Guide to Online Fashion Degrees

By OnlineU Staff | Updated 8/28/2020
Quick Facts
Accreditation: Institutional
Average Tuition: $20,979
Average Salary: $68,511

Our list of popular online fashion schools highlights online degrees in fashion merchandising, fashion business, fashion design, and fashion marketing. Online fashion degrees include classes in merchandising, sourcing, textiles, and the history of fashion. Students interested in an online fashion degree will find options at a range of schools from public universities to vocational schools.

Prior to enrolling in a fashion degree program, prospective students should verify that their chosen institutions are accredited. Accreditation helps to ensure students that their fashion program meets national academic standards and will equip them with the proper knowledge and skills needed to excel in their future positions.

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Most Popular Accredited Online Schools for Fashion Bachelor's Degrees

Visitors to our site are most interested in these schools
Rank School Annual Tuition Recommend Rate
# 1 #1 Southern New Hampshire University Online $9,600 63% (386 reviews)
290 Programs, 1 Bachelor's in Fashion (view all)
290 Programs, 1 Bachelor's in Fashion
  • BS Fashion Merchandising and Management
# 2 #2 Liberty University $11,700 58% (296 reviews)
641 Programs, 3 Bachelor's in Fashion (view all)
641 Programs, 3 Bachelor's in Fashion
  • BS: Fashion Merchandising
  • BS: Fashion Merchandising: Creative Design
  • BS: Fashion Merchandising: Fashion Writing
# 3 #3 Johnson & Wales University-Online $13,365 0% (1 review)
78 Programs, 1 Bachelor's in Fashion (view all)
78 Programs, 1 Bachelor's in Fashion
  • BS - Fashion Merchandising and Retailing
# 4 #4 Central Michigan University $24,120 67% (3 reviews)
116 Programs, 6 Bachelor's in Fashion (view all)
116 Programs, 6 Bachelor's in Fashion
  • Bachelor of Applied Arts in Fashion Merchandising & Design
  • Bachelor of Applied Arts in Fashion Merchandising & Desig...
  • Bachelor of Applied Arts in Fashion Merchandising & Desig...
  • Bachelor of Science in Fashion Merchandising & Design
# 5 #5 Fashion Institute of Technology $15,520 Add Review
2 Programs, 1 Bachelor's in Fashion (view all)
2 Programs, 1 Bachelor's in Fashion
  • Bachelor of Science in International Trade and Marketing ...
# 6 #6 Academy of Art University $22,308 31% (36 reviews)
159 Programs, 7 Bachelor's in Fashion (view all)
159 Programs, 7 Bachelor's in Fashion
  • BA in Fashion Journalism
  • BFA in Costume Design
  • BFA in Fashion Marketing
  • BFA in Fashion Merchandising
# 7 #7 The Art Institutes $17,982 21% (14 reviews)
10 Programs, 2 Bachelor's in Fashion (view all)
10 Programs, 2 Bachelor's in Fashion
  • Bachelor of Arts in Fashion Marketing & Management
  • Bachelor of Science in Fashion Marketing & Management
# 8 #8 Bay State College $22,320 Add Review
18 Programs, 1 Bachelor's in Fashion (view all)
18 Programs, 1 Bachelor's in Fashion
  • Bachelor of Science in Management - Fashion Industry
# 9 #9 Berkeley College $25,900 0% (1 review)
33 Programs, 1 Bachelor's in Fashion (view all)
33 Programs, 1 Bachelor's in Fashion
  • Bachelor of Business Administration - Fashion Merchandisi...
# 10 #10 LIM College $27,030 Add Review
7 Programs, 2 Bachelor's in Fashion (view all)
7 Programs, 2 Bachelor's in Fashion
  • BBA in Business of Fashion
  • BBA in Fashion Merchandising
# 11 #11 Lindenwood University $17,600 Add Review
96 Programs, 1 Bachelor's in Fashion (view all)
96 Programs, 1 Bachelor's in Fashion
  • BS in Fashion Business & Entrepreneurship
# 12 #12 Old Dominion University $29,460 70% (10 reviews)
182 Programs, 2 Bachelor's in Fashion (view all)
182 Programs, 2 Bachelor's in Fashion
  • Bachelor of Science in Fashion Merchandising
  • Bachelor of Science in Fashion Merchandising (Degree Comp...
# 13 #13 Rocky Mountain College of Art and Design $19,020 Add Review
20 Programs, 1 Bachelor's in Fashion (view all)
20 Programs, 1 Bachelor's in Fashion
  • Bachelor of Fine Arts in Fashion Design

Online Fashion Degree Overview & Career Information

There are many degree options available to those who wish to pursue a career in fashion.  An associate degree will take students two years to complete and will prepare them for entry-level positions in areas such as design, marketing, and buying. Students can take their education to the next level by entering a four-year bachelor's program. This will make graduates more competitive within the field. Participating in a master's program will help professionals become more skilled in their specialization, and takes on average two years to complete. Graduates holding a master's will be eligible for above entry-level and even leadership positions. It will also better prepare individuals who aspire to open their own business or fashion line. There are also certificate degree options available for those who don't want to commit to a full degree program. Earning a certificate will give graduates the skills needed to begin their careers at entry-level. Generally these programs take two years or less to complete.  

Online Bachelor's Degrees in Fashion

Students looking to further their knowledge and skills will want to consider continuing their education and pursuing an online bachelor's degree in fashion design. Participants will typically be required to complete 120-132 credit hours to graduate with their bachelor's degree. Students will learn about the history of fashion and how it has impacted the modern industry. They will complete coursework that is well balanced giving participants equal education in both the creative and business side of fashion. Key courses include design, apparel construction, merchandising, textile, and knitwear. Students will also be introduced to the top computer software programs that are important within the industry and will be vital in the graduate's profession upon graduation. 

Applicants applying for a bachelor's program in fashion design should first show a strong interest in fashion. Also required in the application process is a high school diploma or GED along with transcripts. If the applicant has attended college previously, their college transcripts will be required. Many schools will also ask for a portfolio to demonstrate the applicant's creativity and talents in design. Graduates who hold an online bachelor's degree will be ready for a variety of positions worldwide including retail buyer, textile designer, visual merchandiser, retail manager, and of course, fashion designer. Many fashion designers aspire to design their own fashion line but design jobs such as associate designer or head designer are also available at already established fashion houses. Online bachelor's programs in fashion design are offered at universities, design schools, and vocational schools.  

The Importance of an Accredited Online Fashion Degree

Accreditation is important because it helps determine whether or not the institution is upholding high standards of quality. This should be considered by applicants before enrolling in an institution or program to ensure that they are going to receive an exceptional education. Students in need of federal financial aide will need to consider accreditation, as federal grants and loans are only available to students attending accredited institutions. The National Association of Schools of Art & Design (NASAD) is the main accrediting body for fashion and art based programs. NASAD focuses on the establishment of reasonable standards set for institutions to uphold in order to provide the knowledge and skills necessary for students to excel both educationally and professionally within the realms of fashion and visual arts. NASAD annually evaluates faculty, equipment, and curriculum in order to ensure that the highest quality of educational standards are being met and upheld by each institution accredited through the program. By choosing an institution or program accredited by NASAD fashion students can be sure that their needs will be met and that their background in education will be respected by potential employers within the workforce.  

Fashion Careers

There are a variety of career options within the industry for aspiring fashion professions. The first key profession is fashion designer. Fashion designers have the option of creating their own fashion line or working for an already established fashion house in which they will specialize in high street fashion, ready-to-wear, or haute couture. Typical day-to-day responsibilities include creating designs by hand or through computer programs, keeping up to date with current fashion trends, meeting with buyers and forecasters to develop new products, producing patterns for intended designs, overseeing production, and negotiating with customers and suppliers.  Self-employed designers will also manage the marketing and financial aspects of their business.  Fashion designers with a bachelor's degree are highly competitive over those who hold no degree.  Most employers will also seek candidates with some sort of previous experience of working in a design studio.  

Another popular profession is fashion buying. Fashion buyers work closely with different designers, wholesalers, and manufacturers to determine which fashion goods their store will carry each season.  Responsibilities include keeping up with current fashion trends, attending trade shows and fashion shows to seek out the latest in design and textile, negotiating prices and deals with suppliers, making sure that stock is delivered on time, and monitoring the best selling items within the store to ensure availability for customers. Entry-level positions such as assistant buyer will require an associate degree or higher in fashion or related discipline such as business or marketing. Some retail experience is also preferred. The career ladder in fashion buying is also quite short as it can take as little as three to five years of experience to climb from assistant buyer to senior buyer.    

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