The mission of the Fashion Studies Department at Columbia College Chicago is to provide a comprehensive, integrated education designed to support a wide range of career opportunities in fashion. The curriculum helps students develop a broad range of practical, aesthetic, and intellectual skills devised to anticipate and incorporate the ongoing changes synonymous with the dynamic nature of the international fashion industry. Our faculty is comprised of industry professionals, designers, and scholars who are active practitioners in their field of expertise and share their wealth of real-world experiences in the classroom. In Fashion Studies, students work in collaboration with the faculty to co-author their course of study and actualize their career aspirations.
The Bachelor of Fine Arts in Fashion Design is a 78-credit hour professional course of study in the major that focuses on intensive work in fashion design. The BFA is further distinguished by a candidacy procedure whereby students must apply to the BFA after 45 credits of college-wide coursework, which must include 33 credits in the BA in Fashion Design major and a minimum GPA of 3.0. Students in the BFA are required to complete a senior thesis composed of a substantial body of work that elaborates a particular theme, idea, or professional area of practice. The senior thesis may take many forms: design collection, installation, or other forms approved by the faculty.
As a result of successfully completing program requirements, students should be able to:
- demonstrate an understanding and application evidenced by the ability to effectively interpret and express art and/or design concepts and solutions in written/verbal/visual/sensorial format;
- effectively apply materials, techniques, technology, and vocabulary/terminology relative to desired end product and solution;
- demonstrate an understanding and application of the history, theory, context, and practice of fashion, art, and design evidenced by the ability to contextualize thoughts and ideas in reference to a socio-historical context as it applies to concept, practice, and product;
- apply the above referenced skills and abilities in conjunction with creative problem solving, concept development, and design execution;
- describe, analyze, interpret, and contextualize their work and the work of others;
- develop and maintain effective, ethical, professional and sustainable work habits such as time management, project organization, and awareness of environmentally sensitive working practices; and
- Develop and present a succinct, cohesive professional body of work.
Fashion is a complex field of study and ultimately reflects and shapes the aesthetic taste, social status, political mood, economic condition, and technical achievements of society through the personal expression of dress. Fashion as an industry requires skills in research, production, merchandising, and marketing. This curriculum gives students the opportunity to explore creativity and practicality. The BFA degree aims to prepare students with the skill-sets to better understand the variety of career tracks available in the fashion industry. Students participate in a true fashion experience throughout their education with exposure to recognized guest designers, industry leaders, accomplished alumni, and through fashion competitions, presentations, and exhibitions.
Students seeking to enter the BFA program in Fashion Design must apply to the Fashion Studies Department. A grade of C or better is required in all major coursework.