Thomas Jefferson University

Thomas Jefferson University campus. Photo: Gary G. Schempp, Jr.

Thomas Jefferson University campus. Photo: Gary G. Schempp, Jr.

Location: Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA


Undergraduate: Fashion Design; Fashion Merchandising & Management; Textile Design; Textile Materials Technology

Graduate: Fashion Design Management; Textile Design; Global Fashion Enterprise; Textile Engineering and Science

Annual Tuition: 

Undergraduate: $34,495

Graduate: $1,170 per credit

Famous Alumni: Mike Ternosky (owner/head designer at Obey), David Sirkin (president, PVH), Wendy Santana (SVP at Li & Fung), Danny Penska (VP of design at Lilly Pulitzer)

Companies That Recruit From This School, According to the School: Nike, Free People, Li & Fung, Global Brands, Anthropologie, Oscar De La Renta, Under Armour, PVH, Lilly Pulitzer, URBN, QVC, Abercrombie & Fitch, Coach

New Programs and Partnerships of Note:

  • New York Immersion Course partners with several industry leaders on an industry project — this year's partner was Li & Fung.
  • A New York Fashion Week collaboration with Epson printing featuring senior collections; newly launched MS in Fashion Design Management in collaboration with Politecnico de Milano.
  • A multi-disciplinary industry project on wearables with Verizon headquarters.

Enrollment: 731

Graduation Rate: 91.4%

Class Size: 12 students

Student/Reacher Ratio: 6:1

Classes Are Taught in: English

Percentage of International Students: 7%

What the Students Say: 

"The fashion program is great; it is well-structured for those who are just starting design and also helps those who have some experience. It is set up so that those who put in the effort will succeed, and shows those that don't just what they are in for. The professors are always willing to help and will go out of their way to help students prepare themselves for life after graduation, as well as get to know students so as to be a support system when students need it. I have felt like I can really depend on my professors and have gotten internships through them. The fashion program at this school is difficult, but it pushes students to do more and be more."

"No experienced required to apply, but a lot of experience gained. It’s less traditional than other fashion schools and is somewhat less competitive."

"I was a little disappointed with the lack of connections my school/career services had when I was looking for summer internships."

"The opportunities are’s up to you to take the initiative to make things happen and make your name known."

A recent Thomas Jefferson University Runway Show. Photo: Gary G. Schempp, Jr.

A recent Thomas Jefferson University Runway Show. Photo: Gary G. Schempp, Jr.

The Bottom Line: Formerly Philadelphia University, Jefferson focuses on providing a holistic approach to fashion design education — addressing not only design but also merchandising, technology, production, business and other elements required to actually make it in the industry. There are also study-abroad programs in Europe for those looking for a more global experience. The proximity to New York is also something to keep in mind. While the school doesn't boast as many marquee designer names as some others, its alumni have nabbed jobs within a number of prestigious apparel companies.

More Info:

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

Last updated December 2018.