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Bachelor of Fine Arts (BFA): Fashion Design Degree Overview

For individuals who dream of seeing their original fashions in the windows of popular shops, a first step toward a career in fashion design could be to earn a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Fashion Design. These 4-year programs teach students about clothing design, textiles and business management.

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Bachelor of Fine Arts in Fashion Design

A Bachelor of Fine Arts (BFA) in Fashion Design program bolsters students' artistic sensibilities and technical abilities through studies of fabrics and fashion design techniques. Throughout the program, students build their illustration, aesthetic and production skills. To demonstrate their knowledge of materials and showcase their designs, students are often required to create a portfolio - also called a collection - of original work, complete a thesis or participate in a fashion show.

Education Prerequisites

Generally, bachelor's degree programs require a personal statement, standardized test scores and a high school diploma or GED. For entry into a BFA in Fashion Design program, most schools require applicants to submit a portfolio that shows their drawing skills and their capacity for creating both artistic and functional apparel.

Popular Courses

In addition to discussing garment design and construction, the BFA in Fashion Design program also covers the history of fashion. Many programs in this major contain studio sessions where students can gain practical experience. Courses in the program may include the following:

  • Color theory
  • Draping
  • Computer-aided fashion design
  • Drawing
  • Textiles

Employment Outlook and Salary Info

With a bachelor's degree in fashion design, candidates might find employment in specialized design services or performing arts, spectator sports and related industries. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), employment for fashion designers expected to decrease by three percent from 2012-2022 and would remain competitive (www.bls.gov).

As of May 2012, there were over 16,000 fashion designers in the country making an average annual salary of $72,620, according to BLS reports. The BLS also found that some of the highest-paying industries for fashion designers were the management of companies and enterprises, footwear, cut and sew apparel manufacturing and motion picture industries.

Continuing Education

Some schools offer Master of Fine Arts in Fashion Design programs, which may focus on issues of sustainability, design in global contexts and how technology has changed the industry. These programs generally take two years to complete and require students to spend multiple semesters in design studios, developing their own personal style, meeting industry professionals and, in some cases, taking on a design project for a professional company. Students must complete a thesis of their own professional work as well.

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Popular Schools

  • Minimum eligibility requirements:
    • Must be a high school graduate or have completed GED
    School locations:
    • Online Learning

    Online Programs

    • Bachelor
        • BFA in Fashion Design
        • BFA in Interior Design - Green Design
        • BFA - Fine Art
        • BFA in Graphic Design
        • BFA in Art Education

    What is your highest level of education?

  • Minimum eligibility requirements:
    • Must be a high school graduate or have completed GED
    School locations:
    • Florida (2 campuses)
    • Illinois (1 campus)
    • Nevada (1)
    • Texas (1)
    • Washington (1)

    What is your highest level of education?

  • Minimum eligibility requirements:
    • Must be a high school graduate or have completed GED
    School locations:
    • Online Learning

    What is your highest level of education?

Other Schools:

  • School locations:
    • Michigan (1 campus)
    Areas of study you may find at Michigan State University include:
      • Graduate: Doctorate, First Professional Degree, Master
      • Non-Degree: Coursework
      • Undergraduate: Bachelor
    • Visual and Performing Arts
      • Design and Applied Arts
        • Fashion Design
        • Interior Design and Decorating
      • Drama and Theatre Arts
      • Fine Arts and Studio Art
      • Musical Arts
  • School locations:
    • Iowa (1 campus)
    Areas of study you may find at Iowa State University include:
      • Graduate: Doctorate, First Professional Degree, Master
      • Undergraduate: Bachelor
    • Visual and Performing Arts
      • Design and Applied Arts
        • Fashion Design
        • General Visual Communications Design
        • Graphic Design
        • Interior Design and Decorating
      • Musical Arts
  • School locations:
    • Delaware (1 campus)
    Areas of study you may find at University of Delaware include:
      • Graduate: Doctorate, Master
      • Undergraduate: Associate, Bachelor
    • Visual and Performing Arts
      • Design and Applied Arts
        • Fashion Design
      • Drama and Theatre Arts
      • Fine Arts and Studio Art
      • Musical Arts
  • School locations:
    • Texas (1 campus)
    Areas of study you may find at Baylor University include:
      • Graduate: Doctorate, First Professional Degree, Master
      • Undergraduate: Bachelor
    • Visual and Performing Arts
      • Design and Applied Arts
        • Fashion Design
        • Interior Design and Decorating
      • Drama and Theatre Arts
      • Fine Arts and Studio Art
      • Musical Arts
  • School locations:
    • Columbia (D.C.) (1 campus)
    Areas of study you may find at Howard University include:
      • Graduate: Doctorate, First Professional Degree, Master
      • Non-Degree: Diploma
      • Post Degree Certificate: Post Master's Certificate
      • Undergraduate: Bachelor
    • Visual and Performing Arts
      • Dance
      • Design and Applied Arts
        • Fashion Design
        • Interior Design and Decorating
      • Drama and Theatre Arts
      • Fine Arts and Studio Art
      • Musical Arts
      • Photography, Film, and Video
  • School locations:
    • Texas (1 campus)
    Areas of study you may find at Texas Tech University include:
      • Graduate: Doctorate, First Professional Degree, Master
      • Undergraduate: Bachelor
    • Visual and Performing Arts
      • Dance
      • Design and Applied Arts
        • Fashion Design
        • Graphic Design
      • Drama and Theatre Arts
      • Fine Arts and Studio Art
      • Musical Arts
  • School locations:
    • New Jersey (1 campus)
    Areas of study you may find at Montclair State University include:
      • Graduate: Doctorate, Master
      • Post Degree Certificate: Postbaccalaureate Certificate
      • Undergraduate: Bachelor
    • Visual and Performing Arts
      • Dance
      • Design and Applied Arts
        • Fashion Design
      • Drama and Theatre Arts
      • Fine Arts and Studio Art
      • Musical Arts
      • Photography, Film, and Video

Popular Schools

Avg. Wages For Related Jobs

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics