Appalachian State University’s Bachelor of Science in Apparel Design and Merchandising program encompasses the design, merchandising and marketing of apparel and textile products and provides a comprehensive understanding of the global textile complex. You will acquire the skills for the process of apparel product development from concept to consumer, including design, production, distribution, marketing and merchandising.
Classes are small, and students receive personalized attention in advising, studio classes, internship preparation and career counseling. Students complete a for-credit internship with showrooms, design firms, stylists, retailers and fashion magazines in locations such as New York, Los Angeles, Atlanta, Charleston, Washington, D.C., Colorado and South America.
This degree is housed in Appalachian’s Department of Applied Design.
Employment: Graduates are poised to enter the apparel industry with an understanding of the design, merchandising and marketing of a product. Graduates have obtained positions in design, merchandising, product development, and styling/public relations, and as showroom managers, visual merchandisers, buyers, store managers and other positions.
Employers include the corporate offices of Cato, Wrangler, Chico’s, Victoria Secret and Nordstrom, as well as independent designers, retailers and stylists.
Course work includes basic and advanced merchandising, the design process from inspiration to distribution/promotion, visual display, costume history, textiles, computer-aided design, portfolio development, buying and merchandise planning, consumer behavior, and marketing and management of apparel/textile products.
A minor in Marketing is required.
Engagement Outside the Classroom
An annual New York trip - an opportunity to visit with professional designers, manufacturers, retailers, trend forecasters, showrooms, fashion magazines, museums, Broadway plays and famous New York landmarks.
Appalachian Apparel Association - a student group for those interested in the apparel industry and career-related trips and service projects.
Showcase - an annual event in the spring that presents original designs created by students. Open to the public, the event attracts approximately 350 people.
Appalachian is committed to introducing students to different cultures and teaching them how to live and interact in a global society.
ADM students have traveled to Paris and Belgium for program-sponsored opportunities.
There are no admission requirements beyond admission to Appalachian State University.
- Interns and graduates have found a range of career opportunities directly related to their knowledge of both the design and merchandising sides of the apparel industry.
- An annual trip to New York City includes visits with professional designers, manufacturers, retailers, trend forecasters, showrooms, fashion magazines, museums and more.
- Students present their original designs at the popular annual runway event called Showcase.
- Faculty members have worked in the fashion industry as production pattern assistant, technical designer, creative design assistant, costume designer, business owner, custom designer, wardrobe consultant, marketing researcher and magazine editor. Their designs have been displayed in magazines and worn by celebrities such as Billy Joel, Pink, Brittney Spears and Shirley Manson.
Number of Students
Method of Delivery
On campus only
- Visual Merchandiser
- Marketing Specialist
- Product Manager
- Showroom Manager
- Store Owner/Manager
Dr. Nancy A. Oliver
Apparel Design and Merchandising