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Why This Matters


    Considering that 61% of fashion designers have an associate degree or no college degree at all, getting a bachelor’s degree will help you stand out in the job market.


    Although the job outlook for fashion designers is expected to decline, there are still plenty of opportunities for employment. It is projected that there will be 27,000 fashion designer jobs available by 2029.


    The median annual wage for fashion designers in 2020 was $75,810 per year. These high-earning positions typically expect candidates to have a bachelor’s degree.

Our Research

This list reviews some of the best bachelor’s in fashion programs in the United States. Most of these institutions grant students a Bachelor of Science in Fashion Business or Fashion Merchandising, but some offer a Bachelor of Fine Arts instead.

For this list, we focused solely on accredited institutions. The quality of each of these programs is confirmed by regional accreditors such as the New England Commission of Higher Education (NECHE), which measures academic value, integrity, and improvement. It is recognized by the U.S. Department of Education and the Council for Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA).

  • 64 hours to write this article
  • 44 universities and colleges we assessed
  • 84 education programs we compared

The Top 50 Online Bachelor’s in Fashion Programs

Best Online Bachelor's in Fashion Programs Badge
Intelligent Pick
Central Michigan University
Most Affordable
Southern New Hampshire University
Best for Merchandising
Johnson & Wales University
Best for Fashion Media
LIM College
Best for Entrepreneurship
Lindenwood University
Best for International Trade
Fashion Institute of Technology
Best for Degree Completion
Old Dominion University
Best for Adult Learners
North Coast College
Best for Management
Berkeley College
Best in the West
Rocky Mountain College of Art and Design
Best Start Dates
Liberty University

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What You Should Know About This Degree

It’s important to distinguish between fashion design and design in general. While both programs teach students about artwork, colors, and patterns, they express their knowledge through different means. Design students work with a broad range of materials, such as packages and interior rooms, while fashion students focus on elements such as clothing, hair, and footwear.

Students should look for an institution that is accredited by a reputable regional organization. For example, students pursuing higher education in the New England region should select a school that is accredited by the New England Commission of Higher Education (NECHE).

Because the fashion sphere is generally competitive, the job outlook is currently on a decline. It is projected that, from 2019 to 2029, the available number of jobs will drop from 28,300 to 27,000. This represents a 4% drop in employment.

There are no required licenses or certifications to work in fashion, but most high-end employers will expect candidates to have a degree.

What’s Next?

Here are some questions to ask when researching online bachelor’s in fashion programs:

  • Am I eligible for this program? Many bachelor’s in fashion programs will accept high school graduates who have a good academic standing and an interest in fashion. However, some programs may require students to submit a portfolio and pass design and sewing tests.
  • What licensing or certifications are required? Beyond getting your bachelor’s degree, there are no official licenses or certifications required to work in the fashion industry. However, if you create your own clothing line and intend to sell your items, you’ll need a Seller’s License and Certificate of Authority.

While researching programs, keep track of any application deadlines or required submission materials. This information can usually be found by visiting the school’s website or contacting their admissions department.

Another factor to consider is how to finance your degree. Take the time to research different scholarships, assistantships, and tuition benefits, and be sure to submit applications on time.

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