Fashion Schools and Training Programs: How to Choose
Lovers of fashion can pursue a variety of degrees at fashion schools throughout the U.S. The fashion industry involves designers, writers, merchandisers and a variety of other talents. Programs in fashion studies are available at the undergraduate and graduate levels.
How to Select a Fashion School
In choosing a fashion school, prospective fashion students may consider a focus within the fashion industry. While some schools offer degree programs in only particular segments of the industry, such as fashion design or marketing, other offer a full array of degree programs within the general areas that are part of the fashion industry.
The history of the school is something future fashion students can also consider. While some schools have offered fashion programs for only a few years, some have been training fashion professionals for decades and have earned wide credibility throughout the industry.
Graduate success can also be important. Major fashion schools in the U.S. boast alumni who are now among the top fashion designers in the nation, as well as students working in some the world's top fashion houses. A look at whether the faculty includes working professionals may also be important.
Internships can also be a key to a student's success within the fashion industry. Some schools have developed partnerships that allow their students to work side-by-side with professionals in large fashion companies, such as Calvin Klein, JC Penney's and Martha Stewart.
Prospective students should also look at the quality of the school's studios and laboratories. Some schools offer state-of-the-art studios and technology, allowing students to experience the latest in cutting edge computer design and hands-on training.
Prospective students may also look at whether a school promotes real-life experience as part of its programs. In addition to requiring comprehensive portfolios in order to graduate, many schools offer the opportunity to design a complete collection and participate in a runway show. Top schools take their shows to prestigious events, such as New York Fashion Week, and have their shows juried by top designers and media outlets, such as the New York Times.
Fashion Program Overview
Bachelor's Degree in Fashion Studies
Bachelor's degrees are offered in all areas of the fashion industry, ranging from fashion design to marketing to fashion journalism. Courses are varied and include hands-on design, fashion history, business, design concepts, computer design and fashion trends. Many degree programs require students to complete a collection and/or present a runway show.
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