Best Fashion Schools In The United States

Best Fashion Schools In The United States

Fashion has continued to grow and change dynamically over the years, with different versions of style developed by fashion designers of various ages and demographics. If you’re wondering where to go for fashion design, the answer is simple: anywhere. The U.S. has some of the best fashion schools in the world, and it is an excellent place for aspiring designers to learn from some of the most talented minds in the industry.

Fashion design is an artistic and commercial industry that collaborates with other design disciplines to make functional, fashionable items for consumers. Designers often study fashion in art schools, but many of the world’s top designers have also honed their skills through internships at fashion houses or by working in retail stores. Fashion schools offer courses in fashion design, merchandising, product development and more.

Best Fashion Colleges In The States

The fashion industry is one of the most popular in the United States. It has been a dream for many students to get into this field and work with some of the biggest names in the world. The US has some of the most prestigious fashion schools in the world. From Parsons to FIDM, you can find top-level education anywhere in the country. Here are some of the best fashion schools in the United States:

  • FIDM/Fashion Institute of Design & Merchandising
  • Fashion Institute of Technology
  • Parsons School of Design | The New School
  • Pratt Institute
  • Kent State University
  • Academy Of Art University
  • Savannah College Of Art And Design
  • RHODE Island School Of Design
  • Drexel University
  • Columbus College Of Art & Design
  • California College Of Arts
  • University Of Cincinnati
  • Massachusetts College Of Art
  • School Of The Art Institute Of Chicago
  • Oregon State University
  • L.I.M. College 

1. FIDM/Fashion Institute of Design & Merchandising

If you want to study fashion in the United States, FIDM is one of the top schools to consider. FIDM has been ranked as one of the best fashion schools in America by several rating institutions. FIDM is a private university in California, U.S. The school is located in the heart of Los Angeles, a significant global fashion industry hub. 

Fashion designer Helen Lee Schifter founded the school, and since then has expanded to become one of the most prestigious art and design schools in America. The school is one of the best fashion schools in the U.S. The Fashion Institute of Design & Merchandising (FIDM) was established in 1969 by Hollywood costume designer Elsie Poncher and her husband, William H. Meyerhoffer Jr. They were co-founders of The Costume Institute at the Metropolitan Museum of Art (M.E.T.).

FIDM is a nonprofit institution that offers three accredited degrees: Bachelor of Arts (B.A.), Bachelor of Fashion Merchandising (BFUM), and Master’s degree programs in Fashion Management & Design and Product Development & Merchandising, both online through FIDM Online Academy. 

The school has been recognized by several industry bodies, such as the National Association of Schools of Art & Design (NASAD) and the Council for Interior Design Accreditation (CIDA). In addition to its primary campus near Downtown Los Angeles, FIDM operates campuses throughout California, including San Francisco and Newport Beach/Costa Mesa. The fashion institute is one of the best fashion schools in the U.S.

  • Tuition: Ranges from $27,000 – $36,000 depending on your study area 
  • Students: 8,000 students all studying fashion and fashion-related courses 
  • Notably Alumni: Monique Lhuillier, Pamela Skaist-Levy (Who is a Co-Founder of Juicy Couture), Randolph Duke

2. Fashion Institute of Technology

Fashion Institute of Technology (F.I.T.) is one of the world’s most influential independent art and design schools, offering degree programs in Fashion Design, Interior Architecture, and Industrial Design. The college was founded in 1944 to elevate standards in the fashion industry by providing professional training for those who work in it.

F.I.T. offers two-year associate degrees and four-year Bachelor’s degrees as well as Master’s degrees through its School of Liberal Arts & Sciences, with concentrations in Fine Arts/Art History; Fashion Marketing & Management; Liberal Studies; Retail Merchandising; Textile Development Textile Management; Theatre Costume Design; Women’s Studies; and Writing for Television & Film, making F.I.T. one of the best fashion schools in the U.S. The school also has an undergraduate program called FIT ONLINE that allows students to earn degrees from home without having to relocate or commute to school. 

  • Tuition: For NYC residents $5,168; For Non residents $13,550
  • Students: 10,386 students 
  • Notable Alumni: Nicole Miller, Sari Gueron, Philip Crangi, Marcia Patmos, Sarah Welsh & Madeline Davy

3. Parsons School of Design | The New School

Parsons School of Design | The New School, is a private institution, and one of the oldest fashion schools in the U.S. Parsons has built its reputation on its design, art, and fashion programs. Over 15,000 students enrolled at Parsons as full-time or part-time students, including undergraduates and graduates who have gone on to successful careers with many well-known companies such as Louis Vuitton, Prada, and Calvin Klein.

The school offers undergraduate degrees ranging from Bachelor of Fine Arts (B.F.A.) to Masters of Fine Arts (M.F.A.). The graduate program offers three different Master’s programs: Master of Arts (M.A.), Master of Science (MS), and Master of Professional Studies (M.P.S.). Students can also earn an Advanced Certificate in Strategic Fashion Management if they have already completed another degree program or certificate at another university. They are putting Parsons as one of the best fashion schools in the U.S. 

  • Tuition: $38,510
  • Students: 380 Fashion marketing students

4. Pratt Institute

Pratt Institute is a private institute of art and design located in Brooklyn, New York. Pratt institute is a member of the Association of Independent Colleges of Art and Design (AICAD). The school was founded in 1887 as the Pratt Institute for Domestic and Industrial Arts by Charles Pratt, who faced repaying his father’s debts after inheriting his fortune. The school opened with $100,000 from John D. Rockefeller and other benefactors.

The Pratt institute has an annual average enrollment of 3,952 students from more than 60 countries, with an average of 2189 students living on campus. The institution offers undergraduate and graduate programs leading to degrees at the associate level through a doctorate. Pratt, through its various departments, provides studies in industrial design, fashion design; graphic design; interior architecture & design; photography; painting & printmaking. It is making Pratt one of the best fashion schools in the U.S. 

  • Tuition: $37,500
  • Students: 169 Fashion students

5. Kent State University

Kent State University is a public research university in Kent, Ohio, United States. The school was established in 1910 and had an annual budget exceeding $1 billion with an endowment of over $500 million. Kent State University offers some of the best fashion programs and fashion-related degrees in Ohio. 

Kent State University has students from all 50 states in the U.S. and over 140 countries across the globe who take advantage of the education offerings at Kent University. As you become part of the Kent State University community, I encourage you to explore the various opportunities available in the school and City. 

  • Tuition: For Ohio residents $9,030 for Non residents $16,900
  • Students: 120 fashion students 

6. Academy Of Art University

Academy of Art University is located in the heart of San Francisco and offers various undergraduate and graduate programs. Undergraduate students can choose from over 250 areas of study, while graduate students can choose from over 30 different programs in design and fine arts, business, education, and more. The campus includes several buildings that house classrooms and residence halls for students on site.

Academy Of Art University was founded in 1929 by Richard Stephens Smith as an art school offering courses in drawing, painting, printmaking, and textile design; it’s one of the oldest schools in California to focus solely on art education. Over time, other disciplines were added, including photography (1943), advertising (1948), graphic design (1966), animation (1972), illustration (1976), Fashion merchandising/marketing (1977), and film production & directing(1986). All these related disciplines to fashion make the Academy of Art University one of the best fashion schools in the U.S. 

  • Tuition: $17,760
  • Students: $2700 fashion students

7. Savannah College Of Art And Design

Savannah College of Art and Design (SCAD) is a private university in Savannah, Georgia, United States. Founded in 1978, it is the second-largest accredited independent art school in the United States. The college offers Bachelor’s degrees in arts or sciences with a focus on fashion design, film directing & producing illustration/concept art for advertising & entertainment industries, and interior design. It also offers Master’s degrees in visual design with concentrations in interactive media. The school offers a wide range of other fashion-related programs making Savannah College of Art and Design one of the best fashion schools in the U.S.

  • Savannah College of Art and Design Tuition: $30,150
  • Number of Students: 940 fashion students 

8. RHODE Island School Of Design

The Rhode Island School of Design is a private art and design college in Providence, Rhode Island. The school is the oldest art school in New England and the fifth oldest in the United States. In addition to its undergraduate College of Fine Arts, RISD’s Graduate School of Art + Design offers Master’s degrees and certificates through nine programs: Architecture; Art; Craft/Material Studies; Interior Architecture + Design; Jewelry/Metalsmithing + Precision Metalworking; Painting + Drawing; Photography + Imaging Studies (including Book Arts); Sculpture + Extended Media.

The Department of Textile + Fibre Arts offers M.F.A. degrees with concentrations in Fashion/Product Development, Textile Design/Fabrication, or Textile Conservation & Museum Studies, the only American university program covering these areas from an integrated perspective so that students can make informed decisions about their practice or profession after graduation; this counts in placing the school as one of the best fashion schools in the U.S. 

  • Tuition: $39,000
  • Number of Students: 200 students studying fashion, apparel, textiles, and jewelry
  • Notable Alumni: Nicole Miller, Sari Gueron, Philip Crangi, Marcia Patmos, Sarah Welsh & Madeline Davy

9. Drexel University

Drexel University is a private research university in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Drexel was founded in 1891 as the Drexel Institute of Art, Science, and Industry. The school was named after Francis Martin Drexel, the bankroller of the institute. In 1970, it became known as The Academy of Natural Sciences and began offering four-year undergraduate degrees in arts and sciences. In 1980, the school changed its name to “Drexel University.” In 1992, it became a doctoral degree-granting institution by adding graduate programs (such as M.S. and Ph.D. programs) to its curriculum. Drexel provides an excellent education in fashion and other related and relevant programs to students of the institution, making it one of the best fashion schools in the U.S. 

  • Drexel University Students: 380 for fashion and merchandising
  • Drexel University Tuition: $39,700

10. Columbus College Of Art & Design

Columbus College of Art & Design (CCAD) is a private, nonprofit, accredited, degree-granting institution of higher learning in Columbus, Ohio. CCAD offers undergraduate and graduate degree programs in the visual and performing arts, as well as in design and applied arts. The college was founded on providing an education for all people that would pave the way for future generations to engage creatively with their communities through art and fashion. 

Students of Columbus benefit from an enhanced set of study options, including Bachelor’s degrees available online; Master’s degrees offered 100% online; accelerated undergraduate programs; BFA/MFA dual degree programs; accelerated BFA/MA fine arts degrees (provided as part of a three-year program); two-year associate degree programs designed specifically for transfer into four-year colleges or universities.

Certificate programs are open only to CCAD graduates who wish to enhance their skill set through advanced training at one of two C.C.A. locations, one on campus near downtown Columbus supported by faculty members from across all disciplines offering workshops spanning everything from ceramics practice sessions led by professors who specialize in clay sculpture techniques up through jewelry making classes taught by accomplished metalsmiths.

  • Columbus College of Art & Design Tuition: $26,112 
  • Columbus College of Art & Design Students: Undergraduate:1291; Fashion enrolled 122  

11. California College Of Arts

California College of the Arts (C.C.A.) is a leading art and design school in San Francisco, California. The college offers a wide variety of undergraduate and graduates degrees in art, architecture, landscape architecture, interior design, and graphic design. C.C.A.’s main campus is in the Hayes Valley neighborhood of San Francisco. California College of Arts was founded as the California School of Design by Charles Mills Gayley on January 16th, 1879, when he convinced several others to join him on the school venture. The school provides a wide range of fashion education courses and other related courses to students making the school one of the best fashion schools in the U.S.

  • California College of Art Tuition: $36,960
  • California College of Art Students: over 65 fashion program enrollees

12. University Of Cincinnati

University of Cincinnati (U.C.) is a public research university in Cincinnati, Ohio, United States. The school was established in 1819 by Hugh Henry Brackenridge. The University of Cincinnati was one of the country’s oldest universities when it was made public by the state legislature in 1870. As of 2019, the school is ranked among the top 100 research universities worldwide according to U.S. News & World Report and Times Higher Education, as well as within the top 50 public national universities according to Forbes. The New Yorker’s literary magazine has named the University of Cincinnati’s undergraduate program among its Best Undergraduate Schools. The school offers some of the best fashion programs, and Tomita has a diverse student community. 

  • University Of Cincinnati Tuition: residents of Ohio: $10,065; Out of state residents: $24,588
  • University Of Cincinnati Students: 315 in the school’s fashion programs
  • Notable Alumnus: Stan Herman, who is a former president of CFDA

13. Massachusetts College Of Art

MassArt’s reputation as an excellent art school has been established for over a century. The Massachusetts College of Art and Design is a highly respected institution that offers two-year associate degrees in fine arts, graphic design, creative writing, advertising & public relations, and other fields of study. MassArt is considered one of the top schools for fashion design in the United States, and its students have won numerous prestigious awards, such as Project Runway.

The school offers four undergraduate degree programs: Bachelor of Fine Arts in Advertising; Bachelor of Fine Arts in Graphic Design; Bachelor of Fine Arts (B.F.A.) Foundation Studies (fashion design); Bachelor’s degree program in Fashion Design/Product Development; Bachelor’s Degree Program Fashion Interior Design/Fashion Merchandising; Bachelor Degree Program Fashion Marketing & Management, making the school one of the best fashion schools in the U.S. 

  • Massachusetts College of Art Tuition: Massachusetts residents $9,700; Residents of New England resident: $16,600; Out-of-state Residents: $25,400
  • Massachusetts College of Art Students: Undergraduate 1752, with 179 of them in fashion, fiber, and metal/jewelry

14. School Of The Art Institute Of Chicago

Students at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago (SAIC) are encouraged to explore different career paths, discover their strengths, and broaden their horizons by collaborating with peers from other disciplines. The student body comprises primarily first-year students, sophomores, and juniors enrolled in one or two studio courses.

Students can study visual arts or design, but those interested in pursuing a B.F.A. (Bachelor of Fine Arts) degree must apply separately to SAIC’s School of Art & Design. Students can also choose majors such as fashion design, painting, and photography. 

In addition to undergraduate programs offered through the school’s four colleges: College for Design Media Arts; Graham Foundation’s School of Architecture + Design; School of Fashion Industries; Gerald R. Ford School for Public Policy Studies. I am placing the school as one of the best fashion schools in the U.S. 

The school offers numerous opportunities for students interested in gaining experience outside the classroom by participating in competitions during their time at SAIC, such as the Chicago Fashion Incubator competition, DePaul University Student Energy Summit Competition, HONK Festival Chorus competition; IndieCade International Festival Competition; International Sustainable Development Conference Scholarship Awards Program (I.D.C.); New York Fashion Week Scholarship Program (NYFWSP).

  • School Of The Art Institute Of Chicago Tuition: $35,940
  • School Of The Art Institute Of Chicago Students: 76 undergraduate fashion students
  • Notable Alumni: Cynthia Rowley, Maria Pinto, Halston, Matthew Ames 

15. Oregon State University

Oregon State University, located in Corvallis, Oregon, is a public research university that offers more than 200 undergraduate degree programs, including the best fashion programs and related courses. The school also provides a variety of graduate and doctoral programs in fashion design and other fields of study. 

Oregon State University has been recognized by Forbes magazine as one of America’s top 20 public universities for student engagement and diversity on campus; by Princeton Review as one of America’s most environmentally friendly colleges; among Money magazine’s best colleges for return on investment; as well as by U.S. News & World Report among its top 15 public regional universities nationwide (west). It makes Oregon State University one of the best fashion schools in the U.S. 

  • Oregon State University Tuition: For residents, $7,700, and for Non-Residents $21,450
  • Oregon State University Students: 720 in the department of design and human development

16. L.I.M. College

L.I.M. College is a small, private college in New York City whose fashion program is known for its hands-on approach. The school encourages students to explore their creativity by taking advantage of its facilities and resources, including an on-campus studio that allows students to use sewing machines and fabric at any time, placing the school as one of the best fashion schools in the U.S. 

L.I.M. College also hosts events throughout the year that allow students to learn more about the industry they hope to work in after graduation. These might include panels featuring industry professionals, who come from all areas of Fashion (designers, photographers, stylists), as well as guest speakers from other fields related to the study of fashion (makeup artists or hair stylists).

  • LIM College Tuition: $21,650
  • LIM College Enrollment: 1,500 


With so many fashion schools in the United States, it can be hard to know where to start when looking at education options. But with so much information and a plethora of programs available, this list has made narrowing down your search easy and not too tricky. Whether you want an online program or prefer studying on-campus, these schools will provide you with excellent fashion design education.

Scroll to Top