Fashion Institute of Technology

Michael Kors at New York Fashion Week in February. Photo: Dimitrios Kambouris/Getty Images For Michael Kors

Michael Kors at New York Fashion Week in February. Photo: Dimitrios Kambouris/Getty Images For Michael Kors

Location: New York, New York, United States

Programs: Accessories Design, Cosmetics and Fragrance Marketing, Direct and Interactive Marketing, Entrepreneurship, Fabric Styling, Fashion Design, Fashion Merchandising Management, Illustration, International Trade and Marketing for the Fashion Industries, Jewelry Design, Menswear, Photography, Production Management: Fashion and Related Industries, Technical Design, Textile Development and Marketing, Textile/Surface Design.

Annual Tuition: Undergraduate: $6,470 for New York State residents, $17,810 for out-of-state residents. Graduate: $10,870 for NYC/NY State residents; $22,210 for out-of-state residents.

Misc: Very comprehensive programs, part of the SUNY.

Famous Alumni: Calvin Klein, Michael Kors, Nanette Lepore, Reem Acra, Nina Garcia, Francisco Costa, Joe Zee, Brian Atwood, Ralph Rucci, Michelle Smith, Dennis Basso, Norma Kamali, John Bartlett, Stephen Burrows, Daniel Vosovic.

What the Students Say: 

"FIT is amazing. Since it is right smack in the middle of Manhattan, think of it as another part of the fashion industry rather than just school. Professors must have 10+ prior years working in the field that they are teaching about, so each professor really brings their own life experiences to the classroom. You gain so many connections and network every day with people in the industry that their post-graduation job rate is above 80%. Looking forward to my future years left here at FIT (I am a sophomore)."

"FIT is very practical and industrial, which means that if you want to be a designer who wants to work in marketable contemporary brand or a retailer, it's a good school. However, the school often discourage artistic views or creativities of students because it is 'not realistic' or 'not going to sell' so if you want to be like Alexander McQueen, this is not a good school. On the other hand, FIT offers abundant source that you can enjoy from access to digital Vogue archive, NYTimes, WGSN to New York's most prominent fashion/art library and museum. But the school doesn't really promote it much and a lot of students have no idea it's there. Professors are amazing they have such a passion for the fashion industry and want to teach your everything they know."

"Extremely driven, heavy workload and tons of opportunity to network and be hands on. It is my first semester and I've already worked NYFW, found an internship, met with business executives from major labels and had the chance to learn from amazing speakers and industry leaders. The city is your campus as there are a million field trips to amazing brands."

"I won't ever regret choosing FIT, but of course there are plenty of downsides. The internship program sucks. The people, both faculty and students, can have bad attitudes. Your peers can sometimes be so stupid you wonder how they got accepted in FIT in the first place. The education is great, but throughout the program it can all get repetitive. The connections you build are fantastic however. Student life is fun and tight-knit if you get involved, and the clubs and other facilities such as the Museum at FIT bring in the most amazing speakers from every field in the industry. The time a student spends at FIT is so valuable and so worth it so long as they do everything they can to take advantage of it. I didn't utilize my time here as much as I would've liked to, and it's kind of too late because I'm graduating in May, but even still I know I've learned a lot."

"I truly think that this is the only fashion school worth going to currently. In the USA and on the entire planet, for a terrific foundation for fashion design. Before coming here, I've done my research on the NYC fashion schools and FIT was the clear choice. I've heard from my professors and Parsons students that Parsons students come to FIT because their professors tell them to. For basics such as draping. Something that's a MUST for any fashion design program. First year draping at Parsons currently involves draping with blow up beach balls, while we use muslin. I feel like the Parsons applications looks for artistic skills and then the program emphasizes creativity, while the FIT application looks for creativity and design skills and a decent understanding of construction, and then the program teaches you how to execute garments professionally, while the professors drive you to individualize your garments, truly make it your own. The professors here care so much about their students. My classes/ block feels like a family, and we do call ourselves a family! All while the professors call us their children. I truly can't see myself at any other school. The competition is fierce here though. So if you don't have passion and true love for fashion design, FIT might not be the school for you, or probably the major. It's a competitive industry."

"Lots of opportunities extended to you with part time jobs and internships but majority of it is up to you. Many outside hours required of studies as well as taking a full load of courses in one semester."

"The curriculum is very technical but in a very positive way. We need it."

"Great study abroad program."

"Be prepared to not receive a normal college experience. While it is a wonderful one, do not look at your friends at other schools and get disappointed because that's what you expected. This is a unique experience that you cannot classify into a certain category."

The Bottom Line: In addition to fashion design, FIT offers fashion marketing, business, textiles, visual arts and countless other fashion-related degrees. The lecture series and FIT museum are exceptional. Valerie Steele, as chief curator of the Museum at FIT, gives this school a brainy credibility. This is a great choice for those who are as career-driven as they are creatively driven: FIT offers a lot of technical skills, and a lot of different avenues. What's more, the job placement rate is 89 percent.

More Info: www.fitnyc.edu

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