Apparel and Merchandising Specialization What is a master’s in Apparel and Merchandising?
The Apparel and Merchandising specialization will offer you the opportunity to critically explore how fibers and apparel products are designed and developed, distributed, and merchandised as well as the ways in which consumers interact with and use those products in various socio-cultural and historic contexts. Emphasis is placed upon fostering cultural/global awareness and a commitment to social responsibility.
Major areas of emphasis for graduate study and research in Apparel and Merchandising include:
- Apparel Design and Production
- Consumer Behavior
- Historic Costume and Textiles
- Product Development
- Social-Psychological and Cultural Aspects of Dress and Appearance
- Textile Science
Apparel and Merchandising Specialization Who may be interested?
Who may be interested?
- Individuals who desire to add value to their undergraduate credentials in Apparel and Merchandising
- Individuals with education and/or experience in Apparel and Merchandising who desire to gain research skills to position them for new opportunities
- Individuals with an undergraduate degree in a non-Apparel and Merchandising field who wish to gain the knowledge and credentials needed to pursue a thriving career in Apparel and Merchandising
- Individuals who desire to teach Apparel and Merchandising at the higher education level
- Individuals with education and/or experience in Apparel and Merchandising or related fields who desire to expand their skills in material science and engineering
Opportunities, after you complete your master’s degree, include:
- Pursuing a doctoral degree
- Pursuing industry positions requiring critical thinking and analytical abilities and/or depth of knowledge in the field (e.g., creative/design director, computer aided design manager, market researcher, retail or product trend analyst, human performance evaluator, import/export specialist, prototype engineer, quality control specialist, sourcing agent, textile scientist)
- Teaching at the community college level
- Working in museum collections/as a museum curator
Apparel and Merchandising Specialization Research Topics
The apparel and merchandising curriculum and the support of faculty with expertise and experience in diverse areas afford graduate students the opportunity to develop individualized programs of study that will assist them in meeting both professional and personal goals. AM graduate students have examined diverse topics for their thesis and project research, including:
Take a moment to browse research topics from our recent graduates.
Apparel and Merchandising Specialization Undergraduate Coursework Requirements
Although required background courses for students pursuing a master’s degree in AM will vary according to the area of study selected, all AM students must have completed coursework in the following areas: textiles (e.g., AM 220) and fashion industries (AM 101). Additional requirements for specific areas of interest are listed below.
- Apparel Design and Production: basic apparel production with lab (e.g., AM 241), basic apparel design (e.g., AM 143, AM 240)
- Consumer Behavior: consumer behavior (e.g., DM 272) or merchandising (e.g., AM 270)
- Historic Costume and Textiles: historic costume (e.g., AM 363) or historic textiles (e.g., AM 460)
- Merchandising: accounting, statistics, marketing, merchandising (e.g., AM 270)
- Product Development: essential apparel production with lab (e.g., AM 241), basic Illustrator/Photoshop (e.g., AM 110), basic technical design (e.g., AM 375 and/or AM 475)
- Social Psychological and Cultural Aspects of Dress and Appearance: clothing and human behavior (e.g., AM 250)
- Textile Science: chemistry with lab (e.g., CHEM 107, CHEM 108)
Apparel and Merchandising Specialization Learn More
Students build an individualized program of study within Apparel and Merchandising, drawing from coursework in their emphasis area as well as complementary courses in supporting disciplines.
Apparel and Merchandising Curriculum
Plan A, Apparel and Merchandising Specialization
Plan B, Apparel and Merchandising Specialization
Get Ready to Start Your Graduate Program
The Department of Design and Merchandising offers a number of opportunities for our graduate students to stay engaged with current research and outreach. Take a moment to learn more about our research, programs, and industry collaborations.
We are happy to offer a number of collaborative and creative spaces for our graduate students to be inspired by their work. The Avenir Museum of Design and Merchandising and Nancy Richardson Design Center are two such facilities available to you.