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Fashion Merchandising - B.S.

Our Bachelor of Science in Fashion Merchandising prepares you for a dynamic career in the fashion industry, with hands-on learning experiences, industry connections and opportunities for internships and study abroad. Enroll now and turn your passion for fashion into a rewarding career

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College of the Arts
School of Fashion
www.kent.edu/fashion

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Fashion Your Future

The Fashion Merchandising major is a Bachelor of Science (B.S.) degree. It gives you an in-depth understanding in the business side of fashion. By the time you graduate, you will have the work-ready skills and knowledge needed for a variety of roles in the industry.

During the course you'll learn about:

  • Fashion theory
  • Retail operations
  • Management and buying
  • Fashion forecasting and promotion
  • Merchandising for manufacturing
  • Development and marketing of products

Program Information

Program Description

Full Description

The Bachelor of Science degree in Fashion Merchandising allows for students to acquire a thorough background in the business aspects of the fashion industry, whereby they develop competencies in fashion theory, retail operations, management and buying, fashion forecasting and promotion, the merchandising for apparel manufacturing and the development and marketing of fashion goods.

Students participate in a study abroad/away experience, which includes opportunities to study for a semester in New York City and Florence, Italy, as well as through collaborative partnership programs with the Paris American Academy, Hong Kong Polytechnic University and Regent's University in London.

In addition, students in the Fashion Merchandising major have the opportunity to enroll in the combined degree program with the Master of Business Administration degree. The combined B.S./M.B.A. degree program allows high-achieving undergraduate students early admission into graduate school. Students enrolled in the combined degree program will complete a maximum of 9 credit hours of graduate-level coursework for the M.B.A. degree during their senior year. This allows a student to accelerate their completion of the M.B.A degree after being awarded their undergraduate degree. Students complete a minimum of 150 credit hours (120 representing the B.S. degree in Fashion Merchandising and at least an additional 30 representing the M.B.A. degree). To be eligible for the combined program, students must first complete a minimum of 90 credit hours in the fashion merchandising degree with at least a 3.300 overall grade point average. Upon achieving these requirements, students submit an admissions application to the M.B.A. program by the set application deadline. Students need to satisfy all requirements for the graduate admissions application.

Admissions

Admission Requirements

The university affirmatively strives to provide educational opportunities and access to students with varied backgrounds, those with special talents and adult students who graduated from high school three or more years ago.

Freshman Students: Admission to the Fashion Merchandising major is selective. Prospective applicants must have a minimum 3.000 overall grade point average (on a 4.000 scale).

Transfer Students: Admission to the Fashion Merchandising major requires a minimum 2.750 overall GPA based on minimum 24 credit hours of college-level coursework at an accredited institution. Those students meeting this GPA requirement but with fewer than 24 credit hours will be evaluated as new freshmen.

Students who do not meet the criteria for admission to the Fashion Merchandising major may be eligible for admission to the Pre-Fashion Design and Merchandising non-degree major. In addition, students who do not meet the admission criteria may initiate the process for declaring the B.S. degree in Fashion Merchandising after completing minimum 12 credit hours of non-developmental coursework at Kent State University and earning a minimum 2.750 overall GPA.

International Students: All international students must provide proof of English language proficiency unless they meet specific exceptions. For more information, visit the admissions website for international students.

Learning Outcomes

Program Learning Outcomes

Graduates of this program will be able to:

  1. Understand the fashion industry, fashion markets, fashion products and services.
  2. Demonstrate knowledge and skills of the fashion industry through reflective experiential learning.
  3. Apply integration of the key knowledge of various segments of industry from fiber to finished product, products/services, consumer markets and technology in relation to the fashion industry.
  4. Articulate conceptual and critical thinking applicable to the fashion industry.
  5. Employ research processes and practices employed in the fashion industry.
  6. Demonstrate their professionalism and communication skills required in the fashion industry through visual, oral and written forms.
Coursework

Program Requirements

Major Requirements

Major Requirements (courses count in major GPA)
FDM 10010FASHION FUNDAMENTALS 3
FDM 10023FASHION VISUALS 1
FDM 10024FASHION VISUALS LABORATORY 2
FDM 10033FASHION FABRICS 1
FDM 10034FASHION FABRICS LABORATORY 2
FDM 10043SUSTAINABLE FASHION THINKING 1
FDM 10044SUSTAINABLE FASHION THINKING LABORATORY 2
FDM 10053INTRODUCTION TO FASHION TECHNOLOGY 1
FDM 10054INTRODUCTION TO FASHION TECHNOLOGY LABORATORY 2
FDM 20030FASHION APPAREL ANALYSIS 3
FDM 20263FASHION RETAIL INDUSTRY 3
FDM 25011FASHION BRANDING 3
FDM 30083PROFESSIONAL SEMINAR 3
FDM 30260PRODUCT DEVELOPMENT IN THE FASHION INDUSTRY 3
FDM 30262FASHION MERCHANDISE PLANNING AND BUYING 3
FDM 30270TRENDS AND PREDICTIVE ANALYTICS IN FASHION 3
FDM 40262DATA-BASED DECISION-MAKING IN FASHION RETAILING 3
FDM 40270FASHION INDUSTRY RESEARCH METHODS (WIC) 13
FDM 40280GLOBAL FASHION VALUE CHAIN 3
FDM 40299APPLIED PRINCIPLES IN FASHION MERCHANDISING (ELR) 3
FDM 45192INTERNSHIP IN FASHION MERCHANDISING (ELR) 3
Fashion Study Away Requirement 2
Additional Major Electives, choose from the following: 39
Any Fashion Design and Merchandising (FDM) course
Any Accounting (ACCT) Upper-Division course (30000 or 40000 level)
Any Architectural Studies (ARCS) Upper-Division course (30000 or 40000 level)
Any Art History (ARTH) Upper-Division course (30000 or 40000 level)
Any Art Studio (ARTS) Upper-Division course (30000 or 40000 level)
Any Business Administration Interdisciplinary (BUS) Upper-Division course (30000 or 40000 level)
Any Business Analytics (BA) Upper-Division course (30000 or 40000 level)
Any Computer Information Systems (CIS) Upper-Division course (30000 or 40000 level)
Any Design Innovation (DI) Upper-Division course (30000 or 40000 level)
Any Economics (ECON) Upper-Division course (30000 or 40000 level)
Any Entrepreneurship (ENTR) Upper-Division course (30000 or 40000 level)
Any Finance (FIN) Upper-Division course (30000 or 40000 level)
Any Management (MGMT) Upper-Division course (30000 or 40000 level)
Any Marketing (MKTG) Upper-Division course (30000 or 40000 level)
Any Media and Journalism (MDJ) Upper-Division course (30000 or 40000 level)
Any Theatre (THEA) Upper-Division course (30000 or 40000 level)
Any Visual Communication Design (VCD) Upper-Division course (30000 or 40000 level)
Additional Requirements (courses do not count in major GPA)
ECON 22060PRINCIPLES OF MICROECONOMICS (KSS) 3
MATH 10041INTRODUCTORY STATISTICS (KMCR) 4
MKTG 25010PRINCIPLES OF MARKETING 3
UC 10001FLASHES 101 1
Kent Core Composition6
Kent Core Humanities and Fine Arts (minimum one course from each)9
Kent Core Social Sciences (must be from two disciplines)3
Kent Core Basic Sciences (must include one laboratory)6-7
Kent Core Additional6
Minor Coursework and General Electives (total credit hours depends on earning 120 credits hour, including 39 upper-division credit hours) 419
Minimum Total Credit Hours:120
1

A minimum C grade must be earned to fulfill the writing-intensive requirement.

2

Students are required to participate in a study away opportunity. Students must have a minimum 2.500 overall GPA to participate in this study away requirement. Choose from the following: FDM 35070; FDM 35080; FDM 35589; FDM 35689; FDM 35789; FDM 35889; FDM 35989FDM 45392; FDM 45590; FDM 45589OGE 10095.

3

Maximum 6 credit hours of FDM 45093 can be used as an Additional Major Elective. Maximum 6 credit hours from each non-Fashion Design and Merchandising (FDM) subject area can be used as an Additional Major Elective.

4

Students are required to declare and complete a minor as part of the fashion merchandising program. Students may select any minor available at Kent State, but it should be aligned with the student's overall educational and career goals. Number of credit hours depends on the minor selected.

Graduation Requirements

Minimum Major GPA Minimum Overall GPA
2.500 2.500
  • Participation in a study abroad/away experience
  • Minimum 2.500 overall GPA required for study away
  • Minimum 2.500 overall GPA required for internship
Roadmap

Roadmap

This roadmap is a recommended semester-by-semester plan of study for this major. However, courses designated as critical (!) must be completed in the semester listed to ensure a timely graduation.

Plan of Study Grid
Semester OneCredits
FDM 10010 FASHION FUNDAMENTALS 3
FDM 10023 FASHION VISUALS 1
FDM 10024 FASHION VISUALS LABORATORY 2
FDM 10043 SUSTAINABLE FASHION THINKING 1
FDM 10044 SUSTAINABLE FASHION THINKING LABORATORY 2
UC 10001 FLASHES 101 1
Kent Core Requirement 3
Kent Core Requirement 3
 Credit Hours16
Semester Two
FDM 10053 INTRODUCTION TO FASHION TECHNOLOGY 1
FDM 10054 INTRODUCTION TO FASHION TECHNOLOGY LABORATORY 2
MATH 10041 INTRODUCTORY STATISTICS (KMCR) 4
Kent Core Requirement 3
Kent Core Requirement 3
Kent Core Requirement 3
 Credit Hours16
Semester Three
ECON 22060 PRINCIPLES OF MICROECONOMICS (KSS) 3
!FDM 10033 FASHION FABRICS 1
!FDM 10034 FASHION FABRICS LABORATORY 2
FDM 20263 FASHION RETAIL INDUSTRY 3
Kent Core Requirement 3
Kent Core Requirement 3
 Credit Hours15
Semester Four
!FDM 20030 FASHION APPAREL ANALYSIS 3
FDM 25011 FASHION BRANDING 3
MKTG 25010 PRINCIPLES OF MARKETING 3
Kent Core Requirement 3
Kent Core Requirement 3
 Credit Hours15
Semester Five
FDM 30083 PROFESSIONAL SEMINAR 3
FDM 30262 FASHION MERCHANDISE PLANNING AND BUYING 3
FDM 30270 TRENDS AND PREDICTIVE ANALYTICS IN FASHION 3
Kent Core Requirement 3
Minor Coursework and General Elective 3
 Credit Hours15
Semester Six
FDM 30260 PRODUCT DEVELOPMENT IN THE FASHION INDUSTRY 3
Additional Major Electives 6
Minor Coursework and General Electives 6
 Credit Hours15
Third Summer Term
FDM 45192 INTERNSHIP IN FASHION MERCHANDISING (ELR) 3
 Credit Hours3
Semester Seven
FDM 40262 DATA-BASED DECISION-MAKING IN FASHION RETAILING 3
FDM 40270 FASHION INDUSTRY RESEARCH METHODS (WIC) 3
Additional Major Elective 3
Minor Coursework and General Elective 3
 Credit Hours12
Semester Eight
FDM 40280 GLOBAL FASHION VALUE CHAIN 3
!FDM 40299 APPLIED PRINCIPLES IN FASHION MERCHANDISING (ELR) 3
Minor Coursework and General Electives 7
 Credit Hours13
 Minimum Total Credit Hours:120
Program Delivery
  • Delivery:
    • In person
  • Location:
    • Kent Campus

Examples of Possible Careers and Salaries

Buyers and purchasing agents

-8.8%

decline

449,300

number of jobs

$66,690

potential earnings

Sales representatives, wholesale and manufacturing, except technical and scientific products

0.9%

little or no change

1,399,700

number of jobs

$62,070

potential earnings

Additional Careers
  • Supply Chain Manager
  • Inventory Planner
  • Merchant
  • Sourcing
  • Product Development
  • Public Relations
  • Social Media
  • E-Commerce Specialist
  • Visual Merchandiser
  • Merchandise Analyst
  • Allocation Analyst
  • Supply Chain Management
  • Creative Director
  • Event Planner
  • Stylist
  • Logistics
  • Retail Management
  • Marketing (Mall & Shopping Centers)
  • Trend Forecasters
  • Museum
  • Procurement (Buyer & Planners) - Government, Health, Entertainment, & Non-Profit), Fashion Media, and Editorial

Notice:

* Source of occupation titles and labor data comes from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics' Occupational Outlook Handbook. Data comprises projected percent change in employment over the next 10 years; nation-wide employment numbers; and the yearly median wage at which half of the workers in the occupation earned more than that amount and half earned less.