7 Best Fashion Schools in Indiana in 2023 | How to Apply

Looking for the best fashion schools in Indiana? Explore our list of the top 7 institutions providing exceptional fashion education and training in Indiana. Choose the right school to pursue your passion for fashion and launch your successful career in the industry.

Fashion is most likely one of the most fast-paced and exciting industries one can choose to work in! Fashion moves quickly, trends come and go, and the designers who create clothing for men, women, and children must find a way to identify the next hot look before it becomes outdated.

If you like fashion and style, work hard, and have a creative and artistic eye, a career in fashion design or other aspects of the apparel industry could be a great fit for you!

Textiles, draping, sewing, fashion merchandising, accessories design, color, image consulting, men’s wear, ladies’ tailoring, and courses in the fashion business, such as sustainable design, advertising and marketing, and running a small business, are all available in all of these programs.

No specific licensing is required to work in the fashion industry, but several organizations are geared toward industry professionals that may help you prepare for your career.

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Is Fashion Designing a Good Career Path in Indiana?

According to O*Net (2016), the median salary for Indian Fashion Designers is $61,720. Although your salary in the fashion industry can vary depending on your job experience and what you do, Indiana is always looking for inspiration from talented new designers looking to enter the field and make their mark!

Fashion industry careers are numerous and diverse. Working as a fashion designer is an exciting and demanding job that requires you to be able to sketch, drape, sew, and fit, as well as meet with clients and buyers, and workers who are manufacturing your designs.

After years of working as an assistant in a fashion design house or as a professional in another aspect of the industry, it is usually the pinnacle of a person’s career. 

Fashion programs will prepare you for a career in various fashion fields. You could work in retail, selling and merchandising clothing and possibly styling individual customers. You could work directly as a merchandiser, arranging inventory in artistic and appealing ways that catch the customer’s eye and entice them to purchase a specific item of clothing. 

Also, you could become a buyer, traveling the world searching for the newest style to be manufactured for your client. Whatever you do, you will be working long hours and weeks, especially during fashion week and runway shows!

Indianapolis Midwest Fashion Week is an annual event that features fashion designs from local and international designers, runway shows, and other activities. Fashion is a dynamic industry with an artistic bent. If that describes your skills and personality, consider pursuing a career in fashion in Indiana!

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Are there Fashion Schools in Indiana?

Indiana’s thriving fashion scene is home to seven fashion schools, four of which offer postgraduate degrees. For new students, the average acceptance rate of 76 percent is encouraging.

These fashion schools include:

  • Harrison College-Indianapolis
  • Indiana Institute of Technology
  • Indiana State University
  • Indiana University-Bloomington
  • Purdue University-Main Campus
  • Vincennes University
  • Ball State University

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How Long Does it Take to get a Degree in Fashion in Indiana?

Fashion degree programs are typically found at four-year institutions in and around Nashville. A four-year bachelor’s degree specializing in fashion design, fashion merchandising, or textile and apparel construction is an option. Most programs require internships.

To earn a Bachelor’s degree in fashion design, you must complete 120 to 130 credits in fashion design and general education courses. If you are a full-time student, this should take four to five years. Design Studio, Textiles Laboratory, and History of Fashion are some courses you may take while in school.

You can see that, rather than spending all of your time in the classroom, you spend a significant amount of time in the design studio working on various fashion designs. A Master’s degree requires two to three years of study in addition to your Bachelor’s degree.

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How Much Do Fashion Schools in Indiana Cost?

In Indiana, the average tuition for fashion schools is $12,993.

Scholarships are available for fashion students at Indiana State University. The President’s Scholarship annually provides full tuition and housing to 20 Indiana State University students.

In Indiana, you can put your fashion degree to use in a variety of ways. You could work in retail stores, marketing, or fashion design firms. Gilchrist & Soames, Windsor Fashions, and Chico’s FAS Inc. are among the most significant fashion employers.

However, Indiana’s economy is improving month by month; the unemployment rate has fallen from 8.4 percent to 6.9 percent since July 2013. (BLS, 2013).

While you may begin with an entry-level salary, gaining experience can increase your earning potential.

In Indiana, the average annual salary for a fashion designer is $47,930, while the average annual salary for a merchandise displayer is $27,980. Marketing analysts in this state make an average of $49,890 per year.

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What are the Requirements of Fashion Schools in Indiana?

It may be difficult to break into the fashion industry because it constantly evolves and changes.

Fortunately, there are numerous top-tier fashion schools where you can begin your fashion career. A fashion degree may be for you if you have exceptional taste and enjoy being creative.

Admission to fashion school is difficult because many programs have low acceptance rates. Every fashion school is unique and has its own set of admission requirements. If you decide that fashion school is the right fit, you must prepare for the application process. You must collect all requirements and conduct research.

The requirements include the following:

  • Submit your school transcripts or GED
  • Complete an application form
  • Pay an application fee
  • Write an admission essay
  • Submit SAT or ACT scores
  • Submit recommendation letters
  • Show your portfolio

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What are the Best Fashion Schools in Indiana?

Here are the best fashion schools in Indiana. In this section, we will list them out and give some information about them:

1. Ball State University

The fashion merchandising program focuses on preparing students to be marketable and adaptable in the fast-paced fashion industry, including retail, manufacturing, and distribution.

Merchandising majors study clothing dimensions, textiles, clothing construction, CAD, buying, and promotion, among other things. 

Design students will gain the knowledge and skills necessary to compete in the global marketplace as designers, illustrators, pattern makers, textile designers, apparel manufacturers, and clothiers, among many other roles.

Ball State University offers the following degrees:

  • B.S. Fashion Merchandising
  • B.A. Fashion Merchandising
  • B.S. Fashion Design
  • B.A. Fashion Design

A B.S. degree typically takes four years to complete, an M.S. degree takes two years, and a Ph.D. program takes two or more years.

Also, all majors must complete internships at the junior and senior levels. Interns are typically placed at several major national retail chains in Indiana and the United States. Students who want to supplement their studies with international experience can enroll in Ball State University’s fashion study abroad program. There are opportunities in London, Italy, and other countries.

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2. Harrison College

Students in Harrison College’s apparel merchandising program take courses that cover both the creative and business aspects of the apparel industry. Management courses are included in the merchandising curriculum, which prepares students for professional work as a merchandise manager, assistant buyer, fashion coordinator, and retail store manager, among other apparel-related careers.

Harrison College offers the following degrees:

  • A.A.S. Apparel Merchandising

A B.S. degree typically takes four years to complete, an M.S. degree takes two years, and a Ph.D. program takes two or more years.

All apparel merchandising majors must complete an internship. Interns are typically placed with fashion designers and retailers. Textile science, apparel merchandising, fashion show planning, psychology of dress, and retail management courses help students prepare for professional career placement in the apparel field. 

Individuals can benefit from Harrison College’s campus learning center, which helps students complete the apparel merchandising curriculum.

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3. Purdue University

Purdue University’s apparel design and technology program graduates will have earned a Big Ten degree. The scientific and technical aspects of pattern making, creative design and rendering, consumer business, drawing, and 2D and 3D design will be thoroughly covered.

Purdue University offers the following degrees:

  • B.S. Apparel Design and Technology

A B.S. degree typically takes four years to complete, an M.S. degree takes two years, and a Ph.D. program takes two or more years.

Apparel design and technology majors must complete an internship program as sophomores or juniors. Students have the option of selecting their internship location. Interns in the past have worked at various bridal shops, boutiques, and large and small designer houses. 

Additionally, internship programs in London or Sydney can provide students with international experience. Study programs in Hong Kong and other international locations are also available.

Italy, as well as three-week study tours of Western European cities.

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4. Vincennes University 

The fashion merchandising and interior design programs at Vincennes University are designed to prepare students for careers in the fashion industry and to help them transfer to a four-year university to pursue a bachelor’s degree in merchandising, interior design, or a related field. Small class sizes and labs, free tutoring, and high course transferability are all features of the fashion program. 

Also, students in the merchandising and interior design program can visit fashion markets/businesses and participate in hands-on visual merchandising, fashion wholesaling, and clothing construction activities.

Vincennes University offers the following degrees:

  • A.S. Fashion Merchandising
  • A.A.S. Fashion Merchandising
  • A.S. Interior Design
  • A.A.S. Interior Design

A B.S. degree typically takes four years to complete, an M.S. degree takes two years, and a Ph.D. program takes two or more years.

Additionally, internship opportunities are available to qualified students. Vincennes University strives to meet students’ academic needs by offering online courses for each major in the fashion program.

Other courses that prepare students for merchandising and interior design careers include fashion buying, tailoring, costume history, psychology, textiles, visual merchandising, and economics.

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5. Indiana State University

Indiana State University in Terre Haute offers bachelor’s degree programs in textiles, apparel, and merchandising. Students can choose to specialize in merchandising or communication. In these programs, students learn about dress perspectives, fashion analysis, textiles, family and consumer sciences, ready-to-wear apparel, and costume history. 

However, business information processing systems, accounting, management, and marketing can all be covered under the merchandising concentration. Students pursuing the communication concentration may take courses in television and audio production, media writing, and persuasive theories. Students must complete 124 credit hours to graduate.

The TAM Program offers dynamic academic options that lay the groundwork for various careers in creating and distributing textile and apparel products, focusing on design, product development, and merchandising. The program is based on the most recent apparel-industry research.

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6. Indiana University – Bloomington

The Bloomington campus of Indiana University offers a 4-year bachelor’s degree program that includes a fashion design studio with clothing fabrication equipment. Retail design and merchandising, fashion design illustration, fashion design analysis, textile science, and fashion history are all covered in this program. Students can also get hands-on experience by taking tailoring, accessories, draping, digital application, and foundation fashion studio courses.

Students pursuing a B.A. in Fashion Design are educated in the art, philosophy, theory, process, and product of fashion design.

The curriculum creates an aesthetic and intellectual environment based on the design process, enriched by the interaction of technique, function, technology, and individual creative expression. It investigates fashion design’s art, process, and product within a cultural context.

Consequently, the curriculum emphasizes the interaction of technique, function, technology, and individual creative expression to provide an aesthetic and intellectual approach to the design process.

Traditional and experimental techniques, as well as the history and theory of fashion as a significant aesthetic language, are covered in the coursework.

The fashion design curriculum at Indiana University focuses on the design process and its relationship to the retail cycle. Both involve a pattern of analysis and creativity that is repeated. The program builds on the fundamentals of the arts and sciences while encouraging students to be creative, multidisciplinary thinkers and skilled communicators.

Also, among the potential job opportunities are apparel design, accessories design, technical design, pattern making, product design, computer-aided and technical drawing, merchandising, theatrical costuming, and wardrobe management. Graduates will be considered for entry-level positions in these fields in various geographic locations.

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7. Indiana Institute of Technology

Students enrolled in the Fashion Marketing and Management program are the only ones who can apply. All new students and transfer students are unable to enroll. The Bachelor of Science in Fashion Marketing and Management program provides students with in-depth knowledge of the fashion industry based on theory and best practices. Graduates of the program are prepared for entry-level management positions in fashion retailing, merchandising, product development, marketing, visual merchandising, and purchasing.

However, the program’s goals include providing courses encouraging studied creativity and strengthening critical thinking skills.

Students must take a rigorous core of business classes, including marketing and management, accounting, and economics—experienced faculty dedicated to the professional development of all students teaching fashion marketing and management courses. 

Hands-on activities, problem-solving opportunities, and teamwork are part of the curriculum. The program includes electives that allow students to tailor their degrees to meet their personal career goals. All fashion marketing and management students complete a 360-hour internship. This enables them to participate in supervised and vetted fashion internships where they can obtain valuable professional experience. 

Also, internships may be available at local, regional, or global fashion companies. Study trips to Chicago and New York City offer chances to speak with possible internship employers and learn about established and up-and-coming careers in the fashion industry.

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What are the Fashion Schools in Indianapolis, Indiana?

In Indianapolis, there is only one fashion school you can find. This fashion school offers a degree in fashion courses. The school is:

  • Harrison College-Indianapolis

What are the Fashion Design Schools in Indiana?

There are four colleges in Indiana where potential fashion design students might enroll. Three of these four colleges also offer Master’s degree programs, while all offer undergraduate programs.

You can be ready for a range of jobs in the fashion business by earning your Bachelor’s in fashion design.

As a fashion design student, you might be required to take coursework in textiles, apparel design and technology, and fashion history. Some schools even provide study abroad possibilities to help you develop your fashion design skills and obtain an international perspective.

The fashion design schools in Indiana are:

  • Indiana State University
  • Purdue University-Main Campus
  • Indiana University-Bloomington
  • The Art Institute of Indianapolis

What are Fashion Merchandising Schools in Indiana?

The realms of business, marketing, and fashion design come together in the flexible and dynamic field of fashion merchandising. Indiana offers several options if you desire to work in this fascinating industry. You have a choice between two schools. While both institutions offer Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees in the discipline, only one offers an Associate’s degree.

An Associate’s degree requires roughly the same amount of coursework as a Bachelor’s degree, while a Bachelor’s degree may have additional upper-division courses. Retail Sales Promotion, Retail Structure, Consumer Textiles, and Merchandise Planning are a few of the possible necessary courses.

The fashion Merchandising schools in Indiana are:

  • Harrison College-Indianapolis
  • Vincennes University


In Indiana, there are a little more than 80 public and private non-profit colleges, but only 4 of them now offer fashion programs. Programs leading to associate’s, bachelor’s, and master’s degrees are offered in fields like fashion design, textiles, garment design, and fashion merchandising. Students may be able to take studio courses and focus on developing a portfolio in various programs.

I hope this article answers all your questions about the best fashion schools in Indiana.

Frequently Asked Questions

Does Indiana University have a Fashion Design program?

Yes, it does. It ranges from Bachelor’s degree to Masters’s degree.

Is Indiana fashion school worth it?

Yes, it is.

What do you study in Indiana fashion merchandising schools?

You will study how fashion and retail professionals meet customer needs through market research, promotion, production, and distribution. 

Is the Indiana fashion industry hard to get into?

Breaking into the Indiana industry will be hard but not extremely so.



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