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Top 50 Fashion Merchandising Schools and Colleges in the US – 2016

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Written by FS StaffMay 31, 2016

Our 2016 list of the Top 50 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 and it is a member of the State University of New York (SUNY) system. The school is home to more than 9,500 students enrolled in 37 majors and 12 certificate programs across five schools including the School of Art and Design, Jay and Patty Baker School of Business and Technology, School of Liberal Arts, the School of Graduate Studies, and the School of Continuing and Professional Studies. The School of Business and Technology and the School of Art and Design 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 have the chance to join the Merchandising Society, which operates the on-campus Style Shop. According to FIT, “students manage all store operations, including buying and developing products, visual merchandising, customer service, and sales.” 

2. Iowa State University, Ames, Iowa (top 1% of schools considered)

Iowa State University (ISU or Iowa State) was officially established on March 22, 1858 as Iowa Agricultural College and Model Farm. The school is home to 36,001 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. 

3. Kent State University, Kent, Ohio (top 2% of schools considered)

Founded in 1910, Kent State University (KSU or Kent State) is home to nearly 29,000 students enrolled in more than 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. The College of Business Administration also 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. Auburn University, Auburn, Alabama (top 5% of schools considered)

Auburn University was established in 1856 as the East Alabama Male College. Today, the school is home to a co-ed population of 27,287 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. 

Programs 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 more.

5. Colorado State University, Fort Collins, Colorado (top 5% of schools considered) 

Colorado State University (CSU) was founded in 1870 as the Colorado Agricultural College. It is home to 32,236 students enrolled in more than 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. 

6. Savannah College of Art and Design, Savannah, Georgia (top 5% of schools considered)

Savannah College of Art and Design (SCAD) was founded in 1978. The school, which is home to more than 12,000 students from nearly 50 states and more than 100 countries, offers 40 areas of study and 70-plus minors and certificate programs. With campuses in Savannah, Atlanta, and Hong Kong, SCAD offers a variety of programs suitable for aspiring fashion merchandisers. Options include a BFA in Fashion Marketing and Management (Atlanta, Hong Kong, Savannah), a Minor in Fashion Marketing and Management, and MA (all campuses + eLearning) and MFA (Atlanta, Hong Kong, Savannah) degrees in Luxury and Fashion Management.

According to the school, “SCAD is the first art and design university to receive the Instructional Technology Council’s award for Outstanding Distance Education Program and the rank of Excellence in Institution-Wide Online Teaching and Learning from the Sloan Consortium.” 

Besides the opportunity to earn the MA online, students may participate in the Annual SCAD Fashion Show, and internships and study opportunities are plentiful at local, national, and international fashion companies. 

7. Drexel University, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania (top 5% of schools considered)

Drexel University was established in 1891 by Philadelphia financier and philanthropist Anthony J. Drexel. The school, which began as Drexel Institute of Art, Science and Industry, is home to 25,595 students enrolled in more than 200 degree programs across 15 colleges and schools. The Antoinette Westphal College of Media Arts & Design is home to the Department of Fashion, Product and Design & Merchandising, which offers several programs for aspiring fashion merchandisers. 

Offerings include a BS in Design & Merchandising with Concentrations in Retail Buying & Merchandising, Fashion Product Development, Fashion Promotion & Special Events, Merchandising Technologies, and Design Management for Design & Merchandising. A Minor in Retail is also on the menu and “provides basic foundations in retail operations, buying and merchandise planning and e-commerce.” 

Program highlights include access to “studios and specialized labs” in the school’s URBN Center, access to the Robert and Penny Fox Historic Costume Collection (FHCC), study abroad opportunities in London, Paris, Florence, Prague, Reykjavik, Australia, Greece, Ireland, Spain and countries in Asia and Africa, and participation in the Annual Drexel Fashion Show. Students also have the opportunity to contribute to D&M Magazine and the recently launched online D&M Shop—a retail learning laboratory.   

8. University of Minnesota, Twin Cities (Minneapolis-St. Paul), Minnesota (top 10% of schools considered)

The University of Minnesota (U of M) was founded in 1851 in the Twin Cities (Minneapolis and St. Paul). The school is home to 30,500 undergraduate students at the Twin Cities campus, and 16,300 graduate and professional students enrolled in more than 400 degree programs across 17 colleges and schools. The College of Design is home to the Department of Design, Housing and Apparel, which offers several programs for aspiring fashion merchandisers, including a BS and a Minor in Retail Merchandising. 

A Degree in 3 program is also on the menu, which allows students to complete the Retail Merchandising program in three years. The program 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.  

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

Oklahoma State University was established on Christmas Day 1890. It is home to more than 35,000 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 by 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. 

10. University of North Texas, Denton, Texas (top 10% of schools considered)

University of North Texas (UNT) was founded in 1890 as Texas Normal College and Teachers’ Training Institute. It is home to 37,000 students enrolled in 100 bachelors, 83 masters and 37 doctoral degree programs across 11 colleges and schools. The College of Merchandising, Hospitality and Tourism is home to the Department of Merchandising and Digital Retailing, which offers BS degrees in Merchandising and Home Furnishings Merchandising. In collaboration with the Department, the Toulouse Graduate School offers an MS and a Graduate Academic Certificate in Merchandising. The Merchandising MS is also offered online.

Merchandising program highlights include participation in the internship program, which allows students to work at fashion houses in Dallas and Fort Worth, and apparel companies in New York, Chicago, Los Angeles, and London. Students also have the opportunity to participate in the annual ArtWear Fashion Show, and national and international events such as Fashion Group International of Dallas’ Career Day, and The Hispanic Association of Colleges and Universities and Gap Inc.’s Design Your Future competition.

Graduates of the Fashion Merchandising program at UNT have been hired by major companies such as Fossil, J.C. Penney, Havertys, Neiman Marcus, Nordstrom, Target, Tuesday Morning, Zale Corp, and many others. 

11. University of Missouri, Columbia, Missouri (top 10% of schools considered)

Founded in 1839, the University of Missouri (MU) was the first public university west of the Mississippi River. It is home to 34,748 students enrolled in more than 280 degree 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. Programs include a BS in Textile & Apparel Management with Options in Apparel Marketing and Merchandising, and International Apparel Marketing and Merchandising. A Minor in TAM is also on the menu.

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. 

12. The Ohio State University, Columbus, Ohio (top 10% of schools considered)

The Ohio State University (OSU) was established in 1870. It has an undergraduate population of 45,289 students enrolled nearly 700 academic majors and specializations across 13 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 Human Ecology, Fashion and Retail Studies with a Specialization in Merchandising or Product Development, an MS in Consumer Sciences with a Specialization in Fashion and Retail Studies, and a 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, and study abroad experiences from China to Thailand. 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, all students 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 recruit at OSU.

13. University of Delaware, Newark, Delaware (top 10% of schools considered)

The University of Delaware (UD) was chartered by the State of Delaware in 1833. It is home to 22,852 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. A Minor in Fashion History and Culture is also on the menu for students who would like to enhance their degree.

Fashion merchandising 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. 

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

Oregon State University (OSU) was founded in 1868. It is home to more than 30,000 students enrolled in over 200 undergraduate and 80-plus graduate 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 and a Master of Arts in Interdisciplinary Studies (MAIS).

Fashion merchandising students have the opportunity to learn from 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. 

15. Baylor University, Waco, Texas (top 15% of schools considered)

Baylor University was chartered in 1845 by the Republic of Texas. It is home to 16,787 students enrolled in more than 250 degree programs across nine colleges and schools. The Robbins College of Health and Human Sciences houses the Department of Family & Consumer Sciences, which offers six different majors. Programs for aspiring fashion merchandisers include a BS in Apparel Merchandising.

The BS program features access to the Parker Design & Technology Center which “provides students with the latest state-of-the-art software, equipment, and technology,” summer study tours, and internship opportunities at home and overseas. Students have interned at Betsey Johnson – NY, Anna Sui - NY, Quick Silver – Los Angeles, XOXO and Rampage – Los Angeles, and Haggar - Dallas. Internships abroad have included Ann-Louise Roswald - London, UK, Amanda Wakeley - London, UK, Christopher & La Lou - Paris, France, and others. 

The program also offers the opportunity for students to participate in the Annual Baylor Fashion Show, which takes place at the end of spring semester each year. Field experiences are on the menu as well and may include trips to Dallas Market, Studios of Apparel Designers, Apparel Manufacturing Firms, and Fashion Group International (FGI) Dallas Career Day, which takes place at the Apparel Mart. 

16. LIM College, New York, New York (top 15% of schools considered)

Lim College was founded by Maxwell F. Marcuse in 1939 as the Laboratory Institute of Merchandising (LIM). The school became LIM College in 2009. The school is home to more than 1,500 students enrolled in associates and bachelor’s degree programs in five subject areas through four departments. The Departments of Fashion Merchandising and Visual Merchandising offer a variety of programs for aspiring fashion merchandisers.

Offerings include AAS, Associate in Occupational Studies (AOS), and Bachelor of Professional Studies (BPS) degrees in Fashion Merchandising. Bachelor of Business Administration (BBA) degrees in Fashion Merchandising and Visual Merchandising are also on the menu. The Fashion Merchandising BBA offers a Retail Buying & Planning Track. Concentrations are available for any major and include Cosmetics, Digital Business Strategy, Entrepreneurship, Event Planning, Fashion Media, Fashion Publishing, Home Fashions, International Business, International Marketing, Responsible Business Practices, Retail and Merchandise Management, and Styling. 

Program highlights include participation in the Annual Fashion Show, optional membership in the Fashion Show Production Club, the Fashion Styling Club and other organizations, and study abroad opportunities. Just a few past locations include France, Italy, Spain, Australia, China, and England. 

17. Marist College, Poughkeepsie, New York (top 15% of schools considered)

Marist College was founded in 1929. It is home to 6,474 students enrolled in more than 140 degree programs and minors across seven schools. The School of Communication and the Arts offers several programs for aspiring fashion merchandisers. Offerings include a BS in Fashion Merchandising with a Concentration in Fashion Promotion, Product Development, or Business. A Minor in Fashion Merchandising is also on the menu.

Fashion merchandising students may participate in the School’s internship program, which offers the opportunity to work at companies such as Armani A/X, Betsey Johnson, Calvin Klein, Chanel, DKNY, Escada, MTV, Nordstrom, Polo and many others. Students may also participate in Marist in Manhattan (NYC Internship Experience), Fashion Inc. (club), Marist Fashion Magazine, and the Silver Needle Runway Show.

The School of Communication and the Arts encourages all students to complete two internships, which will give them a strong advantage when it comes to job opportunities. Fashion Program alumni have been hired by companies such as Ann Taylor, BCBG, Chanel, Donna Karan, GAP, Kate Spade, Michael Kors, MTV, Perry Ellis, Saks Fifth Avenue, Tahari, Tory Burch, and many more. 

18. Academy of Art University, San Francisco, California (top 15% of schools considered)

Academy of Art University was established in 1929. The school, which had a 2015 fall enrollment of 8,813 students, offers dozens of programs in the areas of art and design. The School of Fashion offers several programs for aspiring fashion merchandisers including AA and BFA degrees in Fashion Merchandising and Fashion Visual Merchandising. 

According to the Academy, all fashion students have access to facilities that feature “the same leading-edge equipment and resources that top fashion houses enjoy.” Internship opportunities are also available as well as the opportunity to participate in Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week at Lincoln Center in New York City and the Annual Graduation Fashion Show in San Francisco. According to the Academy, “the show has been heralded as the "Fashion Week of San Francisco" by both local and national members of the fashion industry.

Graduates of the Academy of Art University have been hired by major companies such as Adidas, Chanel, Gap, Kate Spade, Levi Strauss & Co., Louis Vuitton, Ralph Lauren, and many others. 

19. University of Georgia, Athens, Georgia (top 15% of schools considered)

The University of Georgia (UGA) was chartered in 1785, making Georgia the first state in the U.S. to charter a state-supported university. The school is home to 35,197 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 several programs for aspiring fashion merchandisers. Offerings include Fashion Merchandising (BS FCS), an MS in Merchandising & International Trade, and a PhD with an Emphasis in International Merchandising. A Fashion Merchandising Minor is also on the menu.

Program highlights include the London Study Abroad Program and opportunities to study in places such as China, Tokyo, and Ghana, optional membership in the student organizations such as the Student Merchandising Association or the Fashion Design Student Association, and possible internship opportunities at 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. 

20. University of North Carolina, Greensboro, North Carolina (top 15% of schools considered)

The University of North Carolina, Greensboro (UNCG) was established in 1891. It houses eight undergraduate colleges and schools, and The Graduate School, and it serves more than 19,000 students enrolled in 79 undergraduate programs, 65 masters programs, and 30 doctoral programs. The Bryan School of Business and Economics is home to the Department of Consumer, Apparel, and Retail Studies (CARS), which offers several programs for aspiring fashion merchandisers. Options include a BS in CARS with Concentrations in Retail & Consumer Studies, and Global Apparel & 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. Fashion students also have the opportunity to participate in the Annual THREADS Fashion Show. 

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

North Carolina State University (NC State) has been in existence since 1887. The school is home to 24,015 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), which 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.

Besides Merchandising, the program features study in the areas of 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.

22. Florida State University, Tallahassee, Florida (top 20% of schools considered)

Florida State University (FSU) was founded in 1851. It is home to 40,000 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.

23. Indiana University, Bloomington, Indiana (top 20% of schools considered)

Indiana University (IU) was founded in 1820. It houses 114,370 students, eight campuses, and more than 20,000 faculty and staff. Students have access to more than 180 majors, 330 degree programs, and more than 190 master’s, doctoral, and professional degree programs through 15 colleges and schools. The Kelley School of Business and the College of Arts & Sciences- Department of Apparel Merchandising & Interior Design (AMID), offer several programs for aspiring fashion merchandisers including a BS and a Minor in Apparel Merchandising, and a Business Minor for Apparel Merchandising Majors. 

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 also have the opportunity to 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.

24. Philadelphia University, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania (top 20% of schools considered)

Philadelphia University (PhilaU) was founded in 1884 as the Philadelphia Textile School. The school is home to 3,200 students enrolled in more than 60 areas of study through the College of Architecture and the Built Environment, the Kanbar College of Design, Engineering and Commerce, and the College of Science, Health and the Liberal Arts. The Kanbar College of Design, Engineering and Commerce houses two schools—the School of Design and Engineering and the School of Business. 

The School of Business offers a BS in Fashion Merchandising and Management (FMM). Students choose two specializations from the following options: Buying & Merchandising, Fashion Apparel Production, Fashion Entrepreneurship, Fashion Material Insight & Innovation, Fashion Product Management, Fashion Retail Experience, Fashion Technology, Global Brand Marketing, and Integrated Fashion Communication.

Program highlights include internships with major companies such as Coach, Urban Outfitters, Anthropologie, Tommy Hilfiger, Macy’s, Under Armour, The Limited Brands, and QVC, study abroad experiences in places such as London, Rome, Hong Kong, Seoul, Melbourne, Dominican Republic, Scotland, New Zealand, and Denmark, and collaborative projects for companies such as Cotton Inc., Maidenform, Toys R Us, and Target. Students may also participate in the Annual Philadelphia University Fashion Show.

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

California State Polytechnic University (Cal Poly Pomona) was founded in 1938. It is home to nearly 24,000 students enrolled in hundreds of programs through eight academic colleges and the College of the Extended University. The 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 and Fashion Retailing. A Minor and Certificate in AMM are also on the menu.  

The AMM degree is one of 12 colleges that have been endorsed by the industry trade association 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.”

26. University of South Carolina, Columbia, South Carolina (top 20% of schools considered)

The University of South Carolina was founded in 1801 as South Carolina College. It is home to just over 32,000 students enrolled in more than 250 academic degree programs through 16 colleges and schools. The College of Hospitality, Retail and Sport Management (HRSM) offers serval programs for aspiring fashion merchandisers. Offerings include a BS in Fashion Retailing with a Concentration in Fashion Merchandising and a Master of Retailing (M.R.). An accelerated Bachelor/Master's Degree in Retailing is also on the menu.

Program highlights include the opportunity to complete two internships, 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 opportunities include Paris, Italy, London, Macao-China, Punta Cana-Dominican Republic, China, Switzerland, and Germany. 

27. University of Texas at Austin, Austin, Texas (top 20% 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 College of Natural Sciences, School of Human Ecology houses the Division of Textiles and Apparel (TXA), which offers a BS in TXA with an Option in Merchandising and Consumer Sciences.

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. 

28. Kansas State University, Manhattan, Kansas (top 20% of schools considered)

Kansas State University (Kansas State or K-State) was founded in 1863. It is home to more than 24,300 students enrolled in more than 250 undergraduate majors and options, and 150-plus graduate study programs (including graduate certificates) 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 Merchandising. Program highlights include mandatory internships, faculty-led study tours in the U.S. and abroad, and an annual public exhibition of student work.

29. 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 more than 16,600 undergraduate and graduate 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 MS and BS degrees in Textiles, Fashion Merchandising and Design (TMD), a Certificate in Fashion Merchandising, and Minor in TMD. A double major in TMD and a “fashion” language (either French or Italian) are 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.

30. San Francisco State University, San Francisco, California (top 25% of schools considered) 

San Francisco State University (SFSU) was founded in 1899 as San Francisco State Normal School. According to the school’s most recent enrollment report, SFSU is home to 30,500 students enrolled in more than 140 undergraduate and graduate programs, 17 credential programs, and 38 certificate programs across seven colleges. The College of Health and Social Sciences is home to the Department of Consumer and Family Studies/Dietetics, which offers a BS in Apparel Design and Merchandising (ADM) with a Fashion Merchandising Emphasis.

Program highlights include internship opportunities, participation in the Annual Fashion Show, and study abroad opportunities in Italy, London, and Sydney.

31. Washington State University, Pullman, Washington (top 25% of schools considered)

Washington State University (WSU) was founded in 1890 as Washington’s original land-grant university. The school’s main campus is located in Pullman, Washington, and it has regional campuses in Spokane, Tri-Cities (Kennewick, Pasco, Richland and West Richland), Vancouver, and Everett. WSU is home to 28,686 students enrolled 95 undergraduate majors and 85 minors, 120 graduate and professional programs, and 100-plus 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 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. 

32. Virginia Tech University, Blacksburg, Virginia (top 25% of schools considered)

Virginia Tech University (Virginia Tech) was founded in 1872 as Virginia Agricultural and Mechanical College. It is home to 32,663 students enrolled in 240 degree programs through eight colleges and a graduate school. The College of Liberal Arts and Human Sciences, Department of Apparel, Housing, and Resource Management (AHRM) offer a BS in 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. 

33.  California State University-Long Beach, Long Beach, California (top 25% of schools considered)

California State University Long Beach (CSULB) is home to nearly 37,500 students, making it the third largest member of the 23-school California State University system. Established in 1949, CSULB offers more than 300 programs across eight colleges. The College of Health and Human Services (CHHS), Department of Family & Consumer Sciences (FCS), and the College of Business Administration offer several programs for aspiring fashion merchandisers.

Options include a BA in Family and Consumer Sciences with an Option in Fashion Merchandising, an MBA with a Specialization in Fashion Merchandising and Design, and a Minor in Fashion Merchandising. The MBA is a self-paced, 48-unit evening program designed for part-time, full-time, domestic or international students. An undergraduate degree in business is not required to enter this program. 

Merchandising program highlights include the Annual Spring Fashion Show (coordinated by Fashion Merchandising Students), Fashion Study Tours of New York City and Paris, and seminars at a variety of apparel manufacturing companies, retailers, textile design companies, and apparel design businesses. Study Tours of New York City offered every January and July and tours of Paris luxury fashion industries offered every June. Fashion merchandising students also have the opportunity to visit museums and other “culturally unique sites.”

34. Texas Women's University, Denton, Texas (top 25% of schools considered)

Texas Women's University (TWU) was founded in 1901 as The Girls Industrial College. It is home to more than 15,303 students enrolled in more than 150 programs across four colleges and a graduate school. The College of Arts & Sciences is home to the School of Management. The School offers several programs for aspiring fashion merchandisers including a BS in Fashion Merchandising with an Emphasis in Planning or Management and dual degrees including a BA/BS in Fashion Design/Fashion Merchandising, a BS/BBA in Fashion Merchandising/Marketing, a BS/BBA in Fashion Merchandising/Management, and a BS/BBA in Fashion Merchandising/Entrepreneurship. A Fashion Merchandising Minor is also on the menu.

In addition to a variety of programs for fashion merchandisers, the School of Management offers internship opportunities at companies such as Aldo, BCBG Max Azria, Coach, Express, Michael Kors, and Nordstrom. Students also have the opportunity to participate in the Annual Montage Senior Fashion Show and the Global Fashion Study Tour of Paris. 

35. Virginia Commonwealth University, Richmond, Virginia (top 30% of schools considered)

Virginia Commonwealth University (VCU) was established in 1838. It is home to 31,242 students enrolled in around 226 degree and certificate programs across 15 colleges and schools. The School of the Arts is home to the Department of Fashion and Merchandising which has over 300 students enrolled in two educational tracks: the BA in Fashion Merchandising and the BFA in Fashion Design.

Program highlights include optional membership in The VCU Stiletto Club, internship opportunities in the U.S. and overseas, and study abroad opportunities including Fashion in Florence, VCU Qatar, and options in Paris, London, Scotland, and more. Fashion students also have the opportunity to participate in the VCU Annual Fashion Show.

36. Louisiana State University, Baton Rouge, Louisiana (top 30% of schools considered)

Louisiana State University (LSU) opened its doors in 1860. The school is home to more than 31,500 students enrolled in over 200 programs across 11 colleges and schools. The College of Agriculture, Department of Textiles, Apparel Design, and Merchandising (TAM) offers several programs for aspiring fashion merchandisers. Offerings include a BS in Textiles, Apparel Design, and Merchandising (BS TAM) with a Concentration in Merchandising, and MS and PhD Degrees in Human Ecology with a Concentration in Merchandising. 

Program highlights include optional membership in the Fashion Association at LSU (FALSU), access to state-of-the art facilities such as an apparel production lab, textiles testing and processing lab, and body scanning lab, and access to the LSU Textile & Costume Museum and Historic & Archaeological Textile and Apparel Research Laboratory. Students also have the opportunity to complete an internship and participate in the Annual Fashion Show. 

37. University of Nebraska-Lincoln, Lincoln, Nebraska (top 30% of schools considered)

The University of Nebraska-Lincoln (UNL) was founded on February 15, 1869. It is home to 25,260 students enrolled in hundreds of programs across 12 colleges. The College of Education and Human Sciences (CHES) houses the Department of Textiles, Merchandising and Fashion Design (TMFD), which offers a variety of unique programs for aspiring fashion merchandisers.

Undergraduate offerings include BS degrees in Merchandising and Textiles, Merchandising & Fashion Design/Communications. Graduate offerings include MA, MS, and PhD degrees in Textiles, Merchandising & Fashion Design. A Graduate Certificate in TMFD is also on the menu.

Merchandising program highlights include biennial juried student exhibitions, study tours and international experiences in New York, Paris/Milan, London/Paris, Paris/Prague, Shanghai, Beijing, and more, and internship opportunities with major companies such as Vera Wang, Tahari, Nicole Miller, and InStyle Magazine. Students also have the opportunity to display their creations at the Biennial Student Runway Show. 

38. Texas A&M University-Kingsville, Kingsville, Texas (top 30% of schools considered)

Texas A&M University-Kingsville (TAMUK) was chartered in 1917 and the school opened its doors in 1925. Home to 8,300 students, Texas A&M offers hundreds of programs across seven colleges. The Dick and Mary Lewis Kleberg College of Agriculture, Natural Resources and Human Sciences houses the Department of Human Services which offers a BS in Human Sciences with a Concentration in Fashion Merchandising. 

Program highlights include small class sizes which “allows blending of theory and practice through “hands on” learning,” participation in Fashion Group International’s Dallas Career Day, and Teen Vogue Fashion U in New York. The Department also has an internship program that has placed students at Ralph Lauren Childrenswear, Three Fleur De Lys - New York, ShowOne - Shanghai, China, Javier Vicente/MAFE’s - Salamanca, Spain, and many others.

39. California State University Northridge, Northridge, California (top 30% of schools considered)

California State University Northridge (CSUN) was founded in 1958 as San Fernando Valley State College. The most recent enrollment figures show that school is home to 38,310 students enrolled in 175 programs through nine colleges. The College of Health and Human Development, Department of Family & Consumer Sciences houses the Apparel Design and Merchandising program. Degree offerings for aspiring fashion merchandisers include a BS in Family and Consumer Sciences with an Option in Apparel Design and Merchandising-Emphasis Apparel Merchandising. 

Program highlights include access to the Historic Costume Collection, internship opportunities at The California Merchandise Mart, design showrooms, textile and apparel manufacturers, major department stores, museums, and textile testing labs, and networking opportunities through the student organization TRENDS. Students also have the opportunity to develop professional relationships through domestic fashion industry tours and organizations such as the International Textile and Apparel Association (ITAA) and the Fashion Industry Association (FIA). 

40. Mississippi State University, Starkville, Mississippi (top 30% of schools considered)

Mississippi State University (MSU) was established February 28, 1878 as the Agricultural and Mechanical College of the State of Mississippi. The school is home to 20,873 students enrolled in more than 175 programs across 12 colleges and schools. The School of Human Sciences houses the Fashion Design & Merchandising program. Students in the BS program concentrate in one of two areas—Merchandising or Apparel Production & Design.

According to the School, “merchandising combines an overview of the fashion industry, consumer behavior, product development, planning, buying business operations and entrepreneurship.” Other program highlights include study abroad experiences, internship opportunities at local companies or overseas, and the opportunity to participate in a variety of fashion show events and showcases. Students also have the option to choose a minor such as Fine Arts, Marketing, Theater, or Journalism to enhance their degree.

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

The University of Hawaii at Manoa (UH Manoa) was founded in 1907. The school is home to 18,865 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.

42. Ball State University, Muncie, Indiana (top 35% of schools considered)

Founded in 1918, Ball State University (BSU) is home to 21,000 students enrolled more than 170 majors, 88 master's degrees, 16 doctoral degrees, and four specialist programs across seven academic colleges. The College of Applied Sciences and Technology houses the Department of Family and Consumer Sciences (FCS), which offers several programs for aspiring fashion merchandisers. Options include a BS in Fashion Merchandising and an MA or MS in Family and Consumer Sciences with a Fashion Merchandising Concentration. Students in the Merchandising program will complete the FCS common core and a Marketing Minor. 

Other program highlights include internship and study abroad opportunities, and participation in a variety of BSU fashion show events and showcases.   

43. California State University - Los Angeles, Los Angeles, California (top 35% of schools considered)

California State University – Los Angeles (Cal State LA or CSU LA) was founded in 1947 as Los Angeles State College. The school is home to 24,488 students enrolled in more than 60 degree programs across eight colleges. The College of Arts & Letters is home to the Department of Art, which offers several programs for aspiring fashion merchandisers. Offerings include a BA in Art with an Option in Fashion and Textiles/Specialization Fashion Merchandising, MA and MFA degrees in Art with an Option in Fashion and Textiles, and undergraduate Certificates in Fashion Merchandising and Retail Professional Development.

Program highlights include internship opportunities at the Getty Center, Alternative Apparel Los Angeles and more, participation in the Annual Senior Fashion Show, access to International Programs with more than 50 universities in 18 countries, and participation in the Fashion Association of Design Students. 

44. Texas Christian University, Fort Worth, Texas (top 35% of schools considered)

Texas Christian University (TCU) was founded in 1873 as AddRan Male and Female College. It is home to 10,323 students enrolled 118 undergraduate areas of study, 53 master’s level programs, and 25 areas of doctoral study across eight colleges and schools. The College of Fine Arts is home to the Department of Interior Design & Fashion Merchandising. The Department offers a BS in Fashion Merchandising.

Program highlights include off-campus study programs in Paris, New York, and Dallas, access to the TCU Costume Collection, which features more than 2,500 items, and participation in the Annual Fashion Show. In addition, students will complete a 10-week supervised internship with companies such as Bergdorf Goodman, Chanel, Donna Karan, Escada, Fossil, Jimmy Choo, Louis Vuitton, Neiman Marcus, Nordstrom, Ralph Lauren, and Zales. 

45. Framingham State University, Framingham, Massachusetts (top 35% of schools considered)

Founded in 1839, Framingham State University (FSU) was the first public teacher’s college in the country. Today the school is home 6,400 students enrolled in 53 undergraduate and graduate degree programs in arts, humanities, sciences, social sciences, and professional fields. The Fashion Design and Retailing Department offers one program for aspiring fashion merchandisers—a BS in Fashion Design and Retailing with a Concentration in Merchandising.

Program highlights include small class sizes and individual attention, state-of-the-art computer technology, “dynamic” merchandising and design opportunities, study tours, and business and industry partnerships. Students also have the opportunity to complete an internship. 

46. Ursuline College, Pepper Pike, Ohio (top 35% of schools considered)

Ursuline College was founded in 1871 by the Ursuline Sisters of Cleveland. It is home to 1,175 students enrolled in more than 25 majors through the School of Arts and Sciences, the School of Professional Studies, and Breen School of Nursing. The School of Professional Studies offers several programs for aspiring fashion merchandisers including a BA, a Minor, and a Certificate in Fashion Merchandising.

The BA program offers a F.I.T. Track that allows students to spend their third year at the Fashion Institute of Technology in New York City. The F.I.T. Track leads to an AAS. Other program highlights include access to the Historic Costume Study Collection, which features more than 3,500 pieces of 20th century American apparel and accessories, internship opportunities, and participation in the Annual Fashion Show.

47. Buffalo State – State University of New York College at Buffalo, Buffalo, New York (top 35% of schools considered)

Buffalo State was established in 1871 and it is a member of the State University of New York (SUNY) family. The school is home to more than 10,661 students enrolled in more than 230 academic programs through five schools. The School of the Professions, Department of Fashion and Textile Technology (FTT) offers one program for aspiring fashion merchandisers—a BS in Fashion and Textile Technology with a Concentration in Fashion Merchandising. Merchandising students also have the option to take multiple concentrations. Other options include Apparel Design, Product Development, and Fashion/Textile Design.

Program highlights include study abroad opportunities, access to the Historic Costume Textile Collection, which consists of more than 1500 historic garments, textiles, and accessories, and participation in Runway—the Fashion Institute of Technology NY (FIT NY), Annual Fashion Show. Internship opportunities are also on the menu through affiliations with American Apparel Footwear Association (AAFA), the American Association of Textiles Chemists and Colorists (AATC), the American Collegiate Retailing Association (ACRA), and the International Textiles Apparel Textile Association (ITAA).

Fashion and Textile Technology majors may also spend a year studying at FIT. FIT is a “three-one” program what allows students to earn a BS from Buffalo State and an AAS from FIT.

48. Missouri State University, Springfield, Missouri (top 35% of schools considered)

Missouri State University’s (MSU) main campus was founded in 1905. The state’s second largest university, MSU is home to more than 20,000 students from Missouri, nearly every other state and 85 other countries. The school offers more than 150 undergraduate majors and 48 graduate programs across six academic colleges, the School of Agriculture, and the Graduate College. The College of Business is home to the Department of Merchandising and Fashion Design which offers one program for aspiring fashion designers—a BS in Fashion Merchandising and Design with three-year and four-year options. Both options require completion of four credit hours’ worth of internship experience. In addition, all fashion students have the opportunity to study abroad in places such as London and Paris, and participate in the Annual Spring Fashion Show.  

49. University of Kentucky, Lexington, Kentucky (top 40% of schools considered)

The University of Kentucky (UK) was founded in 1865. It is home to more than 30,000 students enrolled in more than 200 academic programs through 16 colleges and professional schools. The College of Agriculture, Food and Environment houses the School of Human Environmental Sciences which offers six undergraduate degree programs, four master’s degree programs, and a PhD in Family Sciences. 

Programs for aspiring fashion merchandisers are available through the School’s Department of Retailing and Tourism Management. Offerings include BS and MS degrees in Merchandising, Apparel, and Textiles. Program highlights for BS students include the New York Study Tour, study abroad opportunities to places such as Paris, China, and the UK, and internship opportunities. Students also have the opportunity to participate in the Annual Fashion Show and the Target Project. The Target Project allows students to conduct research on the company’s retailing needs. 

Program highlights for MS students include the option to choose a thesis or non-thesis track, access to assistantship and travel opportunities, and the opportunity to submit articles for presentations at the ITAA yearly conference. Graduate students also have the opportunity to study abroad. 

50. Texas State University, San Marcos, Texas (top 40% of schools considered)

Texas State University opened its doors in 1903 as Southwest Texas State Normal School. The school is home to nearly 40,000 students enrolled in close to 200 undergraduate and post-graduate degree programs across 10 colleges. The College of Applied Arts, School of Family and Consumer Sciences offer several programs for aspiring fashion merchandisers. 

Options include a BS in Family and Consumer Sciences (BSFCS) with a Major in Fashion Merchandising and a Minor in Business Administration, an MS in Merchandising and Consumer Studies (MS MCS), and a Minor in Fashion Merchandising. Please note that the Minor in Business is a required component of the BSFCS/Fashion Merchandising program. 

Program highlights include a required internship with companies such as Dillard’s, Saks, and Nike; educational tours and trips such as Fashion Career Day in Dallas, and participation in The Market Center Fashion Study course that takes students to fashion capitals such as Paris, London, Milan or Florence as well as fashion centers in New York, Dallas, Las Vegas and others.  Students may also become members of The Fashion Merchandising Association and all students will have the opportunity to participate in the Annual Fashion Show.