If you’re dreaming of working in the fashion world, you’re probably trying to figure out how you can turn your college career into a stepping stone for a future in the industry. Fortunately, many schools across the country offer undergraduate fashion degrees that combine technical training with exposure to traditional liberal arts curricula. A bachelor’s degree in fashion design or fashion merchandising is a great place to start.
Marymount University is the only university in the D.C. area that offers undergraduate programs in both Fashion Design and Fashion Merchandising. While the two sound similar, each program is geared towards aspiring professionals in distinct sides of the industry — product development or business/PR, respectively.
Understanding Marymount’s B.A. in Fashion Design
This program allows students to explore a range of approaches to clothing creation through interdisciplinary design training and developing expertise in textiles, quality standards, patternmaking, illustration and garment construction. Design students have participated in internships with major labels like Michael Kors, Betsey Johnson and Ralph Lauren, and they go on to jobs such as assistant designers, product developers or even theatre costume drapers. In addition, students fulfill Marymount’s Liberal Arts Core, which includes courses across the humanities and natural sciences for a well-rounded education.
Understanding Marymount’s B.A. in Fashion Merchandising
This program incorporates elements of fashion design into a broader study of the industry as a whole. Courses in this major cover buying, visual merchandising, public relations and events, writing, media and much more. Just like the Design program, Merchandising students are able to intern at companies like Theory, Saks Fifth Avenue and Burberry, and can find work as a fashion event planner, visual merchandiser or distributor, just to name a few. Merchandising students must complete the Liberal Arts Core as well.
Marymount’s Signature Fashion Event
Students in both programs have the opportunity to participate in Portfolio in Motion, Marymount’s unique fashion event held every year on campus. It’s a culminating academic project that gives students the chance to showcase their work to peers and faculty through a professional-caliber, entirely student-run production. At the event, Marymount welcomes a Designer of the Year to speak and give personalized feedback to students. Past names have included Carolina Herrera, Oscar de la Renta and Eileen Fisher.
Whether you’ve been dreaming of designing clothes since you were a little kid or just recently started entertaining the idea, it’s helpful to know that there are a wealth of options available to study fashion and earn a college degree at the same time. Marymount’s undergraduate programs are designed to equip budding fashion professionals with all the tools they need to succeed in the industry — with a liberal arts education to boot — so that they can succeed in a variety of settings.