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Fashion Design

Certificate

Certificate students learn the fundamentals of fashion design in one of the oldest and most respected programs in the country.

MassArt’s Fashion Design certificate program offers professional development for those looking to grow their skills and advance their careers. Students explore cultural and aesthetic trends, master technical skills, and identify their design voice throughout a series of individually directed projects.

Students in the program take a series of foundational courses that include pattern drafting, fashion illustration, tailoring, and couture design. Specialized courses offer an opportunity to explore digital textile design, sustainable fashion, Clo 3D apparel design, costume design, handbag design, and more. 

Classes are offered on a rotating schedule that allows participants to complete the certificate in two years. Applicants for the program must have earned a high school diploma and demonstrate knowledge and interest in fashion.

All Fashion Design certificate students take six required Foundation courses that cover fashion fundamentals. The elective courses offer options for either a Specialty or Technical Track in Fashion Design Certificate. All students must complete a Professional Portfolio course before receiving a certificate. Each course is on a rotating schedule, allowing students to complete the Fashion Design certificate in two years and one summer.

Required foundation coursesSemester offered
Introduction to Pattern DraftingFall
TailoringFall
Couture DesignSpring
Global Heritage of 20th Century Fashion and ArtFall
Introduction to Creative FashionSummer
Fashion IllustrationSpring
Professional Portfolio
Electives: Must Complete 3Semester offered
Digital Tools for Textile DesignFall
Textile Study + DesignSpring
Introduction to Clo 3D Apparel DesignFall
Fashion Industry ProductionSpring
Gerber – Digital Pattern MakingSpring
Millinery DesignSpring
Garment ConstructionSpring
Introduction to Costume DesignSummer
Digital Tools for Fashion DesignSummer
Handbag DesignSummer
Sustainable FashionSummer, Fall

The following grid is just a sampling of possible scenarios. Electives can be taken any semester. Required courses are only offered during the semesters as listed.

Scenario A – Fall Start
SemesterYear 1Year 2
FallPattern DraftingTailoring
Global Heritage of 20th Century Fashion and Art OR ElectiveGlobal Heritage of 20th Century Fashion and Art OR Elective
SpringCreative FashionCouture Design
ElectiveProfessional Portfolio
SummerFashion Illustration
Elective
Scenario B – Spring Start
SemesterYear 1Year 2Year 3
SpringCreative FashionCouture DesignProfessional Portfolio
ElectiveElective
SummerFashion Illustration
FallPattern DraftingTailoring
Global Heritage of 20th Century Fashion and Art OR ElectiveGlobal Heritage of 20th Century Fashion and Art OR Elective
Scenario C – Summer Start
SemesterYear 1Year 2
SummerFashion IllustrationElective
FallPattern DraftingTailoring
Global Heritage of 20th Century Fashion and Art OR ElectiveGlobal Heritage of 20th Century Fashion and Art OR Elective
SpringCreative FashionCouture Design
ElectiveProfessional Portfolio

Certificate Learning Outcomes

Students who complete the Fashion Design Certificate program are expected to be able to demonstrate the following learning outcomes.

Concept and Message

  • Produce innovative and original designs
  • Understand design elements: color, line, texture, silhouette
  • Use research to inform design development
  • Appreciation for historical reference

Personal Development

  • Understanding of the creative process
  • Build collaborative skills
  • Build verbal and written communication skills
  • Time management
  • Professionalism

Critical Thinking

  • Understanding of the creative process
  • Build collaborative skills
  • Build verbal and written communication skills
  • Time management
  • Professionalism

Technical Competency

  • Development and understanding of clothing construction and craft
  • Development and understanding of flat pattern drafting and draping techniques
  • Work effectively with industry standard software (Illustrator, Photoshop, Gerber)

Industry Awareness

  • Understanding apparel manufacturing and production procedures
  • Market understanding through category and customer
  • Connecting through internships and project collaborations
  • Social consciousness

Presentation

  • Create professional and organized presentations that reflect individual style
  • Effectively communicate two- and three-dimensional design
  • Produce accurate and detailed technical flat drawings by hand and computer
  • Produce a body of work: Apparel lines/collections and portfolio suitable for seeking professional opportunities
FAQs

There are a number of reasons to enter the Fashion Design Certificate program (FDC). Individual courses can help build an existing portfolio in fashion design or advance your skills in a particular area, but the FDC offers a comprehensive set of classes that address the industry as a whole and provides access to resources only available to certificate students.

The FDC will help you develop and hone your skills to showcase your creative design and technical ability in a final portfolio (the Portfolio course is only open to FDC students). FDC students can broaden their global understanding by participating in fashion directed travel courses that are offered through the undergraduate program. The FDC program provides you with access to advising support and networking, special events, email updates to inform you about opportunities and resources, and internships and access to job opportunities, all of which are not available to non-program students.

No. Although the program sequence enables students to take 2 courses each fall and spring, and 2 courses during the summer between the first and second year, there is flexibility for students who do not wish to do so. Your advisor will work with you to plan your program in a way that works for your life schedule and time constraints.

You must be registered for at least 6 credits to qualify for a student loan.

Learn More

Up to 6 credits (2 courses) taken pre-program can be counted towards the Fashion Design Certificate. Grades must be C or higher to count towards certificate completion.

Ready to enroll in our program?
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621 Huntington Ave,
Boston, MA 02115

(617) 879-7000