Best Fashion Schools In Seattle | Cost, Requirement & How To Apply

There are four schools and colleges in the Seattle area that offer either certificate programs or graduate programs in fashion to prepare you for the industry.

Fashion degree programs in and around Seattle are typically offered at 2-year institutions. In fashion or retail, you can earn a certificate by taking 30-55 quarter credits or a 2-year associate’s degree. In design, you can work towards a 2-year associate degree in fashion design.

Are There Fashion Schools in Seattle? 

The Pacific Northwest has its own eclectic fashion community that you can join by studying fashion design, marketing or merchandising. Additionally, local schools offer both associate’s and bachelor’s degrees in fashion merchandising.

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How Much Do Fashion Schools Cost in Seattle? 

Washington has 12 fashion schools, including four that offer graduate programs. The average tuition is $9,972, although tuition can be as low as $2,829 at Spokane Falls Community College. Seattle Pacific University may have one of the best scholarship programs in Washington.

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What Are The Requirements For Fashion Schools In Seattle? 

Recently, most schools require at least a high school diploma. Fashion Design is more of a technical, skilled and practical course than theory.

However, the aspiring student must have a passion for fashion. Passion drives you and keeps you focused. In addition, it helps in creating new designs and technical know-how.

However, most fashion universities in Washington have their own basic requirements that every student needs regardless of the program.

Students are encouraged to be creative and hardworking as these qualities will help them in the long run.

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What Are The Best Fashion Schools In Seattle? 

Several community colleges and universities around Washington, DC offer fashion degree programs. Read on to learn about the 2-year and 4-year degrees offered.

Edmonds Community College

A certificate program at Edmonds Community College can prepare you for entry-level employment. If you prefer, you can take classes online as well as on campus.

Examples of program courses include retail management, e-marketing, fashion design and human relations. The program also includes an internship and a professional development seminar.


Pierce College at Fort Steilacoom

The certificate program at Pierce College is designed so that you can earn a certificate, get a job, and earn an associate’s or bachelor’s degree if desired.

You will study consumer buying behaviour, business strategies, trade deficits and fashion information resources. Possible career options after completing the program include marketing assistant, window dresser and retail salesperson.


Shoreline Community College

You’ll study business math, retail marketing, and fashion history while participating in Shoreline’s certificate program. Other research topics include merchandising trends, creating buying plans and fashion production.

The school also offers a Certificate of Professionalism, which requires 45 credits. It is designed for students who want a longer program that covers additional topics such as purchasing and retail management, professional selling and how to be a manager.


Seattle Central Community College

With a degree from Seattle Central Community College, you can be prepared for a career as a technical artist, pattern maker, or design assistant.

The program also includes several work experience courses in addition to resume and portfolio development courses. Other program highlights include clothing manufacturing, computer applications, business practices and fashion history.


Baltimore City Community College

In addition to the certificate program, Baltimore City Community College offers an Associate of Applied Science degree with an option to specialize in apparel retail.

The degree program requires 66-68 credits to complete, and with the exception of a few additional classes in drawing and fashion show production, the coursework for the design degree is nearly identical to the certificate program.

Retail program requirements include topics in buying and retailing apparel, business management, marketing, and advertising. A fashion design program can help you prepare for a career as an assistant, computer designer, fashion stylist, fashion designer, or tailor.


University of the District of Columbia

As part of the only fully accredited public college in the nation’s capital, UDC Community College offers more than 20 associate’s degrees and certificate programs, including an Associate of Applied Science in Fashion Merchandising.

In this school-to-career program, you’ll learn how to design, produce, promote and sell fashion products; identify and analyze consumer markets; design and use visual displays and presentations; and predict trends.

The degree requires 62 credits to complete and includes individual and sequential coursework in fashion merchandising and marketing, apparel design, retail buying and trend forecasting. A Capstone course and an internship at a key fashion company are also part of the curriculum.


How Much Do Fashion Designers In Seattle Earn?

As of September 26, 2022, the average salary for a Fashion Designer I in Seattle, WA is $64,129, with a range of $59,092 to $69,949. Salary ranges can vary greatly based on many important factors, including education, certifications, additional skills, and years spent in your profession.

For an individual filing in this tax bracket, your average federal tax in 2018 would be 22%. After eliminating the federal tax rate of 22%, a Fashion Designer – Graphics can expect to take home pay of $67,383 per year, with each paycheck amounting to approximately $2,808.

How Do I Become A Fashion Designer In Seattle?

Many fashion designers are trained in a fashion design program at a college or university. Some attend schools dedicated to the study of fashion design, while others choose traditional college programs.

Fashion design degrees are available at the associate, bachelor’s, and master’s levels. Some schools even offer MBA programs that focus on the business side of the fashion industry.

Those looking to enter a fashion design program are often expected to develop basic skills before applying. A fashion program may require prospective students to submit their portfolio and take design and sewing tests when they apply.

Designers can learn these skills on their own or take classes to develop these skills before entering college. Students in fashion design programs study textiles, sketching, sewing, draping, and pattern making using CAD software.

They also learn about fashion history, trend forecasting and fashion business. Students can create their own collection as a senior project. Collections and other student works can be a valuable addition to a designer’s portfolio.

Designers pursuing bachelor’s and master’s degrees can focus on a specific type of design, such as children’s, intimates, knitwear, or sportswear.

Design students in some programs complete internships to apply their knowledge to work under the guidance of experienced professionals at major design houses or in the fashion merchandising industry.

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Best Paying Fashion Design Jobs in Seattle

Get ready for an exciting job search as you begin your career in fashion. You can work in a variety of locations, including retail stores, marketing firms and fashion design companies.

Some of the largest fashion employers in Washington include Destination XL Group, DSW Shoes and Macy’s. The job outlook in Washington is not bad; the state unemployment rate is only 6.6% (BLS, 2013).

If you are applying for a job as a fashion designer, you should have an impressive portfolio. Your portfolio shows potential employers what they can expect from you in terms of style, creativity and talent.

Your portfolio should be up-to-date and contain a variety of items that demonstrate the types of work you can do.

If you don’t find a job as a fashion designer right away, you can start working in related jobs in costume design or merchandising. You can also create your projects yourself, although it often takes time to become profitable.

When you start out as a new fashion professional, your salary may be lower than average; it’s because the fashion industry really values ​​experience.

Fashion designers earn an average salary of $62,020 per year, while product demonstrators earn an average salary of $31,310 (BLS, 2012). The average salary for a marketing professional is $78,730 per year (BLS, 2012).

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Best Fashion Schools In Seattle FAQs

Are There Scholarships For Fashion Schools In Seattle?

Seattle Pacific University may have one of the best scholarship programs in Washington. The average scholarship at this school is $13,999. The school maintains a list of fashion scholarships, including the Dorothy Kennedy Scholarship, the FCS Lois C. Caldwell Scholarship, and the Dorothy Kreider Memorial Scholarship.

How Long Is Fashion Schools In Seattle? 

A Seattle fashion school program typically lasts 2-4 years, including an internship. First, you can earn a degree in fashion by studying at fashion colleges and schools for two years while doing a PhD in style at university over four years.

How Much Do Entry-Level Fashion Designers Make In Seattle?

An entry-level fashion designer with less than one year of experience can expect to earn an average annual salary of $40,320. The average total salary for a fashion designer candidate with 1 to 4 years of experience is $47,270. The median salary for a mid-career fashion designer with 5-9 years of experience is $61,510 per year. Fashion designers with 10 or more years of experience earn an average of $80,670. At the end of a career (over 20 years of experience), the average annual salary for a fashion designer was $102,710 per year.

Do You Need License To Work As Fashion Designer In Seattle?

There are no licensing or certification requirements to become a fashion designer.


Fashion degree programs in and around Washington DC can be found at both 2-year colleges and 4-year universities. In fashion design, you can earn a 2-year certificate or associate degree, or you can opt for a 4-year bachelor’s degree in the field.

Additionally, local schools offer both associate’s and bachelor’s degrees in fashion merchandising. Selected programs include practicums and internships to gain hands-on industry experience. Continue reading to learn more about the program.


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