The following are the required courses for this major. Students who attend Orientation and meet with the Education Department can obtain personalized academic counseling to complete the program. Transfer credits, changes in curriculum, and other factors may affect the academic plan for individual students. The FIDM Education Department can provide additional information.

Associate of Arts (A.A.)

FTWR 1100
Introduction to Footwear Design
An introduction to footwear, the anatomy of the foot, and the footwear industry. The course includes learning footwear vocabulary and identifying different types of footwear constructions, lasts, and components. Students research the leathers, textiles, and materials used to create styles such as dress shoes, espadrilles, sandals, boots, sneakers, and athleisure footwear.
FTWR 1300
Sketching for Footwear Design
Students learn hand sketching techniques for illustrating various types of footwear as well as rendering the textiles, materials and components used for footwear. Students apply their understanding of anatomy and footwear proportions by sketching footwear on the foot.
FTWR 1700
Technical Sketching for Footwear Design
Students learn to identify types of lasts used in production for various shoe constructions, how to hand draw last profiles, and how to apply last proportions to draw insoles, outsoles, heels, straps and other components. Students extend their understanding of design principles and elements by creating and sketching a small footwear collection. Prerequisites: FTWR 1100, FTWR 1300
FTWR 1800
History of Footwear
This course surveys historical footwear and its influence on current fashion and trends. Students explore historic material and construction methods by making a period-appropriate shoe and apply their understanding of footwear, historic styles, and trend research to the design of a vintage-inspired contemporary footwear collection. Prerequisites: FTWR 1100, FTWR 1300
FTWR 2100
Footwear Design & Line Development
Students research the footwear supply chain and key retailers, and apply their knowledge of merchandising, branding, footwear manufacturing, and line-building to the design of small, brand-focused collections.
FTWR 2300A
Pattern Drafting for Footwear I
Students are introduced to the basic footwear industry requirements and procedures for pattern drafting on the last. They develop the patterns, line art, and specs used to create standard constructions including a basic pump, Maryjane, and sandal. Includes a three (3) hour lab.
FTWR 2300B
Pattern Drafting for Footwear II
Students continue to refine footwear industry requirements and procedures for pattern drafting on the last. They develop the patterns, line art, and specs used to create standard constructions including an oxford, moccasin, boot, and sneaker. Prerequisite: FTWR 2300A
FTWR 2400
Introduction to 3D Design
Students learn the basics of the Rhino vector design software program for footwear and are exposed to 3D printing technologies in current use. Prerequisites: FTWR 2300, FTWR 2500A
FTWR 2500A
Design & Technical Specification for Footwear I
Using Photoshop and Illustrator, students convert hand drawn technical sketches and creative design ideas to a digital format (CAD) and produce line sheets, technical sketches, color stories, and materials concepts for presentation. Prerequisites: FTWR 1700, TEXT 2240, TEXT 2220
FTWR 2500B
Design & Technical Specification for Footwear II
Students learn the requirements for the tech pack used by footwear factory technicians to make a first prototype, including CADs/technical sketches, call-outs and specifications. Students observe a fit session on a foot model to see how corrections are made prior to production, and develop their own spec sheets and tech packs. Prerequisites: FTWR 2100, FTWR 2500
FTWR 2700
3-D Design Applications
Students work with the Rhino vector design software program to create footwear designs and components that are suitable for 3D printing. Prerequisite: FTWR 2400
FTWR 2800
Collection Development
Students research and design their own footwear collection, and develop an industry-ready portfolio showcasing their body of work. Prerequisite: FTWR 2500B
FTWR 2850
Special Projects in Footwear
A final thesis project is produced in partnership with a footwear industry mentor. Prerequisite: FTWR 2500B
GNST 1040
English Composition
In this process-oriented course, students combine deep, disciplined research with careful writing and revision to produce a thoughtful, creative, and personally meaningful research essay. They learn to formulate focused research questions, identify and investigate credible sources, and synthesize expert opinion with their own insight in support of a clearly defined, complex thesis. The emphasis is on curiosity, exploration, and discovery. As part of the process, students also gain confidence and competency in two primary areas of written expression: organization and mechanics.
GNST 1170
History of Costume
This course provides an overview of costume history in Western culture from ancient civilizations to the present. Students examine cultural, social, and historical events and analyze their effect on the history of costume and apparel, including the influence of historical costume on fashion today. Students develop a broad fashion vocabulary and become familiar with period costume terminology.
GNST 1230
Color & Design Theory
An introductory study of the principles and elements of color and design theory. Students critique aspects of a visual representation by analyzing the components of design and the use of color by the artist.
GNST 1450
College Mathematics
This course explores financial and consumer math, the geometry of flat and 3-dimensional spaces, and the basics of statistical analysis. Integrating mathematical equations and concepts in the context of problem solving and discovery, students complete projects and assignments demonstrating the effective use of quantitative tools to support their conclusions.
GNST 1600
Effective Speaking
A course in oral communication designed to give students poise, speaking confidence, and the ability to develop and produce a focused, well-organized speech that holds the audiences attention through effective delivery methods. Presentational skills and audience-centered communication are emphasized. Prerequisite: GNST 1040
GNST 1650
Critical Thinking
Designed to foster independent thinking, this course strengthens students capacity to reason clearly, critically, and creatively, including the ability (1) to analyze the arguments of others, (2) to synthesize effective arguments of their own, and (3) to solve problems skillfully. Students also gain experience in reading closely and conducting purposeful, imaginative research skills essential to the examination of demanding social, moral, political, and personal issues.
GNST 1900
Professional Skills
This course facilitates a comprehensive understanding of the tools and techniques necessary to effectively navigate the complexities of the job market. Students explore critical components of employment in order to prepare for their job search; the ultimate result is placement in their desired career. Students develop the following skills: building a meaningful resume; understanding how to navigate career sites, including but not limited to FIDM Career Network and Linkedin; effectively researching desired industry and organizations; perfecting interviewing techniques and skills; and finally understanding the benefits of a sharable portfolio which can be utilized throughout their careers.
GNST 2220
History of Design
An exploration of important developments from the Industrial Revolution to the digital age in the history of decorative arts, architecture and ornaments, interiors and furniture, textiles, products, and graphic design.
GNST 2420
Survey of Western Art II
A survey of art, architecture, and design from the Renaissance through the 20th century. Art movements such as Realism, Impressionism, Post-Impressionism, Fauvism, Cubism, Abstraction, and Surrealism are studied. Particular emphasis is placed on the artist's role in society and the effect of society on art.
GNST 2750
Seminar in the Arts
A survey of the arts from a variety of origins, both classical and contemporary, with a particular emphasis on a diversity of fine, performing, and applied art forms. Students attend events that explore the following: pictures, sculpture, music, theatre, cinema, dance, architecture, and literature. Students gain an understanding of the different roles associated with these various art forms and critique these art forms through discussion, oral presentations, and essays, integrating their perceptions into their final projects.
GNST 2960
American Political & Economic History
A survey of American history from 1930-2000. Emphasis is on the political and economic features, both domestic and foreign, that contributed to the emergence of the welfare state and the nations rise to global leadership after World War II. The course provides an understanding of the Great Depression, the Second World War, the Cold War, Americas eventual emergence as the worlds only superpower, and the interrelation of all these factors.
GNST 2980
Professional Practices
To become more self-reliant and enterprising in the job search, students investigate career opportunities and the career path, personal traits, job responsibilities, and qualifications necessary to be competitive and promotable. Students build research tools that enable them to develop a plan of action, conduct informational interviews, practice interviewing skills, and produce a digitized professional resume, biographical statement, and cover letter for immediate submission to prospective employers.
MFTG 2520
Global Trade Dynamics
In this in-depth exploration of industry trends associated with globalization, students examine the strategic alliances and the sourcing and distribution channels required for production, as well as the opportunities for exporting finished products. Prerequisites: MFTG 1150, MFTG 2350
MMKT 1550
Marketing & Brand Development
This course introduces and highlights the basic marketing principles which provide the framework for understanding the importance, value, and impact of marketing and brand management.
MPDV 1750
Trends and Fashion Forecasting
In this course, students combine systematic research with personal insight to produce individual trend reports that support and shape their own design objectives. As components of their research, they assess the influence of visual arts, music, and popular culture on runway, retail, and street fashion, with particular attention to the decisive impact of social media communities and fashion blogs on the art and science of current trend forecasting. Prerequisite: MMKT 1550
MRCH 1950
Excel for Business Applications
This course is designed to assist the student in developing a facility with electronic spreadsheets in support of effective business management. Students develop a working knowledge of computerized spreadsheet and chart functions as applied to business management concepts with related mathematical formulas and operational requirements.
TECH 1100
Introduction to Adobe
This course is an introduction to design techniques, naming conventions, and digital asset management within Adobe Photoshop and Illustrator. Students gain basic knowledge of digital design components such as vector and raster graphics, tools, and key menu items, which they use to complete work in their major areas of study. These concepts support use of industry-standard computer aided design tools and facilitate communication between designers, clients, and manufacturers.
TSCI 1440
Textile Science
A practical analysis of the basic components of textiles and their relationship to performance. Students examine the characteristics of fibers, yarns, methods of fabric construction, such as weaving and knitting, and survey dyes, prints, and finishes. Emphasis is placed on performance and the determination of fabric suitability in the apparel design industry.
Total Units of Credit: 90

* Three (3)-hour lab included in 6 hours.

Some programs offered may require completion of a second year at the Los Angeles or San Francisco campus. Please contact the campus for details.