Fashion Design

BSDES

Why study Fashion Design?

The Bachelor’s of Science Degree in Fashion Design provides a platform for discovery, experimentation, and specialization by way of a strong foundation in critical and cultural theory, experiential learning, craftsmanship, technological literacy, and sustainable stewardship with opportunities for students to author their individual curricular pathway through elective coursework.

The Fashion Design Program prepares students with the creative and technical skills necessary to understand the design principles of aesthetic and function. Through foundational course work in fashion communication, drawing, technical pattern drafting, draping, and construction, students are equipped with skills and abilities to pursue personalized interests in fashion. Through elective coursework, students build upon this foundation in specialized areas of emphasis, including fashion theory, advanced craft, digital design and development, and sustainability.

Admission Requirements

The College of Design, Architecture, Art, and Planning at the University of Cincinnati seeks to attract, enroll and graduate academically talented students of varied and diverse backgrounds. Success in our programs is largely dependent upon sound academic preparation. However, in multidisciplinary programs like those in DAAP, students’ insight and perspective are greatly enhanced by exposure to students from different backgrounds, geographies and co-curricular interests. DAAP has designed an admissions review process and a timetable to support these goals.

Freshman Priority Deadline: December 1 by 5 p.m. EST

Admission criteria for fashion design varies based on the relative strength of test scores, class rank, and GPA. Portfolios are not a component of the admission application. All applicants meeting the above criteria and the priority deadline will be notified of admission decisions by February 1. Please do not call prior to this date regarding a decision on your application.

Freshman applicants, please visit the Admission Requirements page for more information. Applications received after December 1: Applicants who submit a complete application may be reviewed for admission on a space-available basis with notification after February 1. The academic credentials of the pool of applicants seeking admission to architecture vary each year. Fashion Design is a highly selective program and has a limited number of spaces available. Freshmen applying to this program should also have completed the following college-preparatory subjects:

  • 4 units of English
  • 4 units of math
  • 3 units of science
  • 5 units of electives*

*Elective units must include one or any combination of foreign language, fine arts, business, career-technical education, family and consumer sciences, technology, agricultural education, or additional core courses not otherwise required.

People who are successful in fashion design tend to have visual and kinesthetic/tactile learning styles. Fashion designers are creative, imaginative, and artistic. They are able to understand the design process as it relates to the three-dimensional form of the garment. Fashion designers are able to sketch, design, plan, and execute a garment at a high-quality level, paying attention to the function (movement, wear, draping) as well as the beauty of the garment. They love the challenge of a fast-paced, trend-driven business that merges creativity with marketplace opportunities.

People who work in this field must have good communication skills, have excellent time- and project-management skills, and understand business planning. They enjoy working in creative teams to understand the consumer’s wants and needs and to develop that fashion product for wholesale and retail brands.

The $2.5-3.0 trillion industry employs millions of people globally presenting great opportunities to work in the world of fashion.  Fashion designers operate in several unique segments of the industry, including womenswear, menswear, children's wear, knitwear, footwear, and accessories.  Current employee listings for fashion designers (in addition to those listed above) include job titles such as technical designer, textile designer, design director, pattern-maker, fabric/trim/print researcher and developer, materials and development coordinator, production coordinator, concept and trend manager, production manager, trend forecaster, and color developer, among others. Designers sometimes choose to work in the related fields of fashion styling, retail merchandising, and marketing, as well as countless entrepreneurial endeavors.

The School of Design offers an 18-credit-hour Fashion Design Studies minor. A minor in fashion design studies provides the underpinning history and theories of fashion design as a progenitor of a social and material culture that is integrated within and reflective of the essence of time, place, and people. The contemporary and multi-media practice of the fashion design industry is introduced and explored. 

Students must have a university cumulative GPA of at least 3.0. Admission to the minor is limited. Students can apply by filling out the form available here and submitting it to the DAAP Student Affairs Office, 5470 Aronoff.

All prospective students interested in this program should visit the DAAP website to find more information or contact the DAAP Student Affairs office at 513-556-1376 or daap-admissions@uc.edu. All prospective students are encouraged to visit campus to learn more about their major(s) of interest. To register for a DAAP "College Close-Up" Visit and a "Preview UC" campus tour, please go here. For more information on DAAP advising, please go here. Current DAAP students can schedule an appointment with their advisors by calling DAAP Student Affairs at 513-556-1376 or by using the Starfish scheduling tool on Blackboard (canopy.uc.edu).

  • The city of Cincinnati, once called the "Queen City of the West" by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, provides an excellent array of cultural resources for students who intend to pursue a degree in the visual arts. It offers the energy and assets of a larger city, along with quiet neighborhoods steeped in rich traditions. Cincinnati offers live music venues that range from top-notch symphony and opera companies to a growing pop and rock community. Home to the Cincinnati Art Museum, the Taft Museum and the Contemporary Arts Center, the city also enjoys the presence of numerous art galleries and a strong support system among practicing artists. Cincinnati is situated within driving distance of Chicago, Pittsburgh, Atlanta and New York City, allowing DAAP students to take advantage of the rich cultural resources of these cities as well.
  • UC's College of Design, Architecture, Art, and Planning (DAAP) is one of the most comprehensive colleges of its type in the country. A collection of nationally respected design and art programs is housed in a unique and educationally stimulating architectural setting. Architecture students have opportunities to enroll in courses in a range of related disciplines and to participate in interdisciplinary studios or special projects.
  • Students learn creative and technical skills in the studio environment, taught by a passionate faculty who interact with their students on a daily basis. The goal is to guide students as they grow both intellectually and professionally.
  • Other educational opportunities include organized travel semesters, foreign study semesters.
  • The DAAP college library has an outstanding collection of books, periodicals and visual resources supporting architecture, planning, design, art history and related subjects. Access to library holdings is provided by an automated online catalogue, UCLID, which provides access to the University of Cincinnati Library information database, and through OhioLINK, the holdings of other academic libraries throughout Ohio.
  • The Computer Graphics Center is a state-of-the-art university facility with hardware that includes PCs, Apple computers and peripherals such as scanners, plotters and digital video-editing suites. Students have access to sophisticated graphics equipment and receive hands-on instruction to augment the use of laptops in the classroom. All computing equipment is linked by high-speed Ethernet to facilitate access across the campus.
  • Fashion design co-op students work for both small design firms and large businesses across the country in the areas of design, technical design and product development. Students begin their co-op experiences in the second semester of their sophomore year and alternate semesters of full-time work and study on a year-round calendar until the final semester of the fifth year (there is no tuition for the semesters when students work). They graduate with five semesters, or a year and a half, of work experience in their field.
  • DAAP students learn creative and technical skills in the studio environment, taught by a passionate faculty who interact with their students on a daily basis. The goal is to guide students as they grow both intellectually and professionally. Faculty are innovative in transforming the art and design disciplines by applying the newest technologies. They inspire students to take advantage of interdisciplinary studio projects and work within corporate partnerships. This, along with a broad liberal arts background, prepares DAAP students to practice their art and design in both local and global markets.
  • Computer Requirements: All undergraduate students in this program are required to purchase a personal laptop computer. Each discipline has its own specific requirements for hardware and software. You can find more information about computer requirements here. Please note that these requirements may be slightly altered as equipment evolves. Therefore, students new to DAAP are encouraged to delay their computer purchase until the summer prior to entering to make the most informed computer purchase. Many of our programs have additional technology requirements for students in the later years of study.

All students accepted into the School of Design must take the first-year curriculum as outlined on the foundation studies curriculum guide. Fashion design students must complete a total of 126 credit hours for graduation. Students must also complete five semesters of mandatory professional practice (co-op) and receive a satisfactory (S) for all required work semesters. Students must obtain a minimum overall grade point average of 2.0. In order to be eligible for graduation with honors, a student must have earned at least a 3.6 grade point average and complete a set number of credits within the college.

Students seeking to transfer from another regionally accredited university or college must have at least a 3.0 cumulative grade point average in previous college work to be considered for admission. For priority consideration, complete transfer applications should be received by March 1 for the following fall. If offered admission, transfer students from other architecture, art or design programs seeking advanced standing can submit a design portfolio to the DAAP Student Affairs Office for evaluation. The application is available here. Transfer students to the School of Design programs are generally admitted to the first year of the program. 

Students seeking to transfer from other colleges and programs at UC must have at least a 3.0 cumulative grade point average in previous college work to be considered for admission. Current UC students should submit an "Application for Change in College and Program" form to the DAAP Student Affairs Office in Room 5470 Aronoff by March 1 for priority consideration for the following fall. This form is available here or in the DAAP Student Affairs Office. Transfer students to the School of Design programs are generally admitted to the first year of the program.

Current DAAP students wishing to transition into a different major must submit a "Change of Program" form to the DAAP Student Affairs Office in Room 5470 Aronoff. This form is available here or in the DAAP Student Affairs Office.

Unless an international student meets one of the exemptions listed here, he or she must complete the ACT, SAT, IELTS, TOEFL, or ELS.

Application Deadlines

High school applicants who submit a complete application by 5 pm EST on December 1 will be pooled and reviewed for selection. Consideration of the applicants' personal statements and co-curricular activities will be factored into the admissions decisions. Applicants who submit a complete application by 5 pm on December 1 will be notified of selection decisions by February 1. Please do not call prior to this date regarding a decision on your application. Applications received after December 1 may be considered on a space-available basis.

Students seeking to transfer from other colleges and programs at UC or another regionally accredited university or college should submit a complete application for admission by the priority deadline of March 1 for the following academic year.

The University of Cincinnati and all regional campuses are accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.

All programs in the UC School of Design are accredited by the National Association of Schools of Art and Design (NASAD).

Contact Information

DAAP Student Affairs
College of DAAP
P.O. Box 210016
Cincinnati, OH 45221-0016
(513) 556-1376
daap-admissions@uc.edu

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Program Code: 23BC-FASH-BSDES