Fashion Design Major
What is Fashion Design?
Drexel's top-flight Fashion Design major is a studio-based, boutique-style undergraduate program that trains the next generation of creative thinkers for the fashion industry.
The program is recognized as one of the top 10 programs in the United States and one of the top 20 in the world. Students in Drexel’s Fashion Design program have the opportunity to study alongside dynamic educators with extensive industry experience, produce innovative designs in our well-equipped studios, and participate in Drexel’s world-renowned co-op and study abroad programs. The culmination of the program is the Drexel Fashion Show, at which students showcase original garments and accessories for industry leaders.
Students in Drexel’s Fashion Design undergraduate program receive a bachelor of science degree from one of the nation’s top universities located in the United States’ fifth largest city, with easy access to Philadelphia’s rich cultural and vibrant design scene.
Why Study Fashion Design?
Drexel’s Fashion Design program places great value on individual development, creativity, confidence, relevance and vision. Our rigorous and hands-on fashion design curriculum consists of coursework in conceptual design, presentation skills, CAD, and manufacturing methods. During their third year, students complete a six-month co-op experience, working full-time at major designers and with national and international brands in New York City, Los Angeles, and in other fashion-centric cities all over the world.
The curriculum covers all facets of fashion design, from men's, women's, and children's wear, to swimwear and couture. Small studio classes simulating the professional environment represent the core of a student's fashion design education, including final critiques by practicing designers. In addition to coursework, fashion design majors explore and participate in the vibrant and ever-changing fashion industry.
Each year, Fashion Design students submit their designs to national and international competitions, such as the International Fashion Illustration Competition in Korea and the YMA Fashion Scholarship Fund—the largest fashion scholarship program in the world. Students are also taught to think globally with participation in the Global Capstone Exchange Project, a collaborative sustainable design course with Seoul’s Sungkyunkwan University School of Art. Students collaborate via Skype and then travel to Korea at the end of the term to complete, present and critique the projects.
A study abroad program at the London College of Fashion during sophomore year offers an international perspective of the fashion world. Other opportunities include the Accademia Italiana in Florence, one of the best fashion and design schools in Italy, and an intensive course abroad in Seoul, one of Korea’s largest fashion markets. Students visit fabric markets, tailors, expert patternmakers, and factories where they design, source, and realize their garment or accessory.
And what would a fashion education be without a fashion show? Fashion Design majors conclude their senior year studies with the presentation of their collection in the Drexel Fashion Show, a beautifully staged event featuring professional models and prominent media coverage right in Philadelphia.
By the end of senior year, students are prepared to work in the multi-trillion-dollar global fashion industry. Graduates pursue careers in fashion design, styling, advertising, computer-aided and technical design, and more.
What Skills Will You Learn in a Fashion Design Undergraduate Program?
Students who pursue a major in Fashion Design will learn skills, such as:
- Strong visualization skills
- Concept development
- Identify and synthesize trends / apply for specific market/brand
- Problem solving/ think outside of the box
- Patternmaking / CAD pattern and fitting
- Garment construction
- Knitwear design and programming
- Professional presentation and time management skills
- Knowledge of Adobe Photoshop, InDesign & Illustrator
To learn more about the skills taught throughout the Fashion Design program, visit the curriculum page.
Facilities for Fashion Design Majors
Fashion Design majors are housed in the URBN Center, Westphal’s state-of-the-art facility, with well-equipped, spacious studios available to students 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Students have access to an extensive array of high-tech equipment for their design work, including 3-D printers, laser cutters, Shima Seiki knitting machines, and advanced computer simulation, as well as cutting-edge analytic platforms, enterprise resource planning/production lifecycle management software, and trend resources.
The URBN Center is also home to the Richard & Penny Fox Historic Costume Collection, an outstanding museum-quality collection of over 17,000 fashion items and accessories from Renaissance textiles to French couture, with extensive holdings of the greatest designers of the last hundred years. The facility boasts a custom-built gallery, which presents two exhibitions annually, and a study room to accommodate students and researchers interested in exploring the extensive costume collection.
Career Opportunities with a Fashion Design Degree
Students who complete their bachelor of science in fashion design from Drexel have the opportunity to pursue job opportunities such as:
- Designer (women’s, men’s, children’s)
- Associate Designer
- Assistant Designer
- Activewear Designer
- Product Development
- Accessory Designer
- Computer-aided Designer
- Pattern Maker
- Technical Designer
- Costume Design
- Creative Director
- Knitwear Designer
- Textile Print Designer
- Textile Research & Development Specialist
To get started, select one of the following:
Apply to Drexel Westphal's Fashion Design Major
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