and a single doctoral program. Fashion Design studies at Marist are much more than major programs. The course is available from the beginning of the semester. The Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in Fashion Design challenges students to create unique, apparel.

One grows knowledge in the fields of design, textile, garment making, computer-supported design, and draping and flat pattern making. The collections made by students are presented at the annual Silver Needle Runway Fashion Show.

16. California College of Arts (CCA)

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  • Location: San Francisco and Oakland, California
  • Average Tuition Fees: $57,096
  • Program: Fashion Design, Textiles, Jewelry Design

California College of Arts is a private art school founded in 1907. It was first founded in Berkeley then moved to Oakland. The second college is situated in San Francisco. The fashion design school at this college is known for its interconnected courses of study that is formulated in a way to foster innovation in the fashion industry.

The fashion design focuses on sustainability and practices unique approach. The college provides 3 year Bachelor of Art Fashion Design degree where they learn about the the trends and many other aspects of fashion industry. The college has an acceptance rate of 78%.

17. University of Cincinnati (UC)

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  • Location: Cincinnati, Ohio
  • Average Tuition Fees: $30,326
  • Program: Fashion Design combined with Product Development

UC is one of the oldest universities founded in 1819. The fashion design program at this university is considered one of the most popular courses in the country. It is governed by the College of Design, Architecture, Art, and Planning. The Bachelor of Science in Design is a fashion major at this university that encourages students to indulge in experimental learning, craftsmanship, technological training, and many others.

The program is a five-year course where they can full-time in the fashion industry and develop their experience and resume. Apart from that they have an option to study abroad during their fourth year accompanied by a partner.

18. Massachusetts College of Art and Design

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  • Location: Boston
  • Average Tuition Fees: $14,960 for in-state and $42,180 for out-of-state
  • Program: Fashion/apparel design, Design and visual communications, painting

Known as MassArt, it is a public college focused on visual and applied art. It comes under the loss of one of the oldest schools in the US, founded in 1873. The school has collaborated with a few countries to encourage employment for local women.

MassArt provides bachelor's degree in Fine Arts, Master's of Fine Arts, and various other degrees. The school is a great art school with diversity of majors and the professors includes experienced and well-known experts.

19. School of the Art Institute of Chicago (SAIC)

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  • Location: Illinois, Chicago
  • Average Tuition Fees: $58,739
  • Program: Fashion Design, Photography, Sculpture, and others

The SAIC is globally known as one of the best art schools and top art colleges in the US. This school was first founded as a cooperative then as a museum and finally as a school. The school is moderately selective with a 48.6% acceptance rate.

The school helps to prepare for a professional life through many internships, interview preparation, and various other activities. SAIC Department of Fashion Design offers creative multidisciplinary experiences that train the students to bring forward artistic and theoretical insight to the work.

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