Best Fashion Schools and Colleges in the US

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Reem Mohamed

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13 August, 2023

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12 mins read

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University Life

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Fashion as an educational prospect and an eventual career path is gaining traction among students everywhere. In the United States, fashion education has been getting more popular with several institutions spearheading the industry and providing some of the highest-quality education in the field. 

Contrary to popular belief, fashion education centres not just on fashion design. The vast field includes other fashion education subjects like textiles, jewellery design, fashion management, fashion marketing, fibres, merchandise, and beauty among many others. 

Whichever field of fashion you find yourself interested in, there is definitely a good and reputable programme that you can enrol in at various fashion schools and colleges in the US. So, join us as we go through our carefully curated selection of the best fashion schools in the US and choose your next study destination! 

US Fashion Schools

Best Fashion Schools in The US

There are several top-ranked universities, specialised colleges, and schools where students can study fashion and design in the United States of America. Out of the country’s myriads of fashion design colleges, here are our picks for the best fashion schools in the US!

1. The Fashion Institute of Technology (FIT)s

Consistently ranked as one of the best fashion schools in the US and the world, the Fashion Institute of Technology provides students with cutting-edge fashion education that prepares them for their future careers. Whatever little niche corner of fashion you’re into, FIT helps you make it in this dynamic economy and ever-changing fashion industry. 

The education programmes provided at the Fashion Institute of Technology are delivered by highly trained and experienced staff and faculty members. Additionally, the institute has plenty of resources like studios, museums, and exhibitions among others to help students achieve their academic goals and turn their theoretical knowledge into reality. 

  • Top Programmes at The Fashion Institute of Technology (FIT)s:

  • Undergraduate Fashion Programmes

    • Fashion Business Management

    • Jewellery Design

    • Accessory Design

  • Graduate and Postgraduate Fashion Programmes

    • Art Market Studies (MA)

    • Cosmetics and Fragrance Marketing and Management (MPS)

    • Fashion Design (MFA)

    • Illustration (MFA)

  • Where to Find It: New York

  • Estimated Tuition Fees: $13,550

US Fashion Schools

2. Pratt Institute 

The Pratt Institute is a great learning establishment that helps students receive high-quality education not just in the field of fashion, but also in other creative fields like fine arts, digital media, architecture, and design among others. This New York-based fashion institute has a 135-year history of providing stellar, top-notch education in fashion’s various fields and subfields. The Pratt Institute was ranked the number one best art school, the third-best school of architecture, and the best art and design school in the world.

The Pratt Institute also ensures its students have the best available resources to grow and develop in their chosen fields of study, this is a huge part of what makes this institute one of the best fashion schools in the US. Additionally, students at the Pratt Institute benefit from a central state location in New York City that allows them to have an immersive learning experience and flourish towards their goals and career prospects.  

  • Top Programmes at Pratt Institute:

  • Undergraduate Fashion Programmes

    • Fashion Design, BFA

    • Interior Design, Minor

    • Textiles, Minor

  • Graduate and Postgraduate Fashion Programmes

    • Communications Design, MFA

    • Industrial Design, MID

    • Interior Design, MFA

  • Where to Find It: Brooklyn, New York

  • Estimated Tuition Fees: $37,500

US Fashion Schools

3. Otis College of Arts and Design

Otis College of Arts and Design is recognised as one of the best fashion schools in the US. The school has a history that dates back to 1918 in the city of Los Angeles, which is known for being an art and design capital. This institute allows students to express themselves and explore their creative field of choice so they can later thrive in this country’s dynamic economy. 

Otis College of Arts and Design provides a diverse community of over 1,200 students with high-quality fashion and design education in a supportive setting to become highly skilled professionals in established and emerging creative sectors. The faculty and teaching staff behind Otis College are experienced artists and creatives from different backgrounds, most of which belong to major creative industries, have studio experiences in places like Pixar and Netflix, and some of them are grant recipients and award winners. 

  • Top Programmes at Otis College of Arts and Design:

  • Undergraduate Fashion Programmes

    • BFA in Fashion Design

    • BFA in Environmental Design

    • BFA in Fine Arts

  • Graduate and Postgraduate Fashion Programmes

    • MFA Fine Arts

    • MFA Graphic Design

  • Where to Find It: Los Angeles, California

  • Estimated Tuition Fees: $34,450


4. Parsons The New School 

Parsons The New School, also known as Parsons School of Design, has been a leading name in the fashion and design industry for over a century. As one of the leading fashion design colleges in the country, Parsons has the rankings to prove its status, including being ranked first in the QS national ranking among design schools. The school provides some of the best fashion education in the region to 5,100 degree-seeking students, 35% of whom are international students from 116 different countries, earning the school its ranking as one of the US’s most international universities.

Studying at Parsons School of Design allows students to have an immersive learning experience and be involved in the hustle and bustle of New York City’s dynamic fashion scene. The school is equipped with studios, exhibitions, labs, and art spaces among other resources and facilities that help students thrive in their chosen fields and turn their designs into reality. 

  • Top Programmes at Parsons The New School:

  • Undergraduate Fashion Programmes

    • Fashion Marketing

    • Fashion Design 

    • Fashion Studies

  • Graduate and Postgraduate Fashion Programmes

    • Design Studies

  • Where to Find It: New York

  • Estimated Tuition Fees: $38,510

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5. Savannah College of Art and Design 

Savannah College of Art and Design, SCAD, was founded in 1978 and strives to provide some of the country’s best education in the field of fashion. In 2022, SCAD was ranked the No. 1 fashion design school in the U.S. by the fashion education resource site, Fashion Schools. Additionally, among its multiple highly-regarded rankings and awards, the Savannah College of Art and Design has been named the number one art and design university in the U.S. by Art & Object for the second year in a row.

SCAD is home to a number of resources and facilities that help students realise their true potential and showcase their work in designated spaces. The school houses several labs, studios, art spaces, galleries, and exhibitions among others. Additionally, the college has over 100 different fields of study and degree programmes for students to choose from.

  • Top Programmes at Savannah College of Art and Design:

  • Undergraduate Fashion Programmes:

    • Fashion

    • Accessory Design 

    • Jewellery 

    • Business of Beauty and Fragrance

    • Fashion Marketing and Management

    • Fibers

  • Graduate and Postgraduate Fashion Programmes

    • Fashion

    • Accessory Design 

    • Jewellery 

  • Where to Find It: Savannah, Georgia 

  • Estimated Tuition Fees: $30,510

US Fashion Schools

6. Columbus College of Art and Design

This is yet another one of the best fashion schools in the US. Columbus College of Art and Design is one of the nation’s top private art and design colleges with a history of more than 140 years. The diverse and welcoming environment provided by this college allows students to feel right at home and gives them the space to express themselves and unleash their creativity.

As one of the best fashion design colleges in the country, Columbus College is equipped with the necessary materials and spaces for students to practice and bring their visions to life. These facilities include five student exhibition spaces, 14 buildings, a world-class public gallery, and a professional screening room. 

  • Top Programmes at Columbus College of Art and Design:

  • Undergraduate Fashion Programmes

    • Fashion Design 

    • Design Research

  • Graduate and Postgraduate Fashion Programmes

    • MPS in Retail Design 

  • Where to Find It: Columbus, Ohio

  • Estimated Tuition Fees: $26,112

7. Fashion Institute of Design and Merchandising

Recognised among the top ten sustainable fashion schools in the world, the Fashion Institute of Design and Merchandising provides its students with some of the best fashion education in the nation. The institute’s faculty and teaching staff include Grammy award and Emmy award-winning professors who excel in the fields of fashion and costume design. 

Disney, Nike, Nars, Victoria’s Secret, PacSun, Converse, Levi’s, Pixar, and so many more are among the classroom collaborators that the Fashion Institute of Design and Merchandising is proud to work with. These, along with companies like J Brand Jeans, L’Oréal, ColourPop, NBC Universal, Nordstrom, and Anthropologie that provide students with part-time work and internships, are huge contributing factors to the institute’s success and the subsequent success of its students. 

  • Top Programmes at the Fashion Institute of Design and Merchandising:

  • Undergraduate Fashion Programmes

    • Apparel Industry Management

    • Fashion Design

    • Fashion Knitwear Design

    • Merchandise Marketing

    • Advanced Fashion Design

    • International Manufacturing & Product Development

  • Graduate and Postgraduate Fashion Programmes

    • Fashion Design

    • Costume Design

  • Where to Find It: Los Angeles, California

  • Estimated Tuition Fees: $32,645

8. Rhode Island School of Design 

Founded in 1877 in Providence, Rhode Island, the Rhode Island School of Design is a college and a museum that hosts 2,620 students engaging in 44 full-time bachelor’s and master’s degree programmes. As one of the best fashion schools in the US, RISD provides its students with all the necessary facilities and resources to grow and thrive in their chosen fields. These resources include studios, labs, art spaces, exhibitions, and the creative freedom to reach their full potential.

  • Top Programmes at Rhode Island School of Design:

  • Undergraduate Fashion Programmes

    • BFA in Jewellery 

    • BFA in Textiles

  • Graduate and Postgraduate Fashion Programmes

    • MFA in Jewellery

    • MFA in Textiles

  • Where to Find It: Providence, Rhode Island 

  • Estimated Tuition Fees: $56,290

9. Maryland Institute College of Art 

Despite not being as commonly known as other fashion education providers in the country, the Maryland Institute College of Art still earns a spot among the best fashion schools in the US. Maryland Institute College of Art, MICA, is the oldest college of art to continuously grant degrees, helping design students graduate since 1826. MICA allows students with a strong interest in fashion to find the space to learn, grow, and thrive. The institute also hosts its own annual Fashion Week, where student designers bring their creations to life.

  • Top Programmes at Maryland Institute College of Art:

  • Undergraduate Fashion Programmes

    • BFA in Fiber with a concentration in Experimental Fashion

  • Graduate and Postgraduate Fashion Programmes

    • Illustration

    • Design Leadership

  • Where to Find It: Baltimore, Maryland

  • Estimated Tuition Fees: $52,040

10. Academy of Art University

The School of Fashion Design at the Academy of Art University is one of the best fashion schools in the US. Fashion students at the academy have access to facilities that include some of the same cutting-edge equipment and resources that are used by top fashion houses. Additionally, internship opportunities are provided by the school as well as the opportunity to participate in Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week in New York City and the Annual Graduation Fashion Show in San Francisco.

  • Top Programmes at the Academy of Art University:

  • Undergraduate Fashion Programmes

    • AA in Fashion

    • BFA in Fashion with an Emphasis in Fashion Design, Textile Design, or Knitwear Design

    • BA in Fashion Product Development

    • BA in Costume Design

    • BA in Fashion Journalism

    • Fashion Marketing 

    • Fashion Merchandising

  • Graduate and Postgraduate Fashion Programmes

    • Costume Design 

    • Fashion Art Dirtection 

    • Fashion Journalism 

    • Fashion Marketing and Brand Management 

  • Where to Find It: San Francisco, California

  • Estimated Tuition Fees: $17,600

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11. Thomas Jefferson University

The School of Design and Engineering at Thomas Jefferson University is namely one of the best fashion schools in the US that offers a number of undergraduate and advanced degree programmes for aspiring fashion designers. Some of the benefits of studying at Thomas Jefferson include internships with companies such as Vogue, Betsey Johnson, Tommy Hilfiger, Urban Outfitters and Abercrombie & Fitch, and study abroad opportunities in London, Rome, Hong Kong, Seoul, Melbourne, Dominican Republic, Scotland, New Zealand, and Denmark. Additionally, students get access to engineering labs, fashion design studios, textile studios with state-of-the-art machinery, and industrial design studios. 

  • Top Programmes at Thomas Jefferson University:

  • Undergraduate Fashion Programmes

    • Fashion Design

    • Textile Design

    • Textile Materials Technology

  • Graduate and Postgraduate Fashion Programmes

    • Global Fashion Enterprise

    • Textile Design

    • Textile Engineering

    • Textile Engineering and Sciences

  • Where to Find It: Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

  • Estimated Tuition Fees: $43,100

12. Kent State University

The College of the Arts at Kent State University is home to the School of Fashion Design and Merchandising, better known as “The Fashion School”. This school also makes the list of best fashion schools in the US due to its high-quality fashion education as well as the abundance of available resources that students can make use of during their study period. Additionally, the faculty and teaching staff at Kent State also helps students and offers them the necessary guidance for better future careers. 

  • Top Programmes at Kent State University:

  • Undergraduate Fashion Programmes

    • B.A. Fashion Design, Track I – Conceptual

    • B.A. Fashion Design, Track II – Technical

    • B.S. Fashion Merchandising

  • Graduate and Postgraduate Fashion Programmes

    • MA in Fine Arts (Fashion)

    • MFA in Design/Technology – Costume Design

    • MBA with a Concentration in Fashion Design and Merchandising

  • Where to Find It: Ohio

  • Estimated Tuition Fees: $16,900

13. Iowa State University

The College of Human Sciences at Iowa State University is home to the Apparel, Events, and Hospitality Management (AESHM) Department, which offers high-quality fashion education programmes to all students interested in the field. Students at Iowa State have access to the interactive Textiles and Clothing Museum and potential internship opportunities at big names such as Anna Sui, Rag & Bone, Fossil Group, Kohl’s, Abercrombie & Fitch, Elie Tahari, Nordstrom, Banana Republic, and BCBG. Additionally, all students get the chance to display their creations at the campus-based Mary Alice Anderson Reinhardt Gallery as well as participate in ISU’s Annual Fashion Show, which is considered one of the largest student-produced fashion shows in the nation.

  • Top Programmes at Iowa State University:

  • Undergraduate Fashion Programmes

    • Apparel 

    • Merchandising 

    • Design 

  • Graduate and Postgraduate Fashion Programmes

    • Apparel 

    • Merchandising 

    • Design 

  • Where to Find It: Ames, Iowa

  • Estimated Tuition Fees: $16,900

14. Drexel University

The Antoinette Westphal College of Media Arts and Design at Drexel University houses the Department of Fashion, Product and Design, and Merchandising. The school not only provides students with some of the best available fashion education programmes, but it also offers them all the necessary facilities and resources to thrive and succeed in the fashion industry, including studios, specialised labs, and costume collections. 

  • Top Programmes at Drexel University:

  • Undergraduate Fashion Programmes

    • B.S. Fashion Design

    • B.S. Design and Merchandising 

  • Graduate and Postgraduate Fashion Programmes

    • M.S. Fashion Design 

    • M.S. Retail and Merchandising

  • Where to Find It: Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

  • Estimated Tuition Fees: $39,700

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15. School of the Art Institute of Chicago

The Department of Fashion Design at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago offers several programs for aspiring fashion designers that make it one of the best fashion design colleges in the nation. The institute is home to world-renowned art exhibitions and research facilities that are located just one block from campus. Undergraduate SAIC Fashion students have the opportunity to participate in study tours of fashion capitals such as Antwerp, London, New York, and Paris as well as display their collections at the SAIC Fashion Show. 

  • Top Programmes at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago:

  • Undergraduate Fashion Programmes

    • BFA in Studio with a Concentration in Fashion Design

    • BFA in Studio with an Emphasis in Fashion

    • BFA in Studio with a Concentration in Fiber and Material Studies

  • Graduate and Postgraduate Fashion Programmes

    • Master of Design (MDes) and Post-Baccalaureate Certificate in Fashion, Body, and Garment

  • Where to Find It: Chicago, Illinois

  • Estimated Tuition Fees:

16. LIM College

LIM College is one of the best fashion design colleges in the US that prepares its students for the real world. The college promotes immersive learning in the dynamic fashion scene in New York City and encourages students to apply their skills and knowledge through internships and part-time work opportunities. LIM College has very high career outcomes, with employment rates being as high as 96%; it truly is one of the best fashion schools in the US. 

  • Top Programmes at LIM College:

  • Undergraduate Fashion Programmes

    • BBA, BPS, AAS, AOS Fashion Merchandising

    • BBA, MPS Business of Fashion

    • BBA Marketing

    • BBA Visual Studies

    • BBA Management

    • BS Fashion Media

    • BS International Business

  • Graduate and Postgraduate Fashion Programmes

    • MPS Fashion Merchandising & Retail Management

    • MPS Fashion Marketing

    • MPS Global Fashion Supply Chain Management

  • Where to Find It: New York

  • Estimated Tuition Fees: $26,210

17. Cornell University

One of the best universities in the United States, Cornell University has an often overlooked fashion education programme. The College of Human Ecology, Department of Fiber Science and Apparel Design (FSAD) at Cornell is home to a unique collection of fashion programmes that combine design and art with biology, chemistry, engineering, and social science concepts and methods. The Department also houses the Cornell Institute of Fashion and Fiber Innovation (CIFFI), which encourages and fosters collaborations between academia and industry in the areas of fashion design, marketing and culture, fibre science, technology, and materials testing. The university provides its students with the necessary education, resources, and proper environment to thrive as fashion students. 

  • Top Programmes at Cornell University:

  • Undergraduate Fashion Programmes

  • B.S. Fiber Science and Apparel Design, Apparel Design

  • B.S. Fiber Science and Apparel Design, Apparel/Textile Management

  • B.S. Fiber Science and Apparel Design, Fiber Science

  • Graduate and Postgraduate Fashion Programmes

    • Fashion Design and Management 

  • Where to Find It: Ithaca, New York

  • Estimated Tuition Fees: $37,954

18. Auburn University

As the number one university in the state of Alabama, Auburn University is known for plenty of its offered study programmes, most notable of which is the university’s highly-regarded fashion and fashion design programmes. The university is home to the College of Human Sciences, which has the Department of Consumer & Design Sciences (CADS) that provides some of the best fashion education in the country. This department is considered one of the best fashion schools in the US. 

  • Top Programmes at Auburn University:

  • Undergraduate Fashion Programmes

    • BS in Apparel Merchandising, Design, and Production Management


  • Graduate and Postgraduate Fashion Programmes

    • Consumer and Design Sciences (Master of Science and PhD)

  • Where to Find It: Auburn, Alabama

  • Estimated Tuition Fees: $31,986

19. California College of the Arts

California College of the Arts is one of the best fashion schools in the US. This institution aims to provide its aspiring and creative students with a high-quality education in the fields of fashion and design that later allows them to find their place in the dynamic world of fashion. The college does so by offering its students the necessary art spaces, studios, labs, and galleries along with the needed academic and career guidance to push them forward in their future careers.

  • Top Programmes at California College of the Arts:

  • Undergraduate Fashion Programmes

    • BFA in Fashion Design 

    • BFA in Jewellery and Metal Arts

    • BFA in Textiles

  • Graduate and Postgraduate Fashion Programmes

    • MFA in Design 

    • MFA in Design Strategy 

  • Where to Find It: San Francisco, California

  • Estimated Tuition Fees: $31,566

With this list in mind, you’ll have your pick from a number of the best fashion schools in the US. Follow your passion and pick the fashion programme of your dreams at one of the world’s best fashion design colleges. So, what are you waiting for? Ready your scissors, threads, and application forms! 


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Frequently Asked Questions

What is the best fashion university in the US?

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The top fashion universities in the US include the following:

  • Fashion Institute of Technology (FIT)

  • Parsons School of Design

  • Antoinette Westphal College of Media Arts & Design

Where can I study fashion in USA?

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There are several colleges and institutes where you can study fashion in the USA, including the following: 

  • Parsons School of Design

  • Rhode Island School of Design

  • Pratt Institute

  • School of the Art Institute of Chicago

  • California Institute of the Arts

What university has the best fashion design program?

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Some of the best fashion schools in the world with world-renowned fashion design programmes include the following:

  • Central Saint Martins, UK

  • Parsons: Fashion, Art and Design School, US

  • Istituto Marangoni International, Italy

  • Bunka Fashion College, Japan

  • National Institute of Fashion Technology, India

  • Savannah College of Art and Design, US

Is fashion designing a good career in USA?

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Fashion design is ranked 22nd in the best business jobs in the US.

How many years does it take to become a fashion designer in USA?

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It takes about four years to become a fashion designer in the United States.

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