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Apparel Design and Merchandising

Apparel Design & Merchandising Program Overview

We combine design technology, business strategy and fashion merchandising in our approach to apparel manufacturing, processing and merchandising techniques, and textile product quality control. Our methods prepare graduates for unlimited career opportunities throughout the apparel and textile industry. 

Opportunities for internships, networking and potential lifelong professional relationships are presented through our fashion student organization, TRENDS, through association with professional organizations such as, the International Textile and Apparel Association (ITAA), and domestic fashion industry tours.      


Academic Internships                                 

Essential to the educational experience is the Academic Internship. Professional practice in the chosen career field gives students experience, credits toward the degree, and introduces students to the day-to-day of the profession. Internships may be fulfilled at sites such as The California Merchandise Mart, major department stores, design showrooms, textile and apparel manufacturers, textile testing labs and museums.


All students in the Apparel Design & Merchandising (ADM) option receive guidance from faculty advisors. Courses are chosen to integrate the educational experience into promising careers.

 Career Opportunities

Career opportunities for graduates are as unlimited as the imagination. Our graduates move into careers such as:

  • Apparel Designers, Technical Designers
  • Fashion Consultants
  • Fashion Forecasters
  • Costumers and Costume Designers
  • Textile Designers
  • Textile Production Specialists
  • Textile Analysts
  • Wardrobe Stylists
  • Technical Designer
  • Visual Merchandiser
  • Quality Control/Production Managers
  • Fashion Journalists
  • Apparel Merchandisers
  • Retail Buyers and Managers
  • Sales Representatives/Executives
  • CAD Designers
  • Museum Curators
  • Historic Costume and Textile Preservation

Course Specifics

The Apparel Design and Merchandising option offers an analytical study of concepts and their application as they relate to the design, production, and merchandising of textiles and apparel. Students apply knowledge from the physical and social sciences, technology, aesthetics, and business to their work. They study the principles of the design, production, manufacturing, and merchandising of textiles, apparel, and accessories.

Students may select an emphasis of study in Apparel Design and Production, Apparel Merchandising, or Textiles and Apparel.


Apparel Design and Merchandising options are included in the departmental accreditation by the American Association of Family and Consumer Sciences.

Historic Costume Collection

The Apparel Design and Merchandising option maintains a collection of garments popular over various historical periods. Uniforms are a specialty item in this collection. Items from the collection are displayed periodically in galleries on campus and are used as visual, tactile support for classroom lectures.