Fashion Design


Why study Fashion Design?

The 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. 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 an admissions review process to support these goals. In addition to the required application materials, students who apply to Fashion Design may submit an optional portfolio. Please note that it’s impossible to predict – or guarantee – what credentials a student will need to gain admission into DAAP, because the size and quality of the applicant pool varies each year.


Optional Portfolio Review

Students who include Architecture, Communication Design, Fashion Design, Fine Arts, Industrial Design, or Interior Design among their program options on their admission application will be invited to submit a portfolio for admission consideration. This is an optional portfolio, but students are encouraged to submit one if they think it would strengthen their application. The portfolio is not part of The Common Application. After the application is received, an email containing a link and instructions for portfolio submission will be sent. Please note that required application materials will continue through the admissions review process, and it is possible that students will be admitted based on the strength of those materials.


DAAP Optional Portfolio Guidelines

  • Include 12-20 pieces of work from the last two years
  • Include examples of architectural work, design (e.g. clothing, interior spaces, logos, posters, websites), drawing, painting, photography, printmaking, sculpture, 3-D renderings, work in other media, and/or things you have sewn, built, or invented
  • Include some samples of drawing from observation (instead of from imagination or reproduced from photographs)
  • Emphasize your artistic and design strengths
  • May also represent your extracurricular involvement and interests
  • Include the title, medium, date completed, and a brief description that addresses each work’s concept and/or inspiration


Please visit the Admissions Office's website for more information, including application materials, requirements, deadlines, and timelines.

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.

Prospective students are encouraged to explore the information on our website and contact DAAP Student Affairs at 513-556-1376 or with questions.

The Transfer and Transition Advising Center is available to assist prospective transfer and transition students. Current DAAP students are assigned an academic advisor based on their major/program. For more information on DAAP advising, please visit the DAAP Undergraduate Advising webpage.


  • 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 recommendations for hardware and software. Please note that these recommendations 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 be in good standing to be considered for admission. Students wishing to transfer into a DAAP program should submit a Transfer Application.

Transfer students are generally admitted to the first year of our studio-based, co-op programs due to the sequence of studios and co-op. For further information such as minimum grade point average and application deadlines, please refer to the DAAP Transfer and Transition webpage.

Students seeking to transfer from other colleges and programs at UC must be in good standing to be considered for admission. Students wishing to transition into a DAAP program should submit an Application for Change in College and Program.

Transition students are generally admitted to the first year of our studio-based, co-op programs due to the sequence of studios and co-op. For further information such as minimum grade point average and application deadlines, please refer to the DAAP Transfer and Transition webpage.

Please visit the university’s Office of Admissions website for general admissions information and application requirements for international students.

Application Deadlines

High school applicants who submit a complete application by the December 1 Early Action deadline will be pooled and reviewed for selection. Early Action applicants can expect to learn their admission decision on Cincinnati Decision Day. This date varies by year and is shared on the University’s Office of Admissions website.

Students who apply by December 1 also receive maximum scholarship consideration. 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

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Program Code: 23BC-FASH-BSDES