Apparel Design

The mission of the apparel design and merchandising department is to provide students with an environment in which they can develop and nurture creativity, gain aesthetic, intellectual, and professional competence in both the knowledge and skills of the apparel field and cultivate a humanistic and ethical understanding of apparel as a business and as an art form.

The apparel program offers major and minor programs in apparel design and apparel merchandising. It is advisable for interested freshman to consult with an advisor in the department prior to registration.


Apparel design majors choose from among three concentrations. Most of the basic course requirements are common to all concentrations. Students often choose their concentration based on their educational goals and what they want to do after graduation.

Concentration in Fashion Development 
Coursework in the concentration in fashion development emphasizes product development and the fashion industry.

Concentration in Surface Design 
Coursework in the concentration in surface design focuses on textile techniques, cultural artisanship and craftsmanship.

Concentration in Dress and Textile Studies 
This concentration offers ideal preparation for students who wish to emphasize theatrical costuming and the historical and cultural aspects of dress.

Tracy Jennings
Department Chair

Advising Worksheets

Career Opportunities

Apparel graduates can pursue an array of careers in the fashion and retail industries and with leading museums. Possible apparel career positions range from developing and manufacturing specific fashion items to promotion, publicity or sales at either the wholesale or retail levels.

Careers in the apparel design field include:

  • Colorist
  • Entrepreneur
  • Textile designer
  • Market analyst
  • Product developer
  • Quality control inspector or manager
  • Sales representative
  • Stylist
  • Fashion designer
  • Sketcher
  • Sample maker
  • Pattern maker
  • Pattern grader