Fashion Design Undergraduate Overview

As a Bachelor of Fine Arts (BFA) student, you can concentrate your studies in Fashion Design after you have completed your Contemporary Practices requirements through taking sequenced classes in one of two pathways below.

Fashion Design and Construction Pathway

The undergraduate Fashion pathway curriculum consists of a scaffolded sequence of co-taught design and construction courses over the course of the sophomore, junior, and senior levels, providing a firm foundation in drawing, draping, pattern-making, and garment construction. In courses that combine historical research with contemporary explorations, students transcend the traditional boundaries of fashion to examine clothing as it relates to lifestyle, performance, display, costume, and art. 

Recommended electives:

  • FASH 2005 Shape and Theory in Garments
  • FASH 2007 Beginning Fashion Illustration
  • FASH 2016 Footwear Design
  • FASH 2017 Knitwear Design: Manipulated Stitch
  • FASH 2008 Hand Knitwear Design

We encourage intermediate and advanced students to enroll in Art History courses such as ARTHI 2560 Survey of the History of Dress and ARTHI 3560 The Shape of Fashion in the 20th and 21st Centuries. Students focusing on the garment as metaphor—dealing with issues of the body, material, and identity—will examine the areas between body/space and material/virtual in classes like FASH 2005 Shape and Theory in Garments and FASH 2012 Objects/Artifacts and No Nonsense.

Hands-on Experience

When you complete your junior year, we encourage you to start applying for internships with designers throughout the world. Faculty conduct study trips to fashion capitals such as Paris, London, Antwerp, and New York.

Body-Builder Pathway

Body-builder as a pathway through the elective course offerings on their own gives students the opportunity to specialize in their self-selected area of interest such as illustration, accessories, knitwear, embellishment, performance-oriented design, or foundation studies as part of the academic spine.

Take the Next Step

Visit the undergraduate admissions website or contact the undergraduate admissions office at 800.232.7242 or

Upcoming Admissions Events


Learn more about our undergraduate curriculum, tour our facilities & residence halls, see what we look for in an admission and merit scholarship portfolio, and learn more about financial aid. Bring your portfolio for a one-on-one conversation about your work with one of our admissions representatives!

Friday, November 10 9:00 a.m. - 3:30 p.m. CST at SAIC MacLean Ballroom 112 S. Michigan Chicago, IL 60603
Elnaz Javani, If I'd Known That Beforehand, Detail, 2015

Undergraduate Application and Merit Deadline: January 15