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Fashion Merchandising - B.S. PDFDownload to print

College of the Arts
School of Fashion Design and Merchandising

226 Rockwell Hall
Tel: 330-672-3010
Fax: 330-672-3772


Students in fashion merchandising acquire a thorough background in the business aspects of the fashion industry, developing competencies in fashion theory; development and marketing of fashion goods; merchandising for apparel manufacturing; retail operations, management and buying; fashion forecasting and promotion.

Combined Baccalaureate in Fashion Merchandising/Master of Business Administration (M.B.A.) with a concentration in Fashion Design and Merchandising in the College of Business and Graduate School Management
Fashion Merchandising majors who qualify may enroll in the combined Bachelor of Science in Fashion Merchandising/Master of Business Administration (M.B.A.), with a concentration in Fashion Design and Merchandising program. Completion of both degrees can be achieved within approximately 5 ½ years, depending on many variables. Careful planning and advising are needed in order to complete the combined programs successfully in a timely way. Students intending to follow this option should work closely with their academic advisor.

In the freshman year, MATH 11012 Intuitive Calculus or MATH 12002 Analytic Geometry and Calculus I is recommended.

In the senior year, 12 credit hours of FDM graduate level coursework which constitutes the M.B.A. concentration in Fashion Design and Merchandising will be completed.

When achieving a minimum of 90 credit hours in the fashion merchandising program (beginning of the senior year) and a minimum GPA of 3.30, the student should apply for "conditional admission" to the M.B.A. program. This application should occur no later than July 1 after the junior year. The GMAT exam must be completed with an appropriately high score at the time application is made. Upon completion of the Baccalaureate in Fashion Merchandising and satisfying all M.B.A. eligibility requirements, the student will be admitted into the M.B.A. program. Once admitted, the student will be "cohorted" with other M.B.A. students and continue full-time with the degree requirements of the M.B.A. degree.

Career Opportunities

Fashion merchandising careers require a blend of fashion sense and business expertise.  Loving to “shop” and “style” alone won't lead to a successful career in this field. Strategy and marketing know-how are an integral part of fashion merchandising.
In a fashion merchandising career, your goal is to make fashion relatable to the consumer.  In order to do this, fashion merchandising careers involve the following:

  • Buying products
  • Negotiating with suppliers and manufacturers
  • Conducting fashion marketing using research methodology
  • Developing new products and brand management
  • Selling and distributing brands as a vendor and wholesaler
  • Analyzing, planning, and allocating of inventory to retail outlets
  • Conducting promotional and public relations campaigns for product
  • Managing retail operations in a single and multi-store environment

Essential skills for a successful career in fashion merchandising include analytical, critical thinking, communication, and computational skills.

Admission Requirements

Freshman Students: Applicants must have at least a 2.75 cumulative grade point average (on a 4.0 scale) AND a minimum ACT composite score of 21 (or an SAT combined critical reading and math score of 980).

Transfer Students: To be considered for admission, transfer applicants need at least a 2.50 cumulative GPA based on 24 or more semester hours of college-level coursework at an accredited institution. Those students meeting this GPA requirement but with less than 24 semester hours will be evaluated as new freshmen.

Students who do not meet the academic criteria for admission into the Fashion Design degree programs will not be accepted may be eligible for admission to the Pre-Fashion Design and Merchandising non-degree major (PFDM).

Students who do not meet the academic criteria may initiate the process for declaring the fashion design major after completing at least 12 hours of non developmental coursework at Kent State University with a cumulative GPA of 2.500.

Graduation Requirements

Minimum 121 total credit hours, minimum 39 upper-division hours. Minimum 2.500 GPA overall and 2.500 GPA in major required for graduation. Minimum 2.500 GPA overall required for internship.

Minor Requirement: Students are required to declare a minor that is aligned with overall educational and internship/career goals. See advisor for specific details.

Study Abroad/Away Opportunities

The School of Fashion Design and Merchandising supports multiple Study Abroad/Away Opportunities, including opportunities to study for a semester at its NYC studio and Florence campus, as well as through collaborative partnership programs with the Paris American Academy, Hong Kong Polytechnic University and American Intercontinental University in London. For more information visit the School of Fashion Design and Merchandising website or contact the Office of Global Education.

Program Fee



National Association of Schools of Art and Design

Student Organizations

Fashion Student Organization (FSO); Modista: Minority Fashion Group

Culminating Requirements
  1. Students will be able to demonstrate an understanding of the fashion industry.
  2. Students will be able to demonstrate an understanding of fashion products and services.
  3. Students will be able to demonstrate an understanding of fashion markets.
  4. Students will be able to demonstrate skills appropriate for the fashion industry.
  5. Students will be able to demonstrate an understanding of technology applicable to the fashion industry.
  6. Students will be able to articulate conceptual and critical thinking applicable to the fashion industry.
  7. Students will be able to demonstrate their knowledge of the fashion industry through visual, oral, and written forms.
  8. Students will be able to demonstrate research processes and practices employed in the fashion industry.
  9. Students will be able to demonstrate their knowledge of the fashion industry through reflective experiential learning.

Type Legend: DD Diversity–Domestic; DG Diversity–Global; ELR Experiential Learning; KAD Kent Core Additional; KBS Kent Core Basic Sciences; KCM Kent Core Composition; KFA Kent Core Fine Arts: KHU Kent Core Humanities; KMC Kent Core Mathematics and Critical Reasoning; KSS Kent Core Social Sciences; WIC Writing Intensive

Please read the sections in the University Catalog on Kent Core, diversity, writing-intensive and the experiential learning requirements.

Type Course Title Credits
  US 10097 Destination Kent State: First Year Experience 1
II. MAJOR PROGRAM REQUIREMENTS (57 credits)  Courses count in major GPA  
Type Course Title Credits
  FDM 10010 Fashion Fundamentals 3
    10020 Fashion Visuals 3
    10030 Fashion Fabrics I 3
    10050 Introduction to Fashion Technology 3
    20030 Fashion Apparel Analysis 3
    20263 Fashion Retail Industry 3
    25011 Fashion Branding 3
WIC   30083 Professional Seminar* 3
    30260 Product Development in the Fashion Industry 3
    30262 Fashion Merchandising Planning and Buying 3
    35011 Fashion Forecasting 3
    35270 Computer Applications in Retailing 3
    40270 Fashion Marketing 3
WIC   40291 Seminar in Fashion Merchandising* 3
    45012 Textiles and Apparel in the Global Economy 3
ELR   45192 Internship in Fashion Merchandising 3
    FDM upper-division electives** 9
Type Course Title Credits
KSS ECON 22060 Principles of Microeconomics 3
  MATH 10041 Elementary Probability and Statistics 3
  MKTG 25010 Principles of Marketing 3
  Choose from the following: 3-4
KMC MATH 11009 Modeling Algebra (4)  
KMC   11010 Algebra for Calculus (3)  
KMC   11012 Intuitive Calculus (3)  
  Kent Core Basic Sciences (must include one laboratory) 6-7
  Kent Core Composition 6
  Kent Core Humanities and Fine Arts (minimum one course from each) 9
  Kent Core Social Sciences (must be from two disciplines) 3
  Kent Core Additional 6
  Minor Coursework and General Electives (number of credits required depends on meeting minimum 121 credit hours) 21

*Minimum C (2.000) grade must be earned in either FDM 30083 or FDM 40291 to fulfills the writing-intensive requirement.

**Maximum 6 credit hours of FDM 45093 can be used toward FDM electives.

Special Requirements:
Special Requirement 1: A minor is required for the B.S. Fashion Merchandising program—number of credit hours depends on the minor selected. See advisor for specific details on minor requirements.