If you are interested in a career in fashion retailing or marketing, Western Michigan University's fashion merchandising program may be for you. This major includes courses specific to merchandising in the fashion environment, as well as core courses in business. Graduates pursue careers in retail store operations, buying and fashion marketing. In addition to problem solving and analytical skills, strong interpersonal and communication skills and the ability to work in a team environment are essential for success in this industry.
Fashion merchandising majors earn 3 credits by completing 300 hours of pre-approved, supervised field experience at a fashion retail or marketing firm. The field experience course focuses on developing essential professional competencies through completion of reflective assignments and periodic employer evaluations.
You may also elect to complete an internship as part of your program. An internship will provide you with supervised, management-level training experience with a leading industry firm during your junior or senior year.
As a fashion merchandising major, you have the option to complete part of your studies at one of our partner institutions. WMU has partnerships with the Fashion Institute of Technology in New York, Regents University in London, and Florence University of the Arts in Florence, Italy, which allow you to take classes as a guest student, and apply credits to your WMU major. The guest student experience offers the opportunity to gain a unique perspective on the industry and the chance to make valuable industry connections.
The Merchandising Opportunities and Design Association, or MODA, is the registered student organization at WMU representing fashion majors and minors. Joining this organization offers opportunities to network and develop leadership and teamwork skills. Members produce several fashion shows each year and participate in community service activities.
Career opportunities for graduates of WMU's merchandising program include:
- Brand managers
- Human resources managers
- Marketing executives
- Merchandise planners
- Store managers
- Visual specialists
Graduates work for companies like:
- American Girl
- Banana Republic
- Christian Dior
- Ugg Australia
- Von Maur