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Degree Overview: Bachelor’s Degree Program in Fashion Illustration

Majors Overview April 20, 2015

Get information about bachelor’s degree programs in fashion illustration and their education requirements, coursework, career choices, and continuing education choices.

Bachelor’s Degree Programs in Fashion Illustration

Although few schools offer bachelor’s degree programs in fashion illustration, students obtain a major in fashion design, whereby they gain the skills and educational background they would need in developing, illustrating, and producing creative and new apparel designs.

While schools accept any art experience, admission criteria typically require incoming students to hold a GED certificate or a high school diploma.

A fashion illustrator has to sketch out plans for new designs for numerous apparels, including shoes and clothing. They often use sketches such as the first of several steps to perfect the practical elements of a fashion line’s textures, patterns, and design before they send it into physical production.

Students enrolled in the Bachelor of Arts (B.A.) and Bachelor of Fine Arts (B.F.A.) in Fashion Design programs learn the skills of production, sketching, and fashion illustration. Fashion design majors often spend classroom hours studying the fashion industry, in addition to trends in colors, patterns, sewing procedures, and textiles, among other things. Significant studio time is also spent in sessions where they sketch out fashion illustrations, create new designs, and develop portfolios of work.

Education Requirements

Institutions and universities of art and design are among those that offer most four-year fashion design degree programs. Admission criteria typically require incoming students to hold a GED certificate or a high school diploma, in addition to registering relatively high scores on standardized tests, such as the ACT or SAT, and submitting transcripts that include art or related coursework.


The courses included in a fashion design degree program cover the creative, practical, and theoretical elements of apparel design. Core coursework may include subject areas such as:

•Contemporary fashion
•Computers for fashion design
•Fashion illustration studio
•Fashion illustration and drawing
•Fashion construction techniques
•Fashion in culture and history

Career Choices

With a degree in fashion design, graduates can pursue various entry-level careers in the field. They may seek career options such as:

•Accessories designer
•Footwear designer
•Fashion apparel designer
•Fashion line illustrator
•Fashion editor
•Graphic designer

Continuing Education Choices

Those who complete the bachelor’s degree program may seek continuing education by earning master’s degrees in fashion design, such as the Master of Fine Arts (M.F.A.) in Fashion Illustration or M.F.A. in Fashion Design. These programs provide an in-depth grasp of the emerging techniques and trends in the current global fashion industry.

Designers and fashion illustrators in programs at this level have more opportunities for expanding their creative visions and boosting their professional portfolios. Fashion illustrators keen on enhancing their artistic skills may also seek enrollment to master’s degree programs in photography, fine arts, drawing, or another similar field.

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