Bachelor's Degree in Fashion Design

Fashion Design

The Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in Fashion Design prepares students for the fashion industry by developing technical, creative, and knowledge-based skills that students need to cultivate fashion concepts, create patterns and construct garments, and present their own fashion lines.

The curriculum includes all-College general education courses and fine arts courses to provide students with the basis for a liberal arts education, along with career studies courses in art and fashion. The courses and hands-on experiences that are integral to the program prepare students for entry-level jobs in the fashion industry.

The Fashion Design Program features several unique opportunities for students to explore the many facets of the fashion industry, including trips to New York City for seminars with fashion industry professionals. A fashion tour class is offered annually in January, during which students visit an array of small and large fashion sites, which may include design rooms, showrooms, retailers and museum fashion exhibits.

Each year the department presents a professional-caliber juried fashion show that captures the energy and excitement of the fashion industry. The show is a culmination of an entire year of illustrating, draping, patternmaking, construction of garments, and show planning. Students complete a three-credit-hour fashion internship, and produce a senior collection in which they develop the concept, garments and presentation for an original fashion collection.

Student Learning Goals
  • Develop technical and knowledge-based skills needed to create, construct and present fashion garments according to fashion industry standards;
  • Gain an understanding of the fashion industry functions and processes;
  • Understand the artistic/design process as it relates to fashion conceptualization and creation;
  • Prepare students for entry-level jobs and fashion industry careers, based upon their academic background that integrates the all-college general education core, arts and science requirements and fashion career studies courses.
The Fashion Design program is housed in Jephson Campus B (formerly South Campus), a few blocks from the main campus.  This facility includes:
  • Sewing/design laboratory including domestic and industrial sewing machines, pattern cutting tables and other design equipment.
  • A CAD lab with dual platform Macintosh computers installed with fashion industry software including OptiTex patternmaking and NEDGraphics presentations, as well as hardware such as scanners, and printers capable of printing up to 44" fabric.
  • A material resource room.
  • Lecture and seminar rooms.
Special Features
Fashion Tour Class: The weeklong Fashion Tour in New York City is offered each spring semester to provide students with an overview of the fashion industry and to prepare them for internships. Students attend seminars with management personnel at fashion businesses including showrooms, design rooms, retailers, industry associations and museums. In addition, students tour the famous garment district for fabric and trim sourcing during a four-day field trip to New York.

Fashion Show: Each April the Fashion Studies Department sponsors a professional caliber juried fashion show that captures the energy and excitement of the fashion industry. The show gives students an opportunity to display their designs to an audience of friends, family, and industry professionals. Students may participate in the planning, and production of the show through the Fashion Promotion class. The show is the culmination of an entire year of illustrating, patternmaking and construction of garments, and show planning by all fashion students.

Senior Collection/Senior Project: All students are required to complete a senior project in which they write a major research paper. Merchandising students focus on the analysis of a business topic and design students also create the concept and garments for an original fashion collection. This highly creative project is the culmination of four years of education in the Fashion Studies Department. 

A New York City semester is an option for qualifying students, during which they are enrolled in Cazenovia College and taking their senior-level courses in New York City, including internship, and an elective class. Options are also available for study-abroad programs.

Internships have been an integral part of the Fashion program at Cazenovia College for many years.  Six credits of Internship coursework are required for both Fashion Design and Fashion Merchandising students. 

Internship Preparation:
  • Students must complete a required number of credits in their program and demonstrate knowledge-based and social competency to qualify for internship placement
  • The Fashion Tour class provides students with an overview of the fashion industry and prepares them for internships
  • Faculty and staff in the Fashion Studies Program, College Career and Internship offices work with students to help define their goals, explore internship options, and complete the application process
  • Read more about the semester in New York City program and sample internship sites on our Fashion Internships page
Career Options
Assistant Designer                       Technical Designer
Patternmaker                               Apparel Manufacturer
Stylist                                         Store Management
Sales Representative                    Product Development
Retail Management                      Costume Designer
Sample Pattern Maker                  Design Business Owner
Quality Control Analyst                 Fashion Promotions Coordinator
Merchandise Manager                  Assistant Buyer