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Master of Fine Arts (MFA) Degree

The MFA Fashion curriculum refines and focuses your individual artistic vision with advanced coursework in design, merchandising, textiles, and knitwear. Studio courses hone your knowledge of industry standards, combining design excellence with the mastery of the latest digital tools.

Graduate candidates are guided through a Directed Study which culminates in the production of a fashion collection and portfolio, or merchandising project.

MFA Fashion Unit Requirements

Major 27 units
Directed Study 18 units
Graduate Liberal Arts 12 units
Electives* 6 units
TOTAL 63 units

*Per director approval

MFA Fashion Degree Requirements

  • 1 Art Historical Awareness & Aesthetic Sensitivity course
  • 1 Cross Cultural Understanding course
  • 1 Professional Practices & Communications course
  • 1 Major designated Graduate Liberal Arts course

And:

  • Successful completion of Final Thesis Project
  • Minimum 2.0 cumulative GPA
  • Minimum grade of C in all required 63 units

Additional Information

MFA Fashion - Program Learning Outcomes

Graduate students will meet the following student performance criteria:

MFA Thesis Project

  • Present an original thesis concept worthy of the MFA degree
  • Demonstrate the feasibility of their thesis project

Specialty Skills: Design

  • Design Thesis: Create a body of work that will be built into a portfolio, representing an advanced level of achievement and targeted to a specific market segment.
  • Conduct research to develop their creative concept and build a visual story.
  • Demonstrate good understanding of their market
  • Communicate their design ideas 2-dimensionally using traditional and/or digital media
  • Create advanced flat technical specification drawings by hand and by computer.
  • Design collections demonstrating a sophisticated understanding of fashion design and advanced technical skills.

Specialty Skills: 3-Dimensional Design/Technical Design/CDFP

  • Thesis: Create a body of work that will be built into a portfolio, representing an advanced level of achievement and targeted to a specific market segment.
  • Apply advanced 3D design techniques to create clothing to a professional standard

Specialty Skills: Applied Textile Design

  • Thesis: Create a body of work that will be built into a portfolio, representing an advanced level of achievement and targeted to a specific market segment.
  • Demonstrate thorough knowledge of repeats and engineered prints both on paper and fabric.
  • Design surface patterns for a wide variety of end products at an advanced level.
  • Demonstrate advanced knowledge of computer software used in the industry.

Specialty Skills: Knitwear Design & Construction

  • Thesis: Create a body of work that will be built into a portfolio, representing an advanced level of achievement and targeted to a specific market segment.
  • Program and operate computerized industrial knitting machines.
  • At an advanced level: Develop their original design concepts from knit swatches through to garment design, illustrated and rendered to industry standards.
  • At an advanced level: Construct fully-fashioned as well as cut-and-sew knit garments to industry standards.

Specialty Skills: Fashion Merchandising

  • Merchandising Thesis: Research, plan, and write advanced-level project inclusive of a 3-year business plan based on selling product or services. Projects must include a visual component and marketing collateral and may include a prototype.
  • Gather, analyze and organize relevant data to support their projects.
  • Analyze case studies/and or project work, demonstrating critical thinking skills
  • Make assumptions based on quantifiable research and statistics.
  • Establish realistic financial goals for a fashion business, retail or wholesale
  • Correctly identify key points in the supply chain and demonstrate that they understand the relationships between its members.
  • Demonstrate command of visual merchandising presentation for fashion product and services.
  • Identify trends and determine what merchandise can be developed, marketed and sold.
  • Written Communication: Express concepts and strategies clearly using professional terminology
  • Verbal Communication: Clearly convey ideas and concepts using specific fashion industry language

Collaborative Skills

  • Collaborate effectively to produce creative projects.

Professional Practices

  • Create a relevant and original portfolio and collateral materials which can be used to market themselves to the industry

Academy of Art University Learning Outcomes
Graduates of the Academy of Art University will demonstrate the ability to:

  1. Produce a body of work suitable for seeking professional opportunities in their chosen field of art and design.
  2. Solve creative problems within their field of art and design, including research and synthesis of technical, aesthetic, and conceptual knowledge.
  3. Communicate their ideas professionally and connect with their intended audience using visual, oral, and written presentation skills relevant to their field.
  4. Execute technical, aesthetic, and conceptual decisions based on an understanding of art and design principles.
  5. Evaluate work in their field, including their own work, using professional terminology.
  6. Recognize the influence of major cultural and aesthetic trends, both historical and contemporary, on art and design products.
  7. Learn the professional skills and behaviors necessary to compete in the global marketplace for art and design.

Master of Arts (MA) Degree

The MA Fashion Journalism program is designed to give students advanced training in the mastery of journalism for print, web, and other platforms. The 42-unit program concludes with a final thesis project and students will graduate with a robust portfolio of writing samples reflective of the voice and perspective they are ready to bring into this exciting industry.

MA Fashion Journalism Unit Requirements

Major 27 units
Directed Study 6 units
+ Graduate Liberal Arts 3 units
+ Electives* 6 units
TOTAL 42 units

*Per director approval

MA Fashion Journalism Degree Requirements

  • 1 Professional Practices & Communications course

And:

  • Successful completion of Final Thesis Project
  • Minimum 2.0 cumulative GPA
  • Minimum grade of C in all required 42 units

Additional Information

MA Fashion Journalism - Program Learning Outcomes

Graduate students will meet the following student performance criteria:

MFA Thesis Project

  • Present an original thesis concept worthy of the MFA degree
  • Demonstrate the feasibility of their thesis project
  • Research, plan, and write a thesis consisting of one of the following: a series of three to five feature articles for print or online publication; a functioning fashion website; three to five test shoots exploring a particular genre or set of styles, demonstrating basics of styling; or a project that converges two or more of the above categories

Visual Communication

  • Apply basic design principles to creative work

Verbal and Written Communication

  • Write compelling material for print, online, or broadcast media
  • Clearly convey ideas and concepts using specific fashion industry language
  • Effectively pitch ideas
  • Conduct effective interviews
  • Develop both a personal voice and the ability to adapt voice to fit a variety of print/online publications

Fashion Journalism

  • Conduct in-depth research to develop material for print, online, or broadcast media.
  • Demonstrate ability to undertake editorial “packages,’’ combining various journalistic features

Collaborative Skills

  • Collaborate effectively to produce creative projects.

Professional Practices

  • Create a relevant and original portfolio and collateral materials which can be used to market themselves to the industry

Academy of Art University Learning Outcomes
Graduates of the Academy of Art University will demonstrate the ability to:

  1. Produce a body of work suitable for seeking professional opportunities in their chosen field of art and design.
  2. Solve creative problems within their field of art and design, including research and synthesis of technical, aesthetic, and conceptual knowledge.
  3. Communicate their ideas professionally and connect with their intended audience using visual, oral, and written presentation skills relevant to their field.
  4. Execute technical, aesthetic, and conceptual decisions based on an understanding of art and design principles.
  5. Evaluate work in their field, including their own work, using professional terminology.
  6. Recognize the influence of major cultural and aesthetic trends, both historical and contemporary, on art and design products.
  7. Learn the professional skills and behaviors necessary to compete in the global marketplace for art and design.

Classes

Please see Degree Breakdown for requirements for the program. Explore our course catalog and take classes based around your interests and schedule online or in our world-class facilities in San Francisco.

Graduate Degree Breakdowns

Master of Fine Arts (MFA)

The MFA Fashion curriculum refines and focuses the graduate candidate’s individual vision, with courses in Fashion Design, Merchandising, Textiles and Knitwear. Studio courses hone the student’s mastery of fashion industry standards, combining design excellence with the latest digital tools.

Graduate candidates are guided through directed study, culminating in a final project production of a professional fashion collection and portfolio, or merchandising project.

Master of Arts (MA)

The Master of Arts program in Fashion Journalism is a 42 unit program designed to give students advanced training in the mastery of journalism for print, web and other platforms. The streamlined program provides students with an understanding of the fundamentals of the fashion industry, the ability to communicate clearly and effectively and the professional requirements needed to compete successfully in this diverse, challenging and ever-growing field.

Gainful Employment Information

Fashion Program

Fashion Journalism Program

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