February 01, 2023
Drexel University is collaborating with Urban Outfitters to make careers in fashion more accessible for aspiring designers in Philadelphia.
Made to Measure: The URBN x Drexel Apprenticeship Program is a new, two-year apprenticeship that aims to prepare students to work in the fashion industry through special curriculum and job training.
"The fashion industry is changing — and so is higher education," Jason Schupbach, dean of the Drexel's Westphal College of Media Arts & Design, said.
Drexel and URBN say their partnership will make it easer to seek out and cultivate creative talent that may otherwise have gone untapped. The non-traditional learning program – which combines time in the classroom with time on the job – allows students to gain professional experience and leads directly to a career in fashion.
While studying as part-time students, the design apprentices will spend 20 hours each week working at URBN's Navy Yard headquarters across the company's departments and brands — which include Urban Outfitters, Free People, Anthropologie, BHLDN and Nuuly.
This latest collaboration between the school and retailer comes a decade after the opening of the URBN Center at 3501 Market St., home to Drexel's college of media arts and design. The building houses a music recording studio, a video-game design lab, a fabric-dying and printing studio, a fashion research lab and a radio and television broadcast production facility.
Applications for the new program are now open and will be accepted through March 1 and can be submitted through the URBN Careers site.
The application process includes the URBN application, as well as application and acceptance to Drexel University, plus a video interview, a design project and a portfolio workshop. To be an eligible candidate, a person should not yet have pursued a postsecondary education and have received a high school diploma or equivalent by July 1, 2023.
Students chosen for the program will be notified in the spring for July 2023 enrollment, when they will receive full tuition, plus room-and-board in Drexel's University City dormitories. Those who successfully complete the program earn 70 transferable course credits and stackable certificates from Drexel, as well as an offer from URBN for continued employment.