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The Product Development emphasis meets increasing industry demand for graduates who have an understanding of both design and merchandising aspects of the industry. The design and merchandising functions are becoming more inter-related as apparel firms rely increasingly on private brands, and as apparel manufacturers assume a more prominent retailing function. Students who elect this option take courses in merchandising, design and business to prepare them for challenging careers in product development.
Prospective students may arrange a department visit by contacting Dr. Barbara Frazier at or Kelly Weathers at .
To declare a Textile and Apparel Studies Product Development major, visit the College of Education and Human Development Office of Admissions and Advising.
The College of Education and Human Development Advising Office assists students in planning their studies. Majors should meet with an Advisor each semester to ensure that they stay on track toward graduation.
Career opportunities in product development include:
Textile and Apparel Studies majors earn three semester credits by completing 300 hours of supervised field experience in apparel design and marketing firms. Field experience offers students the opportunity to apply classroom learning in real world situations, as well as gain valuable work experience. Field experience may be completed during the fall, spring or summer sessions.
Textile and Apparel Studies majors may elect to complete an internship as part of their program of study. Internships provide students with management-level training experience with leading industry firms during the late-junior or senior year.
To plan a Field Experience or Internship, Textile and Apparel Studies majors should contact Dr. Barbara Frazier at or (269) 387-3719.
The Textile and Apparel Studies major at WMU has partnerships with the Fashion Institute of Technology in New York and American Intercontinental University in London. Product Devolopment majors may attend one of these schools as part of their WMU program. Attending one of these schools provides a unique perspective on the industry and the chance to make valuable industry connections.
Merchandising Opportunities and Design Association (MODA)
MODA is the student organization representing Textile and Apparel Studies majors and minors. Joining this organization enhances personal and professional skills and provides opportunities to meet and develop friendships with fellow majors, network with companies, and learn about careers. Members use their creativity and leadership skills to help produce annual student fashion shows. Contact: faculty advisor Kelly Weathers .
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