Fashion Merchandising Major

  • Barbara Davidek near UK phone booth

    Study Abroad in London, UK - Barbara Davidek, Fashion Merchandising Senior

  • Student display at Goodwill stores

    Student display at Goodwill stores, Kalamazoo (Joseph Richerdson, Christina Byrne and Taryn VerHage)

  • Student work from Visual Merchandising class

    Student work from Visual Merchandising class

  • Student work from Visual Merchandising class

    Student work from Visual Merchandising class

Bachelor of science

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Program description

The fashion merchandising major prepares students for exciting careers in fashion retailing and marketing. This program includes courses specific to merchandising in the fashion environment, as well as 18 credits in the Haworth College of 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.

Prospective students may arrange a department visit by contacting Kelly Weathers.

To declare a Fashion Merchandising major, visit the College of Education and Human Development Office of Admissions and Advising.


The College of Education and Human Development Office of Admissions and Advising assists students in planning their studies. Majors should meet with an advisor each semester to ensure that they stay on track toward graduation.


A female student.Career opportunities for merchandising graduates include:

  • Brand managers
  • Buyers
  • Marketing executives
  • Merchandise planners
  • Store managers
  • Visual specialists


Our alumni have transformed their passion for fashion into challenging and creative careers. Prepare to be inspired:
See our alumni stories


For class listings, program guides and other resources, visit the advising page for the fashion merchandising major.


Field experience and internships

FCS 2020 Field Experience (3 credits)

A student asks a question in class.Field experience offers students the opportunity to apply classroom learning in real world situations, as well as gain valuable work experience. Fashion merchandising and design studies majors earn three semester credits by completing 300 hours of pre-approved, supervised field experience in apparel design and marketing firms. In addition to completion of required hours, students complete reflective assignments and receive periodic employer evaluations during the enrollment period. Field experience may be completed during the fall, spring or summer semester/sessions. It is possible to complete this requirement over more than one semester. Students may enroll for one, two or three credits per semester, with 100 work hours required for each enrolled credit.

FCS 4290 Internship (3 to 6 credits)

Fashion Merchandising and Design majors are strongly advised to complete an internship as part of their program. Internships provide students with supervised, management-level training experience with leading industry firms during late-junior or senior year. Internships may be completed in fall, spring or summer semester/sessions, and must be approved by major faculty prior to enrollment. FCS 2020 Field Experience is a prerequisite, and must be satisfactorily completed prior to enrolling in FCS 4290. A minimum of three credits (300 hours) is required, with a maximum of six credits (600 hours). In addition to completion of required work hours, enrolled students complete reflective assignments and periodic employer evaluations during the semester of enrollment.

To plan a field experience or internship, fashion merchandising and design majors should contact Kelly Weathers.

Study abroad opportunities

The fashion merchandising and design major at WMU has partnerships with the Fashion Institute of Technology in New York, Regents University in London and Florence University of the Arts in Italy. Fashion majors may complete three to 24 credits at 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.

Check and download study abroad planning guides:

Florence University of the Arts Study Abroad Planning Guide (PDF)

For information on planning your studies at Fashion Institute of Technology, please contact Kelly Weathers.

Student organization

Merchandising Opportunities and Design Association

MODA is the student organization representing fashion merchandising and design 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 Kelly Weathers.

Visit MODA on Facebook.

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