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School of Fashion

MFA Program Learning Outcomes

The MFA fashion masters degree curriculum refines and focuses the fashion graduate school candidate's individual vision, offering courses in fashion design, fashion merchandising and marketing, textiles, and knitwear. Studio courses for fashion design, textile, and knitwear students hone the graduate candidate's mastery of fashion industry standards in design and construction, enhancing design excellence with computer skills, and preparing MFA candidates to launch themselves into the industry upon graduating. Fashion merchandising and marketing majors acquire the skills to succeed in fashion careers in buying, product development, retail management, or marketing. Courses include textiles, product sourcing, trend forecasting and product development, product line development, merchandising principles, retail and human resource management, marketing and visual merchandising and business planning.

Subsequent to intensive studio and academic courses, the graduate candidate is guided through directed study, culminating in a Final Project–production of a professional fashion collection and portfolio, or merchandising project. Selected collections are chosen to be part of the Academy's Annual Fashion Show.

MFA graduates of the School of Fashion 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.
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