5 Best Grad Schools with Online Master’s in Fashion in 2023

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Those seeking expert-level knowledge and skills in a specific subject area, like Fashion, must pursue a master’s degree.

Enrolling in a master’s degree program in fashion will help students advance their creative skills and, at the same time, gain new knowledge and skills that will make career advancement easier to reach. An advanced degree in fashion will also allow learners to explore the fashion sector deeper, including its social, economic, ethical, cultural, and ecological aspects.

Most master’s degrees in Fashion strongly emphasize preparing students for their future careers, including completing practical projects for them to gain professional experience. Furthermore, graduate students will choose a specialization, such as fashion styling, fashion photography, or fashion design.

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Several colleges and universities in the United States offer online Master’s in Fashion degree programs. Students can pursue advanced education through online or distance learning without attending campus-based classes. Students are guaranteed to get the same quality of instruction because they can communicate with their professors electronically via e-mail, videoconferencing, instant messaging, bulletin boards, and other computer-based interactions.


To ensure that students get the highest quality of education when pursuing a master’s degree in Fashion, it pays to look into certain criteria. We help you make that choice!

Our list of the best grad schools offering the Online Master’s in Fashion program was put together with a high-quality education in mind. Each graduate program and graduate school stands out with these academic features:

  • Facilitates classes in an online learning or blended format, allowing professionals to pursue a graduate program in Fashion while keeping their careers,
  • Features rigorous coursework highlighting the principles and theories in Fashion while also utilizing the latest trends, applications, and practices,
  • Produces graduates with advanced knowledge of the field and possesses soft skills required of Fashion professionals,
  • Taught by instructors with impressive credentials as Fashion professionals, backed by years of relevant experience and contribution to the fashion industry,
  • Offers financial assistance to eligible Master’s in Fashion students,
  • Properly accredited by agencies that are considered authorities in the industry, such as the National Association of Schools of Art and Design (NASAD) and the Accreditation Council for Business Schools and Programs (ACBSP),
  • Recognized by industry associations that help forward Fashion as an industry.

Check out our Methodology page for details.

5 Best Online Master’s in Fashion Graduate Schools

Academy of Art University

Academy of Art University

San Francisco, CA

Master of Fine Arts in Fashion Design

Academy of Art University’s School of Fashion offers a Master of Fine Arts in Fashion Design. Its curriculum comprises courses that will enhance students’ knowledge of industry standards by mastering the latest digital tools and design excellence.

  • Develop a portfolio targeted to a specific market segment to demonstrate their advanced level of achievement.
  • Design collections to showcase their sophisticated knowledge and skills of advanced fashion design and technical skills.
  • Research to build a visual story and enhance their creative concept.
  • Demonstrate their deep understanding of their target markets.
  • Use traditional and digital media to create 2D images that will communicate their design ideas.
  • Execute conceptual, technical, and aesthetic decisions based on their profound understanding of art and design principles.
  • Collaborate with other creatives to produce astounding projects.

Standout Features of the Academy of Art University’s Master of Fine Arts in Fashion Design Program:

The Academy of Art University’s School of Fashion is one of the top fashion design schools all over the globe. It offers degree options that take students beyond fashion design and into all the other aspects of the industry, including communications, styling, visual merchandising, marketing, and product development. With a degree or certificate from this university, students will have an edge over their competition because of the all-encompassing education and training they provide.

This school has an annual fashion show that features sustainably designed collections showcasing the designs of their fashion design students, emphasizing corporate social responsibility.

Did You Know?

The Academy of Art University accepts financial aid, including PELL Grant, Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant (FSEOG), Federal Work-Study Program, Direct Parent PLUS Loans, Direct Stafford Loans, and veterans benefits. It also accepts California Grants and Alternative Education Loans.

Iowa State University

Iowa State University - College of Human Sciences

Ames, IA

Online Master of Science in Apparel, Merchandising, and Design

Iowa State University’s online Master of Science in Apparel, Merchandising, and Design advances students’ knowledge and extends their research and creative scholarship to give them a closer look at issues in the industry, including sustainability, customer buying behavior, and outsourcing. This also gives students various opportunities to publish research and creativity with world-class faculty members.

  • Offered in a hybrid learning format, students must attend one or two short on-campus sessions for residency requirements and other credits completed virtually.
  • Use appropriate methods for creative/research activity.
  • Demonstrate a multi-disciplinary perspective that’s relevant to the field.
  • Integrate, evaluate, and assimilate creative/research activity in the discipline of interest and other relevant disciplines.
  • Build a program of creative/research activity that uniquely contributes to the field of study.

Standout Features of Iowa State University’s Master of Science in Apparel, Merchandising, and Design Program:

Iowa State University offers apparel, merchandising, and design students a concurrent degree program wherein learners can quickly complete a bachelor’s degree alongside a master’s degree in their 4th year and beyond. This allows students to finish their education in as little as 5 to 5.5 years.

Students who choose the concurrent degree program may be eligible to apply as teaching or research assistants, providing them with partial tuition scholarship, medical/dental insurance, or stipend.

Did You Know?

Iowa State University offers graduate scholarships, fellowships, and assistantships to students with superior scholastic records and excellent potential. Additionally, students can apply for eligibility for other scholarships or fellowships from the American Association of Family and Consumer Services, Kappa Omicron Nu Honor Society, and Phi Upsilon Omicron Honor Society.

It also has the George A. Jackson Award, which provides financial assistance to U.S. citizens who belong to ethnic groups that are underrepresented in higher education.

Savannah College of Art and Design


Savannah, GA

Master of Fine Arts in Fashion

Savannah College of Art and Design (SCAD) aims to help students design their original collections and career path through its Master of Fine Arts in Fashion degree program. Through this degree, students can master new trends, technologies, and markets alongside mentorships from renowned fashion insiders and experienced faculty members.

  • Provide students access to prime design resources, major fashion events, and runway shows.
  • Immerse students in inspiration from iconic personalities in fashion, such as Vivienne Westwood, Carolina Herrera, Guo Pei, Pierre Cardin, and Daniel Lismore, through its annual shows and events.
  • Collaborate with global brands to create astonishing looks through the university’s in-house design studio.
  • Give students access to the latest technology, premium tools, and comprehensive resources to provide them with more opportunities to hone their crafts.

Standout Features of Savannah College of Art and Design’s Master of Fine Arts in Fashion Program:

SCAD’s fashion degree program has ranked top for its teaching quality, alumni accessibility, student satisfaction and preparedness, graduation rates, and university resources.

Fashion students at SCAD will also get valuable insights from fashion insiders and critics worldwide. Plus, they can apply for internships at Nordstrom, Vogue, or Chanel or design for big names in Hollywood, including Lizzo, Lady Gaga, and Taylor Swift.

Did You Know?

This university is one of the institutions with the most wins at the YMA Fashion Scholarship Fund Awards, helping students pay for their tuition, housing, or study abroad expenses. Students of its master’s degree in fashion have been finalists for the Council of Fashion Designers of America (CFDA) Vogue Fashion Fund and Supima Design Competition.

The New School – Parsons School of Design

The New School – Parsons School of Design

New York, NY

Master of Fine Arts in Fashion Design and Society

The New School – Parsons School of Design offers the Master of Fine Arts in Fashion Design and Society program. It is the first graduate program in the country with a curriculum that helps students become world-class designers with a global understanding of fashion.

  • Enable students to make professional and conceptual substantive contributions to fashion design.
  • Complete major projects to articulate design identity and refine visual language in media, including essays, photography, fragrance, ephemera, performance, and film.
  • Work on studio-based projects that combine exploration of ecological, social, and economic phenomena with research to investigate fashion as a crucial cultural visual language.
  • Study courses focused on professional practice and access professional alumni consultation when launching their own brands or firms.
  • Collaborate with renowned industry partners, corporations, and high-profile designers.

Standout Features of The New School – Parsons School of Design’s Master of Fine Arts in Fashion Design and Society Program:

The Parsons School of Design students and alumni have been finalists in competitions, such as H&M Foundation Global Change Award, Elaine Gold Launch Pad, LVMH Prize, and the Swarovski & Vogue Talents New Generation Award.

The school’s interdisciplinary faculty are famous for participating and contributing to the fashion industry in art direction, fashion design, graphic design, fashion consulting, performance, PR, communications, and fine art.  

Did You Know?

The New School offers comprehensive financial aid options to assist students in paying for their master’s degree. It offers New School scholarships, research grants, and campus jobs, as well as New York State’s Tuition Assistance Program (TAP) and loans and scholarships from private corporations and organizations.

North Carolina State University

North Carolina State University

Raleigh, NC

Master of Textiles

North Carolina State University’s Master of Textiles program is a non-thesis degree that can be completed online. This program is designed to help students strengthen their educational background through flexible coursework.

  • No thesis or foreign language is required, but students are to pass a final comprehensive oral examination.
  • Students are required to work with an adviser throughout the master’s program.
  • Develop students’ research skills and technical perspective of textile structures and products, including medical textiles, industrial fabrics, automotive textiles, aerospace applications, smart textiles, and 3D textiles.
  • Focus on management issues in the industry, including quality management, international management, technology management, and textile management.
  • Emphasize marketing and management in the apparel and textile industry, consumer behavior, entrepreneurship, marketing research, and global brand management in apparel and textiles.
  • Combine functional, aesthetic, expressive, and technical approaches using innovative technologies and traditional design sensitivities.

Standout Features of North Carolina State University’s Master of Textiles Program:

North Caroline State University offers Master of Textiles students state-of-the-art facilities and faculty members recognized nationally and internationally. Students will have all access to the latest processes, fabrics, and fibers to create innovative fashions, textiles, and related products.

Did You Know?

Because North Carolina has been consistently rated one of the best in higher education in America, NCSU offers accessible costs to students. This school accepts loans, scholarships, grants, and a Federal Work-Study program.

Job Outlook for Graduates with Online Master’s in Fashion

One of the most popular career options that those with a master’s in fashion diploma can pursue is to be a fashion designer. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, fashion designers can earn a median pay of around $77,450 annually.

Salary outlooks for other fashion professionals are as follows:

  • Brand Strategist – $68,798
  • Content Strategist – $61,033
  • Account Manager – $75,059
  • Advertising Broadcast Producer – $71,957
  • Business Analyst (Unspecified Type) – $71,216
  • Content Manager – $64,858
  • eCommerce Manager – $48,278
  • Retail Store Manager – $66,495
  • General/Operations Manager – $58,570
  • Retail General Manager – $54,629
  • Social Media Strategist – $60,586
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Frequently Asked Questions

Is an online Master’s in Fashion worth it?

This is because earning a master’s degree in fashion enhances students’ creativity and practical skills. Students will have a deeper understanding of fashion businesses or fashion companies and their cultural influences, production, creative process, marketing, and communications.

They will also be trained to think in 3D and turn their astounding ideas into reality. This means that a master’s diploma can help graduates advance in their careers, whether they become fashion designers, textile designers, business development managers, or retail managers. They can even start their own business in the fashion world.

What does one need to apply for a Master’s in Fashion?

Most master’s degrees in fashion require students to hold bachelor’s degrees in any related field or take fashion-related courses with a minimum GPA of 3.0. Aside from that, applicants must submit undergraduate transcripts and a portfolio of work, including photographs of design, fabric samples, and sketches. They must also submit letters of recommendation from their professors.

How long does a Master’s in Fashion typically take?

A master’s degree program in fashion can last from one to three years. Students must also finish 42 to 63 credit hours, depending on the specialization.

Key Takeaways

  • A Master’s in Fashion, Fashion Management, or Fashion Event Management degree is for those interested in having a deeper understanding of the fashion business and everything that encompasses it.
  • Completing an online master’s degree program in Fashion allows students to achieve a work-life balance, especially for those already employed or with special circumstances.
  • Graduate programs in Fashion online focus on the ins and outs of the fashion industry through exposure to designers, stylists, and other professionals in the field.

Dr. Jared Goff
Chief Editor