13 Top Fashion Schools In The US

Fashion Schools In The Us

The fashion industry is lively and competitive. It needs a solid base in design, merchandising, and marketing. The US is home to the best fashion schools, so students have access to top-notch education and resources. These schools offer complete programmes in fashion design, merchandising, and related fields.

The US Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) says fashion design will grow by 3% from 2020 to 2030. This growth is due to a rising focus on sustainable and ethical designs. However, fashion merchandisers might see a 6% drop in jobs during this time. This decline is mainly due to more automation and the rise of online shopping. This article covers the top 13 fashion schools in America.

Key Takeaways

  • The US offers some of the best fashion schools, providing comprehensive programmes in fashion design, merchandising, and related fields. These schools ensure students receive high-quality education and resources.
  • The fashion design field is expected to grow by 3% from 2020 to 2030, driven by sustainable and ethical designs. However, due to increased automation and online shopping, fashion merchandising may see a 6% decline.
  • Fashion schools in the US, such as FIT, Parsons, and RISD, are highly competitive and well-known for their industry connections, real-world projects, and successful alumni, making them ideal for aspiring fashion professionals.

List Of The 13 Top Fashion Schools In The US

Students looking into pursuing a career in fashion must be aware of the top colleges and universities in the USA that can help them make a career out of their creativity. The following list will help you understand how to have a career in fashion through top institutions. Check them out here! 

Fashion Institute Of Technology (FIT), New York, NY

Image Source: FIT Facebook Page 

The Fashion Institute of Technology (FIT) is a well-known public school in Manhattan, New York. FIT is a competitive school with a 53% acceptance rate. It offers specialised majors like fashion merchandising, fashion design, and communications. The school is famous for its successful alumni, including big names in fashion. Located in the heart of New York City, FIT gives students great chances for internships, networking, and career growth.

Famous courses include – Fashion Design, Advertising and Marketing Communications, Cosmetics and Fragrance Marketing, Film and Media Studies, Interior Design, Jewellery Design, and Museum Professions.

Ranking SourceRank
College Factual  #85
QS World University Rankings by Subject#151-200
Forbes: America’s Top Colleges#180
Payscale College Salary Report – Best Universities (All Alumni)#226
Webometrics Ranking Web of Universities          #5346

Parsons The New School, New York, NY

Image Source: Nam Nguyen Via Google Images

Parsons School of Design, part of The New School in New York City, is a top fashion school in the US. Founded in 1896, Parsons remains a leading design school. It focuses on creativity, experimentation, and teamwork across different fields. The school has strong industry ties, offering students real-world projects and internships. Parsons has many programmes, from fashion and graphic design to interior and product design, meeting various interests and career goals. Parsons accepts about 63% of applicants, making it moderately competitive. Most students who get in have ACT scores between 21 and 26.

Top courses include – Communication and Media Studies, Sociology, Art and Design, Psychology, and so on.

Ranking SourceCategoryRank
QS World University RankingsGlobal Universities      641-650
Times Higher Education Global Universities      801-1000
US News & World ReportGlobal Universities      127

Pratt Institute, New York, NY

Image Source: Britannica

Pratt Institute is in Brooklyn, New York. It’s a top school for students in architecture, art, design, and liberal arts and sciences. Founded in 1887, it blends practical skills with artistic vision. This idea is called “Poetic Pragmatism.” Pratt is famous for its graduate programmes in fine arts, architecture, interior design, industrial design, and graphic design. It also has many undergraduate programmes, including fashion design. With a 45% acceptance rate, Pratt draws students from all backgrounds who love creative fields.

Famous courses are Fashion Design (BFA), Communication Design (MFA), Industrial Design (MID), and Interior Design (MFA).

#6     World’s Top Art & Design Colleges          6 out of 240          QS World University Rankings by Subject 2023
#6     World’s Top Art & Design Universities   6 out of 241          QS World University Rankings by Subject 2024
#4     Top Art & Design Colleges in the US4        QS World University Rankings by Subject 2023, 2024
#13   Best Colleges for Design in America13 out of 438          Niche2024

Academy Of Art University, San Francisco, CA

Image Source: Wikipedia

The Academy of Art University in San Francisco, California, is a private school for art and design. It offers many programmes, including fashion design. The university has a diverse student body, with many international students. The school focuses on hands-on education. The acceptance rate is not publicly available. However, the university is committed to offering a high-quality education to students from various backgrounds.

Notable Programmes – MFA in Fashion Design, Undergraduate and Graduate level programmes in Fashion Design, Knitwear, Menswear, Merchandising, Textiles, and Visual Merchandising.

4thBest Online Masters in Art and Art History     Aspiring teachers, curators, and fine artists
7th    Best Online Bachelor’s in Art and Art History Best critical thinking skill

Savannah College Of Art and Design (SCAD)

Image Source: SCAD EDU Website

The Savannah College of Art and Design (SCAD) is a private, non-profit school in Savannah, Georgia. SCAD focuses on innovation and staying relevant to the industry. It offers over 100 degree programmes in art, design, and business. The college has earned many awards and is praised by CBS Evening News and The Hollywood Reporter. With an 82% acceptance rate, SCAD welcomes students from all backgrounds to explore their artistic and design interests.

Top courses include Fashion Design, Accessory Design, Fashion Marketing and Management, Fiber Study, Jewellery Design and Production, Graphic Design, Film and Television, Interior Design, and more.

QS WUR Ranking By Subject    #26 (2022)
U.S. News Regional Universities South  #9 (2022)
Red Dot Design Rankings#1 (2022)
Art & Object’s Best Art Schools#1 (2021)
The Rookies   #1 (2022)       

Kent State University, Kent, OH

Image Source: Kent State University Website 

Kent State University, located in Kent, Ohio, is known for its strong programmes, making it one of the best fashion schools in the US. The university has a selective admission process with an 88% acceptance rate for undergraduates. Kent State is also recognised for its academic achievements, esteemed faculty, and research facilities, making it a popular choice for international students.

The top fashion-related courses include Fashion Design B.A., Fashion Portfolio I, Fashion Portfolio II, and Internship in Fashion Design (ELR).

Global Fashion School Rankings  Top 25  
Best Bachelor’s Degree in Fashion Merchandising  #2
Best Fashion Graduate Programme        #5
Undergraduate Fashion Ranking19th

Rhode Island School Of Design (RISD), Providence, RI

Image Source: Rhode Island School Of Design Website 

Rhode Island School of Design (RISD) is a top private art and design school in Providence, Rhode Island. It started in 1877. RISD offers tough bachelor’s and master’s programmes in 19 majors. About 2,300 students from around the world join each year. The school is famous for its hands-on learning. It’s one of the best fine arts and design schools in the U.S. RISD accepts only 19% of applicants.

Famous fashion design courses include a BFA in apparel design and an MFA in textiles.

QS WUR Ranking By Subject    #4 in 2024
U.S. News & World Report        #5 in Best Fine Arts Programmes (tie)
 #1 in Graphic Design
 #3 in Photography
Niche#6 in Best Colleges for Art in America
 #11 in Best Colleges for Design in America

Drexel University, Philadelphia, PA

Image Source: US News 

Drexel University is a top research school in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, known for its academic excellence. Founded in 1891, Drexel offers over 200 programmes for undergraduates and graduates. The university is famous for its cooperative education programme, or co-op, blends top academics with real-world experience. With an acceptance rate of about 18%, Drexel attracts students from around the globe who want to engage in cutting-edge research and hands-on learning.

Famous courses – Fashion Design, Cooperative Education, Engineering, Business, Law, and so on.

QS World University RankingsGlobal601-610
U.S. News & World ReportNational98
U.S. News & World ReportMost Innovative Schools18
U.S. News & World ReportBest Value Schools       95
U.S. News & World ReportTop Performers on Social Mobility273

Otis College Of Art and Design, Los Angeles, CA

Image Source: OTIS College Website 

Otis College of Art and Design, a private school in Los Angeles, was opened in 1918. The school is known for its tough programmes in fine arts, fashion design, and digital media. Students can get undergraduate and graduate degrees in many art and design fields, like fashion design, graphic design, and architecture. Otis College has strong industry ties and high job placement rates. About 86% of its fashion design graduates find jobs as Assistant Fashion Designers within three months of finishing school.

Famous courses – Fashion Design and Illustration III, Senior Studio I and II, Portfolio Development, etc.

RankingRanking SourceYear
#201-240 in QS World University Rankings by Subject          QS World University Rankings 2024
Unranked in Arts Schools          US News & World Report2024

Maryland Institute College Of Art (MICA), Baltimore, MD

Image Source: Maryland Institute College Of Art Website 

Maryland Institute College of Art (MICA) in Baltimore, MD, is known for its unique approach to art education. Established in 1826, MICA has a lively artistic community and various programmes. The school has a competitive acceptance rate, showing the high quality of its students. MICA’s curriculum is modern and allows students to explore new ideas in art and design. One standout programme is Fashion Design, which mixes traditional and experimental techniques.

Famous courses include the Fashion Design Programme, Experimental Fashion Studio Minor, Illustration, Graphic Design, and Fiber Arts.

Ranking DetailsRank
Fine Arts (US News & World Report)#3
Illustration (Animation Career Review)#1
Graphic Design (Animation Career Review)#5
Fiber Arts (Grad Reports)#2

Marist College, Poughkeepsie, NY

Image Source: US News 

Marist College in Poughkeepsie, NY, ranks among the top fashion schools in the US. With a 63% acceptance rate, Marist offers a lively campus with outstanding facilities by the Hudson River. The college’s Fashion Design programme stands out, providing a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree. This programme teaches students to design clothes for different markets, focusing on creativity, technical skills, and cost. The major covers design, textiles, draping, pattern making, garment construction, and computer-aided design.

Top courses include Fashion in Culture & Commerce, Intro to Embroidery, Creative Theory/Merchandise, Apparel Development, Knitwear Design, Fashion Design Capping, and more.

Forbes Recognition     One of the top 10 colleges shaping the future of fashion

Fashion Institute Of Design And Merchandising (FIDM), Los Angeles, CA

Image Source: FIDM Website 

The Fashion Institute of Design and Merchandising (FIDM) in Los Angeles, California, is a private school with a laborious admissions process. Only 42% of applicants get accepted, making it competitive. FIDM offers programmes in fashion and design, such as fashion merchandising, business support services, and fashion design. The school is famous for its strong industry ties and hands-on training, helping students build successful careers in fashion.

Top Courses – Fashion and Apparel Merchandising, Fashion and Apparel Design, Apparel and Textile Marketing Management, Industrial and Product Design, Interior Design, Costume Design, etc.

Ranking CategoryRanking
Best Fashion Design School in California  #1
Best Associate Fashion Design Degree School in the U.S.       #3
Best Fashion Merchandising Associate Degree Schools#2 in the US
Overall Ranking in the World   #7466

University of Cincinnati, Cincinnati, OH

Image Source: University of Cincinnati Facebook Page 

The University of Cincinnati, located in Ohio, is a public research school with over 90 majors. Popular degrees in 2022 included business, health, engineering, biology, visual arts, and computer science. The student-to-teacher ratio is 18:1. About 32% of classes have 19 or fewer students, while 20% have 50 or more. In 2022, 83% of graduates found jobs within six months. Their average starting pay was $53,761. The school accepts 86% of applicants.

Top Courses – Bachelor of Science (B.S.) in Fashion Design, Draping, etc.

Ranking SourceGlobal RankNational Rank (USA)
QS World University Rankings691-700 (Overall)        
U.S. News & World Report196 (Overall) 
ShanghaiRanking (ARWU)201-300 (Overall)        
EduRank168 (Overall)78 (Overall)
Niche 144 (Best Colleges in America)
Times Higher Education  Top 20 Public Universities          

The US has many top fashion schools that teach design, merchandising, and more. Schools like Parsons, FIT, and RISD help students learn design, creativity, and industry skills. By studying at these schools, future fashion pros gain key skills, make important connections, and set themselves up for success in the competitive fashion world.


What Are The Top Fashion Schools In The US?

Some of the top fashion schools in the US include Parsons School of Design, Fashion Institute of Technology (FIT), Rhode Island School of Design (RISD), and Savannah College of Art and Design (SCAD).

What Programmes Do These Schools Offer?

These schools offer programmes in fashion design, fashion merchandising, fashion marketing, fashion journalism, and other fashion-related fields.

How Much Do These Schools Cost?

Tuition and fees vary, but can range from around USD 20,000 to USD 50,000 per year at these top fashion schools.

How Do I Choose The Right Fashion School For Me?

Consider factors such as location, programme offerings, cost, and career placement rates when choosing the right fashion school for your goals and interests.

Do These Schools Have Internship Opportunities?

Yes, most top fashion schools have strong industry connections and offer internship opportunities at top fashion brands and companies.

What Career Opportunities Are Available After Graduation?

Graduates can pursue careers as fashion designers, fashion buyers, fashion stylists, fashion merchandisers, fashion marketers, and more.

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