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Fashion Design

History and Mission of FIT

History and Mission

FIT was founded in 1944 to prepare men and women for work in the fashion industry as it grew in size and scope. Seven years later, FIT became the second community college of the State University of New York and the first in New York City to grant the Associate in Applied Science degree. As the curricula expanded beyond fashion to include business, communications, and design, the college's degree offerings also expanded. In 1975, an amendment to the education law of New York State was approved, permitting FIT to confer Bachelor of Fine Arts and Bachelor of Science degrees. Four years later, another amendment authorized the granting of master's degrees, and the first master’s programs were introduced in 1985.

FIT now offers 48 degree programs in a range of design and business fields, including fashion, that have made New York City their focal point. Students who come to the college to study these specialized programs are goal-oriented, setting their sights high in their chosen fields of study. Today, approximately 9,000 U.S. and international students are enrolled in FIT's diverse curricula, attending classes day and evening, year-round, online and on campus, in New York City, throughout the country, and around the world.

FIT is a public institution, receiving its principal financial support from the State and City of New York. The college is governed by its Board of Trustees, whose members are active professionals committed to developing talent. Local sponsorship comes from the New York City Department of Education in cooperation with the FIT Foundation. FIT is accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education, 3624 Market Street, Philadelphia, PA 19104. The Middle States Commission on Higher Education is an institutional accrediting agency recognized by the U.S. Secretary of Education and the Council for Higher Education Accreditation. FIT is also accredited by the National Association of Schools of Art and Design
( and the Council for Interior Design Accreditation (

Eleven degree programs in the Jay and Patty Baker School of Business and Technology are accredited by the Accreditation Council for Business Schools and Programs ( FIT is firmly committed to creating an environment that will attract and retain people of diverse racial and cultural backgrounds. By providing a learning and working environment that encourages, utilizes, respects, and appreciates the full expression of every individual's ability, the FIT community fosters its mission and grows because of its rich, pluralistic experience.

FIT is committed to providing an international experience for every student, through travel abroad, intercultural activities on campus, or virtual international programs. FIT provides many global initiatives that support our community in living, learning, and engaging with those from a variety of backgrounds. In addition to a wide range of study-abroad opportunities around the world, FIT has programs on its own campuses in Florence and Milan, Italy, and its newest location, which opened in 2017 on the SUNY Korea campus in Songdo. FIT students in Korea can earn an AAS in Fashion Business Management or Fashion Design, and apply to finish their bachelor’s degree on the New York City campus.


FIT prepares students for professional excellence in design and business through rigorous and adaptable academic programs, experiential learning, and innovative partnerships. A premier public institution in New York City, FIT fosters creativity, career focus, and a global perspective and educates its students to embrace inclusiveness, sustainability, and a sense of community.


FIT will be globally celebrated as the institution where students, scholars, and teachers cross traditional disciplinary boundaries to stimulate innovation, partner with creative industries worldwide, and develop innovative design and business solutions. By focusing on the three major goals, FIT will become stronger by conscious design and be known as a strategic organization—one that applies available resources to greatest effect to achieve its vision.

Academic and Creative Excellence

FIT will provide a rigorous learning experience built on the highest standards of academic and scholarly excellence, an environment that promotes creativity and experimentation, and diverse experiential learning with a variety of industry partners.

An Innovation Center

The college will work with industries worldwide to help address key challenges, build an even stronger culture of innovation and entrepreneurship at FIT, and establish collaborations that translate creative ideas into action.

An Empowered Student Community

FIT will build an inclusive community in which students engage with, learn from, and inspire one another—discovering how their differences and similarities promote creativity, intellectual and personal growth, and understanding.