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Fashion Design Graduate Curriculum

The M.S. in fashion design at Drexel Westphal is a full-time program that integrates technical skills, research, and experimentation with the design and creation of apparel. A multi-disciplinary approach to fashion and emphasis on experiential learning prepares Fashion Design graduate students for a broad range of fashion industry careers. Enhance your education through hands-on learning opportunities: start your application today.

Master’s in Fashion Design Courses

Explore samples of student work for the pregraduate year of study, first year of graduate study, and second year of graduate study. The MS Fashion Design program’s full-time graduate curriculum combines individualized fashion design studio work with courses in art, design, and aesthetics. Fashion Design graduate students can customize their plan of study by pursuing advanced electives in design, art and art history, fashion business and media studies, or specialized topics in fashion design. The curriculum includes a required industry internship and culminates in the development of a collection for the annual Drexel Fashion Show. A full course of study is 12 terms; most students complete their Master’s degree in Fashion Design in three years.

In addition to the creation of a capstone fashion collection, students in the Master’s program in Fashion Design are required to participate in national and international design competitions, gaining invaluable exposure and understanding of the global fashion industry.

Course Schedules in the MS in Fashion Design Program

The graduate Fashion Design curriculum includes nine terms of faculty-directed studio work, two terms of independent, self-directed studio work, and study of aesthetics and design theory. Drexel Westphal operates on the quarter system, with each term representing ten weeks of study. Below is a list of prerequisite courses and required courses for a student in the Fashion Design Master’s degree program. View a sample plan of study here.

Prerequisite Courses

VSST 104 Accelerated Design I
Concentrates on two-dimensional space with a primary focus in black and white
2.0
VSST 105 Accelerated Design II
Concentrates on color, expanding the two-dimensional vocabulary
2.0
VSST 106 Accelerated Design III
Concentrates on three-dimensional space with a primary focus on materials and craftsmanship
3.0
VSST 110 Introductory Drawing
Provides basic understanding of the perceptual problems in drawing, including how three-dimensional objects can be represented on a two-dimensional surface
3.0
VSST 111 Figure Drawing I
Introduces drawing of the human figure, with emphasis on composition and shape-area relationships
3.0
OR

VSST 101 Design I
Focuses on two-dimensional space, black and white, and appropriate tools and materials
3.0
VSST 102 Design II
Expands the visual vocabulary to include color theory
4.0
VSST 103 Design III
Covers the perception and ordering of three-dimensional space
4.0
VSST 110 Introductory Drawing
Provides basic understanding of the perceptual problems in drawing, including how three-dimensional objects can be represented on a two-dimensional surface
3.0
VSST 111 Figure Drawing I
Introduces drawing of the human figure, with emphasis on composition and shape-area relationships
3.0
AND

ARTH 101 History of Art I: Ancient to Medieval
Traces the rise of Western civilization from ancient Egypt and Mesopotamia, through Greek and Roman culture to the late Middle Ages, with an emphasis on the evolution of style and symbolism in art
3.0
ARTH 102 History of Art II: Renaissance to Romanticism
Surveys painting and sculpture created between the 15th century and the mid-19th century
3.0
ARTH 335 History of Costume I: Preclassical to Directoire
Examines costumes of the ancient world and Western civilization through the Directoire period
3.0
ARTH 336 History of Costume II: Directoire to World War I
Examines political, social, and economic influences on costume
3.0
FASH 201 Survey of the Fashion Industry
Introduces the materials and methods used to design, develop, and market the fashion product
3.0
FASH 211 Fashion Drawing I
Examines the fashion figure, fabrication, and conceptual design through the use of black, white, and gray media
3.0
VSST 211 Textiles 3.0
FASH 212 Fashion Drawing II
Examines fashion forms, fabrication, and conceptual design through the use of color and mixed media
3.0
FASH 241 Construction Skills
Develops a proficiency in basic garment construction
4.0
FASH 341 Flat Pattern Design
Explores basic patternmaking techniques and manipulations and establishes comparisons between drafting and draping techniques in the development of standard slopers
3.0
Total Credits
44.0-50.0
Required Courses

FASH 504 Materials Exploration
Experiment with materials, connectors, color, texture and form as they relate to the body
3.0
FASH 510 Presentation Techniques
Learn to prepare presentation boards, portfolios, and brochures via traditional and digital media
3.0
FASH 511 Textile Design
Gain knowledge and experience in traditional and digital techniques of Textile Design
3.0
FASH 514 Fashion Presentation
Professional skill development in two-dimensional presentation of original collections
3.0
FASH 515 Computer Aided Design for Patternmaking
Use previously acquired pattern-making and design skills to produce patterns on the computer and plotter
3.0
FASH 516 Computer Aided Design for Fashion Design
Develop presentation skills using industry software and commercial graphics programs
3.0
FASH 528 Draping Design
Create garments by draping directly on the dress form
3.0
FASH 529 Fashion Design I
Conceptualize and develop designs while engaging with familiar and unusual sources of inspiration (architecture, film, nature, historic costume, etc.)
3.0
FASH 530 Fashion Design II
Create designs for professional critique while learning about fabrication, costing, market requirements, and specifications for all facets of the fashion industry
3.0
FASH 531 Fashion Design III
Explore sources of inspiration and translate source material into creative garments for specific markets
3.0
FASH 532 Fashion Drawing for Industry
Generate technical renderings of garments per industry expectations
3.0
FASH 543 Tailoring
Practice complex pattern-making, draping, construction and fitting techniques necessary to produce a tailored suit or coat
3.0
FASH 550 Fashion Design IV
Expand and broaden your technical skills and lay the groundwork for development of your graduate fashion collection
3.0
FASH 600 Internship 0
FASH 633 Couture Techniques
Develop made-to-measure couture designs while developing technical solutions to construction limitations
3.0
FASH 664 Professional Portfolio
Prepare and execute a finished designer portfolio for couture, 7th Avenue or the boutique American market
3.0
FASH 666 Business of Fashion
Gain an overview fashion merchandising, fashion marketing, demographic and psychographic factors, and various topics related to the business side of the fashion industry
3.0
FASH 685 Collection I
Develop a proposal and begin designing your graduate thesis collection; includes professional critique
3.0
FASH 686 Collection II
Complete and showcase your graduate thesis collection; includes professional critique
3.0
FASH 699 Comprehensive Examination in Fashion Design 0
ARTH 530 History of Modern Design
Learn how fashion, decorative arts, and applied design function in relation to political, economic, and social history
3.0

Electives
Fill elective credits with fashion design courses in your area of interest or career aspiration! Available electives include Accessory Design, Technical Design, Style & the Media, and more.
6.0
Total Credits
63.0

Prerequisite Coursework
Incoming MS Fashion Design students with bachelor’s degrees from disciplines other than fashion design complete prerequisite coursework in drawing, design, construction and patternmaking. Students with undergraduate degrees in fashion, art or design may be waived from some of the prerequisite courses via portfolio and transcript review and a skills test. Please contact Program Director Kathi Martin for details on prerequisite coursework and portfolio requirements.

If you’re interested in learning more about the Fashion Design Master’s program and offered courses, contact Tia James, the director of recruitment at Westphal College, here.

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