Fashion Design Degree

Fashion Design degree program at Harper College

Get hands-on training in fashion design and entrepreneurship

Career options  arts icon


  • Clothing design
  • Pattern design
  • Fashion retail
  • Style consulting

Prepare for a career in the fashion design industry with this degree program. Choose from two distinctive tracts, fashion design and fashion entrepreneurship, to customize the program to best fit your individual needs and interests. Working alongside expert instructors, you’ll develop entry-level skills in the fashion design or fashion entrepreneurship industry.

Classes may include apparel textile design, flat pattern design, draping, fashion illustrating, sewing methods, professional design room practices, costume history, fashion forecasting, global sourcing apparel, promotion of fashion and more.

Harper College’s academic facilities simulate the professional atmosphere of the fashion industry. Gain real-world experience by participating in the annual Student Fashion Show, which features original student work. Harper is also home to Studio V, a professional student-run boutique offering locally designed apparel, jewelry, accessories, sculpture, art and other original pieces. A Jury Show allows you to showcase your work and receive critiques from industry professionals. You can also participate in the Harper’s Bizarre Fashion Club, along with dozens of other student organizations.

AAS degree requirements and outcomes

The Associate in Applied Science in Fashion Design offers specializations in Fashion Design and Fashion Entrepreneurship. Students may complete ONE specialization (click to expand):

This 61 credit-hour program is designed to provide students with entry-level skills in apparel textile design, flat pattern design, draping, fashion illustrating and professional design room practices. Facilities will simulate the professional atmosphere of the fashion industry.

This sequenced degree plan is one of two options that students may pursue to earn the Fashion Design Associate in Applied Science (AAS) degree. While there are multiple specializations, this particular degree can be awarded only once.

F = Fall only course S = Spring only course U = Summer only course

FIRST SEMESTER:

Number Course Title Credits Category
FAS 100 3 Program Requirement

Description: Introduces students to the use and care of industrial sewing equipment, notion and supplies. Presents instruction in basic sewing techniques and their application to garment construction.(NOTE: This course is intended for students with little or no sewing experience.)

FAS 101 3 Program Requirement

Description: Introduces basic industrial techniques of pattern making and draping. Variety of slopers (bodices, skirts, sleeves, etc.) developed. Accuracy and professional standards stressed. Pattern tested in muslin for fit.

Prerequisite: Prior or concurrent enrollment in FAS 100 with a grade of C or better.

FAS 105  F   3 Program Requirement

Description: Introduces basic fashion sketching (front, back and side views, and original design). Studies the relationship of figure and garment. Emphasizes development of individual style, basic layout and presentation.

FAS 107 3 Program Requirement

Description: Studies basic design and color principles in development of creative fabrics. General analysis and identification of fabrics and employment of various methods such as weaving, printing and dyeing.

FAS 112 3 Program Requirement

Description: Presents fashion merchandise through evaluation of fashion products. Develops awareness of construction, as well as workmanship and design elements, such as fabric, color, silhouette and taste.

SECOND SEMESTER:

Number Course Title Credits Category
FAS 102 3 Program Requirement

Description: Continues development of basic sloper set. Manipulates basic sloper set to create original design. Patterns tested in muslin for fit. Garment is constructed from corrected patterns.

Prerequisite: FAS 101 with a grade of C or better.

Corequisite: FAS 113

FAS 104  S   3 Program Requirement

Description: Develops patterns from basic sloper set. Actual construction of finished garments. Emphasis on styling, fit and professional finishing.

Prerequisite: FAS 102 with a grade of C or better.

FAS 110 + 3 Program Requirement

Description: Introduces the elements of design and color in historical perspective. Surveys historical periods of time focusing on costumes. Examines the influences of social, political and economic forces on fashion in these periods.

FAS 113 3 Program Requirement

Description: Focuses on application and mastery of basic sewing skills in pattern and fabric recognition and problem solving related to individual creative design. Emphasis on technology, technical accuracy and appropriate use of selected materials and supplies. (NOTE: This course is intended for students with basic sewing skill and machine proficiency.)

Prerequisite: FAS 100 with a grade of C or better or placement as demonstrated through Fashion Design Department testing. Contact program coordinator for additional information.

GRA 101 3 Program Requirement

Description: Gives students an overview of the graphic arts industry. Covers various occupations including basic information for making career and education choices. Builds the foundation for continuing education in the graphic arts program. Includes historical, current and potential developments in the printing industry. Provides a comprehensive understanding of desktop publishing software and the steps related to producing printed materials.

SUMMER SESSION:

Number Course Title Credits Category
ENG 101 3 Communications

Description: Emphasizes the writing of expository prose. Introduction to the critical reading of nonfiction prose. IAI C1 900

Prerequisite: ENG 100 with a grade of C or better. Other placement options. ENG_Placement_Grid.pdf ESL students need one of the following options: ESL 073 and ESL 074 with grades of B or better; ESL 073 and ESL 086 with grades of B or better; ESL 073 and ESL 099 with grades of B or better; ESL 073 with required writing placement test score; or ESL 074 with required reading placement test score.

Mathematics1 3 Mathematics

THIRD SEMESTER:

Number Course Title Credits Category
FAS 109  F   3 Program Requirement

Description: Focuses on theory and principles of design for fashion, and familiarizes the student with major fabric names and constructions. Studies the use of unusual materials in design and applies those materials to individual projects. Studies the influence of present-day cultural trends in the field of design.

Prerequisite: FAS 104 with a grade of C or better.

FAS 201  F   3 Program Requirement

Description: Continues advanced development of creative designs using draping and basic sloper set. Patterns tested in muslin for fit and accuracy.

Prerequisite: FAS 102 with a grade of C or better.

Humanities2 3 Humanities
Social and Behavioral Science3 3 Social and Behavioral Science

FOURTH SEMESTER:

Number Course Title Credits Category
FAS 204  S   4 Program Requirement

Description: Works on collection of individual design and actual construction of coordinated garments. Course requirement includes garment entry and participation in annual fashion show.

Prerequisite: FAS 201 with grades of C or better.

FAS 208  S   3 Program Requirement

Description: Introduces student to the PAD Pattern CAD/CAM Design System. Students learn the general technical terminology and CAD tools to create and modify patterns.

Prerequisite: FAS104 with a grade of C or better.

FAS 210  S   3 Program Requirement

Description: Emphasizes work on a professional studio level. Focuses on work sketches as well as finished art. Studies illustration for advertising, publicity, promotion and display. Preparation of professional portfolio.

Prerequisite: FAS 105 with a grade of C or better.

Humanities2 3 Humanities

+ - This course meets the World Cultures and Diversity graduation requirement.

1 - The mathematics requirement (MTH 065 or higher) for this degree can be met with Math Competency. See Math Competency options for information. Students who utilize Math Competency to meet the mathematics requirement must complete MKT 106 (Retail Merchandising).

2 - ART 105 is recommended.

3 - See full list of AAS General Education Electives.

Program learning outcomes

Students who successfully complete this program will be able to:

  • Apply appropriate terminology in construction, design, historical and technical areas.
  • Demonstrate mastery of design principles and elements.
  • Develop and execute illustrated designs in multiple techniques.
  • Execute design development in multiple fabrics and styles.
  • Apply both drafting and draping techniques in garment design.
  • Complete garment details with appropriate construction techniques.
  • Develop basic patterns using computer-aided design.
  • Demonstrate knowledge of fashion's response to cultural,scientific and technological advances.
  • Locate the resources necessary to determine current trends in color, silhouette and fabrics.
  • Demonstrate ability to work independently and/or as a member of a diverse team.

This 60 credit-hour program is designed to provide students with entry-level skills in apparel textile design, flat pattern design, draping, fashion illustrating and professional design room practices. Facilities will simulate the professional atmosphere of the fashion industry.

This sequenced degree plan is one of two options that students may pursue to earn the Fashion Design Associate in Applied Science (AAS) degree. While there are multiple specializations, this particular degree can be awarded only once.

F = Fall only course S = Spring only course U = Summer only course

FIRST SEMESTER:

Number Course Title Credits Category
ENG 101 3 Communications

Description: Emphasizes the writing of expository prose. Introduction to the critical reading of nonfiction prose. IAI C1 900

Prerequisite: ENG 100 with a grade of C or better. Other placement options. ENG_Placement_Grid.pdf ESL students need one of the following options: ESL 073 and ESL 074 with grades of B or better; ESL 073 and ESL 086 with grades of B or better; ESL 073 and ESL 099 with grades of B or better; ESL 073 with required writing placement test score; or ESL 074 with required reading placement test score.

FAS 100 3 Program Requirement

Description: Introduces students to the use and care of industrial sewing equipment, notion and supplies. Presents instruction in basic sewing techniques and their application to garment construction.(NOTE: This course is intended for students with little or no sewing experience.)

FAS 101 3 Program Requirement

Description: Introduces basic industrial techniques of pattern making and draping. Variety of slopers (bodices, skirts, sleeves, etc.) developed. Accuracy and professional standards stressed. Pattern tested in muslin for fit.

Prerequisite: Prior or concurrent enrollment in FAS 100 with a grade of C or better.

FAS 107 3 Program Requirement

Description: Studies basic design and color principles in development of creative fabrics. General analysis and identification of fabrics and employment of various methods such as weaving, printing and dyeing.

FAS 112 3 Program Requirement

Description: Presents fashion merchandise through evaluation of fashion products. Develops awareness of construction, as well as workmanship and design elements, such as fabric, color, silhouette and taste.

SECOND SEMESTER:

Number Course Title Credits Category
FAS 102 3 Program Requirement

Description: Continues development of basic sloper set. Manipulates basic sloper set to create original design. Patterns tested in muslin for fit. Garment is constructed from corrected patterns.

Prerequisite: FAS 101 with a grade of C or better.

Corequisite: FAS 113

FAS 104  S   3 Program Requirement

Description: Develops patterns from basic sloper set. Actual construction of finished garments. Emphasis on styling, fit and professional finishing.

Prerequisite: FAS 102 with a grade of C or better.

FAS 110 + 3 Program Requirement

Description: Introduces the elements of design and color in historical perspective. Surveys historical periods of time focusing on costumes. Examines the influences of social, political and economic forces on fashion in these periods.

FAS 113 3 Program Requirement

Description: Focuses on application and mastery of basic sewing skills in pattern and fabric recognition and problem solving related to individual creative design. Emphasis on technology, technical accuracy and appropriate use of selected materials and supplies. (NOTE: This course is intended for students with basic sewing skill and machine proficiency.)

Prerequisite: FAS 100 with a grade of C or better or placement as demonstrated through Fashion Design Department testing. Contact program coordinator for additional information.

GRA 101 3 Program Requirement

Description: Gives students an overview of the graphic arts industry. Covers various occupations including basic information for making career and education choices. Builds the foundation for continuing education in the graphic arts program. Includes historical, current and potential developments in the printing industry. Provides a comprehensive understanding of desktop publishing software and the steps related to producing printed materials.

THIRD SEMESTER:

Number Course Title Credits Category
FAS 201  F   3 Program Requirement

Description: Continues advanced development of creative designs using draping and basic sloper set. Patterns tested in muslin for fit and accuracy.

Prerequisite: FAS 102 with a grade of C or better.

FAS 230  F   3 Program Requirement

Description: Focuses on the social, economic, political and psychological forces that influence fashion. Research, recognize, and analyze predictive lifestyle and business trends that affect retail merchandising and marketing decisions. Introduces methods of forecasting fashion trends. Communicates and presents the forecast through creation of industry-based presentation material using current digital software.

MGT 150 3 Mathematics

Description: Introduces arithmetic as a tool of business. Topics include fractions, decimals and percentages, computations of interest, bank discounts, depreciation, commissions, compound interest, payrolls and taxes and graph and chart design. Students must score satisfactorily on a mathematics placement test prior to registering for this course.

Prerequisite: Placement options. Math_Placement_Grid.pdf

MGT 154 3 Program Requirement

Description: Investigates positives and negatives of entrepreneurship and the process of concept to new venture. Analyzes typical venture errors and focuses on strategic management. Evaluates business ownership and franchising, pricing strategies, financing, location selection and human capital management. Discovers personal leadership traits. Assesses the personal entrepreneurial mindset.

SPE 101 3 Communications

Description: Theory and practice of oral communications. Development of poise, confidence and skill in speech organization and delivery. Emphasis on frequent speaking, development of standards of criticism and selection and organization of material. IAI C2 900

FOURTH SEMESTER:

Number Course Title Credits Category
FAS 208  S   3 Program Requirement

Description: Introduces student to the PAD Pattern CAD/CAM Design System. Students learn the general technical terminology and CAD tools to create and modify patterns.

Prerequisite: FAS104 with a grade of C or better.

FAS 225  S   3 Program Requirement

Description: Defines global sourcing and provides an understanding of why and how companies participate in it. Explains how and where manufactured goods or components will be procured. Teaches that in today’s global soft goods industry, sourcing has become a major competitive strategy for both manufacturers and retailers.

FAS 229  S   3 Program Requirement

Description: Introduces various techniques and methods to sell fashion. Helps to synthesize a number of skills such as critical and creative thinking, negotiating, teamwork, delegating and communication skills. Students will gain recognition and be responsible for team effort that is involved in the production of a fashion show.

Humanities1 3 Humanities
Social and Behavioral Science1 3 Social and Behavioral Science

+ - This course meets the World Culture and Diversity graduation requirement.

1 - See full list of AAS General Education Electives.

Program learning outcomes

Students who successfully complete this program will be able to:

  • Apply appropriate terminology in construction, design, historical and technical areas.
  • Demonstrate mastery of design principles and elements.
  • Develop and execute illustrated designs in multiple techniques.
  • Execute design development in multiple fabrics and styles.
  • Apply both drafting and draping techniques in garment design.
  • Complete garment details with appropriate construction techniques.
  • Develop basic patterns using computer-aided design.
  • Demonstrate knowledge of fashion's response to cultural,scientific and technological advances.
  • Locate the resources necessary to determine current trends in color, silhouette and fabrics.
  • Demonstrate ability to work independently and/or as a member of a diverse team.

Related programs

Students interested in fashion design may also be interested in:

Resources

Next steps

For more information about earning a fashion design degree, contact Admission Outreach at 847.925.6700, or submit a request information form. You can also apply online.