6 Best Fashion Schools in Tennessee in 2024 | How to Apply


Discover the top 6 best fashion schools in Tennessee. Explore our list of esteemed institutions offering exceptional fashion education and training. Choose the right school to nurture your creativity and embark on a successful fashion career in Tennessee.

The fashion industry is made up of a variety of elements, including fabrics, colors, forms, designs, and trends. You might be a good fit for a job in this industry if you enjoy learning about new materials and fashion trends.


Learn more about the best fashion schools in Tennessee and what they offer by reading on.

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Is Fashion Schools Worth it in Tennessee?

In Nashville, Opry Mills is Tennessee’s largest “outlet, value retail, shopping, dining, and entertainment destination.” More than 200 stores in this indoor mall can be found, ranging from trendy boutiques like Forever 21 to upscale department stores like Saks Fifth Avenue.

Head to Memphis to locate the Laurelwood Shopping Center, home to 85 businesses and elegant restaurants, or the Hickoryridge Mall. Knoxville is home to various shops, including Ann Taylor, Banana Republic, Guess, Lucky Brand, and more, as well as spotless shopping centers.

There are many boutiques, vintage shops, antique stores, and other retailers in smaller areas, including Clarksville, Johnson City, Franklin, and others.


Also, Tennessee is home to several colleges that provide top-notch fashion programs and a dynamic fashion culture where individual expression is welcomed.

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Are there Fashion Schools in Tennessee?

There are only six fashion schools in Tennessee. These schools offer different degrees in fashion and other fashion-related courses.

They are:

  • Lipscomb University
  • Belmont University-O’More College of Design
  • Tennessee Tech University
  • Middle Tennessee State University
  • Tennessee State University 
  • Carson-Newman University

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How Long Does it Take to Get a Degree in Fashion in Tennessee?

In and around Nashville, 4-year universities are often where you can find fashion degree programs. You could pursue a 4-year bachelor’s degree focusing on textiles & garment design, fashion merchandising, or both. In the majority of programs, internships are necessary.

However, between 120 and 130 credits in general education and fashion design courses must be earned to finish a bachelor’s degree in fashion design. If you are a full-time student, it should take four to five years to complete this. You might enroll in classes like Design Studio, Textiles Laboratory, and History of Fashion while in school.

As you can see, you spend a lot of time in the design studio working on various fashion designs rather than spending all of your time in the classroom.

Beyond your Bachelor’s degree, you must complete two to three years of additional coursework to earn a Master’s.

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How Much Do Fashion Schools in Tennessee Cost?

Tennessee has a $17,492 average cost of tuition, but it may be as low as $5,341.

You can choose from a wide range of scholarship opportunities. The Margaret Putnam Scholarship, the Cleo Carpenter Award, and the Rita Davenport Human Sciences Scholarship are just a few of the financial aid programs offered by Middle Tennessee State University. The local O’More Design Week event annually grants scholarships to talented fashion students.

You can choose from various professional choices if you have a degree in fashion. Retailers, marketing, and fashion design companies might have vacancies for you. Belk Stores, Rack Room Shoes, and Destination XL Group are some of Tennessee’s major employers in the fashion industry. Tennessee’s economy has been improving; since July 2013, the unemployment rate has fallen from 8.5 to 7.8 percent.

Also, the incomes of fashion industry workers in Tennessee differ widely. In general, you can make more money the more experience you have. Designers in Tennessee make an average of $42,910 a year. The average annual pay for marketing specialists, including those in the fashion industry, is $55,640.

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What are the Requirements of Fashion Schools in Tennessee?

Since the fashion industry is constantly evolving and changing, breaking into it may be not easy. Fortunately, you can begin a career in fashion by attending one of the many prestigious fashion schools. A fashion degree might be your choice if you enjoy being creative and have outstanding taste.

Also, accepting a fashion school is difficult because many schools have low admission rates. Each fashion school is unique and has its own requirements for enrollment. If you decide that fashion school is the best option, you must prepare for the application process. You need to compile all the needs and conduct research.

  • 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 Tennessee?

Tennessee is home to 109 Title IV degree-granting schools, according to the most recent assessment from the Institute of Education Sciences (IES).

There are more than 330,000 students enrolled, and thousands are in the best art and design schools in the state.

Find out which Tennessee colleges are the best for aspiring fashion students by scrolling through the list below.

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1. Lipscomb University

Fashion is more than just personal taste. The focus is on how you can assist others. The Department of Fashion & Design at Lipscomb University emphasizes innovation, creativity, and renovation as ways to help others. They prepare the upcoming generation of merchandisers, managers, and designers to transform society. You may realize your potential in our intimate, faith-centered community. 

You will receive high-quality supplies and equipment, connections with the Nashville retail scene, and access to our historical collection of items created by the eminent designer Halston, preparing you for success in this fiercely competitive sector.

However, Nashville, the nation’s fastest-growing fashion city, is a great place to study fashion. Nashville has the biggest fashion companies per capita concentration, coming in third behind New York and Los Angeles. You’ll be in the heart of the action at Lipscomb, surrounded by some of Nashville’s most creative and varied communities. Here, you’ll discover how to express your thoughts, present your distinct vision, and have a long-lasting impact on this sector.

Take advantage of educational opportunities that will help you succeed. Textiles are heavily emphasized in our fashion design school, whether for clothing or interior design.

You’ll graduate equipped with in-depth knowledge, practical skills, and personal development from belonging to a faith-based community.

Learn fashion principles for today’s consumers by studying clothes construction, textile chemistry, pattern design, etc.

Their fashion merchandising program uses an interdisciplinary approach that combines design and business, and you will experience this as a student.

You will receive instruction in all facets of the fashion and apparel business, including choice, design, construction, dress history, modern trends, manufacturing, and retail merchandising, in addition to the business skills you’ll need to succeed. Choose between their business and corporate tracks.

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2. Belmont University-O’More College of Design

While offering a solid liberal arts program, the O’More College of Design specializes in training students for employment in fashion and design. You can enroll in courses in the fashion design program, such as draping, pattern design, computer-aided design, textile design, marketing, and purchasing. You’ll also have the chance to assist in staging a student fashion show and take part in a 180-hour internship with a professional fashion designer or a business involved in the industry.

Upon completion of the Fashion Design and Merchandising programs, graduates will:

  • Showcase advanced design abilities that adhere to industry standards for the fashion industry and specific markets.
  • Become knowledgeable about design and how it relates to generating successful, high-quality consumer products.
  • Effectively express their thoughts through various technological, vocal, and written abilities.
  • Use design thinking to make decisions in the fashion business by conceptualizing, analyzing, and resolving issues.
  • Develop the business skills required to compete in the global fashion industry.

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3. Tennessee State University

A person who likes to travel and interact with people would likely find the world of fashion merchandising to be an intriguing career.

Today’s quick-paced fashion sector seeks individuals with mathematical, analytical, and interpersonal abilities.

With its specialized classes and curriculum, the fashion merchandising program allows you to accomplish your goals. It can help you get ready to enter this difficult and cutthroat industry.

A bachelor’s degree program in family and consumer sciences is available from the College of Agriculture, Human, and Natural Sciences, with a fashion merchandising concentration option.

However, you’ll study several classes in your concentration area, general studies, electives, and other courses throughout this 4-year program. 

Courses in textiles, garment quality analysis, traditional dress, the economics of clothes, and costume history are just a few of the many fashion merchandising options available. Additionally, you’ll complete an internship your senior year.

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4. Middle Tennessee State University

Fashion sense and practical knowledge of all facets of the industry are combined in apparel design. Students with an artistic bent who enjoy designing clothing—either for themselves or others—can put their skills to use in seminars that aim to increase their understanding of the operational side of the multibillion-dollar fashion business.

One of the rarest and best garment design programs in the Southeast is offered at MTSU, the only public university in Tennessee offering such a degree.

Now that MTSU is a member of the National Retail Federation (NRF), various resources, unique experiences, events, and scholarship opportunities are available to our textile, merchandising, and Design students. 

Additionally, the Student Ambassadors program will allow one student to serve as the primary point of contact between the NRF Foundation and MTSU to promote NRF programs and retail as exciting and promising careers. Each fall semester, the TXMD program holds an application procedure to choose the student ambassador.

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5. Carson-Newman University

The only fashion degree in East Tennessee that combines design and merchandising is the fashion merchandising and design program at Carson-Newman.

The C-N fashion merchandising and design curriculum distinguishes out from other programs and gives you a competitive edge in the job market since it covers every aspect of the fashion industry. 

The program encompasses textiles, computer-aided design, fashion illustration, fashion history, patternmaking and draping, merchandising, advertising, visual presentation, and more. It includes both design and merchandising.

You’ll have a comprehensive understanding of the market because our program examines the entire process of making a product, from conception to distribution. If making items is your passion, you’ll be a better designer because you’ll also be familiar with the selling process. 

Additionally, your knowledge of the design and manufacturing processes will strengthen your position if purchasing and distribution are your areas of interest.

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6. Tennessee Tech University

Fashion merchandising and design involve anticipating what consumers will buy, looking for where to obtain it, figuring out the right price, and making the product accessible to consumers via various channels, including retail locations, catalogs, and the Internet.

The sector covers the creation, production, wholesale, and retail of textiles, clothing, home furnishings, and other consumer goods.

This emphasis offers excellent preparation for graduate school, management trainee programs at major retailers, or professions in sales and direct marketing.

They can pursue exciting career options in the garment, design, textile, and retail industries by concentrating on fashion merchandising and design, which equips students with a diverse skill set in these fields.

The curriculum focuses on designing, manufacturing, distributing, and selecting consumer products to help students navigate the whole design thinking process, from idea to product sale.

Retail management, merchandise buying, sales representatives, personal shoppers, stylists, fashion coordinators, textile researchers, fashion designers, and several fascinating ancillary occupations in journalism and public relations are all possible career paths.

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What are the Fashion Schools in Nashville, Tennessee?

In and around Nashville, 4-year universities are often where you can find fashion degree programs. You could pursue a 4-year bachelor’s degree focusing on textiles and garment design, fashion merchandising, or both. In the majority of programs, internships are necessary.

The fashion schools in Nashville include:

  • Lipscomb University
  • O’More College of Design
  • Tennessee State University

What are the Fashion Design Schools in Tennessee?

Tennessee offers a variety of fascinating prospects for fashion students because it is a part of a thriving fashion community. In this state, there are five schools you can choose from, and two of them offer graduate programs.

Some of them include:

  • Lipscomb University
  • Middle Tennessee State University
  • O’More College of Design

What are Fashion Merchandising Schools in Tennessee?

Consider fashion merchandising if you want to launch a career in fashion that enables you to work in various environments and with various individuals. You could work for fashion designers in retail, corporate offices, or in stores if you pursue this career.

Two Tennessee universities provide this program. Both colleges grant bachelor’s degrees, and one offers a Master’s degree in the relevant discipline.

You have a high probability of being accepted into your chosen program if the acceptance rate is around 60%.

The schools are:

  • Lipscomb University
  • O’More College of Design


Our list of fashion schools in Tennessee was painstakingly prepared based on academic excellence. So, make every effort to maximize this. This article should make any misunderstandings clear and provide you with some solutions.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is a fashion degree in Tennessee worth it?

Yes. Tennessee is home to several colleges that provide top-notch fashion programs and a dynamic fashion culture where individual expression is welcomed.

How long does it take to qualify as a fashion designer in Tennessee?

It takes about four years.

Is fashion design in Tennessee complex?

Yes. Fashion Design is challenging work.

How much is the average salary of a fashion designer in Tennessee?

Tennessee designers earn an average salary of $42,910 per year.



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