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Fashion Design

The study of fashion design and production balances your creative vision with technical skills and an in-depth understanding of the fashion industry. You can prepare for a professional career in apparel design, marketing, manufacturing, and product development.

When you pursue your BFA in Art + Design: Fashion Design, you'll develop a wide range of skills and knowledge: advanced fashion design concepts such as computer-aided design (CAD), technical design and production, business in the fashion industry, public speaking and presentation, and contemporary fashion trends.

You’ll utilize up-to-date software and fashion-forward techniques to develop a strong and comprehensive portfolio of work. Juniors and seniors in the program develop full lines of clothing with opportunities to exhibit their collections at the annual CVPA Fashion Show, industry shows, and retail galleries.

Internships and networking opportunities help you make industry connections in Boston and New York, and graduates will be ready to compete successfully for jobs throughout the fashion industry.

The BFA is a professional degree with concentrated areas of specialization, so you will take more art courses than you would in a BA program. At UMass Dartmouth, you also have the advantages of a university education where you can diversify your studies and expand your career opportunities. Your BFA degree also provides excellent preparation for MFA programs and other graduate study.

Your course work will include:

  • apparel construction 
  • pattern drafting
  • couture draping
  • computer aided drafting for fashion
  • design & production
  • fashion illustration
  • consumer behavior

You'll enhance your skills in both design and production as you develop a portfolio of your work. For your senior capstone project, you will bring together all that you have learned and created—including your own collections for apparel and fashion.

For the BFA in Fashion Design, you'll complete 78 credits in courses related to your major, and 120 credits overall.

Students can expect to find placement in the following positions after graduation:

  • 3D technical designer
  • Apparel designer
  • Apparel production technician
  • Apparel product designer
  • Costume designer
  • Fit specialist
  • Patternmaker
  • Quality control technician
  • Textile print designer
  • Trend researcher


Fashion Design Student Work

Student Success

Abigail Soares headshot
Abigail Soares BFA '23

Abi has focused her work on the bridal industry, particularly for those who don’t identify with the popular ideal.

College of Visual & Performing Arts undergraduate mean starting salary:

NACE Data Collection of Class of 2022 Undergraduate Alumni

UMassD advantages

  • Studio facilities: located at the university's Star Store campus in New Bedford, our studios feature state-of-the-art equipment and ample work areas
  • Internships: gain first-hand experience with internships in the fashion industry and retail galleries
  • Annual CVPA fashion show: an opportunity for students to share their creative work
  • Community: interact with professionals and peers by attending guest lectures and visiting fashion industry sites
  • Campus Gallery: exhibit your work on campus
  • Honors College: take advanced courses, pursue research, and be part of a community of scholars
  • Study Abroad: earn academic credits and gain a global perspective on your field
  • Undergraduate Research: faculty work with students on cutting-edge research projects
  • University Studies: gain the benefit of a broad university education to enhance your knowledge and skills

Master of Fine Arts: Continue your education with a master's in fine arts or in artisanry.

Master of Art Education: With an emphasis on how the arts are integrated into daily life, the MAE program leads to a single-level professional certification in Massachusetts as an art teacher in grades Pre K-8 or 5-12.

Post-Baccalaureate Artisanry Certificate: The program is designed for students interested in pursuing a post-baccalaureate "fifth year" of technical and studio-based study of textile design and fiber arts. Students build an extensive portfolio and often continue on to MFA degree programs.

Fashion Design Faculty

Aleta Deyo