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College of Creative Arts and Media: School of Art and Design

Fashion, Dress and Merchandising, BS

The Fashion Design & Merchandising program produces future leaders in a dynamic and global industry that operates at the intersection of creativity, technology, commerce and culture. Through experiential learning, students address some of the most complex issues facing the industry today to create a more sustainable fashion future.

Your Degree Plan


Fashion is one of the most dynamic, globally integrated and culturally significant industries in the world. Peer behind the gloss and glamor to discover how design concepts come to life and are marketed to consumers.

As a Fashion Design & Merchandising student, you will explore a broad view of the fashion industry and all the career opportunities it has to offer. From textile production, product design, sourcing and manufacturing, to retail merchandising and consumer behavior, you'll learn to appreciate and understand the complexity and dynamism of the modern fashion supply chain.

You may pursue an Area of Emphasis (AOE) in either Fashion Merchandising or Fashion Design.

The Fashion Merchandising AOE includes a minor (selected by the student with guidance from their adviser) in either Advertising, Journalism, Public Relations, Strategic Social Media, Event Planning, Entrepreneurship, General Business, Marketing or Professional Sales.

Tailor this major to your interests by focusing your coursework in one of these areas:

  • Fashion Design

    From patternmaking to draping to sewing, Fashion Design students learn practical and technical skills necessary to take a design from concept to finished garment.

  • Fashion Merchandising

    Fashion Merchandising students apply their creative and critical thinking skills to bring fashion products to market through pricing, promotion, quality analysis, consumer behavior analysis and global supply chain management.

Take advantage of special options related to this major:

  • Honors

    Expand your curiosity — and enhance your curriculum — through the WVU Honors College. Two programs are offered: Honors Foundations for first- and second-year students and Honors EXCEL for third- and fourth-year students.

    Explore Honors

The WVU Difference

What sets this program apart from its competitors?

  • Dedicated, state-of-the art studio spaces for both textile and apparel design.
  • Experiential learning opportunities throughout the curriculum including in product development, visual merchandising, fashion promotion, and the internship experience.
  • Scholarship competition opportunities through the Fashion Scholarship Fund and other nationally recognized organizations.
  • Accredited by the National Association of Schools of Art & Design (NASAD) and affiliate of the Textile and Apparel Program Accreditation Commission (TAPAC).
  • Intern with leading companies in the industry by tapping into a rich FDM alumni network.
  • Faculty are deeply invested in helping students create a more sustainable, ethical and just fashion future.

Over 92% of WVU freshmen receive grants or scholarships (2022-2023).

Learn more

Learn by Doing

Learning happens outside the classroom. Get involved.

  • Network with industry professionals and program alumni as part of the New York Study Tour.
  • Gain cultural competencies and expand your worldview through the summer study abroad program Disegno Italia.
  • Engage in faculty research activities through the SURE and RAP programs
  • Explore the economic and community development opportunities fibersheds offer in the Amy Bircher Textile Lab and FDM’s signature Farm to Fashion program.

Connect with other students who share your academic interests as a member of:

View all of the student organizations you can join.

Network with professionals in your field as a student member of:

Live, study and pursue outside-the-classroom learning in a residence hall community that shares your interests:

Outside of the Evansdale Crossing building.

What you learn outside of the classroom is just as important as what you learn during class. We’ll help you follow your curiosity.

Careers and Outcomes

How does this degree prepare students for a career?

Wholesale and Retail Buyers

Buy merchandise or commodities, other than farm products, for resale to consumers at the wholesale or retail level, including both durable and nondurable goods. Analyze past buying trends, sales records, price, and quality of merchandise to determine value and yield. Select, order, and authorize payment for merchandise according to contractual agreements. May conduct meetings with sales personnel and introduce new products. Includes assistant wholesale and retail buyers of nonfarm products.

Median Salary: $67,620

Possible job titles include: Buyer, Category Manager, Procurement Specialist, Trader.

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Market Research Analysts and Marketing Specialists

Research market conditions in local, regional, or national areas, or gather information to determine potential sales of a product or service, or create a marketing campaign. May gather information on competitors, prices, sales, and methods of marketing and distribution.

Has a Bright Outlook

Median Salary: $62,560

Possible job titles include: Market Analyst, Market Research Analyst, Market Research Consultant, Project Manager.

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Fashion Designers

Design clothing and accessories. Create original designs or adapt fashion trends.

Median Salary: $76,700

Possible job titles include: Costume Designer, Design Director, Designer, Fashion Designer.

Explore Career

Merchandise Displayers and Window Trimmers

Plan and erect commercial displays, such as those in windows and interiors of retail stores and at trade exhibitions.

Median Salary: $35,380

Possible job titles include: Display Associate, Merchandiser, Visual Manager, Visual Merchandiser (VM).

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Demonstrators and Product Promoters

Demonstrate merchandise and answer questions for the purpose of creating public interest in buying the product. May sell demonstrated merchandise.

Median Salary: $34,770

Possible job titles include: Demonstrator, In Store Demonstrator, Merchandiser, Product Demonstrator.

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Production, Planning and Expediting Clerks

Coordinate and expedite the flow of work and materials within or between departments of an establishment according to production schedule. Duties include reviewing and distributing production, work, and shipment schedules; conferring with department supervisors to determine progress of work and completion dates; and compiling reports on progress of work, inventory levels, costs, and production problems.

Median Salary: $50,630

Possible job titles include: Master Scheduler, Planner, Production Assistant, Production Scheduler.

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Advertising and Promotions Managers

Plan, direct, or coordinate advertising policies and programs or produce collateral materials, such as posters, contests, coupons, or give-aways, to create extra interest in the purchase of a product or service for a department, an entire organization, or on an account basis.

Median Salary: $127,830

Possible job titles include: Account Executive, Ad Manager, Ad Sales Manager, Communications Manager, Marketing and Promotions Manager, Promotions Director.

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Supply Chain Managers

Direct or coordinate production, purchasing, warehousing, distribution, or financial forecasting services or activities to limit costs and improve accuracy, customer service, or safety. Examine existing procedures or opportunities for streamlining activities to meet product distribution needs. Direct the movement, storage, or processing of inventory.

Has a Bright Outlook

Median Salary: $98,560

Possible job titles include: Global Supply Chain Director, Supply Chain Director, Supply Chain Manager, Supply Chain Vice President.

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Sustainability Specialists

Address organizational sustainability issues, such as waste stream management, green building practices, and green procurement plans.

Has a Bright Outlook

Median Salary: $75,990

Possible job titles include: Sustainability Consultant, Sustainability Coordinator, Sustainability Specialist, Sustainable Design Coordinator.

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Art Directors

Formulate design concepts and presentation approaches for visual communications media, such as print, broadcasting and advertising. Direct workers engaged in art work or layout design.

Median Salary: $105,180

Possible job titles include: Art Director, Creative Director, Production Manager, Senior Art Director.

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Sales Representatives, Wholesale and Manufacturing

Sell goods for wholesalers or manufacturers to businesses or groups of individuals. Work requires substantial knowledge of items sold.

Has a Bright Outlook

Median Salary: $63,230

Possible job titles include: Account Representative, Customer Account Technician, Inside Salesperson, Outside Sales Representative.

Explore Career

Career Options

Graduates work in the fashion industry in various roles including retail buyers, product developers, creative designers and tech designers. They also go on to be entrepreneurs.

Specific employers include:

  • Coach
  • UGG
  • Carhartt
  • DICK’S Sporting Goods
  • Gabe’s

Admission Requirements

To be admitted to WVU's Fashion, Dress and Merchandising major, first-time freshmen must meet WVU's first-time freshman admission requirements for the 2024-25 academic year. Interested in transferring? Review the transfer admission requirements.

Tuition and Aid

How much does Fashion, Dress and Merchandising at WVU cost? And how can you save?

Tuition and Fees

Estimated rates are available on our tuition website. Anyone who is not a current West Virginia resident, including international students, will be charged non-resident rates.

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Ways to Save

Here are a few ways for you to save on the cost of attending WVU in addition to university scholarships.

Financial Aid

The most important step toward funding your future with financial aid for the Fashion, Dress and Merchandising major is submitting the Free Application for Federal Student Aid, or FAFSA.

How to Complete the FAFSA

Transfer Articulation Agreements

To simplify the transfer process, we have formal agreements with certain institutions. These agreements outline the courses you should take to prepare for transferring to WVU.

Review the full list of transfer articulation agreements to see if your institution is listed.

Learn How to Transfer Course Credits

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