Can You Get a Degree in Fashion Design Online?

It is possible to get a degree in fashion design online, but these programs are usually offered through technical schools, community colleges and art institutions. Below explains the learning goals of these programs, which degrees are offered and what classes can be taken.

Program Overview

Online fashion degree programs are usually connected with recognized fashion shows, people and programs. These programs provide students with opportunities to study various traditions, practices and standards of the fashion world. Students will learn about everything from design excellence to traditional European fashion to modern fashion industry trends. Most programs require students to complete a professional fashion portfolio or collection.

Most of the degree teachers are industry professionals with legitimate experience and exposure to the fashion world. The online learning platform means that students usually submit their work to be reviewed by peers and professors. Classes help students master fashion industry standards related to design, textiles, construction and merchandising. Students will acquire the skills needed to succeed in buying, marketing, product development and retail management careers.

Degree Options

The most commonly available degree is an Associate of Arts (AA) in fashion design. These programs combine design knowledge with basic business and computer skills. Most of the fashion design courses revolve around research, drawing, modeling, merchandizing and production for single unit or small collections. Upon graduation, students will have created a simple fashion portfolio that demonstrates mastery of individual style and technical expertise. Students will be prepared for entry-level jobs in the industry.

Alternatively, a Master of Fine Arts (MFA) degree in fashion design will stress design excellence, technical skills and project management competencies. Students will collaborate on various projects that allow students to experiment and develop their own styles and methods. Students will know how to achieve a balance between creativity and marketplace demands. The curriculum usually focuses on topics like trend analysis, visual research, market analysis, product development, design conceptualization and manufacturing technology for design.

Common Classes

The most common class is on fashion drawing, because it introduces students to principles like design preparation and standard material use. Students are exposed to many art subjects like objects, figures, contour lines, interiors and exteriors. Students learn about perspective, shape and silhouette and negative and positive space. Advanced fashion drawing teaches how to create clothed figures, so students learn about color pastels, pencil versus ink, foreshortening, rhythm structure and proportional accuracy. Fashion design classes provide an overview of the project cycle from development to editing to collection balancing. Students will develop visual research, design element and idea interpretation skills.

Fashion merchandising coursework introduces students to knowledge of retail and wholesale merchandising. Product development classes make students research existing brands to propose new ideas for products, conduct trend analysis and create potential storyboards. Topics cover consumer markets, supply chain, supervisor responsibilities and fashion product categories. Fashion journalism provides students with basic reporting skills related to drafting, copy editing, fact-checking and journalistic voice. There also usually classes on fashion industry communication, presentation and performance.

Related Resource: Online Social Science Degrees

Those who want to get a degree in fashion design online should note that quality degree programs will most likely require mandatory attendance at various fashion, drawing, technique or presentation workshops. The Bureau of Labor Statistics states that most fashion designers have a bachelor’s degree in fashion design or merchandising.