Fashion Institute of Technology (FIT) is a public, four-year college in the State University of New York (SUNY) system. Located in Manhattan's Chelsea neighborhood, FIT offers associate's, bachelor's, and master's degrees in design, art, fashion, business, and communications, all with a focus on real-world application. The school consistently ranks among the best and most affordable fashion schools in the world.
FIT was founded in 1944 by a group of veterans of New York City's garment industry who perceived a need to recruit and train the next generation of employees and leaders in fashion. It opened with 100 students on the top floors of the Needle Trades High School (now the High School of Fashion Industries). In 1957 was accredited by SUNY to confer the Associates of Applied Sciences. It began offering bachelor's degrees in 1975 and master's degrees in 1979. Today, the campus occupies nine buildings across a full city block.
FIT offers 29 undergraduate programs. Students can pursue a very specialized degree like a BS in Cosmetics and Fragrance Marketing or a BFA in Footwear and Accessories Design, or opt for a more common degree like a BFA in Graphic Design or a BFA in Advertising and Digital Design. All undergraduates go through the college's 2+2 pathway: first, they apply to a major and earn an AAS in that major in two years, then they apply to a BS or BFA program in a related major for their final two years. For example, a student could earn an AAS in Menswear, then move on to a BS program in Production Management: Fashion and Related Industries.
At the graduate level, FIT offers seven programs: MA in Art Market Studies, MA in Exhibition and Experience Design, MA in Fashion and Textile Studies: History, Theory, Museum Practice; MFA in Fashion Design, MFA in Illustration, MPS in Cosmetics and Fragrance Marketing and Management, and MPS Global Fashion Management.
In December 2021, FIT announced the creation of the Social Justice Center at FIT. The center's mission is to create sustainable pathways for Black, Indigenous, and people of color into and through careers in the creative industry, from pre-college to the executive level.
FIT sponsors 80+ student clubs and organizations, including Student Volunteer Community Services (who volunteer at Fashion Week!) and Student Government. FIT also offers students the opportunity to participate in two student publications: W27, the college newspaper, and Blush, a beauty magazine.
As part of the SUNY system, tuition at FIT is a relative bargain. For the 2021-22 school year, New York State residents attending full-time pay $2645 per semester at the associates level, $3585 at the baccalaureate level, and $5771 at the graduate level. Out of state students pay $7935, $10,846, and $11,793 respectively. Part-time students pay per credit hour.
FIT is categorized as a highly diverse school. The student body is 41.5% white, 20.7% Hispanic or Latino, 12.2% international,11.6% Asian, 9% Black, 4.1% multi-ethnic, and 0.9% other or unknown.
FIT has cultivated some of the most talented people in the creative world. Notable alumni include Michael Kors, Calvin Klein, Leslie Blodgett, Founder of bareMinerals, Zaldy Goco, Designer for RuPaul, and Nina Garcia, the Editor in Chief of Elle and judge on Project Runway.
Occupying an entire city block in Chelsea, the Fashion Institute of Technology currently operates nine buildings at its 27th street location, five of which are academic and administrative buildings. Fred P. Pomerantz Art and Design Center houses the School of Art and Design and several studios. The Shirley A. Goodman Resource Center on 7th Avenue is home to the School of Graduate Studies and the Museum at FIT.
Marvin Feldman Center, adjacent to the Pomerantz Center, houses several studios and labs, including the Sewing and Weaving Lab, Chemistry Lab, and Technical Design Studios. Facing 28th Street, the Business and Liberal Arts Center includes academic and specialized classrooms and labs. Students attending the School of Liberal Arts and Sciences can expect to be spending the most time here, as well as those attending the Jay and Parker Baker School of Business and Technology. Other labs, the FIT food hall, and the fitness center can be found at the David Dubinsky Student Center, located at the corner of 28th and 8th Avenue.
FIT has four residence halls that house 2,300 students, all within steps of other campus buildings. There are dorm-style rooms, suites, and apartment-style living quarters available. All students have the option of applying to gender-inclusive housing. Dining options include Dubinsky Dining Hall, a traditional full-service cafeteria, FIT Express, and Starbucks, all of which accept the college's meal plan. Residential and commuter students are eligible to purchase a meal plan.
Besides public transit, students can also take the free Kaufman Hall Shuttle that runs between Feldman Center and Kaufman Hall every 15 minutes.
If you are not planning on living in the Residence Halls provided by FIT, don't feel like you're missing out! Over 7,700 FIT students are either commuting to class from their homes or are living off-campus in Manhattan. Many FIT students who choose to live off-campus often rent in neighborhoods farther away from the city center to save on rent. Commuting to FIT is not an issue, no matter where you choose to live. The campus is close to the 28th Street subway station with access to the 1 and 2 trains. It's also only a few blocks away from the 23rd Street stop on the A, C, and E trains. Check out RentHop's subway rent map and find out which subway stops along the 1 and 2 trains are the cheapest.
For people first moving into New York City, check out the RentHop Renters Guide. The guide explains everything you need to know about renting in the Big Apple, from finding your ideal apartment to signing the lease and completing the rental process.