Best Online Fashion Schools In USA | Cost Requirements, Programs

Everyone wants to represent the latest trend by getting things which are considered fashionable. But, only a few people know the creativity behind fashion.

“Fashion is very important. It is life-enhancing and, like everything that gives pleasure, it is worth doing well.” — Vivienne WestwoodDiane von.

If you can spot fashion trends, you can simply turn your creative ideas into use by attending a good fashion school.

Moreover, getting a fashion degree is very easy these days as most fashion schools feature distant learning options allowing you to learn the skills you need at your pace and comfort.

What should be your next line of thought is how to get started but, you don’t have to worry about that. You can learn right in this article how to start a fashion career to benefit you.

What Is Fashion?

Fashion is simply the way things are made or done at a particular time especially in clothing, footwear, lifestyle, accessories, and makeup. For instance, the hairstyle trend in the past decades was a quick bob and afro but it has changed to a longer style with curls.

Just a few years ago, a woman could wear a layer of plain linen underneath her dress but in recent times, women rarely put on pants. It’s so amazing how fashion evolves overnight.

Do you know the people behind this sudden evolution? The fashion designers of course!

These professionals work within a wide range of materials, colours, patterns, and styles. They adopt the use of modern technology and that helps improve their business greatly.

Why Online Fashion Schools?

In the past years, fashion was just about wearing clothes that were made from synthetically dyed fabrics, and fixed with a sewing machine. Anyone with a passion for style would easily make cloths.

Today, the fashion industry uses computer software to create sketches and make designs for clothes, accessories, and shoes.

Only individuals who possess certain skills and entrepreneurial spirit can shine in the industry. So, if you want to be a leader in this field, enrol in a good fashion school.

Apparently, fashion designers who attend fashion schools are knowledgeable about technologies, and this often opens the door for a bigger opportunity in the industry and leads to higher salaries, as they are best positioned for growth.

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the 2015 median income of a fashion designer is $63,670 per year.

Additionally, an online fashion school will prepare you to gain employment in creative or technical fields in the fashion industry at the corporate level, emerging small business level, or in entrepreneurship as a fashion-based start-up.

What Skills Do I Need as A Fashion Designer?

To become a successful fashion designer, you need business skills to help you stay within your budget and market your product.

Some top qualities of a fashion designer include but not limited to the following;

  • Artistic ability: you must be able to sketch your initial design ideas and use them to create prototypes of your clothing.
  • Detail-oriented: As a Fashion designer, pay attention to details that can make a design successful
  • Computer skills: You need to know how to use computer-aided design (CAD) programs and be familiar with any graphics editing software. This will help you improve your designs.
  • Communication: you need to communicate an idea to your team with retailers in order to pitch your designs.
  • Creativity: This very important. You must be highly creative in order to create top-notch designs that are unique, stylish, and functional.
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What Can I Do With My Online Fashion Degree?

The fashion industry is very broad and therefore offers a wide range of career opportunities for individuals. Some career paths that can come from this degree are;

  • Fashion designer
  • Fashion illustrator
  • Textile designer
  • Fashion photographer
  • Retail buyer
  • Merchandiser
  • Fashion and public relations writer

How Much Does It Cost To Enroll In An Online Fashion School?

The cost of enrolling in an online fashion program varies by school. A school with a higher number of the program is bound to charge higher compared with a school with few programs.

In summary, the average total cost of getting a fashion and design degree online can range from $10,000 to $50,000.

How Long Does It Take To Complete An Online Fashion School?

The time to complete an online fashion program depends on a few factors. First is the program type; whether students enrol part-time or full-time.

In general, full-time students graduate from fashion programs in four years, while completion times for part-time depends on the students.

Additionally, you have to understand that the duration of your online courses lies in your power.

A fashion Designer can apply for a Costume Design Scholarship Program in the United States

Online Fashion Classes – How It Works

Basically, online education uses the Learning Management System LMS method which includes the use of Blackboard, Canvas, and Moodle, which provides an accessible exchange of information between instructors and students.

During online classes, you receive your study materials, lectures, and assignments via email or some kind of file transfer system. You submit course assignments through LMS by posting on discussion forums and submitting tasks through applicable links.

Another option for online classes involves the use of an online proctoring service. This helps to monitor students as they work.

It also permits degree candidates to take assessments away from campus and also provides schools with confidence that students honestly earned their grades. If you exhibit any form of cheating or malpractice, the service may alert the school.

Best Online Fashion Schools?

Below is a list of fashion schools in the US arranged in no particular order.

These schools feature online fashion programs at the undergraduate and graduate levels. They offer programs and concentrations that will give you an excellent foundation upon which you can build practical skills in fashion.

Our criteria for selection of these schools are rankings & reputations, accreditation, No. of fashion programs, tuition, and other relevant factors.

We got our data through testimonials, reviews and by contacting individual schools.

  • Academy of Art University
  • Central Michigan University
  • Lindenwood University
  • Northwood University-Michigan
  • Framingham State University
  • Johnson & Wales University
  • Liberty University
  • Southern New Hampshire University

#1. Academy of Art University

Tuition: ‎$24,664
National Association of Schools of Art and Design
No. of Programs:

Academy of Art University is an accredited online fashion school and of course one of the best. If you are seeking a career as fashion professionals, AAU should be the first place on your mind.

As an online fashion student, you work with some expert instructors to gain hands-on training and real-world industry expertise just like the on-campus students.

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What makes this school stand out is the support they give to students. AAU provides financial help to students.

According to data on the school website shows that they have helped over 45 thousand aspiring artists and designers pursue their educational goals.

With all these outstanding qualities, every aspiring fashion designer will definitely want to choose AAU.

#2. Central Michigan University

Tuition: $23,670
No. of Programs:
Higher Learning Commission

Central Michigan University is a top-ranked and highly recommended fashion school. This school offers six fashion design programs and award degrees at levels.

The program features aesthetic & functional design, marketing & retailing of apparel and textiles. The program curriculum integrates distant learning options that allow students to learn some or all of their courses online.

 In fact, as a student of its fashion school, you will learn how to position yourself for jobs in the design, production, and distribution of apparel and textile products.

The graduate program at CMU covers key concepts in apparel design, buying, store management, visual merchandising, product development, and more.​​

#3. Lindenwood University

Tuition: $16,960
No. of programs:

Lindenwood University offers a bachelor of science in Fashion Business and Entrepreneurship. The school is accredited and recognized as one of the best online fashion design schools.

Studying fashion and design in Lindenwood is really worth it. You’ll learn how to bring the latest styles and trends to the runway and also manage a successful business built in the fashion industry.

At the end of your program, you will gain the managerial and economic skills that you need to thrive as an entrepreneur. 

#4. Northwood University-Michigan

Tuition: $26,080
No. of Program:

Northwood awards a degree in Fashion Marketing & Management. This major immerses students in the world of fashion from every angle.

Students learn not only how to use raw materials in design and production but also the important business side of the industry.

If you want to learn how to succeed in retail promotion, visual merchandising, and pricing, Northwood is the best place.

Also, at Northwood, you will learn how to manage a business, whether you want to start your own fashion business at a major retailer or design house.

#5. Framingham State University

Tuition: $16,000
No. of programs:

Another top-ranked fashion school is Framingham State University FSU. This school awards a Bachelor of Science Degree in Fashion Design and Retailing.

The curriculum features one fashion program and two core concentrations in Apparel Design or Merchandising.

Students can prepare for a career as a fashion designer, retail buyer, technical designer, retail merchandising analyst, product developer, retail manager, patternmaker, and many others.

#6. Johnson & Wales University

Tuition: $13,365
No. of Programs:

Johnson & Wales University offers a 100% online program that prepares students for a career in fashion and design. The course curriculum is very flexible; This means that you can attend all your classes right in the comfort of your home at your convenience.

The program features fashion and retail concepts in areas such as merchandise buying, visual merchandising, and fashion marketing.

At JWU, you can participate in experiential education, which gives you real-world exposure? In fact, there is a lot to learn from this fashion school.

Upon graduation, you will be prepared for entry-level fashion in a wide variety of merchandising careers. Isn’t that interesting?

#7. Liberty University

Tuition: $390 per hour
No. of Programs:

We cannot complete the list of best online fashion design schools without Liberty University making the top 10.

This school offers a flexible online fashion merchandising degree and allows you to gain access to the training without commuting to a physical campus.

In fact, you’ll complete an internship in your area that will give you the real-world experience you need to be career-ready.

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Upon graduation, you will gain hands-on experience that will prepare you to enter the field with confidence.

#8. Southern New Hampshire University

Tuition: $320/credit
Accreditation Commission of Business School and Programs
No. of programs:

Southern New Hampshire University(SNHU) fashion merchandising degree online courses are taught by industry experts working in the field.

This school features small class sizes giving students the opportunity to interact one-on-one with instructors who understand how style, business, and technology intersect.

Upon graduation from SNHU, you won’t only learn fashion, you will also gain powerful skills in communication, problem-solving, writing, and analysis.

Are There Professional Organizations For Fashion Designers In the US?

Do you know being a part of a professional association can be beneficial to you as a Fashion Designer? This is very necessary especially if you are freshly out of fashion school or a prospective fashion designer looking to launch your career.

These associations offer not only continuing education opportunities but connect you to top networking events, where you can gain networking opportunities.


The ITAA was established to promote excellence, scholarship, and innovation in the fashion merchandising field.

Through this organization, you can have access to networking events, the ITAA journal, and other publications.


The FIA organizes fashion industry meetups across the globe. The organization provides a directory for members searching for specific opportunities in specific places.


The AAPN advocates for sourcing and producing apparel products in America. The network operates its headquarters in Atlanta and has branches across North, Central, and South America and in Asia and Europe.


The IACDE was set up to bring together talented fashion executives by hosting global conventions and forming local chapters, which offer events and programming to support executives.

Most Nigerians will prefer to attend Fashion Schools in Lagos

How Much Do Fashion Designers Make?

Fashion designers are among the top-paid professionals. In the US, Maryland, New York, and Texas offer the highest-paying salaries. The average annual income for fashion designers in US is about $67,420.

However, if you become a Creative Director of a well-known fashion brand, you can earn up to $135,490. 

Fashion and Design Job Outlook

According to recent data, there are about 23,100 current job openings in this field, and growth is expected to continue at about 3 percent a year.

Additionally, BLS projects that employment of fashion designers to show little or no change from 2018 to 2028. 

With the information above, one can conclude that the fashion industry has a bright future.


Fashion designers handle the entire creative process that goes into clothing from sketching to finished garment. With a degree in fashion from one of the best fashion schools in our list, you can develop your creative skills while gaining the practical tools needed to excel in the fashion industry.

Online Fashion Schools-Frequently Asked Questions

How much does it cost to enroll in an online fashion school?

The average total cost is $30,000

How much do fashion designers earn?

An average annual income for fashion designers was $73,790 in May 2019 according to BLS.

How can i succeed as a fashion designer?

To succeed in fashion industry, you need artistic ability, good communication skills, computer skills, and many other fashion skills.


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