College for Women | School of Business

Apparel Design

Stay a step ahead of the competition with St. Kate’s apparel design major offered on our St. Paul campus. Learn to transform inspiration into innovative design and make clothes for real bodies, while balancing sustainable, socially responsible practice.

what can I do with a degree in Apparel Design?

When pursuing a degree in apparel design, you'll gain a strong foundation in textile science, garment construction, fashion history and sustainable design, as well as a global perspective on dress. With an apparel design degree, you can work as a:

  • Lead or senior designer for a major label
  • Freelance or independent designer
  • Buyer for a major corporation
  • Production or technical manager for a creative company
  • Costume designer for regional theater
  • Personal stylist

Getting a bachelor’s degree in apparel design also positions you for graduate work in fashion, design or other fields, including business, international relations, journalism, cultural anthropology or museum/archival studies.

what will I study?

You will learn how to design a collection, create eco-friendly fashion and carry out ethical manufacturing. Upcycling, sustainable design, local sourcing, workers' rights and fair trade are frequent discussion topics in classes.

Core courses include:

  • Aesthetics
  • Trends
  • Fashion Illustration
  • Sewing
  • Tailoring
  • Patternmaking
  • Product Development
  • Fashion History

You will use fashion design software and 3D prototyping, such as Optitex, WindowsWear, Photoshop, Illustrator and CAD for design and merchandising.

Courses in art, business and communications are required, while study abroad is encouraged. You may participate in 10- to 21-day programs in London, Paris, Florence, India or other locations.

During senior year, you’ll present a collection at St. Kate's annual Katwalk fashion show, recognized in Twin Cities fashion circles as an event to spot rising stars. You’ll graduate with three portfolios to share with future employers: a department portfolio, a student portfolio and an e-portfolio — essential to marketing yourself in this information age.

Did you know?

  • Apparel Design is offered as a major and second degree.

why St. Kate’s?

Sustainable practice is incorporated at every level of St. Catherine University’s apparel design curriculum, from re-purposing textiles to creating looks from recycled material. So is technology. You’ll learn to be fashion forward and digitally innovative! St. Kate’s Apparel Design and Fashion Merchandising Advisory Committee ensures that our highly ranked fashion programs are relevant and aligns with industry trends. In fact, this committee—made up of fashion leaders and lovers—is regularly invited to speak in classes.

Major Course Requirements

Major Course Requirements

Explore the required, supporting and recommended courses.

Core Curriculum

Core Curriculum

The path to a bachelor's degree at St. Kate’s begins with a core curriculum that emphasizes intellectual inquiry and social teaching; challenging students to transformational leadership.



Our award-winning faculty are influential in fashion circles. They include nationally and internationally recognized eco-fashion and sustainability experts.

The St. Kate’s Experience

The St. Kate’s Experience

This unique program brings together resources, activities and personal support to help you achieve your goals.

Bachelor's Level