Textile and Apparel Studies

Western Michigan University's textile and apparel studies program will prepare you for an exciting career in the dynamic, fast-paced fashion industry. You will gain a broad understanding of industry practices through core courses, and choose a specialized career option in merchandising, product development or fashion design. Courses are designed to be stimulating and challenging, with opportunities to develop your leadership, communication and professional skills. Your studies will build on multiple disciplines to assure your success in a culturally diverse and global industry. 

Beyond the classroom

As a textile and apparel studies major at WMU, you will earn three semester credits by completing 300 hours of supervised field experience in an apparel design or marketing firm. Field experience offers you the opportunity to apply classroom learning in real-world situations, as well as gain valuable work experience. You may also elect to complete an internship as part of your program of study. Internships provide you with management-level training experience with leading industry firms either late in your junior year or during your senior year at WMU.

The Merchandising Opportunities and Design Association is the student organization for textile and apparel studies majors and minors. MODA offers opportunities for professional and personal growth beyond the classroom. It’s a great way to meet and develop friendships with others in your major, network with industry professionals, learn about careers and gain valuable leadership skills. MODA produces two fashion shows each year, which are popular with the community.

WMU has guest student arrangements with the Fashion Institute of Technology in New York and the American Intercontinental University in London. Textile and apparel studies majors have the option to attend one of these institutions and earn credit toward a WMU degree. These off-campus study opportunities are designed to give you unique perspectives on the industry and the chance to make valuable industry connections.

After you graduate

Recent WMU graduates with degrees in textile and apparel studies are working as:

  • Brand managers
  • Fashion designers
  • Inventory planners
  • Retail buyers
  • Sales executives
  • Store managers
  • Stylists
  • Technical designers

Among the companies they work for are:

  • Macy’s
  • Nordstrom
  • Target Corporation
  • Tory Burch
  • True Religion
  • Under Armour
  • Younkers
  • Zappos

Where is this program offered?

  • Kalamazoo