BFA in Fashion Design

Backstage at the 89th Annual Fashion Design Show, held at Third Degree Glass Factory.

Watch the 89th Annual Fashion Design Show | Read the full news release about the event

The BFA in Fashion Design is a multifaceted course of study that prepares students for activities in design and affords them vision and flexibility for leadership in a global industry. You gain experience designing for mass production, as well as one-of-a-kind pieces. Courses provide a working knowledge of industry standards and procedures, informed by history and current trends.

Course Work

In your first year, your required studio course work includes drawing, two-dimensional design, three-dimensional design, digital design, and a weekly lecture course.

As a sophomore, you build a foundational understanding of fashion research, culture, and design, taking a digitally oriented course, an introductory course in fashion design, and courses in textile design and illustration.

As you advance in your studies, you undertake projects exploring a spectrum of garment design problems, fabrication strategies, textiles, and illustration, supported by digital tools. Courses include:

– Patternmaking & Production
– Special Topics in Fashion Design
– 2-D Fashion Design
– 3-D Fashion Design
– Digital Fashion & Textile Design
– Patternmaking Lab
– Portfolio Development
– Digital Lab


As a senior, you focus on your own aesthetic through the realization of a signature collection. Guided by faculty and professional mentors, you work through the full design process, from initial research and conceptual design to pattern and muslin stages to the final construction of each garment. Your designs are featured on the runway in the annual WashU Fashion Design Show and reviewed by external fashion professionals.

The senior design studio is professionally equipped, allowing you to work in a design room setting. Recent signature collections have been inspired by everything from dance and science-fiction genres to sustainable design and architecture.

Degree Requirements

The College of Art subscribes to the standards for the Bachelor of Fine Arts (BFA) degree as set forth and accepted by the College Art Association of American (CAA) and the National Association of Schools of Art and Design (NASAD).

For students entering the College of Art in fall 2018, a BFA degree requires a total of 121 credits of course work. Specific details for the BFA in Communication Design for the 2018-19 academic year can be found in the document below.

Download degree requirements for BFA (all majors), Classes of 2019, 2020, and 2021>>
Download degree requirements for BFA (all majors), Class of 2022>>

Studio Spotlight

For a cross-disciplinary course, teams of students and faculty worked to research, design, and construct prototype garments tailored to the needs of elite Paralympic wheelchair athletes>>

News & Videos

Fashion Design Students Named Finalists in National Design Competition>>Video: Undergraduate Design at the Sam Fox School>>

View runway shots from the 88th Annual Fashion Design Show>>


Interested in learning more about our BFA in Fashion Design? Contact us>>