Fashion-Schools.org is excited to bring you our 2021 Fashion Merchandising School rankings. Every year we compile a definitive ranking of the US’s top fashion merchandising schools, based on factors like the schools’ admission data, graduation success, reputation and an extensive proprietary survey conducted with school & industry stakeholders. Below is our overall Top 50 National rankings of Fashion Merchandising programs.
For an explanation of ranking criteria, click here.
Fashion Institute of Technology, NY
The Fashion Institute of Technology (FIT) was founded in 1944. A member of the State University of New York (SUNY) system, FIT is home to more than 9,000 students enrolled in 37 majors and 12 certificate programs across five schools. They include the School of Art and Design, Jay and Patty Baker School of Business and Technology, the School of Liberal Arts, the School of Graduate Studies, and the School of Continuing and Professional Studies. The School of Art and Design offers a number of fashion programs for aspiring designers of all kinds.
New in 2018, FIT was awarded accreditation of it’s business programs by the Accreditation Council for Business Schools and programs. Less than 50% of US higher education institutions with business schools are accredited. Within FIT’s Baker School of Business and technology, programs in Marketing Communications, Cosmetics & Fragrance Marketing, Fashion Business Management, Home Products Development, International Trade and Marketing for Fashion Industries, Production Management: Fashion & Related Industries, and Textile Development & Marketing all received accreditation.
Students may choose from multiple degree levels including the AAS, BFA, BS, MA, and MPS. In addition, FIT offers one- and two-year options for AAS students and credit and non-credit Certificates. An international option in Florence is on the menu for fashion design students pursuing an AAS degree, and an option in Milan/New York is available for knitwear and sportswear students pursuing a Baccalaureate degree. AAS degree programs for aspiring fashion designers include Accessories Design, Fashion Design, Illustration – Fashion and General Illustration options, Jewelry Design, Menswear, Textile Development and Marketing, and Textile/Surface Design. Baccalaureate (BFA and BS) degree programs include Accessories Design, Fabric Styling, Fashion Design (Children’s Wear, Intimate Apparel, Knitwear, Special Occasion, and Sportswear, and Knitwear options), Technical Design, Textile Development and Marketing, and Textile/Surface Design.
Graduate programs for aspiring fashion designers include an MA in Fashion and Textile Studies: History, Theory, Museum Practice and credit Certificate programs include CAD for Fashion Design - Art, Draping, Gemology, Haute Couture, Ladies Tailoring, Leather Apparel, Millinery, Patternmaking, and Performance Athletic Footwear. Minors are available in Ethics and Sustainability, and Fashion Studies, and Non-credit Certificates include Computer Essentials for Fashion Design, Fashion Styling, Wardrobe Technician and Costume Design Specialist, and Certified Technical Designer. All FIT Fashion Design students have the opportunity to study abroad in Florence, London, Milan, Nottingham, England, Melbourne, Australia, or Hong Kong. Students also have the opportunity to intern at local, national, or international companies, and all students may participate in the Annual FIT Fashion Show.
Fashion Institute of Design & Merchandising, CA
Fashion Institute of Design & Merchandising (FIDM) was founded in 1969. It is home to 5,300 students, 300 faculty members, and an advisory board that includes “industry giants” such as Fred Segal, Diane von Furstenberg, Tim Gunn (of Project Runway, Filmed at FIDM), and Emanuel Ungaro. Four Southern California campus locations, including Los Angeles, San Diego, San Francisco, and Irvine make the school an attractive place to study fashion as well.
The school offers 26 creative majors leading to an AA, BA or BS in the areas of fashion, graphics, interior design or entertainment. Degree programs for aspiring fashion designers include a BA in Design, a BS in Apparel Technical Design, and AA degrees in Fashion Design, Fashion Knitwear Design, Jewelry Design, Merchandise Product Development, and Textile Design. Associate of Arts Advanced Study Programs (ADV) programs include Advanced Fashion Design, Film and TV Costume Design, Footwear Design, International Manufacturing & Product Development, Menswear, and Textile Production and Development.
In addition to a wide variety of program offerings, fashion students can collaborate on special ‘Industry Partner Projects’ with brands like Nike, Murad, Athleta, Signal Snowboards, Lacoste, GUESS, and TOMS. Part-time work and internships with companies like J Brand Jeans, Stila, Topshop, Forever 21, Victoria’s Secret, and Adidas are an integral part of the curriculum. There are also annual study tours that will take students to fashion capitals such as New York, Paris, London, Rome, Milan, and more. Students may also participate in the annual DEBUT Runway Show.
Savannah College of Art & Design, GA
Savannah College of Art and Design (SCAD) was founded in 1978. The school, which is home to nearly 11,000 students from all 50 states and over 100 countries, offers 40 undergraduate degree programs, 61 graduate degree programs, and 77 minors. With campuses in Savannah, Atlanta, and Lacoste, France, SCAD offers a variety of programs for aspiring fashion designers. Offerings include degree programs in Accessory Design, Fashion, Fashion Marketing and Management, Fibers, Jewelry, Luxury and Fashion Management and the newest offering, Business of Beauty and Fragrance. SCAD offers the largest jewelry and fiber programs in the United States, the first MFA in accessory design in the world, the first graduate-level luxury and fashion management program, and the first business of beauty and fragrance program in the U.S. SCAD holds the record as the university with the most wins at the YMA Fashion Scholarship Fund awards. And SCAD students have been awarded multiple International Design Awards (IDA) brozen, silver, and gold awards.
Students may also earn their MA in Luxury and Fashion Management and MA and MFA in Fashion online through SCAD eLearning . 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.”
Other Fashion Program highlights include SCAD FASH Museum of Fashion + Film on the Atlanta campus, the university's annual shows and events including SCAD Fashion and SCAD Style, SCADpro industry design studios, master class series, and internship opportunities with national and global fashion brands and innovators, SCAD students’ educational experience is augmented by unparalleled industry access.
Drexel University, PA
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.
The Department offers several programs for aspiring fashion designers. Offerings include a BS and an MS in Fashion Design. Students may enhance their degree by opting for a Minor in Retail. Administered by the Design & Merchandising (D&M) program, the Minor “provides basic foundations in retail operations, buying and merchandise planning and e-commerce.” A BS in D&M is also on the menu.
Fashion design students also have access to “studios and specialized labs” at the school’s URBN Center, they have access to the Robert and Penny Fox Historic Costume Collection (FHCC), and students may enroll in the study abroad program which may take them places such as London (London College of Fashion), England, and Florence. In addition, students may submit their creations to national and international competitions each year, and upon completion of the program, they have the opportunity to show their final collections in the Department’s Annual Fashion Show.
The 2018 show will be held at the headquarters for Urban Outfitters. The show runs to two separate audiences and features designs this year from 34 separate designers; and the show is collaboration with several other Drexel University departments.
The New School Parsons, NY
The New School was founded in 1896 by American Impressionist William Merritt Chase. Back then, the school was known as The Chase School, and later as New York School of Fine and Applied Art. Today, The New School/Parsons (named after the famous Parsons Table) is home to more than 10,000 students enrolled in 138 degree programs, diploma programs and majors, and more than 50 minors across five colleges. New School colleges include the Eugene Lang College of Liberal Arts, College of Performing Arts, Schools of Public Engagement, The New School for Social Research, and Parsons School of Design. Located in a major world fashion hub like New York City, gives Parsons’ students access to resources, events and people unattainable in many parts of the country. The Parsons School of Design consists of 6 separate schools, which include the School of Art & Design History and Theory, the School of Art, Media and Technology, the School of Design Strategies, the School of Constructed Environments, the School of Fashion, and Parsons Paris. Options for aspiring fashion designers include a Certificate, and AAS and BFA degrees in Fashion Design, an AAS in Fashion Marketing, a BFA Integrated Studies, an MA in Fashion Studies, and an MFA in Textiles or Fashion Design and Society. AAS students study Accessories Design, Drawing, Fashion, Materials and Fabrication, Sustainable Design, and Textiles. BFA students will also study Accessories Design, Drawing, Fashion, and Sustainable Design as well as Fashion History, Theory, and Criticism, Materials and Fabrication, and Textiles. BFA Fashion students also have the opportunity to complete the program at Parsons Paris. BFA in Integrated Studies students can study everything from Fashion and Textiles to Urban Design. MA in Fashion Studies students can study everything from Branding, Fashion and Textiles to Materials and Fabrication. The MFA in Fashion Design and Society highlights Fashion, Fashion History, Materials and Fabrication, Physical Computing/Wearable Technology, Sustainable Design, Textiles, Design Research, and more. All programs offer the opportunity to study at Parsons Paris, participation in the Annual Fashion Show, and the opportunity to work with 560—the Parsons School of Design magazine. Notable program alumni include Anna Sui, Donna Karan, Marc Jacobs, Isaac Mizrahi, Mark Badgley and James Mischka, Narciso Rodriguez, and many others.
Cornell University, NY
Cornell University was founded in 1865. The school established the first four-year schools of hotel administration and industrial and labor relations, and it awarded the world's first degree in journalism and the first doctorates in electrical and industrial engineering. Home to nearly 22,000 students, today the school offers 80 undergraduate majors, 90 minors, and 108 graduate fields of study across 14 colleges and schools and 100 academic departments.
The College of Human Ecology, Department of Fiber Science & Apparel Design (FSAD) is home to a unique collection of fashion programs that combine “design, art, biology, chemistry, engineering and social science concepts and methods” with the long-term goal of “effecting change in design, in materials, in people's health and well-being, in manufacturing, in economic vitality, and in the environment.” Undergraduate offerings include BS degrees in Fashion Design, Fiber Science, Fashion Design Management, and a Dual Degree.
The Dual Degree Program allows students to earn a BFA and a BA from the College of Arts and Sciences, a BS from the College of Human Ecology or a BS from the College of Engineering. A Minor in Fiber Science is also on the menu. Graduate offerings include MA and PhD degrees in Apparel Design, MS and PhD degrees in Fiber Science, and an MPS in Human Ecology. The MPS program offers a Focus (graduate field) in Fiber Science and Apparel Design.
The Department of FSAD maintains the Cornell Costume and Textile Collection, which features “more than 10,000 items of apparel dating from the eighteenth century to the present, as well as a substantial collection of ethnographic textiles and costume.” The Department is also home to the Cornell Institute of Fashion and Fiber Innovation (CIFFI), which was established to “advance knowledge and foster collaborations between academia and industry in the areas of fashion design, marketing and culture, fiber science, technology, and materials testing.”
In addition to access to the Textile Collection and CIFFI, FSAD students have the opportunity to compete for the Cornell Design Award and display their collections at the Cornell Fashion Collective Runway Show. 2018 held the 34th running of the fashion show, which nearly 150 students participated in; with 29 student designers.
North Carolina State University, NC
North Carolina State University (NC State) has been in existence since 1887. The school 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 several unique programs for aspiring fashion designers. The schools embrace of innovation is apparent in their increasing inclusion of online study options for students.
Undergraduate offerings include a BS in Fashion and Textile Design and a BS in Fashion and Textile Management with a Concentration in Fashion Development and Product Management. Graduate offerings include both a Master of Textiles (MT) and an MS in Textiles. Design Specializations include Textile and Fashion Design, and Textile Technology.
TATM fashion students have access to spacious studios outfitted with the latest technology to design textile products and fabrics as well as prototypes. Students may also participate in TATM’s “study abroad-friendly” semester in their junior year, which prevents students from falling behind in their classes. Study abroad locations may include France, the Czech Republic, Hong Kong, Australia and India.
Iowa State University, IA
Iowa State University (ISU or Iowa State) was officially established on March 22, 1858 as Iowa Agricultural College and Model Farm. The school, which is home to 36,660 students from more than 50 states and 100-plus countries, offers 100 majors across 10 colleges and schools. The College of Human Sciences is home to the Apparel, Events, and Hospitality Management (AESHM) Department, which offers 15 undergraduate majors.
Offerings for aspiring fashion designers include BA, MS, and PhD degrees in Apparel, Merchandising, and Design. A Minor is also on the menu. Program highlights include the opportunity to study in “major market areas” such as New York or Chicago, participation in a variety of international study programs in Europe, and the opportunity to help produce Trend Magazine—the completely student-run fashion publication. Students also have access to the interactive Textiles and Clothing Museum and possible internship opportunities at places such as Anna Sui, Rag & Bone, Fossil Group, Kohl’s, Abercrombie & Fitch, Elie Tahari, Nordstrom, Banana Republic, and BCBG.
In addition, all students have the opportunity to display their creations at the campus-based Mary Alice Anderson Reinhardt Gallery and participate in ISU’s Annual Fashion Show—one of the largest student-produced fashion shows in the nation. In 2018, the show attracted over 2,500 guests, who viewed over 150 student designed garments. It was awarded the 2018 Outstanding Event of the Year award.
LIM College, NY
LIM College was founded by Maxwell F. Marcuse in 1939 as the Laboratory Institute of Merchandising (LIM). The school, which became LIM College in 2009, is home to ~1,800 students enrolled in associate, bachelor’s & master's degree programs in several fashion-focused majors.
There are a variety of programs for aspiring fashion merchandisers. Offerings include Associate in Applied Sciences (AAS), Associate in Occupational Studies (AOS), and Bachelor of Professional Studies (BPS) and Bachelor of Business Administration degrees (BBA) in Fashion Merchandising, and Bachelor of Science degrees (BS) in International Business & Fashion Media. Bachelor of Business Administration (BBAs) in Visual Studies, Marketing, Management, & the Business of Fashion are also available.
Graduate offerings include Master of Professional Studies (MPS) degrees in Fashion Merchandising & Retail Management, Fashion Marketing, the Business of Fashion, and Global Fashion Supply Chain Management.
Among the minors offered are: Beauty, Digital Business, Event Planning, Fashion Styling, Interior & Home Concepts, Photo Styling & Set Design, Digital Design & Photography, Global Studies, and Sustainability.
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 on 4 continents.
Kent State University, OH
Founded in 1910, Kent State University (KSU or Kent State) is home to more than 23,000 students from all 50 states and more than 100 countries. The school offers 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, better known as “The Fashion School.”
The school offers BA and BFA degrees in Fashion Design, a BFA in Crafts (Jewelry and Metals or Textile Arts), an MA in Fine Arts (Fashion), and an MFA in Design/Technology – Costume Design. Minors in Accessories, Textiles, Costume Design Technology, and Fashion Media are also on the menu and 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: Alchemy; which most recently featured 96 single garments and 27 total collections. A total crew of nearly 300 people worked to put on the show. Students also participate in 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.”
Marist College, NY
Marist College was founded in 1929. It is home to more than 6,500 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 designers. Offerings include a BFA in Fashion Design and a BS in Fashion Merchandising with a Product Development Concentration. The Marist College Fashion Program is pleased to offer a Masters of Science degree in Global Fashion Merchandising in collaboration with Mod-Spe Paris, the Fashion Business School.
Short-term studies to Europe and Asia, and full semester abroad studies in London, Paris, Florence & Hong Kong round out the students education. Fashion Design majors may also earn their degree in Florence, Italy or choose a Minor in Merchandising or Product Development.
Marist's strength in internship placement, and unusual depth of internship opportunities, derives from our close proximity to New York City. In the fashion capital of the world, students have access to a wide variety of work environments. Fashion students have completed internships at companies such as Michael Kors, BCBG, Chanel, Harpers Bazaar, Macy's, Nordstrom, Ross Stores and Ralph Lauren 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.
Auburn University, AL
Auburn University, based in Auburn Alabama, was established in 1856. In 1872, the school became the first land-grant college in the South. Today, the school is home to a nearly 30,000 students, enrolled in more than 140 degree options across 13 colleges and schools. Within the university, the College of Human Sciences has the Department of Consumer & Design Sciences (CADS).
CADS offers a BS in Apparel Merchandising, Design and Production Management with an Apparel Design and Production Management Option (BS-APDP). For those aspiring students they also offer graduate degrees including both Master of Science as well as Ph.D. in Consumer and Design Sciences. There’s even a Accelerated BS/MS program with specialization areas in design of interiors and apparel.
Apparel Design students have the opportunity to intern at local retailers and design houses as well as opportunities to 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. CADS curriculum takes an integrated approach to studying apparel throughout the production supply chain and provides students with the education and experiences to become a valued member of firms throughout the apparel and related industries. In addition to academics, the program supports entry level placement in the apparel industry as well as advancement throughout the graduates’ career.
Florida State University, FL
Florida State University (FSU) was founded in 1851. 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.
Jefferson: Thomas Jefferson University, PA
In 2017 Philadelphia University leadership decided to merge with Thomas Jefferson University (PhilaU), another local Philadelphia, Pennsylvania Institution. The new combined school is simply called Jefferson. Thomas Jefferson University was founded in 1824 and Philadelphia University was founded in 1884. Both were ahead of their time and focused on the importance of experiential learning. The new Jefferson was established on July 1, 2017 as a result of the merger of these two renowned universities.
Within Jefferson, remains the Kanbar College of Design, Engineering and Commerce, Kanbar was retained as a legacy college from the days of PhilaU, and still is home to two schools — the School of Design and Engineering and the School of Business. The School of Design and Engineering offers a number of undergraduate and advanced degree programs for aspiring fashion designers. Offerings include BS degrees in Fashion Design, Textile Design, and Textile Materials Technology, MS degrees in Global Fashion Enterprise, Textile Design, and Textile Engineering, and a PhD in Textile Engineering and Sciences.
Program highlights include internships with companies such as Vogue, Betsey Johnson, Tommy Hilfiger, Urban Outfitters and Abercrombie & Fitch, and study abroad opportunities in London, Rome, Hong Kong, Seoul, Melbourne, Dominican Republic, Scotland, New Zealand, and Denmark. Students also have access to PhilaU’s Historic Textile and Costume Collection as well as “specialized space for individual programs including, engineering labs, fashion design studios, textile studios with state-of-the-art machinery, and industrial design studios.” The Textile and Costume Collection features “museum-quality garments, accessories, and textiles as sources of design inspiration for the modern-day design and product-development process.”
Academy of Art University, CA
Academy of Art University was established in 1929. The school, which had a 2016 fall enrollment of 7,959 students, offers dozens of programs in the areas of art and design. The School of Fashion at Academy of Art offers several programs for aspiring fashion designers. Undergraduate offerings include an AA in Fashion, a BFA in Fashion with an Emphasis in Fashion Design, Textile Design, or Knitwear Design, BFA degrees in Fashion Product Development and Costume Design, a Certificate in Fashion, and an Online Award of Completion in Fashion Design. A BA degree in Fashion Journalism is also offered. Graduate offerings include MFA degrees in Fashion, Costume Design, Fashion Product Development, Knitwear Design, Textile Design & Fashion Merchandising and Management.
According to the Academy, 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 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 at major companies such as Gap, Kate Spade, Levi Strauss & Co., Louis Vuitton, Chanel, Adidas, Ralph Lauren, and many others.
Colorado State University, CO
Founded in 1870 and located in Fort Collins, Colorado State University (CSU) 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 designers include a BS in Apparel and Merchandising - Apparel Design and Production, and an MS in Design and Merchandising - Apparel and Merchandising. There is also a Minor concentration available in Merchandising. Students that pursue a B.S. in Apparel and Merchandising are all exposed to product design and development; promotion, distribution, and retailing; and consumer behavior in the global environments but specific concentrations are available in Apparel Design and Production, Merchandising as well as Product Development.
In addition, the College of Liberal Arts, Department of Art and Art History has several additional offerings for fashion students. Options include BA in Studio, BFA in Studio Art, MA, and MFA degrees with a Concentration in Fibers or Jewelry and Metalsmithing.
Apparel Design students have opportunities beyond on-campus academics as well. They have the opportunity to participate in the internship program and study abroad opportunities. Past design students have studied in Italy, France, Peru, Ghana, and Australia. Some have also participated in Semester at Sea, which typically enrolls more than 600 students from more than 250 colleges and universities. They also have the opportunity to work with artifacts and 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.
University of North Texas, TX
University of North Texas (UNT) was founded in 1890 and is located just North of Dallas in Denton, TX. It is home to nearly 38,000 students enrolled in 103 bachelor's, 86 master's and 38 doctoral degree programs. The College of Visual Arts & Design offers several programs for aspiring fashion designers including a Fashion Design Pre-Major, a BFA in Fashion Design, an MFA in Design with a Concentration in Fashion Design, a Studio Art Pre-Major, and BFA degrees in Studio Art with a Concentration in Fibers or Metalsmithing and Jewelry.
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. Many students can make early impressions on future employers by competing at national and international events, such as: Fashion Group International of Dallas' Career Day, The Hispanic Association of Colleges and Universities and Gap Inc.'s Design Your Future competition. UNT also offers an annual ArtWear fashion show that allows students to showcase your best creations as part of a juried exhibition. The show offers cash awards and serves as the senior exit review.
University of Delaware, DE
The University of Delaware (UD) was chartered in 1833 and it is currently home to more than 20,000 students enrolled in more than 300 degree programs across seven schools. Within the College of Arts & Sciences you will find the Department of Fashion & Apparel Studies (FAS). The FAS department is home to approximately 400 undergraduate majors, split between studies in Apparel Design and Fashion Merchandising. The department also offers minors in Fashion History and Culture, Fashion Management, and Sustainable Apparel and Textile Innovation. In the area of graduate studies, the department offers a Master of Science in Fashion and Apparel Studies with thesis and professional project options. There is even an online graduate certificate program Socially Responsible and Sustainable Apparel Business. This award winning degree addresses labor and environmental problems in the global supply chains for the apparel, textile, and footwear industries.
Program highlights include the opportunity to complete an internship at home, overseas, or both and the UD 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.
Baylor University, TX
Chartered in 1845, Baylor University is currently 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 one program for aspiring fashion designers—a BS in Apparel Design & Product Development as well as a BS in Apparel Merchandising.
The Apparel Design program provides a “diversified educational experience, encompassing academic excellence in a Christian environment that prepares students to enter the apparel industry profession.” The program also offers the opportunity 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 FGI Dallas Career Day, which is held at the Apparel Mart.
The Apparel Merchandising program at Baylor focuses on developing skills, including communication, analytical thinking, teamwork, and ethical behavior. These skills help graduates as they apply management, marketing theory and business principles to the global apparel industry.
University of Missouri, MO
The University of Missouri (MU or Mizzou) houses the College of Human and Environmental Sciences (HES), which is home to the Department of Textile & Apparel Management (TAM). TAM offers several programs for aspiring fashion merchandisers including 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 available as well as MS and PhD programs 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.
About Mizzou: The University of Missouri (MU or Mizzou) was the first public university west of the Mississippi River. Founded in 1839, the school is home to 33,266 students enrolled in more than 300 programs through 15 colleges and schools.
University of Texas, TX
The University of Texas at Austin (UT Austin) opened in 1883. It is home to over 51,331 students enrolled (Undergraduate 40,168|Graduate 11,163) 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, which offers several programs for aspiring fashion designers.
UT’s program offers multiple streams and specializations to students studying for their Bachelor of Sciences in Textiles and Apparel (TXA). The streams highlighted on their website include Stream 1 Apparel, Functional and Technical Design, Stream II: Merchandising and Consumer Sciences, and Stream III: Textiles and Apparel Honors (Dean's Scholars). The specializations offered include Apparel Design, Conservation, Functional and Technical Design, Merchandising and Consumer Sciences, Retail Merchandising, Textiles and Apparel Honors, Textile Conservation and Museum Studies. Graduate program offers an MS in Textile and Apparel Technology (MSTAT).
Program highlights include access to study abroad opportunities in places such as India and China, internship opportunities with major companies such as Anne Klein, Betsey Johnson, Coach, Marc Jacobs, Michael Kors, Ralph Lauren, Vera Wang, and Zac Posen, and the UT in NYC Program. The NYC program “brings apparel design, conservation and merchandising students together for a broad look at the apparel industry with an entrepreneurial focus.” Students also have the opportunity to participate in the annual fashion show and exhibition. Past sponsors have included Sephora Cosmetics, Cobalt Blue Hair Salon, and Tribeza.
University of Minnesota, MN
The University of Minnesota (U of M) was founded in 1851 in the Twin Cities (Minneapolis and St. Paul). The school is home to nearly 63,000 students (system-wide), with 48,770 students at the Twin Cities campus.
More than 400 degree programs are offered across 17 colleges and schools. Among them is the College of Design, which houses the Department of Design, Housing and Apparel. The Department offers a BS in Apparel Design and MA, MS, and PhD degrees in Design with an Apparel Studies Track. A Fashion Studies Minor is also on the menu.
Students have the ability to participate in an annual fashion show, a right of passage among Apparel Design seniors. 2018 marks the show’s 50th anniversary. Every year it gives students a chance to put into practice the work they’ve been learning.
Apparel Design students have access to The Wearable Product Design Center (WPDC), the Wearable Technology Lab, and the Human Dimensioning Lab, as well as the opportunity to show their collections at the College of Design 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.
University of Georgia, GA
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 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.
Indiana University, IN
Indiana University (IU) was founded in 1820. It houses more than 114,000 students, eight campuses, and 20,000-plus 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.
Within the School of Art, Architecture + Design offers fashion students either a BA in Fashion Design or a BS in Apparel Merchandising. The fashion design program offers a well-rounded education in the art, philosophy, theory, and process of fashion design in the 21st century. The curriculum addresses the design process and its relationship to the retail cycle, while also providing hands-on materials learning—including gaining knowledge of fibers, weaves, and finishes used in garment design. The BS in Apparel Merchandising is best suited for those interested in fashion and design but have an aptitude for business.
The program(s) highlight the ability to study abroad. IU students can travel for a semester to Paris where they examine European fashion markets, leading designers, and retailing practices. Paris, known for being a capital of high fashion, is an ideal location for this program.
New York University - Steinhardt School of Culture, NY
The Steinhardt School of Culture, Education, and Human Development is a private university located in New York City, NY and is the secondary liberal arts and education school of New York University. Established in 1890, the Steinhardt School offers bachelor’s master’s, advanced certificates, and doctoral degrees in applied psychology, art, education, health, media, and music. Over 2,500 undergraduates are enrolled and with more than 3,300 graduate students, Steinhardt is the largest graduate school in NYU.
Steinhardt offers a Master of Arts in Costume Studies as well as a dual master’s degree combining Costume Studies and Library Science. Costume Studies includes courses in exhibition and museum topics, art theory and criticism, and decorative arts, as well as plenty of fieldwork and research. Faculty teach courses in costume and textile history, and expose students to unique collections of costumes and accessories at leading institutions throughout New York. Graduates of the MA Costume Studies and Library Science dual degree may find careers as specialists/scholar-librarians in academic and research institutions, or as archivists in libraries, museums, publishing houses, and fashion companies.
In addition to their regular coursework, students will complete an internship as part of their graduate program. Past internships have been offered at prestigious cultural institutions in New York including the Costume Institute at the Metropolitan Museum of Art (The Met), the Cooper-Hewitt National Design Museum, the Museum of the City of New York, and the New-York Historical Society. Internship coordinators assist in securing internships with respected museums, fashion designers, design firms, magazines, and more. Steinhardt is proud that their highly sought after students are able to gain practical experience, valuable professional contacts, and a unique perspective on possible careers in the art world via these one of a kind internships.
University of North Carolina, Greensboro, NC
Located in Greensboro, North Carolina, the Bryan School of Business at the University of North Carolina (UNCG) is home to the Department of Consumer, Apparel, and Retail Studies (CARS). Clothing and textiles have been a part of UNCG’s history since its beginning in 1892 and has a long and interesting history through the years.
Today CARS offers B.S., Masters and PhD degrees in Consumer, Apparel, and Retail Studies. Concentrations are available in Apparel Design or Global Apparel and Related Industry Studies. A Post-Baccalaureate Certificate (PBC) in both areas or in Global Apparel Supply Chain Management is also available.
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.
Ohio State University, OH
The Ohio State University (OSU) was established in 1870. The school 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.
California Polytechnic University, Pomona, CA
California State Polytechnic University (Cal Poly Pomona) was founded in 1938. 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.”
Buffalo State SUNY, NY
Buffalo State was established in 1871 and it is a member of the State University of New York (SUNY) system. The school is home to more than 10,300 students enrolled in 177 undergraduate programs and 63 graduate 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 have the option to take multiple concentrations such as 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), the International Textiles Apparel Textile Association (ITAA), and the Costume Society of America (CSA).
Fashion and Textile Technology majors may also spend a year studying at FIT. FIT is a “three-one” program that allows students to earn a BS from Buffalo State and an associate’s degree from FIT. In addition, study abroad opportunities are available in several countries.
Graduates of the program have been employed by most major apparel and textile companies, including, but not limited to Abercrombie & Fitch, Calvin Klein, Dior, Ralph Lauren, Macy’s, GAP and GAP Kids, Lord & Taylor, Limited, Tommy Hilfiger, Target, Dillards, and Victoria’s Secret.
California College of the Arts, CA
California College of the Arts (CCA) was founded in 1907. It is home to nearly 2,000 students enrolled in more than 30 degree programs. Options for aspiring fashion designers include BFA degrees in Fashion Design, Jewelry/Metals Arts, and Textiles.
Program highlights include CCA’s internship program, which offers the opportunity to work at San Francisco Bay Area companies such as Levi Strauss & Co, Athleta, and TEA Collection, the opportunity to participate in the Annual Fashion Show, and unique study abroad opportunities in places such as London, Paris, Berlin, and Italy.
Many CCA graduates have found success in the world of design. Some have started their own businesses, while others have landed positions with major companies such as Abercrombie & Fitch, J. Crew, Athleta, Forever 21, John Varvatos, Michael Kors, GUESS, Kate Spade, and many others.
California State University, Long Beach
California State University Long Beach (CSULB) is the third largest member of the 23-school California State University (CSU) system. Established in 1949, CSULB is home to more than 37,000 students and offers more than 300 programs across eight colleges. The College of Health and Human Services (CHHS) offers programs for aspiring fashion designers.
Within CHHS, the Department of Family & Consumer Sciences (FCS) offers a BA in Family and Consumer Sciences with options to get a BA in Fashion Design or BA in Fashion Merchandising. One program highlight is the annual Spring Fashion Show. Its coordinated by the students themselves and features the designs created by the students. The show serves as a network for future career opportunities for students.
FCS also offers several opportunities for students to learn about the international fashion industry outside of the classroom through “study tours” in New York.
Massachusetts College of Art & Design, MA
Founded in 1873 as the Massachusetts Normal Art School, Massachusetts College of Art and Design is a public, independent college of art and design. The school is home to 2,426 students, enrolled in more than 30 Graduate and Undergraduate programs. Massachusetts College of Art and Design also offers Certificate programs in Fashion Design, Furniture Design, Industrial Design, and Graphic Design.
Founded by "English art educator Walter Smith and Boston Brahmin arts impresario Charles Callahan Perkins," Massachusetts College of Art and Design (MassArt), offers BFA degrees in Fashion Design, Fibers, and Jewelry/Metalsmithing. Program highlights include participation in the Annual Fashion Show and special projects similar to the school’s 2011 Voltage Fashion/Film Story (a collaboration between the Fashion and Film Departments).
Students also have the opportunity to create a signature line to be showcased in the Annual Fashion Show, and they may participate in competitions and team projects. Just a few include the Council of Fashion Designers of America Competition, the Italian Trade Commission Project, the Chadwick's Project, and the Karmaloop Project. During the final years of study, all students must complete an internship. Students have completed internships at Michael Kors, Karl Lagerfeld, Anna Sui, Boston Ballet, Zac Posen, Tory Burch, Betsy Johnson, Armani AX, Tommy Hilfiger, Boston Conservatory, Vera Wang, and Nicole Miller.
University of Nebraska, NE
The University of Nebraska-Lincoln (UNL) was founded on February 15, 1869. It is home to nearly 23,000 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 designers.
Undergraduate offerings include BS degrees in Textiles & Fashion Design, Textile Science, and Textiles, Merchandising & Fashion Design/Communications. Graduate offerings include MA, MS, and PhD degrees in Textiles, Merchandising & Fashion Design (TMFD). Aspiring fashion designers may concentrate their coursework in design-related areas such as Textile Science, Textile Design, or Apparel Design. Quilt Studies is another option as well as a Graduate Certificate in TMFD.
Fashion Program highlights include study tours and international experiences in New York, Paris/Milan, London/Paris, Paris/Prague, Shanghai, and Beijing, and internship opportunities with major companies such as Vera Wang, Tahari, Nicole Miller, and InStyle Magazine. Students also have the opportunity to show their creations at the biennial Student Runway Show.
Delaware State University, DE
Founded in 1891, Delaware State University is a public university located in Dover, Delaware with a current enrollment of approximately 5,000 undergraduate students. At DSU, interested students are able to explore the fashion industry through the College of Agriculture, Science and Technology where those in the Human Ecology department can engage themselves in the Textiles and Apparel Studies program. Students in this program have the opportunity to learn about retail functions, merchandising principles, forecasting trends, and textile selection.
Students are provided with many opportunities to participate in summer internships within the textiles industry and earn limited credit hours. Completion of the Baccalaureate degree is conferred upon completion of 125 credit hours. At the end of their enrollment, students must also concentrate in either Fashion Merchandising or Fashion Design.
The Textiles and Apparel Studies (TAS) program provides students with the chance to explore their industry through student fashion design competitions and other unique opportunities. The program also provides students with the chance to participate in field trips to fashion centers and fashion design showcases.
Oklahoma State University, OK
Based in Stillwater, OK and established in 1890, Oklahoma State University (OSU) is home to more than 21,000 students enrolled in over 200 programs across 10 colleges. The College of Human Sciences, Department of Design, Housing and Merchandising (DHM) offers several programs for aspiring fashion designers. The main course areas as highlighted by the university are Interior Design, Fashion Design and Production as well as Fashion Merchandising.
As part of the offerings, the Apparel Design program (ADP) at OSU is, “one of only thirteen apparel programs in North America to receive the American Apparel and Footwear Association (AAFA) approval.” This means that the “curriculum and facilities have met the rigorous standards” of the AAFA.
Program offerings include a BS in Design, Housing and Merchandising (BS DHM) with an Option in Apparel Design and Production (ADP) and an MS in Design, Housing and Merchandising (MS DHM) with a Research Thesis Option or Design Thesis Option in Apparel Design & Production (ADP). A PhD in Human Sciences with a Specialization in Design, Housing and Merchandising (PhD DHM) is also on the menu as well as a Minor in Apparel Design and Production (ADP).
OSU’s fashion merchandising programs focus on the business of fashion. Students are exposed to both global and domestic learning experiences and complete a required internship to gain professional work experience prior to graduation. Highlighted on the schools website, Fashion Merchandising program recently moved into a new state of the art facility that includes a 1600 sq. foot Mixed Reality Lab and a 330 sq. foot Eye-Tracking Lab. The Mixed Reality Lab allows students and faculty to focus on research in augmented reality, virtual reality and digital prototyping. The Mixed Reality Lab is funded in part through the College of Human Sciences.
Miami International University of Art & Design, FL
Miami International University of Art & Design (MIU) is one of The Art Institutes, a system of nonprofit schools throughout the United States. It was originally established in 1965 as The International Fine Arts College. Today the school is home to more than 2,000 from over 60 countries and offers programs in the areas of Design, Fashion, and Media Arts. Located in downtown Miami, a modern, cosmopolitan and multicultural city it offers students an unprecedented opportunity to explore, participate, and contribute to their life experience. MIU encompasses a diverse population and provides a live medium in which you can expand your culture and knowledge.
Programs for aspiring fashion designers include AA degrees in Fashion Design, AA in Accessory Design or a BFA in Fashion Design. Alternatively MIU offers those with more interest in the business of fashion either an AA or a BA in Fashion Merchandising. All students have access to Miami’s thriving fashion scene and campus amenities such as multiple studios, 20 computer labs and classrooms, lecture rooms, a library and media center, an 800 square foot Main Gallery, student lounges, and a top-rated Career Services Department. The Department, which hosts a quarterly job fair, attracts some of the best local, regional, and nationwide companies.
Moore College of Art & Design, PA
Moore College of Art & Design was founded in 1848. It is the first and only visual arts college for women in the U.S. The school is home to 440 students enrolled in 10 majors leading to a BFA. Moore also offers five graduate programs, certificate programs, and 17 tracks leading to one of 11 minors to complement the major courses of study. Offerings for aspiring fashion designers include a BFA and a Minor in Fashion Design, and a Certificate in Fashion Studies with two tracks including Apparel Construction and Technical Design.
Program highlights include opportunities to work several shows during NYC Fashion Week, both paid and unpaid internships at major companies such as Ana Sui, Diane Von Furstenberg, Donna Karan, Halston, Marc Jacobs, Nordstrom, Rag & Bone, and Zac Posen, and participation in the Annual Fashion Show. Students may also participate in the “Fashion Critic Program,” which gives students the opportunity to work with a designer from the fashion industry. This ensures that the students’ creations are “professional and marketable.
”Graduates of the Fashion Program at Moore College of Art have worked for major designers and companies such as Adrienne Vittadini, Anne Klein Studio, Badgley Mischka, Fila, Jones New York, Liz Claiborne, Sean John, Tommy Hilfiger, Urban Outfitters, and many others. Dom Streater, a ‘10 alum, took home the prize, and join the rising fashion elite winning season 12 of Project Runway.
Kansas State University, KS
Kansas State University (K-State) was founded in 1863 and has a four-campus system with the main campus being in Manhattan, KS. Manhattan is known as "The Little Apple" and has avibrant college-town atmosphere. K-State is home to more than 22,000 students enrolled in 250-plus undergraduate majors and options, and 150-plus graduate study programs, including graduate certificates.
Among K-State’s nine colleges and graduate school, The College of Human Ecology is home to the Department of Apparel, Textiles, and Interior Design (ATID). ATID offers several programs for aspiring fashion designers. Offerings include BS and MS degrees in Apparel and Textiles, and a PhD with a Specialization in Apparel, Textiles, and Interior Design.
The B.S. undergraduate apparel and textiles program is, “designed to inspire students to envision fresh new approaches to the global challenges facing every aspect of the apparel and textiles industry.” All apparel and textiles students complete the core professional curriculum and specialize in apparel marketing or apparel design and production. In addition, the Department features mandatory internships, faculty-led study tours in the U.S. and abroad, and an annual public exhibition of student work. Graduate offerings include a M.S. degree in Apparel and Textiles and a PhD with a Specialization in Apparel, Textiles, and Interior Design.
Virginia Tech University, VA
Founded in 1872, Virginia Tech University more than 250 degree programs to more than 33,000 students across 10 colleges and schools. The College of Liberal Arts and Human Sciences offers several programs for aspiring fashion designers. Options include a BS in Fashion Merchandising and Design, a BS in Consumer Studies, and Minor in Dress, Culture, and Society. Fashion Merchandising and Design students will complete a core professional curriculum in apparel and textiles and specialize in Apparel Merchandising or Apparel Design and Production.
Fashion students will study product and promotion, product analysis, and business fundamentals, and complete three credits of action learning via study abroad, field study, independent study, or undergraduate research. The 18 credit hour Dress, Culture, and Society program highlights the study of clothing and dress within the global society, three credits of applied learning via field study, study abroad, or the New York Study Tour, and the option to complete an elective of their choice.
The Art Institute of Dallas, TX
The Art Institute of Dallas was established in 1964 as the Dallas Fashion Merchandising College. The school is located in one of the state’s largest art and culture meccas, which has a metro population of nearly 4 million. The Art Institute of Dallas (AI Dallas) offers more than a dozen programs in the areas of Design, Media Arts, Culinary Art, and Fashion.
Offerings for aspiring fashion designers include AAS and BFA degrees in Fashion Design, a BFA in Fashion & Retail Management, and a Fashion Retailing Certificate. Program highlights include internship opportunities with local, regional, and national retailers, access to state-of-the-art studios and equipment, and college-sponsored housing.
Immaculata University, PA
Founded in 1920, Immaculata University (IU) sits on a 375-acre campus overlooking historic Chester County, Pennsylvania. Located just 20 miles from Philadelphia, the school is home to 3,600 students enrolled in more than 60 programs. One of the most popular programs is the Fashion Merchandising program. Part of the Fashion/Family & Consumer Sciences Department, the program leads to a BS in Fashion Merchandising.
This “customizable” BS program has eight Minors to choose from including Visual Merchandising, Buying, Marketing, Product Development, Entrepreneurship, Graphic Arts for Fashion, Communication, and Public Relations & Journalism. Other program highlights include field experiences at QVC, GAP, Carolina Apparel, Ann Taylor Loft, Talbots, Nordstrom, Anthropologie, and many others, participation in the Annual Fashion Show, and trips to fashion capitals such as New York City. Students may also join a variety of organizations such as the IU Fashion Group and Kappa Chi Chapter of Kappa Omicron Nu Honor Society.
Depending on the students customized curriculum, career options include (but are not limited to) Account Executive, Merchandise Manager, Purchasing, Senior Buyer, Visual Merchandiser, Fashion Forecaster, Fashion Marketing Coordinator, Technical Designer, Product Line Developer, Fashion Magazine Editor, and Product Campaign Specialist.
Purdue University, IN
A top-ranked national university, Purdue boasts a competitive student-faculty ratio. While pursuing a Bachelor Degree in Apparel Design and Technology, design students may apply to attend a one-year program at the Fashion Institute of Technology in New York City. The Purdue Fashion Association presents an annual fashion show that showcases student work. Tuition is $9,900 for Indiana residents and $28,702 for non-residents.
Oregon State University, OR
Oregon State University (OSU) was founded in 1868. OSU, located about an hour and a half South of Portland, is an international public research university that draws people from all 50 states and more than 100 countries. 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 recently restructured the design major under the School of Design and Innovation Management.
The B.S. degree allows students to tailor their major to meet their career needs; students will choose one of three options available under the major: apparel design, interior design and design management. The apparel design major is a four year program with a redesigned curricular that has an emphasis on outdoor and performance wear with an integration of business principles. Graduates learn about the apparel industry that dominates the Pacific Northwest. All students follow the common design core program, designed to be completed in two years and provides a comprehensive foundation of design concepts. The major still requires admission to the OSU COB pro-school.
Pratt Institute, NY
Founded in 1887, Pratt Institute is home to 4,600 students enrolled in 22 undergraduate degree programs, 26 graduate degree programs, and a variety of Certificate and Minor programs across five schools including the School of Architecture, the School of Art, the School of Design, the School of Liberal Arts and Sciences, and the School of Information and Library Sciences.
Pratt Institute also houses and The Center for Continuing and Professional Studies. Programs for aspiring fashion designers are offered through the School of Design and the School of Art – Department of Fine Art.
The School of Design offers a BFA in Fashion Design and the School of Art offers a BFA in Fine Art with an Emphasis in Jewelry. Specialized BFA/Jewelry classes include History of Jewelry, Stone Setting, Wax Working and Casting, Raising and Forging, Chasing and Repoussé, Color on Metal, Design and Rendering, and CAD. Fashion Design students have the opportunity to participate in “annual design competitions sponsored by the CFDA and YMA FSF and competitions sponsored by companies such as Cotton Incorporated and Supima Cotton.”
Other program highlights include participation in the annual Pratt Institute Fashion Show, access to coveted internship opportunities with major designers such as Rag & Bone, Ralph Lauren, and Donna Karan, and study abroad and international exchange programs in more than a dozen locations including London, Milan, Florence, Copenhagen, and Tokyo.
University of Rhode Island, RI
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 Business, 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.
Montclair State University, NJ
Montclair State University was established in 1908. It is home to more than 20,000 students enrolled in nearly 300 majors, minors, concentrations, and certificate programs through eight colleges and schools. The College of Arts’ Department of Art and Design offers several programs for aspiring fashion merchandisers including a BA in Fashion Studies and a Minor in Fashion Merchandising.
Program highlights include access to new studio facilities for Fashion Studies, local and regional internship opportunities, and study abroad opportunities such as Montclair in Paris, Montclair in Italy, and Montclair in London. Students may also participate in the Annual Fashion Show.
Berkeley College, NY
Founded in 1931, Berkeley College is a private for-profit college with campuses in New York and New Jersey. With a total enrollment of approximately 3,800 students, Berkeley provides many opportunities for their students to succeed in the fashion industry. Through their Fashion Merchandising and Management degree programs, students are able to focus on the business side of the fashion industry, and are trained in all aspects of the complete fashion global supply chain.
Offering their students a choice between a Fashion Merchandising and Management Associate in Applied Science Degree (A.A.S.) and Fashion Merchandising and Management Bachelor of Business Administration Degree (B.B.A.), Berkeley emphasizes the importance of business and fashion.
Berkeley students are provided with an in-depth experience of the fashion business industry and have easy access to frequent industry experts as guest speakers and special industry-related events. Through the opportunity to participate in an internship or job-related assignment, Berkeley students are well prepared after graduation.
California State - Los Angeles, CA
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 nearly 28,000 students enrolled in hundreds of 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 an undergraduate Certificate in Fashion Retailing.
Program highlights include internship opportunities at places such as The Getty Center and Alternative Apparel Los Angeles, 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.
University of South Carolina, SC
The University of South Carolina (USC) was founded in 1801 as South Carolina College. The school home to 33,772 students enrolled in more than 250 academic degree programs through 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 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.
Rhode Island School of Design, RI
Rhode Island School of Design (RISD or “RIZ-dee”) was founded in 1877. The school offers bachelor’s degrees and master’s degrees in 19 majors to nearly 2,500 students from across the U.S. and 57 other countries. Fashion programs are offered through several departments and divisions. The Department of Apparel Design offers a BFA in Apparel Design, the Textiles Department offers both BFA and MFA degrees in Textiles, and The Fine Arts Division offers BFA and MFA degrees in Textiles and Jewelry + Metalsmithing.
Apparel Design students have the opportunity to participate in RISD's Annual Runway Show, which is judged by a panel of guest critics. COLLECTION 18 featured “a unified body of work” that highlighted professional-level conceptual and technical capabilities from all 19 graduating students. A second iteration of the Collection show is presented at NYFW in September, giving new graduates the opportunity to introduce their work to the fashion industry and press, while gaining experience from mounting a professional runway show in New York.
In addition to participation in the Runway Show, students have the opportunity to study abroad in Rome or participate in the World: Exchange Program with partner schools in 26 countries, including the United States and Canada.