Auburn University: College of Human Sciences: Consumer & Design Sciences (CADS)

The Apparel, Merchandising, Design & Production Management major at Auburn University incorporates a comprehensive study of the traditional and digital supply chain for apparel and related soft goods produced and marketed as fashion products. Focusing on tracking what consumers want,  applying fashion forecasting, and observing fashion industry needs, the program offers comprehensive coverage including the following: textile and apparel product development; creative and technical design; sourcing and marketing channels; merchandising strategies including customization; all forms of retail distribution from physical stores to online venues; and promotional perspectives including social media, the consumer experience, and advertising. The program is mindful of the continuous importance of established and emerging technologies and their applications. 

Students in the major take a core of courses together and separate into their Merchandising and Design specialization tracks. All students complete a required 10-week, full-time internship in their junior or senior year at sites throughout the U.S. or abroad. Many seek additional experience ahead of that and can do so for credit. 

Students have opportunities to interact with industry advisory board members, in-person or virtual guest speakers, and alumni. A student organization produces its own fashion magazine, and a two-term class of Merchandising and Design students stages an annual fashion event with mounted exhibits and a runway show. 

The current nearly 400 Apparel Merchandising and Design students are part of a Department with more than 600 students. Auburn University, situated in Auburn, Alabama, two hours southwest of Atlanta, Georgia, was founded in 1856 and has 31,000 students. The College of Human Sciences, established in 1916, has more than 1,500 students. The University offers more than 150 undergraduate majors in 12 colleges and draws students from all 50 states. Out-of-state students typically compose 40% of all Apparel majors. 

The graduate programs have 30 students from the U.S. or abroad. They may come from a different background and want to move into our industry; be alumni who want to broaden or deepen their experience; or they may want to teach in higher education. Our doctoral students are encouraged to take advantage of opportunities to present their work at the University and professional meetings. Doing so, along with graduate teaching assistantships, prepares them to compete for faculty positions at other institutions.

What fashion related programs and degrees does Auburn University offer?
Auburn University offers the following degrees:
B.S.--Apparel Merchandising, Design & Production Management (AMDP)
--Option I: Apparel Merchandising
--Option II: Product Design and Production Management
B.S.--Interior Design
M.S.--Consumer and Design Sciences
Ph.D.--Consumer and Design Sciences

What’s the school’s contact information?
Auburn University
Department of Consumer Affairs
308 Spidle Hall
Auburn, AL 36849
Phone: 334-844-3789
e-mail: [email protected]

Type of school? Public

How much is tuition?
Annual tuition in state: $7,900
Annual tuition out of state:  $21,916
Room and board: $ 9,630

What’s the typical student profile?
Auburn University total undergraduate students: 20,913 
Fashion program students: 290

What are the requirements to enter program?
Program requires a GPA of 2.5 for off-campus transfer and 2.0 for on-campus transfer.

How long does it take to complete program?
It usually take four years to complete a B.S. degree, two years to complete a M.S. degree and two or more years to complete a Ph D program.

How many faculty members does Auburn University’s Design program have?
Faculty members: 9

What career placement services does Auburn University provide? 
Auburn requires all senior design students to participate in an internship. Interns usually work in areas of apparel design, retail or fashion publications in the U.S. or abroad. Students have ample opportunities to network with industry and academic professionals through field trips, guest speaker programs, study tours and internships. Undergraduate students may study abroad through a 12-week program, the Joseph S. Bruno Auburn Abroad in Italy program.