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Earning an Associate’s Degree in Fashion Design

Majors Overview April 10, 2014

The design knowledge, practical skills, and clothing construction methods required to work in the fashion field will be provided with a degree program in Fashion Design. Those whom graduate may find career opportunities with apparel manufacturers or merchant wholesalers.

A.S. Programs in Fashion Design

Students enrolled in Fashion Design associate’s degree programs are trained in the operations and practices of the fabric and garment industries. Students will become adept at designing fashions and patterns with computer-aided design software and by hand. Coursework allows exploration of design creation, fabric selection, tailoring techniques, and garment fabrication and construction. They may also opt for specialization in a particular aspect of fashion design, such as footwear, haute couture or accessories. Graduates need to have familiarity with how various industrial sewing machines operate — these include the JUKI Overlock and the JUKI Lockstitch.

Admission criteria typically require applicants to hold a GED certificate or high school diploma.


Coursework in an associate’s degree program in Fashion Design is a combination of general education classes and fashion specific courses, in addition to field research. Lab studies are also included in the coursework that fashion design students are required to complete. Students also use their technical training and creativity to rustle up contemporary fashion designs. Work experience in fashion design is also included in the coursework of some programs. Coursework may include topic areas such as:

•Fashion strategies
•Apparel design
•Fashion illustration
•Clothing construction

Career Choices

Those who graduate from associate’s degree programs in Fashion Design can seek entry-level careers in a variety of industries, such as custom dressmaking, apparel manufacturing and textile retailing. They may choose from career options such as:

•Accessory designer
•Costume designer
•Clothing designer

Continuing Education Choices

Those who successfully complete an Associate of Science (A.S.) in Fashion Design program usually join the work force as pattern-makers or sketching assistants. Continued education and additional work experience will qualify them for advanced positions. Some may choose to earn a bachelor’s degree in Fashion Design. Others may wish to add a Business or Marketing degree to their Fashion Design degree and thereby boost their career opportunities.

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