The fashion merchandising and design majors prepare students for careers in the dynamic, fast-paced fashion industry. Students gain knowledge about industry processes and products, and focus their studies in merchandising or design and development to achieve specific career goals. Courses are designed to be stimulating and challenging, with opportunities to develop creative, communication, leadership and professional skills. Experiential and study abroad opportunities supplement a strong curriculum to assure that graduates can succeed in a culturally diverse and global industry. The majors follow guidelines approved by the International Textile and Apparel Association to assist in curriculum development and assessment.
Fashion design and development
The design and development concentration focuses on developing design, production and professional skills needed for careers in the fashion design and product development sector of the apparel industry. Students electing this concentration study fashion design, history of fashion, product development, computer-aided design and entrepreneurship.
The merchandising concentration prepares students for careers in fashion marketing, management and buying. Majors take courses in retail buying, visual merchandising, retail management, promotion and entrepreneurship. The major also includes 18 hours in the Haworth College of Business. Learning experiences in and outside of the classroom are designed to develop key leadership and professional skills.
Up to 24 credit hours toward a merchandising or design and development major may be earned through our partnerships with Fashion Institute of Technology in New York, Regents University in London or Florence University of the Arts in Italy.
WMU alums have transformed their passion for fashion into challenging and creative careers. You will find our grads working for national retailers and famous brands all over the world. They are designers, buyers, merchandisers, managers and marketers. You will even find them in some unexpected places as automotive interior designers and retail software marketers. We are very proud of our alums!