With more than 620,000 international students, Canada draws a large number of foreign applications for many educational disciplines. Competitive and dynamic, some of the best fashion design universities in Canada also receive admission requests from around the world.
Recorded to chart growth greater than 12% in the next 5 years, the Canadian fashion industry is ever-evolving. Canadian Colleges and Universities offering courses in fashion design cover all aspects of this vast field, from sketching and stitching to fabric selection and fashion marketing.
Those interested in enrolling can apply to various programs, including diplomas, bachelor’s, and master’s degrees. Many top fashion schools in Canada also offer internship opportunities, allowing students to gain practical hands-on training.
Highlights: Best Fashion Design universities in Canada
|Degree Type||Bachelor of Design in Fashion (BDes)
Bachelor of Fine Arts (BFA)
Master of Design (MDes)
Master of Arts-Fashion (MA)/
Master of Fine Arts (MFA)
|Duration||4 years for an undergraduate degree
2 years for a graduate degree
|Medium of instruction||English|
|Eligibility||For undergraduate courses, students must have completed 10+2 from a board considered equivalent to the Ontario Secondary School Diploma. A minimum overall average of 70% establishes eligibility.
For postgraduate admissions, students should have an undergraduate degree, a graduate diploma in design, or its equivalent.
A minimum GPA of 3.0 on a 4.30 scale is required with a portfolio of creative work and writing samples.
*University-specific eligibility criteria may vary. Proof of English proficiency by means of TOEFL or IELTS scores may also be asked by some institutions.
|The average program costs||$20,000-30,000 CAD annually|
|Career prospects||Designer, brand strategist, art director, fashion stylist, etc.|
|The median salary for international fashion design graduates||$54,000- 78,000 CAD annually|
Best Fashion Design Universities in Canada
Toronto Metropolitan University, Toronto
With the reputation of being one of the top fashion schools in the world, TMU hones its students to understand the social, cultural, and economic implications of fashion. At the undergraduate level, applicants benefit immensely from the 250 hours of internship and career-focused workshops integrated into the program.
The MA Fashion degree at the university is the only one of its kind. It stands out from other programs as it does not require prior industry knowledge. International students are encouraged to study in Canada and explore the horizons of sustainable fashion that is crafted ethically. Anyone can apply from academic backgrounds in fine arts, humanities, social sciences, design, and business.
|Programs offered||Bachelor of Design in Fashion (BDes)
Master of Arts in Fashion (MA)
|Duration||4 years for BDes
2 years for MA
|Application deadlines||Fall term- March 16th
Winter term- April 1st
|Average fees for international students||$31,841 – $32,453 CAD annually for undergraduates
$28,974 CAD annually for postgraduates
LaSalle College, Vancouver
LaSalle College in Vancouver is a branch of the LaSalle International College in Montreal, centered in the fashion capital of Canada. While most fashion schools in the country offer only diplomas, this Vancouver college is one of the handful to offer a baccalaureate degree in the subject.
With a thriving design industry and excellent educational resources, LaSalle also attracts students worldwide who wish to study graphic design in Canada. Emphasis is given to building your way up only after mastering core subjects, including topics like
- Fundamentals of Fashion Design
- Flat Pattern Drafting
- Textiles, and
- Computer Pattern Drafting.
|Programs offered||Bachelor of Design in Fashion Design|
|Duration||4 years for BDes|
|Application deadlines||For early admissions, applicants must apply before 31st January for Summer and Fall terms of the same year|
|Average fees for international students||$24,250 CAD annually for undergraduates pursuing Bachelor of Design in Fashion Design
($99,000 for the whole program)
Kwantlen Polytechnic University, British Columbia
KPU has a unique curriculum that does an exceptional job at providing students with the skills it takes to thrive in the fashion industry. However, alongside this, the university also strives to equip its graduates with business acumen and marketing savvy. It is competence in all these areas that they need to bank upon in order to compete in the global fashion marketplace.
The Bachelor of Design in Fashion and Technology is KPU’s conventional fashion design course. Other popular degrees that cover the technical aspects of design and construction include
- Foundations in Design,
- Product Design, and
- Technical Apparel Design
In addition to this, international students are often seen enrolling in a Master in Interior Design course after the completion of their undergraduate degree.
|Programs offered||Bachelor of Design in Fashion and Technology|
|Duration||4 years for the undergraduate program|
|Application deadlines||Fall term- Applications open in October and no applications are accepted after 1st July
Spring term- Applications open in February and no applications are accepted after 1st November
Summer term- Applications open in June and no applications are accepted after 1st March
|Average fees for international students||$20,948 CAD annually for undergraduate students pursuing Bachelor of Design in Fashion and Technology|
NSCAD University, Nova Scotia
Established in 1887, NSCAD University boasts the repute of being one of Canada’s oldest independent cultural institutions. The university’s motto is to create value and economic impact through art, media, craft, and design. Thus, a baccalaureate degree in fashion design from NSCAD helps you conceptualize the design process and acquire the skills to become a pioneer in the industry.
Facilities available for international students include a functioning dye and surface design studio, a fashion studio with cutting tables, and more. Industrial sewing machines, gravity-free irons, and other equipment enable you to create experimental structures and surfaces with a hands-on approach to designing.
|Programs offered||Bachelor of Fine Arts with a Major in Textiles/Fashion|
|Duration||4 years for the undergraduate program|
|Application deadlines||March 1 for September
October 1 for January
|Average fees for international students||$20,826 CAD annually for undergraduate students pursuing Bachelor of Fine Arts with a Major in Textiles/Fashion|
Diploma Courses Offered by Best Fashion Design Universities in Canada
Very few colleges in Canada confer undergraduate degrees in fashion design. These have a duration of 4 years and give you sound technical and theoretical knowledge of the burgeoning fashion industry.
However, diploma courses garner more popularity amongst students, because of their shorter duration and practicum approach. Within 1-2 years, students are taught to focus on the design segment of the program while building a solid foundation in the fundamentals of apparel engineering.
Some of these top fashion designing colleges in Canada offering diploma courses include
- George Brown College
- LaSalle College, Montreal
- New Brunswick College of Craft and Design
- Fanshawe College of Applied Arts and Technology
George Brown College, Toronto
While London, New York, and Paris universities dominate the list of top fashion schools in the world, Toronto’s George Brown College does not fall far behind. The annual fashion show conducted by the institution and other portfolio events serve as some of its key highlights.
|Programs offered||Ontario College Diploma in Fashion Techniques and Design|
|Application deadlines||September term- Applications open on 5th December
January term- Applications open on 3rd April
May term- Applications open on 8th August
|Average fees for international students||$18,159 CAD annually|
LaSalle College, Montreal
Located in the heart of the fashion capital of the country, LaSalle College in Montreal is well-renowned for the quality of education it offers. For the past 50 years, the institute has churned out young talent nationally and internationally, building a large network of alumni across the globe.
|Programs offered||Diploma of College Studies (DEC) in Fashion Design|
|Duration||6 semesters amounting to 2775 hours|
|Application deadlines||Rolling admissions|
|Average fees for international students||$10,300 CAD per semester|
New Brunswick College of Craft and Design, Fredericton
With a vibrant and culturally diverse history spanning 80+ years, the NBCCD empowers its students to develop an expressive, personal sense of design. The course curriculum is designed such that by the second year, students practice advanced studies in finishing techniques, tailoring, and draping.
|Programs offered||Diploma in Fashion Design|
|Application deadlines||January 15|
|Average fees for international students||$9,452 CAD annually|
Fanshawe College of Applied Arts and Technology, Ontario
With a student employment rate of 86.7% upon graduation, students gain the skills necessary for success beyond the classroom at Fanshawe. The program in Fashion Design uses technological aids to foster creative and independent problem-solving. Emphasis is given to inclusive and sustainable fashion with the third year of study culminating in a capstone project.
|Programs offered||Ontario College Advanced Diploma in Fashion Design|
|Application deadlines||Applications open for September 2023 and January 2024|
|Average fees for international students||$50,000 CAD for the entire program ($16,667 annually)|
Eligibility Criteria for Best Fashion Design Universities in Canada
The eligibility requirements for admission vary depending on the program you are applying to.
At the undergraduate level, students need to
- Have completed 10+2 from a board considered equivalent to the Ontario Secondary School Diploma. A minimum overall average of 70% establishes eligibility.
- Good scores in standardized tests like 6.5 in IELTS and 80 in TOEFL iBT.
- An essay submitted alongside a portfolio of creative work and other writing samples.
At the graduate level, applicants must have
- An undergraduate degree, a graduate diploma in design, or its equivalent.
- A minimum GPA of 3.0 on a 4.30 scale is required with a portfolio of creative work and writing samples.
Documents Required for International Students
- All past academic transcripts
- A photocopy of a valid passport
- Two letters of recommendation (LORs), where at least one must be an academic reference
- Proof of secondary school graduation in English including its official translation
- Proof of English Language Proficiency (ELP) exam results
- A Canadian Study Permit which will be provided after receiving an acceptance letter from the university of your choice.
Career Prospects for Fashion Design Graduates
According to Job Bank, a government-monitored website, labor demand, and supply are expected to be broadly in line for fashion design graduates till 2031.
New job openings are expected to total 9,400, while 8,200 new job seekers are expected to be available to fill them.
Graduates can expect to get a salary ranging between $54,000- 78,000 CAD annually. Career roles can include several creative and entrepreneurial positions such as
- Brand strategist,
- Art director,
- Fashion stylist, and
- Apparel designer
In addition to this, international students can take advantage of the Post-Graduation Work Permit (PGWP) Program. This allows them to stay in Canada and gain valuable work experience for a maximum period of 3 years. They can also work while studying to recompense their daily living costs during the course of the program.
With the fashion industry establishing its position in the global economy, countries are looking for sustainable fashion solutions. Pursuing a degree in fashion design from a top Canadian institute can prove to be a rewarding option. The program’s advanced theoretical and practicum components prepare you for job roles such as designer, brand strategist, art director, fashion stylist, and more with an annual salary between $54,000- 78,000 CAD. For more information, contact Gyanberry Gyanberry.