Apparel Merchandising (B.S.)

Fashion + design + a business mind

If you are interested in fashion and design, have an aptitude for business, and would like to work in a fast-paced industry, the Apparel Merchandising B.S. degree may be a good fit for you. Opportunities abound for students to pursue their passion, whether in areas of creativity, technology, finance, helping others, sports and games, or social events and marketing.

When pursuing a major in Merchandising, you work with faculty who are experts in the field. They offer a comprehensive array of academic, historical, creative, and practical learning experiences related to the merchandising of fashion apparel. You will learn about everything from fibers, weaves, and finishes to creating a spreadsheet for a six-month business plan.

Learn the business of apparel merchandising

You will develop a working knowledge of business practices within art and design markets, including merchandising through various channels, product development, sourcing, branding, and consumer engagement.

You will also gain a deep appreciation for the physical, cognitive, cultural, and social factors that influence consumer behaviors, habits, and purchasing decisions.

B.S. in Apparel Merchandising curriculum

Along with the CASE Credit Hour and Residency Requirements, students must complete the following:

  1. Foundations
    1. CASE English Composition
    2. Mathematical Modeling
  2. CASE Foreign Language. Choose from:
    1. CASE Foreign Language: proficiency in a single foreign language through the second semester of the second year of college-level coursework.
    2. Proficiency in a single foreign language through the second semester of the first year of college-level coursework in addition to the completion of the CASE Culture Studies requirements (both CASE Diversity in the United States and CASE Global Civilizations and Cultures).
  3. CASE Intensive Writing
  4. CASE Breadth of Inquiry
    1. Arts and Humanities: 4 courses
    2. Social and Historical Studies: 4 courses
    3. Natural and Mathematical Sciences: 3 courses
  5. CASE Critical Approaches
  6. CASE Public Oral Communication

Students must complete at least 30 credit hours of coursework from the School of Art, Architecture and Design, including:

  • SOAD-A 100 Pathways: Introduction to Art, Design and Merchandising
  • SOAD-M 209 Apparel Industries or SOAD-M 100 Introduction to Retail Design and Merchandising
  • SOAD-F 203 Materials for Fashion Design
  • One of the following:
    • SOAD-M 204 Apparel Manufacturing and Quality Analysis
    • SOAD-F 207 Fashion Studio
  • SOAD-M 315 Principles of Retail Merchandising
  • SOAD-M 404 International Textiles and Apparel Trade
  • SOAD-M 413 Planning and Analysis

Complete nine (9) credit hours selected from the following:

  • SOAD-C 380 Topical Issues in Comprehensive Design
  • SOAD-C 381 Topical Issues in Collaborative Design
  • SOAD-C 480 Special Problems in Comprehensive Design
  • SOAD-C 481 Intensive Seminar in Comprehensive Design
  • SOAD-F 202 Introductory Textile Science: Laboratory
  • SOAD-M 308 Brand Management and Advertising
  • SOAD-M 309 Strategies in Retail Promotion
  • SOAD-M 316 Retail Product Management
  • SOAD-M 327 Product Development
  • SOAD-M 328 Digital Product Development
  • SOAD-M 350 Omnichannel Apparel Merchandising: Connecting to Consumers
  • SOAD-M 405 International Fashion Consumers and Retailers
  • SOAD-M 409 Retail Industry Field Seminar
  • SOAD-M 410 Apparel Entrepreneurship
  • SOAD-M 412 Global Sourcing
  • SOAD-M 416 Sustainability in Product: Fashion Design, Merchandising, and Retailing
  • SOAD-M 450 Profiling the Apparel Customer
  • SOAD-M 485 Advanced Special Topics in Apparel Merchandising
  • SOAD-X 373 Internship in Professional Practice
  • SOAD-X 376 Practicum in the Retail Industry
  • SOAD-X 492 Independent Study in Retail

Complete one (1) of the following:

  • SOAD-M 319 Professional Techniques in the Retail Industry
  • ASCS-Q 299 College to Career III: Market Yourself for the Job, Internship, and Graduate School Search
  • BUS-K 201 The Computer in Business
  • ECON-E 201 Introduction to Microeconomics or ECON-E 202 Introduction to Macroeconomics
  • PSY-P 101 Introductory Psychology
  • SOC-S 100 Introduction to Sociology

Complete one (1) of the Kelley School of Business minors or another related minor approved by the School of Art, Architecture and Design's Director of Undergraduate Studies.

Apparel merchandising internships

The four main internship and entry-level positions for Apparel Merchandising majors are assistant buyer, assistant store manager, product development, and merchandise analyst.

Apparel merchandising students have accepted corporate internships with these well-known organizations and brands:

  • Abercrombie and Fitch
  • Bon Ton Stores, Inc.
  • Conde Nast (Vogue Magazine)
  • Dick’s Sporting Goods
  • J.Crew
  • Kate Spade
  • Kohl’s
  • L Brands
  • Nordstrom
  • Ross Stores
  • Target Corporation
  • Vera Bradley
  • Vera Wang
  • Zappos

Many students begin exploring internship opportunities as early as after their sophomore year. Qualified students may earn academic credit for summer internships. Consult your academic advisor to learn more.