MSU makes top 75 list for fashion design program

Apparel and textile design senior Elonda Willis said although MSU is not the top-ranked school for fashion design, it has a program students can really benefit from.

“I’ve learned so much in the past three years that has prepared me for the real fashion industry,” Willis said. “I have already been granted the opportunity to participate and showcase my designs in a major fashion show this year.”

According to a recent list by, Michigan State University was ranked No. 67 in their “Top 75 Fashion Design Schools in the U.S.” list.

According to the list, 200 schools that offer fashion programs were considered. The criteria used in making the list took into account several factors: academic reputation, admission selectivity, depth and breadth of the program and faculty and geographic location.

Associate professor in the Apparel and Textile Design program Sally Helvenston Gray said fashion design students benefit from MSU’s apparel and textile design, or ATD program because they get an emphasis on creativity.

“Students are asked to really stretch and look for cutting edge ideas … so that when they do go into the industry they can think in a more creative and nonconventional way,” said Gray.

MSU alumna Tori Nichel, a 1998 graduate of the ATD program, recently was featured as one of 13 designers on NBC’s “Fashion Star.” She spent her junior year at the Fashion Institute of Technology, or FIT, in New York City, an opportunity that all MSU ATD majors can apply for.

Students who complete a year at FIT their junior year will receive an associate degree from FIT when they receive their baccalaureate degree from MSU.

ATD senior Jasmine Spears said she based her decision on her ability to get the whole college experience.

“I wanted to attend a big university so I would be able to experience real college life instead of actually going to a school that’s strictly just for fashion students,” said Spears. “The apparel and textile design program at MSU is an overall great program.”

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