15 Best Fashion Schools In The US
8 min

15 Best Fashion Schools In The US

8 min
Uploaded on
Jan 7, 2023
Last updated on
Mar 10, 2023
Uploaded on
Jan 7, 2023
Last updated on
Mar 10, 2023
15 Best Fashion Schools In The US
Is being fashionable in your jeans?

Do you have a dream of opening your boutique? Or like shopping from the haute-couture collection? Or you have a love for clothes. Fashion is calling for your talent. Fashion is a very trendy subject, and studying it gives you an extra pair of eyes for aesthetics and an artsy touch to your personality. The best way to get there is by majoring in a fashion concentrated subject.  

Top Fashion Schools In The US

If you consider the US as your country of choice, we have a great selection of programme for you. Here are some of the 15 best fashion schools in the US that should be on your university target list:

1. Fashion Institute of Technology (FIT)

Location: New York
Average Tuition fees: $ 13,550

Every fashion design student who aspires to study in the United States has their sights set on the prestigious and well-known Fashion Institute of Technology, also famously known by its acronym FIT. The programmes taught at FIT provide students with all of the knowledge and skills they need to become the next big fashion mogul in the industry. Some big names in fashion, like Calvin Klein and Micheal Kors, have made their way into the fashion world after walking out of this university, undoubtedly making it one of the best fashion schools in the US. Some of the popular courses at FIT include

  • Fashion Business Management
  • Jewellery Design 
  • Accessory Design 

All the programmes have a good balance of design and business courses/ electives. Lastly, even with tight and selective eligibility criteria, a bone for creativity and a running flair for fashion will make you a right fit for “FIT”.  

2. Parsons The New School 

Location: New York
Average Tuition fees: $38,510

With cut-throat competition with the Fashion Institute of Technology, Parsons The New School has climbed its way to become one of the top recommended and best fashion schools in the US. With a strong academic and practical presence, students are encouraged to cultivate their artistic side of design, like concept creation and design thinking, that will help them carve and flourish their paths to careers such as becoming head designer or creative executive of a brand. At Parsons, you will get to study an array of programmes catered to bring you excellence in your design career like

  • Fashion Marketing
  • Fashion Design 
  • Fashion Studies 

Something great about doing a Masters at Parsons includes the involvement of a thesis, which is valuable to your portfolio. Like FIT, Parsons The New School has also seen a string of famous alums like Tom Ford, Marc Jacobs, and Alexander Wang. 

3. Pratt Institute 

Location: New York
Average Tuition fees: $37,500

Do you notice a trend here? It does not come to any shock that most of the best fashion schools in the US are housed in the global fashion capital city of New York. With another addition, Pratt Institute has also become an upcoming choice for students who are planning to pursue their fashion degrees. By housing the best resources, lecturers, and the advantage of New York as its location, the value of degrees earned at this institute has peaked at its highest in years. One of the popular majors at Pratt Institute is:

  • Fashion Design 

Students from Pratt Institute are called to over-achieve the expectations of many designers in the fashion job market. Many students bag high valued internships and get recognized by major publications. They are truly changing the face of the fashion industry!

4. Savannah College of Art and Design 

Location: Savannah, Georgia 
Average Tuition fees: $30,510

Best fashion schools in the US? We bet Savannah College of Art and Design will be one name on every fashion aspirant’s tip of tongue. For decades, SCAD has been standing tall in the list of the best fashion schools in the US for its strong commitment to helping its students think out of the box to become world-class designers. While studying with like-minded fashion people, you will learn to potentialize your knowledge into creating world-renowned jewellery lines, runway collections, and innovative things that will charge into a fashion revolution. 

Some of the best courses and student-liked courses taught at SCAD are 

  • Fashion Design
  • Accessory Design 
  • Fashion Marketing and Management

Apart from learning about fashion innovation at SCAD, one of the highlights is the exposure. The university puts its blood, sweat, and tears into organizing guest lectures, exhibitions, panel discussions, workshops, and the inclusion of the latest fashion technologies to motivate and drive students to the path of success in the fashion industry. 

5. Otis College of Arts and Design 

Location: Los Angeles 
Average Tuition fees: $34,450

Unlike other fashion schools in the US, Otis College of Arts and Design takes a different approach when it comes to teaching fashion to its students. Some of the core reasons for Otis College of Arts and Design being the best fashion schools in the US on the East coast are the following 

  • The school believes in a collaborative environment where students can collaborate with their seniors to work on design projects.
  • The college is committed to bringing change by recognizing sustainability and includes sustainable fashion as one of its electives. 
  • They also run mentorship programs headed by top world-class designers, which benefit students in grasping more industry knowledge.

Apart from these reasons, the college is also lauded for its bright curriculum that includes mastering your skills in degrees like fashion design. If you want to move away to the West Coast, this will be your ultimate and best college option. Being at a university requires involvement, keeping in touch with your studies, networking, and having fun. Check out our blog How to make the most of your time studying in the USA to understand how you can balance your time fruitfully. 

6. Fashion Institute of Design and Merchandising

Location: Los Angeles 
Average Tuition fees: $32,645

Another feather in the cap of the top fashion schools in the US, the Fashion Institute of Design and Merchandising, also known as FIDM, has plagued the entire west coast with its excellent standards and resources for studying fashion. The institute is set to have high employability and satisfaction rates from its alums, making it a good tie with Otis College of Arts and Design. The curriculum and teaching at FIDM are very similar to that of its sister school, FIT, which is in New York. Some of the well-recommended fashion courses that have a good reputation at FIDM include 

  • Fashion Design
  • Textile Design 
  • Visual Communication 

FIDM is a very pocket-friendly university, i.e. unlike other universities; it does bear the cost of books, art supplies, paints, markers, brushes, etc., in its tuition fee. This helps students from saving money and cuts down the cost of their pockets.

7. Columbus College of Art and Design

Location: Columbus, Ohio 
Average Tuition fees: $26,112

Columbus College of Art and Design is a "pure" design school that can be a good place to plunge yourself into the world of fashion design. Compared to other top fashion schools in the US, Columbus College of Art and Design is a relatively budget-friendly college for students who wish to pursue a career in fashion. Many students at CCAD have head started their careers by enrolling in Fashion Design, transcending them into careers like 

  • Designers 
  • Boutique owners
  • Costume designers 
  • Technical designers

To further deepen students' fashion senses, the college has erected labs and studios that assist them in flowing their creative juices, designing, and creating. A fun fact about the university is that it hosts its fashion show! 

8. Rhode Island School Of Design 

Location: Rhode Island 
Average Tuition Fee: $56,290

Do you want to launch your career and climb the fashion industry ladder faster? Consider yourself applying to the reputed Rhode Island School of Design. This design school is famous for preparing and polishing its students to be the finest designers in the country. While talking about fashion, RISD has programmes such as fine arts and apparel design that teach you the nitty-gritty of fashion design. It also uses advanced modern-day techniques that are useful in the industry, like superior design sketching, which is important for exploring and communicating ideas. Along with their abundance of knowledge giving, the school is also very generous with giving their students top-notch opportunities to excel.Tuition fees can be expensive, especially while studying at top fashion schools in the US. Check out our blog How to get a scholarship to study in the USA to lessen your burden of student debt.  

9. Drexel University

Location: Philadelphia, Pennsylvania  
Average Tuition Fee: $39,700

Along with Engineering, Business Management, Biomedical Sciences, and Psychology, Drexel University is also making its way to becoming one of the best fashion schools in the US. But, Why does Drexel have an unbeatable reputation amongst the top fashion schools in the US? Here are the following reasons

  • Drexel University fashion design alums have shined worldwide in different parts of the continent by grabbing big employment opportunities. 
  • The college encourages students to participate in exchange programs with well-reputed universities like the London College of Fashion. 
  • If you are more inclined to the business part of the fashion industry, they do have a Designing and Merchandising programme that gives you hands-on experience with the skills. 
  • Students are encouraged to put in entries for national and international design competitions. 
  • The university has a unique six-month programme that gets students to work in different parts of the country to develop their skills. And so many more reasons why Drexel University makes it to the best fashion schools in the US list.

10. Academy of Art University

Location: San Francisco
Average Tuition Fee: $17,600

Academy of Art University is a very low-key yet well-coveted university for fashion design students. Established in 1929, it is also one of the oldest design schools that are seeing a significant rise in popularity because of its excellence and exceptional track record of showing up at the New York Fashion Week. If you are looking to enroll at the Academy of Art University, you should check out a few of its most popular programmes:

  • Textile design
  • Fashion Journalism
  • Fashion Design 
  • Fashion Merchandising and Marketing 

The university has been home to many designers for a decade; now it's your chance to mark your print on the wall of the notable alumni. 

11. Thomas Jefferson University

Location: Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Average Tuition Fee: $43,100

If good exposure, a diverse curriculum, and high employability is your priority, then Thomas Jefferson University might be the right place for you! Fashion students studying at this university are typically given two choices of fashion degrees 

  • Fashion Design 
  • Fashion Merchandising and Management

Both these programmes are rigorous and comprehensive in nature which helps in in-depth learning and knowledge about the particular field. The course is very good at exposing students to the work side of fashion with study abroad programmes in other fashion capitals like London, Rome, Paris, etc. They are also partnered and networked with big brand names like Tommy Hilfiger, Supreme, Calvin Klein, Christian Siriano, etc. All these opportunities assist students in beaming to their best potential.       

12. Kent State University

Location: Ohio
Average Tuition Fee: $16,900

Kent State University is another excellent university for majoring in fashion design; The university is very spread out and unique with its programme with fashion design, merchandising, and a fashion focused MBA degree. That isn’t the coolest part, there is more! Kent State also allows its students for exchange programmes with other top tier colleges like Paris Academy in Paris, and University of Palazzo in Florence. Moreover, the cherry on the cake is that this university has an employability rate of a record more than 90%, which is huge when compared to other schools.    

13. Iowa State University 

Location: Ames, Iowa 
Average Tuition Fee: $16,900

You shouldn’t be surprised, but Iowa State University also holds a place in our list of the best fashion schools in the US. Usually, fashion schools in the US have a very limited scope of options. Still, students studying at Iowa State University have the option to study either Apparel, Merchandising, or Design, which is way more diverse than the other top business schools. This broad scope benefits students as their pathways to more career opportunities increase. If you want to study in the US, you should check out our blog USA Student Visa: Requirements, Rules, Fees that will help you with all your visa legalities and procedures with a single click! 

14.   Maryland Institute College of Art 

Location: Baltimore, Maryland
Average Tuition Fee: $ 52,040

Maryland Institute College of Art, or MICA, has been in the press for all good reasons! For what you asked? Being a top design school in the US, MICA usually offers only undergraduate courses for fashion which is very niched to BFA in Fiber with a concentration in experimental fashion. If you have a deep interest in fashion and have the knowledge required for fiber, then this programme would be the best for upskilling   

15. Marist College 

Location: Poughkeepsie, New York 
Average Tuition Fee: $41,800

Marist College is one last noteworthy mention in the list of the best fashion schools in the US. With two options of fashion design and merchandising, this college is an all-rounder for building strong portfolios in the fashion industry. There are many activities on campus for fashion design majors to have a chance to boast their creations through a fashion show that is judged by a well-known fashion industry figure, or merchandising students have a chance to join hands with a fashion company or boutique. With its years of teaching excellence, location, opportunities, and employability, Marist College is also a reputable option for many fashion aspirants.

In conclusion, studying fashion design at one of the best fashion schools in the US will reap many benefits in terms of personal growth, knowledge and employability. The ROI of studying in the US is immeasurable because of the vast scope and opportunities it places for many students. You can also live your American dream by pursuing a recognized course like fashion design.

Happy learning!