Online Fashion Design Courses That Give Bachelor or Associate Degree

Of the many online fashion design courses out there, only a small handful will award a either a bachelor or associate degree upon their completion.

But why such a small amount?

Because of a fatal mistake we make when looking for a fashion courses that personally cost me dearly…

Only looking at courses that have the words FASHION or FASHION DESIGN in their title.

Big, expansive mistake.

*NOTE: I’ve included some information that I feel would have been super useful to me be before I ever started looking through fashion schools and courses. So do take a minute to read the following passages. But if you’re in a bit of a rush, you can skip ahead to the online fashion design courses here.

When I say fashion design degree, I’m talking about courses that specifically have the word fashion design in their title.
Of course, if you keep up with the content on this website, you will know by now this one important mantra…

Your course MAY NOT have the term FASHION DESIGN in it, but that DOES NOT mean you won’t learn about fashion design or this things that will be useful to you as a fashion designer.

This is important to know, because whatever course you choose to study, you will have to - sooner rather than later - think about…

What Jobs Can You Get After An Online Fashion Design Course?

Actually, the best way to know what education and skills you need for a certain job is to research is posted on job boards.

Then you can build your resume accordingly.

At the time of writing this, when I searched for fashion design jobs, what came up was just under 60 job posts comprised of 

  • Teaching jobs
  • A good number of internships
  • Social media jobs and
  • Jobs in athleisure type companies

How does that make you feel about your prospects as a fashion designer?

But when I searched fashion merchandizing jobs, over 6000 jobs came up!

That’s literally 100 times more. So, what does this mean?

Have You Ever Heard Of Fashion Merchandizing?

I certainly hadn’t. But…

Perhaps if you expand your horizons to considering the merchandizing path, you just became 100 times more likely to land a job within fashion and even in adjacent industries.

#Adulting #RealLife #Don’tBeAStarvingArtist #TheRentIsDue

Nobody really sits you down and has this real conversation with you, so allow me.

On this website, I never tell you to give up your dream of working in fashion or being a fashion designer. What we’re interested in is in how you will make it happen. Pointing you in the direction of the practical doable steps you can and should be making.

And the first step to take and hurdle to climb may very well be…

Dealing With Skeptical Parents

We all know the kind of pressure family can put on you to try and make you change your mind about studying fashion.

Threatening to cut you off and what-not. It can be really scary.

So, if you’re feeling a little - or a lot - alone in the quest to make the dream come true, I’m here to help you through it.

Freedom Vs Responsibility

If you want your freedom, you will have to take responsibility for it.
Translation: if you really want full creative liberty to sketch and make whatever you want, it better be your own company.

Or else learn to collaborate with another’s vision with a smile.

If all you love is the craft of creating clothes, then consider where the money flows.

Consider that you may work as a designer but for sportswear, baby clothes, t-shirts, sneakers…

Not as glamorous as high fashion or avant-garde but a paycheck working in the industry you love all the same.

But would you still be happy and fulfilled with that?

Vera Wang said in an interview that with the investment her father gave to start her business, it was on the condition that she would do bridal. Because at the time, that was the only sector of fashion making money.

Look at her now!

So do start thinking of all the possibilities of working as a designer and balance that with what you feel might bring you the most fulfilment - pay the bills too.

Expectation Vs Reality
Tech Packs Vs Whimsical Illustrations

Websites like Successful Fashion Designer and Zoe Hong are really good at telling it like it is per working in fashion.

We all started with sketching and getting butterflies in out stomach as every stroke of color fell on a blank sheet of paper.

But in the adult world of fashion design, this is what you will be doing…

images taken from Pintrest and FiveerImages Taken From Pintrest and Fiveer

Shocking. I know.

A Back Door You May Not Have Considered

Having lived through the drama of having to pacify the beast – I mean angry parents – here is my 2 cents...
There are other courses, that seem more academic – that can still get you work as a fashion designer.

They are

  • Merchandizing
  • Product development
  • Graphic design
  • Architecture

Marketing, and business courses a would be helpful in helping you start your own business and name yourself as lead designer.

But in my experience, I’ve seen marketing to be more useful of the two.

The difference?

A business course may teach you how to come up with a great idea.

A marketing course will teach you how to make a crappy idea too great.

Hence how some super ugly items sell like hotcakes—marketing.

Online Fashion Design Courses

*The following section may contain affiliate links.

Finally, we get to the list of online fashion design courses.

I did promise courses that give college degrees, but I did also tell you those where very few.

As in, I found only one…

The Nassau Community College Fashion Design AAS. This is a 2-year degree and employers do accept them. But a 4-year degree B or BS would be better.

BUT If you are open at looking broader than just fashion design in the title, check the broader list of online fashion courses that give degrees here.

The rest of the courses below are just borderline accredited and many more unaccredited but useful fashion design courses.

International Career Institute Fashion Design Diploma & Advanced Diploma. The  Diploma (takes as little as 24 weeks to about 6 months to complete & the Advanced Diploma takes as little as 31 weeks to about 8 months to complete.

The last 2 coursses were from accreddited institutions. The following are from non-accredited institutions...

Non Accredited Online Fashion Design Courses


You may have heard of the online learning platform called Udemy, the university of You.

It claims that a person can learn just about anything on it and to a certain extent, I agree.

Anyone can put together a course and post it to Udemy.

This is both a blessing and a curse.

A blessing because with so many courses to choose from you can only pay attention to the absolute best.
A curse because you have to sift through all those options yourself

Quick facts about Udemy

Fees: as low as $9.99 per course
Qualifications: a certificate of completion from Udemy. That just means you completed the course there will be no grades given.
Other qualifications may be issued depending on whose course was taken and by what institution.
How to sign up: Login, create an account. Pay up. Start learning.

 University of Fashion

Disregard the name. It’s NON-accredited.

This is a subscription-based website with an unlimited amount of courses on it.

University Of Fashion Subscription Pricing

UOF has free lessons as well.

University Of Fashion Subscription PricingUniversity Of Fashion Subscription Pricing

YouTuber Zoe Hong

Zoe HongZoe Hong

I love Zoe. She helped me get through my diploma.  If you need to learn how to illustrate like a pro or want to learn about fashion in general, she is a great resource.

Brentwood Open Learning College

This college may or may not be impressive enough in your eyes. Out of high school, you do want a big-name university on your resume. This might not be it, but it can be a start.

Levels 3 and 4 are probably where you want to hang out to advance your formal training.

While Brentwood has both FREE & ACCREDITED** courses read this quote from their website...

**the completion of this course alone does not lead to a regulated qualification* but may be used as evidence of knowledge and skills gained. The Learner Unit Summary may be used as evidence towards Recognition of Prior Learning if you wish to progress your studies in this subject. To this end the learning outcomes of the course have been benchmarked at Level 4 against level descriptors published by Ofqual...

The Bottom Line

Is all you want to do frolic in fabric all day?
Perhaps you should be a textile manufacture, a tailor or seamstress.
Do you just want to work in fashion?
Then know there are more ways that fashion design to get in.

That’s it for this section on online fashion courses.
Hope you found it helpful.
If you have any questions, comments or experiences to share make use of the comments section below.