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​Fashion Design

Learn each facet of the trade, including garment construction, fashion design concepts, and hand and computer-generated drawing techniques.

Fashion design major watercolor sketches in studio

Study experimental textiles, knit design, accessory design, fashion drawing, surface pattern design, history of art, and history of fashion. Over the course of your college career, your designs will be featured in various student fashion shows, including a senior collection show in the final year. Graduates of the program have gone on to work in design houses in small-scale or mass distribution, trade magazines, fashion periodicals, and support industries.

About VPA

Home to the visual and performing arts at Syracuse, VPA supports the creative process and professional development. The College is divided into seven areas: the School of Art; the Department of Communication and Rhetorical Studies; the School of Design; the Department of Drama; the Rose, Jules R. and Stanford S. Setnor School of Music; the Department of Film and Media Arts; and the Department of Creative Arts Therapy.


Core coursework covers construction, textiles, and presentation. Sample courses include:

  • Design Concepts
  • Accessory Design
  • Tailoring
  • Textiles for Designers
  • History of Fashion Design II: Contemporary Trends
  • Digital Presentation for Fashion Design

View official major requirements.

Practical Experience

Take advantage of opportunities outside the classroom to supplement your coursework and develop your skills.

  • Enjoy the professional studio facilities, shared computer labs, printing lab, and fabrication lab at the Nancy Cantor Warehouse in downtown Syracuse.
  • Join the Fashion Association of Design Students, the program’s student group, and get involved with fashion shows, field trips, and visiting speakers.
  • Network with visiting professional designers and retail experts such as Henry Grethel, Tommy Hilfiger, Mary McFadden, Nicole Miller, Thai Nguyen, Todd Oldham, Russell Simmons, and Stephanie Solomon ’72.
  • Take an internship to refine your technical proficiency, develop professional confidence, and bridge the gap between college and the professional world.

Study Abroad

Build your resume and challenge your perspective with a study abroad experience during your time at Syracuse. Consistently ranked among the top 25 international education providers in the U.S., Syracuse Abroad offers more than 100 programs in 60 countries. 

Fashion design majors most often go abroad to the Syracuse University Florence Center and to our World Partner program London College of Fashion.

Life After Syracuse University

With a degree in fashion design, you can pursue careers including:

  • Fashion buyer
  • Designer
  • Fashion journalist
  • Costume designer
  • Stylist

Or pursue a graduate degree in business, collaborative design, or museum studies. Past graduates have continued their education at some of the most prestigious graduate schools in the U.S.