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College of Education and Human Development

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Merchandising Emphasis

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Program Description

Students interested in careers in fashion retailing and related fields select the Merchandising emphasis in the Textile and Apparel Studies major. This emphasis includes courses specific to merchandising in the fashion environment, as well as core courses in business. Graduates pursue careers in retail store operations, buying, and fashion marketing. In addition to problem solving and analytical skills, strong interpersonal and communication skills and the ability to work in a team environment are essential for success in this industry.

Prospective students may arrange a department visit by contacting Dr. Barbara Frazier at or Kelly Weathers at .

To declare a Textile and Apparel Studies Merchandising major, visit the College of Education and Human Development Office of Admissions and Advising.


The College of Education and Human Development Advising Office assists students in planning their studies. Majors should meet with an Advisor each semester to ensure that they stay on track toward graduation.


Girl in classCareer opportunities for merchandising graduates include:


For class listings, program guides and other resources, visit the advising page for the textile and apparel studies: merchandising major.
Course descriptions for textile and apparel studies.


Field Experience/Internships

FCS 2020 Field Experience (3 credits)

Student working on clothingField experience offers students the opportunity to apply classroom learning in real world situations, as well as gain valuable work experience. Textile and Apparel Studies majors earn three semester credits by completing 300 hours of pre-approved, supervised field experience in apparel design and marketing firms. In addition to completion of required hours, students complete reflective assignments and receive periodic employer evaluations during the enrollment period.  Field experience may be completed during the fall, spring or summer semester/sessions. It is possible to complete this requirement over more than one semester.  Students may enroll for one, two or three credits per semester, with 100 work hours required for each enrolled credit.

FCS 4290 Internship (3 to 6 credits)

Textile and Apparel Studies majors may elect to complete an internship as part of their program. Internships provide students with supervised, management-level training experience with leading industry firms during late-junior or senior year. Internships may be completed in fall, spring or summer  semester/sessions, and must be approved by major faculty prior to enrollment. FCS 2020 Field Experience is a prerequisite, and must be satisfactorily completed prior to enrolling in FCS 4290. A minimum of three credits (300 hours) is required, with a maximum of six credits (600 hours). In addition to completion of required work hours, enrolled students complete reflective assignments and periodic employer evaluations during the semester of enrollment.

To plan a Field Experience or Internship, Textile and Apparel Studies majors should contact Dr. Barbara Frazier at or (269) 387-3719.

Study Abroad Opportunities

The Textile and Apparel Studies major at WMU has partnerships with the Fashion Institute of Technology in New York, Regents University in London and Florence University of the Arts in Italy. Merchandising majors may attend one of these schools as part of their WMU program. Attending one of these schools provides a unique perspective on the industry and the chance to make valuable industry connections.

Helpful planning documents:

For information on planning your studies at Fashion Institute of Technology, please contact Dr. Barbara Frazier .

Student Organization

Merchandising Opportunities and Design Association (MODA)
MODA is the student organization representing Textile and Apparel Studies majors and minors. Joining this organization enhances personal and professional skills and provides opportunities to meet and develop friendships with fellow majors, network with companies, and learn about careers. Members use their creativity and leadership skills to help produce annual student fashion shows. Contact:  faculty advisor Kelly Weathers .
Visit MODA on Facebook