Students of Ryerson's School of Fashion are prepared for a variety of careers in Fashion Communication and Fashion Design. The first year of the four-year program is common to all Fashion students. This foundation year is designed to give a general overview of the knowledge and skills applicable to all branches of the fashion industry. Introductory studies range from art history, textiles, clothing construction and pattern-making, design and colour, and fashion drawing. In addition, courses in liberal studies provide the broad foundation necessary for later specialization. In second year students begin their specialization in either: Fashion Communication or Fashion Design.
Specialization in Fashion Communication also begins in second year. Business-related courses in areas such as marketing, business, communication, fashion in international markets, fashion and society are combined with professional studies in communication design, illustration, typography, curation and exhibition, photography, video production and fashion journalism to produce a graduate who can work in all areas of fashion communication. Through the selection of elective courses in second, third and fourth year, students may elect to pursue a minor or to otherwise customize their elective package to focus on their individual career objectives. Students also work in teams to produce a series of fashion events culminating in the year-end fashion presentation, attended by over 3,500 people, including industry and media representatives.
Students accepted into the Design program begin specialization in the second year. Within the third and fourth year there are core courses in intermediate and advanced apparel design, computer aided design, tailoring, production management, fashion and society, international marketing, grading and materials management. In addition students may further focus on such subjects as contour and knitwear design, theatre/historical costume, surface (textile) design, and curation and exhibition through the selection of elective courses in second, third and fourth year. Senior students work with some of Canada's most noted designers to develop their own apparel collections, which are critiqued by industry buyers and manufacturers and shown in the annual year-end fashion events. The collections may be produced individually or as part of a design team.
Through internship placements students gain experience in a range of professional settings and are given an opportunity to observe the various sectors in the fashion industry: manufacturing, design, styling, retail, import-export, promotion, multimedia, packaging and publishing. These internship(s) help students clarify their educational goals, integrate classroom theory into an applied setting and provide contacts for employment opportunities after graduation. Students are required to complete 400 hours of documentable work experience between first and fourth year. Students who do not complete the required 400 hours of internship will receive an 'incomplete' grade in FSN 402 Internship.