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
During 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.
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
Home 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.
If you have completed college credits after graduation from high school, then you are considered a transfer student.
The following factors are considered in the review of transfer applications:
- Minimum cumulative GPA of 2.00; preferred minimum cumulative GPA of 2.80.
- Grade patterns over time - overall GPA, term GPA, and number of withdrawals.
- Presence of any major-related courses and grades in those courses.
- An especially challenging pattern of coursework. If fewer than 26 college credits completed at the time of application, high school record and test scores will be considered for review.
- Space in the major. Note: some majors are more competitive than others.
- Extenuating circumstances. Please explain any grades or academic patterns in a letter of circumstance submitted with your admissions application. Include information about why you are a good fit for the major to which you are applying.
Undergraduate degree in Apparel Design from the University of Minnesota:
Program Type: Baccalaureate
Required credits to graduate with this degree: 120
Required credits within the major:77 to 82
Degree: Bachelor of Science
Only completed applications will be reviewed for admission into the College of Design. The transfer application checklist provides details on the application requirements.
If you have questions, call the Office of Admissions at 612-625-2008 or 1-800-752-1000.
Please note that while the programs admit for spring, studio sequencing for Pre-Architecture, Pre-Apparel, and Pre-Interior Design only begin in the fall term.
Transferring Courses and Submitting Studio Work for Review:
Use the Transferology system to see how transfer courses from other schools may fulfill U of M liberal education requirements. After admission, the Office of Admissions reviews a student's transfer coursework to determine transferability of credit as elective and/or liberal education requirements. For classes not listed in Transferology, or on the regional transfer guides at right, admitted students can submit course materials to be reviewed by faculty for transferability into a Design major.
The apparel design courses are strictly sequenced over four years regardless of how many or what types of major-related courses were completed prior to the term of admission. It is not common for a faculty to approve major-related transfer coursework for from another school.
If you would like to submit transfer studio courses for review to meet major (versus liberal education) requirements please contact Lizzy Eischens to receive access to upload your work for faculty review to determine transferability. Students who wish to submit transfer studio work for review in lieu of requirements must do so after admission to the program.
At the end of your first year in the program the faculty will review your portfolio. You must pass portfolio review of your first year work in order to continue on with your coursework and complete the degree.Portfolio review is a way to evaluate a your design ability and knowledge of design concepts based on work from the foundation-level courses. Portfolio review assures that you have acquired an understanding of essential design knowledge and are prepared to move on to more advanced coursework.