About the program
Students in our Bachelor of Science program develop a broad view of apparel design and are prepared for professional leadership opportunities. You will learn to use the design process to develop wearable products for real bodies and real people while focusing on sustainability. From the runway to space travel, ready-to-wear, or costume design, our program can be tailored to support your individual interests and talents. Our courses emphasize both creative and technical studio work and cover the social, economic, and historical aspects of apparel.
Part of your studies will include industry projects and service learning opportunities, where you will be challenged to integrate product knowledge with consumer needs and business constraints. A small, close-knit studio environment means you'll work closely with faculty and classmates throughout your degree. In addition to your classes, a required internship will give you the professional experience necessary to jumpstart your career. Each of these experiences will help you create a collection to exhibit at the annual senior fashion show, which marks the completion of your degree.
Upon graduating from apparel design, you will be prepared for a variety of careers. Our alumni work in product development and quality assurance for large retail companies, start their own clothing lines, act as product designers for small and large manufacturers, create protective clothing and wearable technology, and more.
The purpose of the required internship is to provide you with an opportunity to work in a professional environment under the guidance of design professionals. It is an important transition step between your education and your professional career. The most commonly requested time to do your for-credit internship is during your junior (third) year or the following summer, when you are likely to have completed ADES 3227 Technical Design Studio and ADES 3224W Apparel Design Studio IV. Completion of three to four apparel design studio courses, along with their respective prerequisites, should prepare you to do well in the workplace and give you the necessary background to learn as much as possible while doing your internship.
Since 1968, apparel design students at the University of Minnesota have presented their final projects in the annual Apparel Design Senior Fashion Show. You will begin to develop your collection during the spring semester of your junior year and work with industry mentors to focus your research, inspiration, and find your target audience. Production of your collection begins the fall of your senior year, with the final show at the beginning of spring semester senior year.
Together each senior class decides on their show’s title and helps to organize the event. Each year the students’ clothing lines draw hundreds of fashion industry professionals, students, family, and friends to the show, creating an opportunity for you to engage with the larger fashion community. See work from previous fashion shows here.
You will have the opportunity to extend your apparel design education globally through learning abroad programs in fashion hubs such as London, Florence, and Sydney. You can also elect to participate in short-term study tours to New York or various international destinations. These experiences will expand your creative vision and build a worldwide fashion perspective that will give you an edge in the marketplace.
The centralized online application will guide you through the necessary materials and steps.