Fashion Design Degree

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.

A.A.S. degree program plans

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 basic principles of apparel construction techniques. Course projects require the use of industrial sewing equipment. Presents instruction in basic sewing techniques and their application to garment construction. (NOTE: Final project should be completed to participate in the annual department Little Black Dress competition.)

Class Schedule:  Summer 2020 | Fall 2020

FAS 101 3 Program Requirement

Description: Introduces the principles of patternmaking through drafting basic block and pattern manipulation. Working from the flat pattern, students will apply these techniques to the creation of a garment design. Accuracy and professional standards stressed. Pattern tested in muslin for fit. Final garment will go through the annual jury to participate in the annual department fashion show.

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

Class Schedule:  Summer 2020 | Fall 2020

FAS 105  F   3 Program Requirement

DescriptionThis course is only offered in the fall term.

Introduces basic and advanced techniques in rendering the fashion figure, garments, details, and textiles using various media with a focus on application of color and texture. Students will begin to develop a personal illustrative style. Students will be introduced to technical drawing and flat sketches for use in spec sheets, presentations, and story boards.

Class Schedule:  Summer 2020 | Fall 2020

FAS 107 3 Program Requirement

Description: Explores natural and manufactured fibers, their production, uses, and characteristics. Includes discussion of yarns, fabrics, finishes, design methods, aesthetic applications, and ordering specifications. Emphasizes traditional techniques as well as advancements in technology utilized in the textile industry.

Class Schedule:  Summer 2020 | Fall 2020

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.

Class Schedule:  Summer 2020 | Fall 2020

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. Final garment will go through the annual jury to participate in the annual department fashion show.

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

Corequisite: FAS 113

Class Schedule:  Summer 2020 | Fall 2020

FAS 104  S   3 Program Requirement

DescriptionThis course is only offered in the spring term.

Develops patterns from basic sloper set. Actual construction of finished garments to be shown at the annual department fashion show. Emphasis on styling, fit, and professional finishing.

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

Class Schedule:  Summer 2020 | Fall 2020

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.

Class Schedule:  Summer 2020 | Fall 2020

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.

Class Schedule:  Summer 2020 | Fall 2020

Mathematics1 3 AAS General Education

SUMMER SESSION:

Number Course Title Credits Category
ENG 101 3 AAS General Education

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.

Class Schedule:  Summer 2020 | Fall 2020

Social and Behavioral Science2 3 AAS General Education

THIRD SEMESTER:

Number Course Title Credits Category
FAS 109  F   3 Program Requirement

DescriptionThis course is only offered in the fall term.

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 to be shown at the annual department fashion show. Studies the influence of present-day cultural trends in the field of design.

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

Class Schedule:  Summer 2020 | Fall 2020

FAS 201  F   3 Program Requirement

DescriptionThis course is only offered in the fall term.

Continues advanced development of creative design process through basic draping techniques on industry standard dress forms. Final garments will go through the annual jury to participate in the annual department fashion show.

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

Class Schedule:  Summer 2020 | Fall 2020

GRA 101 3 Program Requirement

Description: Provides students an overview of past, present and future graphic arts processes including graphic applications for design/layout, imaging, photography, prepress, print and finishing. Direction is provided on occupations in the Graphic Arts industry and the use of digital applications related to producing print materials. Provides a hands-on understanding of desktop publishing software through lab and lecture.

Class Schedule:  Summer 2020 | Fall 2020

Humanities3 3 AAS General Education

FOURTH SEMESTER:

Number Course Title Credits Category
FAS 204  S   4 Program Requirement

DescriptionThis course is only offered in the spring term.

Works on collection of individual design and actual construction of coordinated garments. This capstone course requirement includes garment entry and participation in annual department fashion show.

Prerequisite: FAS 201 with grades of C or better.

Class Schedule:  Summer 2020 | Fall 2020

FAS 208  S   3 Program Requirement

DescriptionThis course is only offered in the spring term.

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.

Class Schedule:  Summer 2020 | Fall 2020

FAS 210  S   3 Program Requirement

DescriptionThis course is only offered in the spring term.

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

Prerequisite: FAS 105 and GRA 101 with grades of C or better.

Class Schedule:  Summer 2020 | Fall 2020

Humanities3 3 AAS General Education

+ - 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 - See full list of AAS General Education Electives.

3 - ART 105 is recommended.

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 AAS General Education

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.

Class Schedule:  Summer 2020 | Fall 2020

FAS 100 3 Program Requirement

Description: Introduces students to basic principles of apparel construction techniques. Course projects require the use of industrial sewing equipment. Presents instruction in basic sewing techniques and their application to garment construction. (NOTE: Final project should be completed to participate in the annual department Little Black Dress competition.)

Class Schedule:  Summer 2020 | Fall 2020

FAS 101 3 Program Requirement

Description: Introduces the principles of patternmaking through drafting basic block and pattern manipulation. Working from the flat pattern, students will apply these techniques to the creation of a garment design. Accuracy and professional standards stressed. Pattern tested in muslin for fit. Final garment will go through the annual jury to participate in the annual department fashion show.

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

Class Schedule:  Summer 2020 | Fall 2020

FAS 107 3 Program Requirement

Description: Explores natural and manufactured fibers, their production, uses, and characteristics. Includes discussion of yarns, fabrics, finishes, design methods, aesthetic applications, and ordering specifications. Emphasizes traditional techniques as well as advancements in technology utilized in the textile industry.

Class Schedule:  Summer 2020 | Fall 2020

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.

Class Schedule:  Summer 2020 | Fall 2020

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. Final garment will go through the annual jury to participate in the annual department fashion show.

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

Corequisite: FAS 113

Class Schedule:  Summer 2020 | Fall 2020

FAS 104  S   3 Program Requirement

DescriptionThis course is only offered in the spring term.

Develops patterns from basic sloper set. Actual construction of finished garments to be shown at the annual department fashion show. Emphasis on styling, fit, and professional finishing.

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

Class Schedule:  Summer 2020 | Fall 2020

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.

Class Schedule:  Summer 2020 | Fall 2020

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.

Class Schedule:  Summer 2020 | Fall 2020

GRA 101 3 Program Requirement

Description: Provides students an overview of past, present and future graphic arts processes including graphic applications for design/layout, imaging, photography, prepress, print and finishing. Direction is provided on occupations in the Graphic Arts industry and the use of digital applications related to producing print materials. Provides a hands-on understanding of desktop publishing software through lab and lecture.

Class Schedule:  Summer 2020 | Fall 2020

THIRD SEMESTER:

Number Course Title Credits Category
ENT 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.

Class Schedule:  Summer 2020 | Fall 2020

FAS 201  F   3 Program Requirement

DescriptionThis course is only offered in the fall term.

Continues advanced development of creative design process through basic draping techniques on industry standard dress forms. Final garments will go through the annual jury to participate in the annual department fashion show.

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

Class Schedule:  Summer 2020 | Fall 2020

FAS 230  F   3 Program Requirement

DescriptionThis course is only offered in the fall term.

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.

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

Class Schedule:  Summer 2020 | Fall 2020

MGT 150 3 AAS General Education

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

Class Schedule:  Summer 2020 | Fall 2020

SPE 101 3 AAS General Education

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

Prerequisite: Placement into ENG 101 ENG_Placement_Grid.pdf

Class Schedule:  Summer 2020 | Fall 2020

FOURTH SEMESTER:

Number Course Title Credits Category
FAS 208  S   3 Program Requirement

DescriptionThis course is only offered in the spring term.

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.

Class Schedule:  Summer 2020 | Fall 2020

FAS 225  S   3 Program Requirement

DescriptionThis course is only offered in the spring term.

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.

Class Schedule:  Summer 2020 | Fall 2020

FAS 229  S   3 Program Requirement

DescriptionThis course is only offered in the spring term.

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.

Class Schedule:  Summer 2020 | Fall 2020

Humanities1 3 AAS General Education
Social and Behavioral Science1 3 AAS General Education

+ - 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.

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