About Apparel Design

Students wearing fashions designed by apparel students walking the runway at the Apparel Design senior fashion show

Studying in our apparel programs means blending theory and practice to understand how textiles and apparel products relate to human behavior and design processes. In our research-oriented curricula, you will develop and build on strong foundational knowledge of the textile and clothing development process, from design to production and marketing. Your creative, critical, and technical thinking skills will be put into action as you engage with a variety of projects and portfolio development.

Degree Options

Our undergraduate apparel design program and design graduate program apparel studies track offer you the opportunity to bring a special focus to your studies. At the undergraduate level, you will choose from three tracks: fashion design, technical design, or fashion and technical design. Research concentrations at the graduate level include topics of sustainability, aesthetics, wearable technology, apparel history and culture, consumer behavior, and more.

Apparel Design student working on a garment in the studio
What Students Say

“Going into the program, it was hard for me to get past thinking about apparel design as superficial. But through my class experiences, I’ve seen the true power of design, Having professors who cared about my journey really made a difference. They set me up with a mentor who helped me incorporate my passion for social justice in my projects.”

—Quinessa Stibbins (BS, Apparel Design)

“My time at the University of Minnesota’s College of Design has been extremely valuable both for my career goals and my personal development. As a student in the area of apparel studies, I had the opportunity to expand my knowledge and skill set in research and teaching for my field.”

 —Mary Alice Casto (Ph.D., Apparel Studies Track)

Career Possibilities
Research and Creative Scholarship

From developing dynamic compression garments for NASA spacesuits, to studying the relationship between design and sustainability, our faculty pursue a wide range of research interests. With our faculty as your guides, you will be encouraged to pursue your own research projects and to discover the varied ways apparel design functions in real-world settings.

Through our research centers and labs, you will have access to interdisciplinary research focused on how apparel and new technology intersect. You will put your creative flair, critical thinking, and technical skills into action and use dynamic, cutting-edge technologies like garment simulation software and 3D body scanning to develop your designs.

Apparel Design in the Twin Cities

Industry connections and community

Enmeshed in the Twin Cities’ design community, our faculty, research, and programs give you access to unique resources and connections. As a student you will connect with members of the local and national design industry through class projects, studio tours, and programs like our College of Design Mentor Program. Twin Cities events like Fashion Week MN are perfect opportunities to make industry connections, while the many Fortune 500 companies headquartered in Minneapolis and St. Paul ensure that our graduates enter the field with a wide range of employment opportunities.

At the College of Design, you get the accessibility of a small college with the resources and opportunities of a large research university. Our small class sizes and low faculty-to-student ratio mean you will enjoy individual attention from professors and mentors and become part of a tight-knit community of apparel design students and alumni across the country.

Meet Our Faculty and Staff

From developing dynamic compression garments for NASA spacesuits, to studying the relationship between design and sustainability, our faculty pursue a wide range of research interests.

Professor Linsey Griffen working with an Apparel Design student in the computer lab