Kent State University

 Kent State University campus exterior. Photo: Courtesy of Kent State University

 Kent State University campus exterior. Photo: Courtesy of Kent State University

Location: Kent, Ohio, USA


Undergraduate: Fashion Design; Fashion Merchandising

Graduate: Fashion Industry Studies

Annual Tuition: 

Undergraduate: $10,756 for in-state residents; $19,458 for out-of-state

Graduate: $9,450 for in-state residents; $17,622 for out-of-state

Famous Alumni: Jade Frampton, Molly Langenstein (general business manager, ready-to-wear at Macy's), Stephen "Suede" Baum (Featured on "Project Runway"); Jodi Sittig (VP of marketing, Spanx), Heather Cerbone (SVP global merchandising, product design & development - Polo Brands at Ralph Lauren), Karen Barbiere (design director, women's at Gap Global; Will Riddle (atelier director for Oscar de la Renta)

Companies that recruit from this school, according to the school: Ann Taylor Loft, Christian Siriano, Dillard's, Elizabeth Kennedy, Kohl's, Lane Bryant, Macy's, Nordstrom, Oscar De La Renta, Target

New programs and partnerships of note: 

  • Masters of Fashion Industry Studies graduate program.
  • Study-abroad partnerships with London's Regents University and Germany's Reutlingen University.

Enrollment: 1,784

Graduation rate: 76%

Class size: 15-20 (Design); 45-55 (Merchandising)

Classes are taught in: English

Percentage of international students: 4%

What the Students Had to Say:

"Though it can sometimes be overwhelming, the work given at Kent State is manageable and is to help you truly prepare for after college, and Kent is one of the best schools to help prepare fashion students for a career in that field."

"For the connections alone, Kent is the best choice!"

"Prepare you for ready-to-wear. If you’re looking for more couture techniques, I would go elsewhere, although they do have a summer Paris study away couture program, it’s nowhere to be found in KSU curriculum."

"Although it is easy to get into the program, it’s very difficult to stay in. Make sure you LOVE fashion and the potential career choice you’re choosing when beginning this program."

Student designs. Photo: Courtesy of Kent State University

Student designs. Photo: Courtesy of Kent State University

The Bottom Line: Ohio is becoming a fashion industry hub in its own right, but Kent State has long been a respected school for fashion with many industry connections and a rigorous design program. With a placement rate of more than 90 percent across both fashion design and fashion merchandising, Kent also has campuses in New York and Florence; offers study abroad programs in Paris, Hong Kong, South Korea and London; has a huge endowment for scholarship; and boasts a high-profile program allowing you to complete a fashion-focused undergraduate and MBA in fashion-focused business in just five years. Kent proves that you can have a traditional American college experience and still learn the skills you need make it in the New York-centric fashion industry. Plus, the school's TechStyle Lab offers students the opportunity to experiment with digital design and new production methods.

More Info: 

The 25 Best Fashion Schools in the World in 2018: See the full list.

Last updated December 2018.