Fashion and Beauty Communications Milestone

The fashion and beauty communications milestone prepares students from the Newhouse School and the College of Visual and Performing Arts to become mass media or fashion design specialists.

The Sequence

The Fashion and Beauty Communications Milestone is a sequence of courses designed for Syracuse University students studying at the Newhouse School and the College of Visual and Performing Arts. The milestone recognizes the tremendous cultural force of fashion and offers students a rigorous, cross-disciplinary concentration of study that provides them with an expertise in fashion and beauty communications. Syracuse University is uniquely qualified to deliver this specialized concentration given the national reputations of the Newhouse School and the Visual and Performing Arts’ Fashion Design program.

The Collaboration

This collaboration between two professional schools provides a unique and important educational opportunity. As majors in their respective programs, milestone students become either mass-media or fashion design specialists. This experience also allows students to build on a common area of interest—fashion and beauty communications—and gain access to coursework, professors and students beyond their home school and to apply what they have learned to another field of study. Milestone students use required electives efficiently and effectively, securing expertise and experience in another subject and at another school.

The Coursework

The professionally focused experience features five required courses that explore the fashion and beauty industries from a variety of perspectives. To that end, the milestone covers the history of fashion; contemporary fashion as it relates to popular culture; beauty and diversity in fashion media; visual communications theory and practice; fashion and beauty advertising and promotion; fashion photography; fashion and beauty journalism; and a variety of digitally focused classes.

Classes aren’t listed online because they change each semester and students have several classes to choose from within the curriculum. But one fixed offering in the sequence is Beauty & Diversity in Media, a three-credit class that explores issues, controversies, and ideas surrounding diversity and that encourages students to think critically about beauty ideals. Classes that have been offered in the past include:

The Distinction

Over the course of two or three years, students earn a milestone distinction in Fashion and Beauty Communications in addition to earning their current Newhouse or fashion design major and respective minor. Students use their elective credits to complete the required courses for the milestone. Please note: This is not a minor, and as such, it does not appear on a student’s transcript. However, students are encouraged to tout this designation on their résumés and to use the experiences and opportunities featured in the sequence to demonstrate their expertise in interviews and job applications. In addition to the required classes, students must finish a final practicum that draws upon the knowledge and experience from their classes toward the creation of a final project that students can use as part of a portfolio. In addition, the sequence features a range of professional opportunities, including benchmark trips, guest speakers, internships and study-abroad programs.

The Practicum

As one of the final requirements to complete the sequence, students gain professional experience by completing a practicum. Examples of past practicums include fashion production opportunities, coordinating the fashion film series, planning guest speakers, multi-platform publications, fashion communications-based internships, research papers and gallery exhibit planning.

Summary of Requirements

To complete this sequence, students are required to complete five classes from the approved list designed for Fashion and Beauty Communications, one final practicum project and must attend all milestone events to stay active in the sequence. We recommend that interested students meet with their academic recorder prior to applying to ensure that our sequence fits with their current academic plans.

The Application Process

Applications typically are accepted once each semester—late September/early October for fall admission (open to sophomores only) and the month of February for spring admission for freshmen and sophomores.

Interested students may email for more information.


Harriet Brown, Newhouse School

Jeffrey Mayer, College of Visual and Performing Arts

With support from Keana Saunders, Newhouse School