Closeup, cropped photo of red and white, felt lanterns in the Dorothy O'Brien Innovation Lab.

AcademicsUndergraduate Majors

Textiles & Fashion Design, BS

Textiles & Fashion Design (TFD) Bachelor of Science degree merges design, sustainability, and retailing. Students engage in studio projects and coursework covering historical and contemporary design.

Our Bachelor of Science degree in Textiles and Fashion Design prepares you for an exciting and creative career. You’ll work in inspiring studio spaces with knowledgeable faculty who encourage creativity to help you craft an exciting career as a designer. Our award-winning students are both highly creative and superb craftspeople engaged in addressing real world problems and offering sustainable solutions.

Textiles & Fashion Design options include specialization in apparel or textiles plus the opportunity to spend senior year at the Fashion Institute of Technology in New York City. Visiting lecturers, projects with industry professionals, an annual fashion show, and student gallery exhibitions enhance course work. Focuses include environmental, economic, and cultural sustainability as well as technology and entrepreneurship.

For those leaning toward an industry career, consider the Fashion Institute of Technology (FIT) in New York City, the hub of the textile and fashion trade. The FIT experience provides students with industry specific skills which, paired with their creative liberal arts background, makes our graduates highly desirable and often recruited by industry leaders. After successfully completing the year at FIT students are awarded a Bachelor of Science degree from UW–Madison and an Associates of Applied Science degree from FIT.

Coursework & Careers

TFD students study art, design, science, and technology and work one-on-one with experienced professors to explore materials and technical techniques that create beautiful and sustainable solutions. Classes in humanities, science, and social studies along with guest lectures from industry experts round out the broad knowledge and experience needed to succeed in one of the largest industries in the world. Our graduates have become industry designers, independent artists, and entrepreneurs.

We have both textile and apparel focus graduates in many of the leading companies in the industry. Students who attend the Fashion Institute of Technology in New York City in their senior year have experienced great success in finding positions at major firms in the New York area, including Ann Inc., Dana Buchman, Express, The Gap, Lily Pulitzer, Jahne Barnes, J Crew, Liz Claiborne, Macy’s, Ralph Lauren, Steve Madden, and Victoria’s Secret. Students who graduate from the Madison campus and wish to remain in Wisconsin or the mid-west have found positions at Jockey, Lands’ End, Kohl’s, Target, Milliken, A to Z textiles, Guilford Mills and Shopko Stores, Inc.

Fashion Institute of Technology

Students can apply for an optional senior year of study toward an A.A.S. degree at the Fashion Institute of Technology (FIT) in New York City. The FIT experience provides industry specific skills, which paired with the institute’s creative liberal arts background and UW–Madison B.S. degree, creates a highly-desirable employment portfolio. Connect with your advisor to learn more about FIT.

Portfolio Submission

This optional Portfolio Submission is only for new prospective students applying to UW–Madison with the intended major of Textiles and Fashion Design. Submissions are reviewed periodically by TFD faculty to contribute to a more holistic decision by the Office of Admissions. All Portfolio Submissions must:

  • Include 8-12 images, in focus, well-composed and clearly showing your creative work
  • Minimum of four hand-created works in any media (textiles, fashion, drawing, painting, sculpture, printmaking, etc.)
  • Submit a single pdf file, merging all images, and no larger than 50 MB
  • Name file “Lastname-Firstname-TFD Portfolio ID” (e.g., Jensen-Rachel-TFD Portfolio)
  • When uploading you will be required to enter your email address and for File Description enter “Portfolio”.

Textiles and Fashion Design Stories

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Median National Salaries (U.S. Department of Labor)

$75,810 Fashion Designer