You don't have to be in New York to take advantage of an excellent fashion design education. New England contains several prestigious design schools for those interested in becoming designers, fashion writers, buyers, technicians, trend researchers, production managers, merchandisers, marketers, or another fashion-related career. Whether you're looking for a four-year degree, a master's degree, or just the experience of the coursework, you can find a program to fit your needs.

Rhode Island School of Design

Students enrolled in this four-year, bachelor of fine arts program are assigned a range of projects to do in studio and participate in a tour of the New York fashion district. The curriculum includes instruction in constructing a range of apparel types, including functional and experimental clothing. Freshmen take foundation courses including drawing and design, sophomores focus on pattern-making and sewing, juniors continue with knitwear and tailoring, and seniors complete a six-week internship at a fashion house. Students also conceptualize and assemble a collection to have the opportunity to have them modeled at the school's runway show. Designers Nicole Miller, Sari Gueron and Marcia Patmos of the label Lutz & Patmos were all former students.

Rhode Island School of Design 2 College St. Providence, RI 02903-2784 (401) 454-6180 risd.edu/apparel.cfm

School of Fashion Design

This exclusively fashion design technical school offers 60-credit certificates and 90-credit diplomas in fashion design. The courses emphasize preparation for careers in mass production, boutique and haute couture and range in topics from inspiration, design, construction, detail, accessorizing and presentation. The curriculum includes sketching, 2-D and 3-D design, portfolio development, construction, pattern-making and computer-aided design. Professional classes in fashion show production, visual display, marketing, public relations, publicity, product research and development, writing, styling and branding are also available. Classes are offered for day and evening schedules for both full-time and part-time students.

The School of Fashion Design 136 Newbury St. Boston, MA 02116 (617) 536-9343 schooloffashiondesign.org/

Mount Ida College, The Chamberlayne School of Design and Merchandising

Students in this program can earn a four-year bachelor of science degree by completing classwork in art, draping, sewing, patternmaking, illustration, tailoring and presentation, as well as completing studio work. Students also have the opportunity to show their collections in the spring fashion show in downtown Boston which is attended by press and talent scouts. Graduate students can earn a master of fine arts or master of science degree in textile arts and fashion design, as well as a master of arts degree in visual culture and costume design.

Mount Ida College, The Chamberlayne School of Design and Merchandising 777 Dedham St. Newton, MA 02459 (617) 928-4500 mountida.edu/sp.cfm?pageid=335

Lasell College

Foundation studies for this four-year, bachelor of science program include both liberal arts and business courses with an emphasis on the specialized areas of retail merchandising, clothing design, and visual and promotional design techniques. Students must participate in working both on- and off-campus fashion shows as designers, producers, set designers, and/or stylists. The school encourages internships and offers opportunities at well-known brands such as Giorgio Armani, Sak's 5th Avenue, Victoria's Secret and J.Crew.

Lasell College 1844 Commonwealth Ave. Newton, MA 02466 (617) 243-2000 lasell.edu/majors/fashion.asp