A male Apparel and Merchandising student uses a sewing machine to create a design project.

The Major in Apparel and Merchandising emphasizes the study of apparel and textile design, product development and sourcing, and the promotion, distribution, and retailing of consumer goods in the global environment, while fostering awareness of cultural diversity and a commitment to social responsibility and sustainability. The program encompasses the study of the cultural/historical, economic, social/psychological, and scientific aspects of the textile and apparel industry. There are three concentrations in the major: Apparel Design and Production, Merchandising, and Product Development.

Learning Outcomes

Students will demonstrate mastery of core knowledge and skills specific to their program/concentration areas. There are three concentration areas:

  • The APPAREL DESIGN AND PRODUCTION concentration emphasizes study in apparel and textile design with courses in fashion illustration, pattern development, apparel construction techniques, and computer-aided design. 
  • The MERCHANDISING concentration focuses on the development of merchandise assortments and retailing strategies with courses in consumer behavior, assortment planning, merchandise buying, merchandise promotions, retailing, and global sourcing.  
  • The PRODUCT DEVELOPMENT concentration focuses on innovation in the development of consumer products with courses in textile science, product sourcing, market potential analysis, trend forecasting, product line development/management, quality assurance, and supply chain management.

Students will demonstrate an understanding of professional practices, processes, and skills utilized in the areas of apparel design and production, merchandising, and product development. These practices, processes, and skills include critical and creative thinking, communication, ethics, social responsibility and sustainability, collaborative problem-solving, and interdisciplinary learning.

Students also will demonstrate professional behaviors and ethical business practices that enhance the well-being of others and contribute to the advancement of the global industry.

Students in the Apparel and Merchandising undergraduate program are required to participate in a department-coordinated internship program that involves a full-time, 12-credit professional experience with nationally and internationally recognized firms and organizations in the apparel industry or a related field. Students with a 2.500 GPA are eligible to participate in department-facilitated internships.

Students who are interested in co-curricular learning experiences have the opportunity to visit apparel and fashion companies and trade shows, network with industry professionals, participate in department-led study tours, engage in project-based learning experiences, assist with department recruiting events and new student orientations, and participate in a variety of leadership events.

Potential Occupations

Career options for Apparel Design and Production graduates include, but are not limited to: apparel and fashion designer, textile designer, creative or design director, fashion illustrator, pattern-maker and/or computer-aided design (CAD) manager, and trend or fashion forecaster.

Career options for Merchandising graduates include, but are not limited to: market researcher or analyst, brand and product manager, merchandise buyer, retail manager, showroom merchandising coordinator or manager, advertising specialist, social media specialist, public relations specialist, and merchandising stylist.

Career options for Product Development graduates include, but are not limited to: product developer, technical designer, 3D digital product creator, product line manager, consumer or market researcher, sourcing agent and import/export specialist, product testing and quality control agent, and prototype engineer.


Learn more about the Apparel and Merchandising Program on the Department of Design and Merchandising website.