Fashion Merchandising and Design Majors

The fashion merchandising and design majors prepare students for careers in the dynamic, fast-paced fashion industry. Students gain knowledge about industrial processes and products and focus their studies on merchandising or design and development to achieve specific career goals. Courses are designed to be stimulating and challenging, with opportunities to develop creative, communication, leadership, and professional skills. Experiential and study abroad opportunities supplement a strong curriculum to assure that graduates can succeed in a culturally diverse and global industry.

Why fashion merchandising and design at Western Michigan University?

  • FMD program is the second-largest program in Michigan with integrated merchandising and design programs and is accredited by the prestigious Textile and Apparel Programs Accreditation Commission (TAPAC) and National Association of Schools of Art and Design (NASAD). The designation of accreditations is a recognition of the quality of Western Michigan’s FMD program. Parents, students, and employers of the graduates can be assured that the FMD program has undergone rigorous peer review and that the program provides their graduates with skills and knowledge for professional careers in the apparel and textile industry. To learn more about the importance of accreditation and the benefits it offers students, please check out additional details at FMD accreditation and mission.
  • Faculty with over eight decades of combined industry experience in marketing, retail buying, visual merchandising, and consumer products. 
  • A solid connection to the fashion industry through a professional advisory board represented by top industry members and a strong alumni base.
  • Many transformative learning experiences are offered, including field experiences, internships, and industry tours.
  • Up to 24 credit hours may be earned through study abroad or with our partnerships with the Fashion Institute of Technology in New YorkRegents University and London University of the Arts in London, or Florence University of the Arts in Italy.
  • Annual fashion show sponsored by Merchandising Opportunities and Design Association (MODA). Read about the 2022 MODA fashion show.
  • FMD grads are working for national retailers and famous brands all over the worldwide.
  • 97% of 2020-2021 program graduates were employed or continued their education within three months of graduation.

    Hear it from us

I couldn't credit any of my learning success without my WMU instructors.
- Izzy Kee

More testimonials

Program options

  • Design

    Fashion Design and Development Major

    Design and development professionals design products, develop patterns, and coordinate sourcing activities in apparel and soft goods companies.

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  • Merchandising

    Fashion Merchandising Major

    The fashion merchandising major prepares students for exciting careers in retail store operations, buying, and fashion marketing.

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  • Fashion Merchandising Minor

    The fashion merchandising minor offers study of core practices and issues in the fashion industry. The minor may complement a business or communications major.

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Additional Information

Get involved with MODA

Video of MODA Fashion Show 2023: Ultra Reflection

WMU's only fashion student organization puts on two fashion show productions a year. 

Follow MODA on Instagram

  • Study Abroad

    Study Abroad

    Students are encouraged to pursue additional educational opportunities through one of the FMD specific study abroad programs.

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  • WMU Signature

    All WMU students have the option to stand out with an integrative learning project in one of several pathways including arts and culture, entrepreneurship, sustainability and more!

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  • Visit Campus

    There's simply no substitute for seeing WMU for yourself and experiencing a little slice of what makes WMU so unique and beloved. In-person and virtual tours are available.

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Our faculty

  • Dr. Mary Simpson

    Assistant Professor


  • Dr. Chitra Singh

    Assistant Professor


  • Kelly Weathers

    Faculty Specialist II


  • Dr. Zee-Sun Yun

    Associate Professor and Program Coordinator