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Degree Overview: Associate of Arts (A.A.) Degree in Fashion Design

Majors Overview March 31, 2014

Students will be prepared for work in the business of fashion, with an Associate of Arts (A.A.) degree in Fashion Design. This program will help students expand their knowledge of the technical characteristics of design and refine their skills.

A.A. Programs in Fashion Design

Recruiters in the fashion industry expect candidates for jobs to hold at least an associate degree in Fashion Technology (U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS)). Students rely on the experience gained from these programs to add to their natural design talents – this includes classes that cover the development of creative ideas and execution of the technical components of professional fashion design.

A Fashion Design degree is suited for individuals who want to be responsible for creating the latest trends in clothing and style, designing unique wearable garments and showcasing their skills with creative design ideas.

Admission criteria within Associate of Arts (A.A.) in Fashion Design programs typically require incoming students to hold only a GED certificate or high school diploma.


Coursework in a Fashion Design associate degree program covers rudimentary skills, whereby students learn to measure a model for the proper fit, and to cut different sewing materials and fabrics through the use of different techniques. Students may also develop their creative skills, learn to work with color, find inspiration for designs, and keep their work original. Some commonly covered coursework may include topic areas such as:

•Fashion history
•Fashion creation techniques
•Fashion show production
•Garment construction
•Fashion line planning and development
•Fashion trends
•Computer-aided design

Career Choices

Graduates of associate degrees in Fashion Design may seek entry-level careers with custom workshops, clothing companies, or fabric manufacturers. Graduates can leverage their talents to work in different areas of fashion, including management, merchandising, design or production. They can choose to pursue different positions such as:

•Sample makers
•Textile designers
•Pattern makers
•Fashion designers

Continuing Education Choices

Some recruiters in the field of fashion design may prefer candidates holding bachelor’s degrees (BLS). Students enrolled in an associate-level program may be allowed to transfer some credits earned, towards enrolling into a bachelor’s degree program. Skill and recognition level influences most career advancements in the fashion industry; hence exposure and work experience may benefit an individual who pursues a career in this field.

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