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Fashion Merchandising - B.S. PDFDownload to print

College of the Arts

School of Fashion Design and Merchandising

226 Rockwell Hall
Tel: 330-672-3010
Fax: 330-672-3772


Students in fashion merchandising acquire a thorough background in the business aspects of the fashion industry, developing competencies in fashion theory; development and marketing of fashion goods; merchandising for apparel manufacturing; retail operations, management and buying; fashion forecasting and promotion.

Combined Baccalaureate in Fashion Merchandising/Master of Business Administration (M.B.A.) with a concentration in Fashion Design and Merchandising in the College of Business and Graduate School Management
Fashion Merchandising majors who qualify may enroll in the combined Bachelor of Science in Fashion Merchandising/Master of Business Administration (M.B.A.), with a concentration in Fashion Design and Merchandising program. Completion of both degrees can be achieved within approximately 5 ½ years, depending on many variables. Careful planning and advising are needed in order to complete the combined programs successfully in a timely way. Students intending to follow this option should work closely with their academic advisor.

In the freshman year, MATH 11012 Intuitive Calculus or MATH 12002 Analytic Geometry and Calculus I is recommended.

In the senior year, 12 credit hours of FDM graduate level coursework which constitutes the M.B.A. concentration in Fashion Design and Merchandising will be completed.

When achieving a minimum of 90 credit hours in the fashion merchandising program (beginning of the senior year) and a minimum GPA of 3.30, the student should apply for "conditional admission" to the M.B.A. program. This application should occur no later than July 1 after the junior year. The GMAT exam must be completed with an appropriately high score at the time application is made. Upon completion of the Baccalaureate in Fashion Merchandising and satisfying all M.B.A. eligibility requirements, the student will be admitted into the M.B.A. program. Once admitted, the student will be "cohorted" with other M.B.A. students and continue full-time with the degree requirements of the M.B.A. degree.

Study Abroad/Study Away Opportunities:

The School of Fashion Design and Merchandising supports multiple study abroad/away experiences, including opportunities to study for a semester at its NYC studio and Florence campus, as well as through collaborative partnership programs with the Paris American Academy, Hong Kong Polytechnic University and Regent's University in London. For more information visit the School of Fashion Design and Merchandising website or contact the Office of Global Education.

Career Opportunities

Fashion merchandising careers require a blend of fashion sense and business expertise.  Loving to “shop” and “style” alone won't lead to a successful career in this field. Strategy and marketing know-how are an integral part of fashion merchandising.
In a fashion merchandising career, your goal is to make fashion relatable to the consumer.  In order to do this, fashion merchandising careers involve the following:

  • Buying products
  • Negotiating with suppliers and manufacturers
  • Conducting fashion marketing using research methodology
  • Developing new products and brand management
  • Selling and distributing brands as a vendor and wholesaler
  • Analyzing, planning, and allocating of inventory to retail outlets
  • Conducting promotional and public relations campaigns for product
  • Managing retail operations in a single and multi-store environment

Essential skills for a successful career in fashion merchandising include analytical, critical thinking, communication, and computational skills.

Admission Requirements

Freshman Students: Applicants must have at least a 3.000 cumulative grade point average (on a 4.0 scale) AND a minimum ACT composite score of 21 (or an SAT combined critical reading and math score of 980).

Transfer Students: To be considered for admission, transfer applicants need at least a 2.750 cumulative GPA based on 24 or more semester hours of college-level coursework at an accredited institution. Those students meeting this GPA requirement but with less than 24 semester hours will be evaluated as new freshmen.

Students who do not meet the academic criteria for admission into the Fashion Merchandising degree program will not be accepted and may be eligible for admission to the Pre-Fashion Design and Merchandising non-degree major (PFDM).

Students who do not meet the academic criteria may initiate the process for declaring the Fashion Merchandising major after completing at least 12 hours of non developmental coursework at Kent State University with a cumulative GPA of 2.750.

For more information about admission criteria for transfer, transitioning and former students, please visit the admissions website.

Graduation Requirements

Minimum 120 total credit hours, minimum 39 upper-division hours. Minimum 2.500 GPA overall and 2.500 GPA in major required for graduation. Minimum 2.500 GPA overall required for internship.

Minor Requirement: Students are required to declare and complete a minor that is aligned with overall educational and internship/career goals. See advisor for specific details.


National Association of Schools of Art and Design

Culminating Requirements

Graduates of this program will be able to:

  1. Demonstrate an understanding of the fashion industry.
  2. Demonstrate an understanding of fashion products and services.
  3. Demonstrate an understanding of fashion markets.
  4. Demonstrate skills appropriate for the fashion industry.
  5. Demonstrate an understanding of technology applicable to the fashion industry.
  6. Articulate conceptual and critical thinking applicable to the fashion industry.
  7. Demonstrate their knowledge of the fashion industry through visual, oral, and written forms.
  8. Demonstrate research processes and practices employed in the fashion industry.
  9. Demonstrate their knowledge of the fashion industry through reflective experiential learning.