Freshman Admissions

Apparel Design

student hemming dressPrepare to use your intellect, creative thinking, and eye for style in the Bachelor of Science (B.S.) apparel design program at the University of Minnesota Twin Cities.

In this program, you will develop hands-on experience in all aspects of the apparel industry, from costume design and mass-market clothing, to wearable technology and product development. With a core of dedicated, world-renowned faculty to guide you, and a curriculum that focuses on the leading edge of apparel design, you will put your creative, critical, and technical thinking into action and learn the practice of taking a garment from concept to finished product.

Developing Your Design Vision

You will begin your design-focused studies on day one, starting the exciting work that will shape your skills in progressive apparel design areas, such as virtual 3D garments and domestic manufacturing.

Your course of study will focus on the textile and clothing product development process. This includes design, production, and marketing and integrates academic coursework, technical training, and the study of consumer needs and business principles. You will have access to leading-edge technology and exposure to the latest developments in apparel design. With a compelling group of courses tied to real-world experiences, you will be challenged to grow and develop your own distinct design approach. Your courses may include:

  • Apparel Assembly Fundamentals
  • In this hands-on learning course, you will gain the skills to understand patterns and the construction process—and put your skills into action by completing garments of your own. You will create apparel and assemble a book of samples that you will use throughout your course of study.

  • Apparel Design Studio I
  • How do two-dimensional patterns really fit the three-dimensional body? Develop original patterns and begin to understand the best practices for successfully taking a garment from concept and production to finished product.

  • Textile Analysis
  • Here’s where you really get to know your material! Every textile works differently in a design—and how it functions directly affects the appearance of your garments. Evaluate fibers, structures, and finishes to learn how to select textiles that ensure optimal performance and style.

Bringing Your Apparel Design Learning to Life

student and mannequinDuring your third year in the program, you will begin the process of creating your own original line of garments, which will be showcased in an annual Fashion Show. Additionally, a professional mentor will work with you to create plans for career exploration, experiential learning, networking, and skill building.

You will complete an internship before graduation, giving you on-the-job experience and the opportunity to make industry contacts. College of Design students have interned at exciting places like Zac Posen, Polo Ralph Lauren, Christopher and Banks, Target, and Juicy Couture. Many students go on to full-time employment with the company that sponsored their internship.

Study Abroad

You will have the opportunity to extend your apparel design education globally through study 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.

Twin Cities Design Pathways: Making Connections: Your U of M Advantage

students at a table talkingHome to a dynamic design community, the Twin Cities of Minneapolis and St. Paul offer an active and thriving professional laboratory. As a U of M student, you will be able to access countless networking opportunities thanks to the University’s strong ties with large and small design corporations in this thriving metropolitan area.

Your exposure to national and local companies focusing on both the fashion and function sides of apparel design will offer excellent experience and connections for building your professional design network. Graduates enter the design world in a variety of roles, from creative manager and assistant designer, to production manager and wearable tech engineer.

Your apparel design career starts now with a progressive program designed for your success.

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Explore Other Design Majors:
Architecture (BDA, BS)
Graphic Design (BFA)
Interior Design (BS)
Landscape Design and Planning (BED)
Product Design (BS)
Retail Merchandising (BS)

Student Quote:

“There are so many opportunities at the U that prepared me to be successful in my future career: The Career and Internship Services Center that helped with my resume and interviewing skills; the apparel faculty, my industry mentor, and my apparel design classes that have helped me create a great portfolio; my academic advisor and the Learning Abroad Center that helped me find a fabulous study abroad opportunity; and the College of Design internship grant that I received that allowed me to afford to live in New York during my internship at J. Mendel."

Lee Tran,
Apparel Design