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Top 25 Public Fashion Merchandising Schools and Colleges – 2017

Written by FS StaffJune 1, 2017

Did You Know.... Academy of Art University’s School of Fashion offers BFA's in Fashion, Fashion Merchandising, Textile Design, Fashion Marketing, Fashion Styling, Costume Design, and Fashion Product Development. Learn more.

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Our 2017 list of the Top 25 Fashion Merchandising School Programs in the US. For an explanation of ranking criteria, click here.

1. Fashion Institute of Technology, New York, New York (top 1% of schools considered)

The Fashion Institute of Technology (FIT) was founded in 1944. A member of the State University of New York system or SUNY, the school is home to more than 9,000 students enrolled in 37 majors and 12 certificate programs across five schools. Among them are the School of Business and Technology and the School of Art and Design, which offer several programs for aspiring fashion merchandisers. 

The Jay and Patty Baker School of Business and Technology is home to the “the largest and oldest degree program of its kind in the country,” says FIT. Degree options include BS and AAS degrees in Fashion Business Management. The program prepares students for a career in fashion merchandising and features opportunities to learn about global merchandising strategies in classes in New York “and see them come to life in study abroad programs” in Australia, Florence, Hong Kong, London, Paris, and Rome. Students also have the opportunity to complete a five-week summer internship in London or complete one year of the BS program at FIT and one year at the Polimoda International Institute of Fashion Design and Marketing in Florence, Italy. 

In addition to study abroad opportunities, all students may participate in the Internship program and the Annual FIT Fashion Show. Students have completed internships at major companies such as Ralph Lauren, Guess, Liz Claiborne, Nike, Macy's, Jones Apparel Group, Ann Taylor, JC Penney, Perry Ellis, Ross Stores, and Saks. Others have been hired by Ann Taylor, Bergdorf Goodman, Bloomingdales, Coach, GAP, Liz Claiborne, Louis Vuitton, Nieman Marcus, Saks Fifth Avenue, Victoria's Secret, and many others.

The School of Art and Design offers a BFA in Visual Presentation and Exhibition Design, and an MA in Exhibition Design. Noncredit Certificate programs include Fashion Styling. The Visual Presentation and Exhibition Design degree program is “the first and only one of its kind in the country,” according to FIT. Highlights include projects with industry partners such as Macy’s, Sony, Target, and Vespa, opportunities to work with Children’s Museum of Manhattan, Wildlife Conservation Society, New-York Historical Society, and many other nonprofit and corporate organizations, and the opportunity to display their work in major campus exhibitions. 

All students may join the Merchandising Society, which operates the on-campus Style Shop. Per FIT, “students manage all store operations, including buying and developing products, visual merchandising, customer service, and sales.” 

2. Auburn University, Auburn, Alabama (top 2% of schools considered)

Auburn University was established in 1856 and it is home to 28,290 students enrolled in more than 140 degree options across 13 colleges and schools. The College of Human Sciences is home to the Department of Consumer & Design Sciences (CADS), which offers several programs for aspiring fashion merchandisers. Options include a BS in Apparel Merchandising, Design and Production Management (BS-APDP) with an Apparel Merchandising option, an MS in Consumer and Design Sciences – Apparel and Interiors (MS-CAHS), and a PhD in Consumer Design Sciences (PhD – CADS). An accelerated Bachelor’s/Master’s with a Merchandising option is also on the menu. The accelerated BS and MS programs may be completed in four terms. 

Focus areas for the MS-CAHS and the PhD – CADS program include Consumer Behavior Interior Design, Functional and Creative Apparel Design, Retail Management, Product Development, Sustainability, Creativity, Forecasting and Trend Analysis, Emerging Technologies, and Multicultural and Global Markets. 

All students have the opportunity to intern at local retailers and design houses as well as study in New York (IQLA New York Study Tour) or abroad. Study abroad locations may include Italy, London, Fiji, Jordan, Peru, South Africa, and many others. 

3. Kent State University, Kent, Ohio (top 4% of schools considered)

Kent State University (KSU or Kent State) was founded in 1910 and it is home to more than 40,000 students from all 50 states and more than 100 countries. The school offers over 300 degree programs across 11 colleges and the School of Digital Sciences. The College of the Arts is home to the School of Fashion Design and Merchandising (The Fashion School), which offers a BS in Fashion Merchandising and a Minor in Fashion Media. The College of Business Administration offers an MBA with a Concentration in Fashion Design and Merchandising. 

All fashion students are eligible to participate in The Fashion School's Annual Fashion Show (FS2: Crescendo) as well as a variety of international programs. According to the school, “study tours to Europe and Asia are offered on a regular basis.” Fashion capitals such as Florence, Paris, London and Hong Kong are often on the menu. 

In addition, The Fashion School has a studio located in New York’s Fashion District. According to the School, the NYC Studio “provides full-semester academic programs for Kent State fashion students in the Fall, Spring, or Summer terms. Guest students, studying fashion at their home school, may also attend the program during Summer Session.” 

4. University of Minnesota, Twin Cities (Minneapolis-St. Paul), Minnesota (top 5% of schools considered)

Founded in 1851, the University of Minnesota (U of M) is home to 63,000 students (system-wide) and it offers more than 400 degree programs across 17 colleges and schools. The College of Design at U of M houses the Department of Design, Housing and Apparel. Here,  aspiring fashion merchandisers can earn a BS or a Minor in Retail Merchandising. A Degree in 3 program is also available. This program allows students to complete the Retail Merchandising program in three years and it offers a General Track and an Apparel Track. Students may also enhance their degree by opting for a Minor in Fashion Studies. 

Fashion merchandising program highlights include access to The Wearable Product Design Center (WPDC), the Wearable Technology Lab, and the Human Dimensioning Lab, and the opportunity to participate in the Annual Apparel Design Fashion Show. In addition, all students have the option to study abroad. Study abroad opportunities are available in Sydney, Australia; Florence, Italy; Amsterdam; Istanbul, Turkey; London, England, and Northern Ireland.  

5. Iowa State University, Ames, Iowa (top 10% of schools considered)

Iowa State University (ISU or Iowa State) was established in 1858 as Iowa Agricultural College and Model Farm. The school is home to 36,660 students enrolled in 100 bachelor's degree programs, 112 master's degree programs, and 83 programs at the PhD level across 10 colleges and schools. The College of Human Sciences is home to the Apparel, Events, and Hospitality Management (AESHM) Department. The Department offers several programs for aspiring fashion merchandisers. 

Offerings include BS, MS, and PhD degrees in Apparel, Merchandising and Design (AMD). The MS program offers a non-thesis option with a specialization in Apparel, Merchandising, and Design and the PhD program is offered on campus and in distance hybrid format that requires just one or two short on-campus summer coursework sessions. A Minor in Apparel Merchandising and Design is also on the menu as well as a Certificate in Merchandising. 

In addition to a variety of program offerings, Apparel, Merchandising, and Fashion merchandising students have access to The Historic Costume and Textile Collection, which features more than 9,000 historic and ethnic textile and dress items. They also have access to the Textiles and Clothing Museum, which houses The Mary Alice Gallery, the Donna Rae Danielson Textiles and Clothing Conservation Laboratory, and The Textiles and Clothing Collection Storage. The museum features more than 9,500 items. 

Students also have the opportunity to study in “major market areas” such as New York or Chicago, they may assist in the production of the Department’s publication—TREND magazine, they may participate in a variety of international study programs in Europe, and all students have the opportunity to participate in ISU’s Annual Fashion Show. The production is one of the largest student-produced fashion shows in the nation. 

6. Colorado State University, Fort Collins, Colorado (top 10% of schools considered)

Colorado State University (CSU) was founded in 1870 and it is home to more than 33,000 students enrolled in over 150 degree programs across 14 colleges and schools. The College of Health and Human Sciences is home to the Design and Merchandising Program. Degree offerings for aspiring fashion merchandisers include a BS in Apparel and Merchandising - Merchandising and an MS in Design and Merchandising - Apparel and Merchandising. A Minor in Merchandising is also available. 

Fashion merchandising students have the opportunity to work with more than 18,000 artifacts and view collections at the Avenir Museum of Design and Merchandising (formerly the Historic Costume & Textiles Collection). Special collections include designer garments from Calvin Klein, James Galanos, Carolina Herrera, Dior, Yves Saint Laurent, Valentino, and Versace, as well as ethnographic holdings, and The Ruth Payne Hellmann Lace Collection, which features more than 1,500 pieces of historic lace and lacemaking tools. 

Fashion merchandising students also have the opportunity to participate in the annual fashion show, internship programs, the study abroad program, and domestic and international study tours of New York, Hong Kong, Thailand, India, and England. Past students have studied abroad in Italy, France, Peru, Ghana, and Australia and some have participated in Semester at Sea. Students have completed internships with major companies and brands such as Betsy Johnson, Crocs, BornFit, Nordstrom, Ralph Lauren, Sierra Designs, Target, Icelandic Design, Pearl Izumi, and many others. 

7. Oklahoma State University, Stillwater, Oklahoma (top 10% of schools considered)

Oklahoma State University (OSU-Stillwater) was established in 1890 and it is home to 24,387 students enrolled in 200-plus programs across a five-campus system and 10 colleges. The College of Human Sciences, Department of Design, Housing and Merchandising (DHM) offer several programs for aspiring fashion merchandisers. Offerings include a BS in Human Sciences with a Major in Design, Housing & Merchandising – Option: Merchandising (BS DHM), an MS in Design, Housing and Merchandising (MS DHM) with a Merchandising Research Option, and a PhD in Human Sciences with a Specialization in Design, Housing and Merchandising (PhD DHM). Students may enhance their degree with a Minor in Apparel Design and Production (ADP). 

Fashion merchandising students have the opportunity to complete an internship with designers and brands such as BCBG, Lands’ End, Max Azria, Vera Wang, Liz Claiborne, and Victoria’s Secret. In addition, travel-study programs allow students to explore the fashion scenes in places such as New York, Dallas, Mexico, Paris, Berlin, and many others. 

8. University of Georgia, Athens, Georgia (top 10% of schools considered)

In 1785, Georgia became the first state in the U.S. to charter a state-supported university—the University of Georgia (UGA). The school is home to 36,574 students enrolled in 170 majors and academic programs across 17 colleges and schools. The College of Family and Consumer Sciences (FCS) is home the Department of Textiles, Merchandising and Interiors. 

The Department offers a BS in Family and Consumer Sciences - Fashion Merchandising (BS FCS) optional specialties such as Product Development & Design, International Merchandising, or Merchandising and International Trade. A Fashion Merchandising Minor is also available and the Department encourages students to supplement their Fashion Merchandising degree with an Entrepreneurship Certificate to “successfully run” their own business. Graduate offerings include an MS in Merchandising & International Trade and a PhD with an Emphasis in International Merchandising.  

Program highlights include the six-week London Study Abroad Program, Maymester programs that include 10 days in China and three weeks in Ghana, and optional membership in student organizations such as the Student Merchandising Association or the Fashion Design Student Association. Internship opportunities are available at retailers and brands such as Macy’s, Nicole Miller, Nordstrom, Nieman Marcus, Escada, Marc Jacobs, Armani Exchange, Target and many others. Students may also participate in the annual UGA Fashion Week.  

Graduates of the Merchandising programs at UGA have been hired by companies such as Atlanta Apparel Mart, Bergdorf Goodman, Bloomingdales, Boxercraft Inc., Diane Von Furstenberg, DDI Magazine, Macy's, Oxford Industries, Ralph Lauren, Nordstrom, Warby Parker, and WWD & W Magazines. 

9. University of Missouri, Columbia, Missouri (top 15% of schools considered)

Founded in 1839, the University of Missouri (MU or Mizzou) is home to 33,266 students enrolled in more than 300 degree and certificate programs through 15 colleges and schools. The College of Human and Environmental Sciences (HES) is home to the Department of Textile & Apparel Management (TAM), which offers several programs for aspiring fashion merchandisers. Undergraduate programs include a BS in Textile & Apparel Management with Options in Apparel Marketing and Merchandising, and International Apparel Marketing and Merchandising and a Minor in TAM. Graduate programs include an MS and a PhD in TAM. 

Program highlights include access to the Missouri Historic Costume and Textile Collection (MHCTC), which features more than 5,500 artifacts, the New York Study Tour, participation in the Annual Fashion Show, internship opportunities, and study abroad experiences. Study abroad locations have included India and El Salvador, and TAM has a partnership with Study Abroad Italy (SAI), which offers fashion-based programs in Florence, Milan, and London. 

10. Oregon State University, Corvallis, Oregon (top 15% of schools considered)

Oregon State University (OSU) was founded in 1868 and it is home to more than 30,000 students enrolled in over 280 degree programs across 11 academic colleges. The College of Business houses the School of Design & Human Environment (DHE), which offers a BS in Merchandising Management. 

Students in the program have the opportunity explore the DHE Historic and Cultural Textile and Apparel Collection, which includes approximately 2,000 Euro-American and ethnic apparel pieces and other textile products. In addition, all undergraduates may participate in the internship program. Students have interned with major designers, brands and retailers such as Anna Sui, Columbia Sportswear, Nordstrom, and Fred Meyer. 

11. Florida State University, Tallahassee, Florida (top 15% of schools considered)

Florida State University (FSU) was founded in 1851 and it is home to nearly 42,000 students enrolled in more than 275 academic programs through 16 colleges. Established in 1905 and home to nearly 3,000 students, the College of Human Sciences houses the Retail, Merchandising and Product Development Department (RMPD)—one of the largest programs of its kind in the U.S. The Department offers nearly 800 majors, including several programs for aspiring fashion merchandisers. Options include a BS in Retail Merchandising and Product Development, an MS in Clothing, Textiles and Merchandising with a major in Global Merchandising and Product Development, and a Graduate Certificate in Retail Merchandising. 

The BS in Retail Merchandising and Product Development “integrates an understanding of design, textiles, and retail merchandising,” while the MS program prepares graduates to “serve in management positions in production, distribution and consumption areas.” The Certificate program “provides graduate level competency in retail store management and buying for academically talented students who are completing an undergraduate degree in merchandising.” 

Other RMPD highlights include internship opportunities with more than 250 companies such as American Eagle, Macy’s, Burberry, and Escada, study opportunities in Los Angeles, Atlanta, Dallas, New York City, Orlando, Miami, or London, and participation in the Annual Fashion Show. 

12. North Carolina State University, Raleigh, North Carolina (top 15% of schools considered)

North Carolina State University (NC State) was established in 1887 and it is home to nearly 34,000 students enrolled in more than 300 degree programs across 12 colleges and 65 academic departments. The College of Textiles houses the Department of Textile and Apparel, Technology and Management (TATM). The Department offers one program for aspiring fashion merchandisers—a BS in Fashion and Textile Management with Concentrations in Textile Brand Management and Marketing and Fashion Development and Product Management. 

The program highlights study in the areas of Merchandising, Retail Buying, Consumer Trends and Behavior, Product Trends, Global Marketplace Dynamics, and Branding Strategies. Other program highlights include TATM’s “study abroad-friendly” semester in France, the Czech Republic, Australia, India or other location, and participation in a variety of fashion show events and showcases such as Threads Senior Collection, the Annual AATS Fashion Exposé, and FTD: Emerging Designers Showcase. 

13. The Ohio State University, Columbus, Ohio (top 20% of schools considered)

Established in 1870, The Ohio State University (OSU) is home to more than 66,000 students enrolled more than 485 majors and degrees across 15 colleges and schools. The College of Education and Human Ecology is home to the Department of Human Sciences, which offers several programs for aspiring fashion merchandisers. Options include a BS in Fashion and Retail Studies with a Specialization in Merchandising or Product Development, and an MS or PhD in Consumer Sciences with a Concentration in Fashion and Retail Studies. 

Program highlights include participation in the Fashion Production Association, the opportunity to volunteer at the Historic Costume and Textiles Collection, internship opportunities, study abroad experiences from China to Thailand, and the opportunity to work with OSU’s fashion publication—Scarlette Magazine. Students will also benefit from the Fashion and Retail Studies Speaker Series with past guests such as Ed Razek, executive producer of the Victoria's Secret Fashion Show and chief marketing officer of Limited Brands, and Terry Lundgren, CEO of Macy's Inc. 

Finally, merchandising students will have the opportunity to travel to New York City to attend the National Retail Federation's annual student event. This major affair offers networking opportunities with retail professionals and the chance to meet with recruiters that do not routinely recruit at OSU. Graduates of the program have been hired by companies such as Donna Karan, Ralph Lauren, L Brands, Macy's, Anthropologie, Chico's and Abercrombie & Fitch. 

14.University of Delaware, Newark, Delaware (top 20% of schools considered)

Chartered by the State of Delaware in 1833, the University of Delaware (UD) is home to 23,000 students enrolled in more than 300 degree programs across seven schools. The College of Arts & Sciences is home to the Department of Fashion & Apparel Studies, which offers several programs for aspiring fashion merchandisers. Offerings include a BS in Fashion Merchandising, an Honors BS in Fashion Merchandising, and a 4+1 program that allows undergraduate Fashion Merchandising majors interested in graduate study to complete the MS in Fashion and Apparel Studies in half the time. To enhance their degree, students may choose a Minor in Fashion History and Culture. 

Program highlights include the opportunity to complete an internship at home, overseas, or both. Past students have completed internships in New York, Hong Kong, and other fashion capitals. In addition, the University of Delaware has a Visiting Student Program. This “cooperative arrangement between the University of Delaware (UD) and the Fashion Institute of Technology (FIT)” allows students to attend FIT for one year and apply coursework towards the BS program at UD. In addition, the Department of Fashion & Apparel Studies introduced its very first Fashion Week this year. Students have the opportunity to participate in Fashion Week as well as the annual Synergy Fashion Group Student Fashion Show. 

15.University of North Texas, Denton, Texas (top 20% of schools considered)

Founded in 1890 as Texas Normal College and Teachers’ Training Institute, University of North Texas (UNT) is home to nearly 38,000 students enrolled in 100 bachelor’s degree programs, 83 master’s programs and 37 doctoral degree programs across 11 colleges and schools. The College of Merchandising, Hospitality and Tourism offers several programs for aspiring fashion merchandisers including a BS, MS, or Graduate Certificate  in Merchandising. 

Program highlights include an internship program that provides the opportunity to work at fashion houses in Dallas and Fort Worth as well as apparel companies in New York, Chicago, Los Angeles, and London. Students also have the opportunity to participate in the annual ArtWear Fashion Show as well as national and international events such as Fashion Group International of Dallas’ Career Day and Gap Inc.’s Design Your Future competition. 

The program also highlights the Executive-in-Residence Program, which brings merchandising executives to UNT for lectures and meetings with students. Per UNT, “recruiters also frequently visit the campus to provide additional insights about career opportunities.” Study abroad opportunities to Hong Kong/China, London and France are also on the menu. 

Graduates of the Fashion Merchandising programs at UNT have worked as merchandisers for companies such as Fossil, J.C. Penney, Havertys, Neiman Marcus, Nordstrom, Target, Tuesday Morning and Zale Corp. 

16. California State Polytechnic University, Pomona, California (top 20% of schools considered)

California State Polytechnic University (Cal Poly Pomona) was founded in 1938 and it is home to 23,717 students enrolled in hundreds of programs through eight academic colleges and the College of the Extended University. The Don B. Huntley College of Agriculture, Department of Apparel Merchandising and Management (AMM) offers several programs for aspiring fashion merchandisers. Offerings include a BS in AMM with an option in Apparel Production or Fashion Retailing. A Minor and a Certificate in AMM are also available.  

AMM is one of 13 colleges that have been endorsed by the American Apparel & Footwear Association (AAFA). Other program highlights include hands-on lab activities, industry tradeshows and visits, industry internships, and field and study abroad opportunities. Students have completed internships at major companies such as BCBG, GUESS, Nordstrom, Bebe, Forever 21, Quicksilver, Lucky Brand jeans, Disney, Hurley, True Religion, and many others. New York, London, Paris, Milan, Rome, and Florence are just a few of the places past AMM students have studied. 

AMM students also have the opportunity to participate in industry competitions, the Annual Fashion Show, AM2—the product line developed by Apparel Production students, and ApparelScapes—AMM’s retail microbusiness established in 2001. According to Cal Poly, ApparelScapes “retails AM2 and BLDG45 branded clothing through its own retail venues on the campus.” 

17. University of North Carolina, Greensboro, North Carolina (top 20% of schools considered)

Established in 1891, the University of North Carolina, Greensboro (UNCG) houses eight undergraduate colleges and schools, and The Graduate School. The school serves more than 19,000 students enrolled in around 175 degree programs, with 100+ areas of study. The Bryan School of Business and Economics is home to the Department of Consumer, Apparel, and Retail Studies (CARS), which offers a BS in Retail and Consumer Studies or Global Apparel and Related industries, an MS in CARS with MS Thesis and Global Apparel Management (online) Concentrations, and a PhD in CARS. 

All CARS students have access to an Historic Costume Collection with garments and artifacts dating from 1776-2003, internship opportunities at major companies such as Anna Sui, Anne Klein, Barney’s, Bloomingdale’s, Calvin Klein, Polo/Ralph Lauren, Saks Fifth Avenue, and Tommy Hilfiger, and a Global Experience program which offers the opportunity to study in fashion capitals such as Paris and London. Students also have the opportunity to participate in the Annual THREADS Fashion Show. 

18. University of South Carolina, Columbia, South Carolina (top 25% of schools considered)

Founded in 1801 as South Carolina College, the University of South Carolina (USC) is home to 33,772 students enrolled in more than 250 academic degree programs across 16 colleges and schools. The College of Hospitality, Retail and Sport Management (HRSM) offers several programs for aspiring fashion merchandisers. Options include a BS in Fashion Retailing with a Concentration in Fashion Merchandising, a Master of Retailing (M.R.), and an accelerated Bachelor/Master of Retailing. 

Program highlights include two mandatory internships prior to graduation, participation in USC Fashion Week, access to organizations such as Retail and Fashion Merchandising Graduate Student Organization (RFMGSO), the National Retail Federation, and Fashion Board at USC. Students have the opportunity to attend Fashion Week in New York City and they have access to a wide variety of study abroad opportunities. For example, the College of HRSM has a global exchange program with the University of Aruba (UA), which allows students to study at UA for an entire semester.

Other study abroad locations include Paris, Italy, London, Macao-China, Punta Cana-Dominican Republic, China, Switzerland, and Germany. 

19. University of Texas at Austin, Austin, Texas (top 25% of schools considered)

The University of Texas at Austin (UT Austin) opened in 1883. It is home to 50,950 students enrolled in more than 500 degree programs and fields of study across 18 colleges and schools. The School of Human Ecology is housed within the College of Natural Sciences. The Division of Textiles and Apparel (TXA) here offers a BS in TXA with a Merchandising and Consumer Sciences Track. Per TXA, the Track provides “hands-on experience with rapidly evolving retail environments, intercultural practices and customs and consumer behavior.” 

TXA students have access to study abroad opportunities in places such as India and China as well as internship opportunities with major companies such as Anne Klein, Betsey Johnson, Coach, Marc Jacobs, Michael Kors, Ralph Lauren, Vera Wang, Zac Posen, and more. All UT students with upper-division standing are eligible for the UT in NYC Program, which “brings apparel design, conservation and merchandising students together for a broad look at the apparel industry with an entrepreneurial focus,” says the school. Students also have the opportunity to participate in the Annual UT Fashion Show. 

20. University of Rhode Island, Providence, Rhode Island (top 25% of schools considered)

The University of Rhode Island (URI) was chartered as the state's agricultural school in 1888. The school became the Rhode Island College of Agriculture and Mechanic Arts in 1892, and the first class of 17 members graduated two years later. Today, URI is home to nearly 18,000 students enrolled over 80 majors across nine colleges and The Graduate School of Oceanography. 

The College of Human Science and Services, Department of Textiles, Fashion Merchandising and Design offer several programs for aspiring fashion merchandisers. Options include BS and MS degrees in Textiles, Fashion Merchandising and Design (TMD) with a Fashion Merchandising Concentration, a Certificate in Fashion Merchandising, and Minor in TMD. A double major in TMD and a “fashion” language, either French or Italian, is also on the menu. 

Program highlights include internships with major companies and brands such as Gucci (New York), Nordstrom (Providence, RI), Donna Karan (New York), Marc Jacobs (New York), Rhode Island Design Center (Warwick, RI) and Green Envy (Newport, RI). Students also have the opportunity to study abroad in London, Paris (at Mod’Spe), Firenze, Italy (at Accademia Italiana), Barcelona, or other fashion capitals. 

Summer Study at the Universite de la Mode in Lyon, France is also on the menu as well the New York Experience, the Winter Fashion Study Tour of London and Paris, access to the Historic Textile and Costume Collection and participation in the Annual Fashion Show. 

21. Kansas State University, Manhattan, Kansas (top 25% of schools considered)

Founded in 1863, Kansas State University (Kansas State or K-State) is home to more than 22,000 students enrolled in over 250 undergraduate majors and options, and more than 150 graduate study programs, across nine colleges and a graduate school. The College of Human Ecology is home to the Department of Apparel, Textiles, and Interior Design (ATID). The Department (in conjunction with Great Plains IDEA) offers a distance MS in Apparel and Textiles with a Specialization in Merchandising. 

Per Kansas State, the inter-institutional program “draws on the knowledge and expertise of graduate faculty and graduate courses from five universities including Kansas State University, North Dakota State University, Oklahoma State University, South Dakota State University, and the University of Nebraska. Program highlights include a mandatory internship, faculty-led study tours in the U.S. and abroad, and an annual public exhibition of student work. 

22. Washington State University, Pullman, Washington (top 30% of schools considered)

Founded in 1890 as Washington’s original land-grant university, Washington State University (WSU) has a main campus in Pullman, Washington, and regional campuses in Spokane, Tri-Cities (Kennewick, Pasco, Richland and West Richland), Vancouver, and Everett. WSU-Pullman is home to more than 20,000 students, enrolled 95 undergraduate majors and 85 minors, 120 graduate and professional programs, and more than 100 certificates and in-major specializations across 11 colleges. 

The College of Agricultural, Human, and Natural Resource Sciences (CAHNRS) is home to the Department of Apparel, Merchandising, Design, and Textiles (AMDT), which offers a BA in Apparel, Merchandising, and Textiles with a Merchandising option. In collaboration with WSU’s Graduate School, the Department of AMDT offers an MA in Apparel, Merchandising, Design, and Textiles. 

In addition to study abroad opportunities in more than 70 countries around the world, students have access to the third largest apparel and textile industry in the country and student chapters of two major industry associations—the International Textiles and Apparel Association (ITAA) and the American Association of Textile Chemists and Colorists (AATCC). Students also have the opportunity to participate in several campus events including exhibitions, design and merchandising competitions, and the popular Mom’s Weekend Fashion Show. 

23. Virginia Tech University, Blacksburg, Virginia (top 30% of schools considered)

Founded in 1872 as Virginia Agricultural and Mechanical College, Virginia Tech University (Virginia Tech) is home to more than 33,000 students enrolled in more than 250 degree programs across 10 colleges and schools. The College of Liberal Arts and Human Sciences, Department of Apparel, Housing, and Resource Management (AHRM) offer a BS in Apparel, Housing, and Resource Management with a Fashion Merchandising and Design (FMD) major. 

Program highlights include internship opportunities with past companies such as Nordstrom and Anna Sui, the New York Fashion Study Tour, and the European Study Abroad program featuring stops in London, Paris, Rome, Florence, and other European fashion capitals. Students also have access to the Oris Glisson Historic Costume Collection and Textile Collection, which features 5,000 items of historic significance dating from 1840 to the present, they may join the Fashion Merchandising and Design Society, and students may participate the Annual FMDS Fashion Show. 

Virginia Tech Fashion Merchandising graduates have been hired by major companies and designers such as Oscar de la Renta, rue21, Lord and Taylor’s, Macy’s, Nordstrom, Michael Kors, and Jimmy Choo, HomeGoods, Haute Look, Victoria’s Secret, Target, and more. 

24. Indiana University, Bloomington, Indiana (top 30% of schools considered)

Founded in 1820, Indiana University (IU) houses nearly 114,500 and eight campuses. Students have access to more than 180 majors, 330 undergraduate degree programs, and more than 190 master’s, doctoral, and professional degree programs through 15 colleges and schools. Programs for aspiring fashion merchandisers are offered through The Kelley School of Business and the College of Arts & Sciences’ Department of Apparel Merchandising & Interior Design (AMID). Options include a BS Apparel Merchandising and Minors in Apparel Merchandising and Business. 

Program highlights include internship opportunities, optional membership in the Retail Studies Organization (RSO) and access to the Sage Collection, which features more than 20,000 pieces. Students may take upper-level courses at The Indiana University Center for Art and Design Columbus (IUCA+D Columbus) and they may participate in a variety of IU fashion show events. 

25. University of Hawaii at Manoa, Honolulu, Hawaii (top 30% of schools considered)

Founded in 1907, the University of Hawaii at Manoa (UH Manoa) is home to nearly 19,000 students enrolled in more than 230 programs across 14 colleges and schools. The College of Tropical Agriculture and Human Resources’ (CTAHR) Department of Family and Consumer Sciences houses the Fashion Design and Merchandising (FDM) Program, which leads to a BS in Fashion Design and Merchandising with a Merchandising or Fashion Design Emphasis. A Minor in Merchandising is also available. Program highlights include optional membership in the Fashion Club and participation in the Annual Fashion Show.