Our fashion design programs inspire students to envision fresh, creative approaches to meet the challenges facing the global apparel industry.

89% student complete internships
5,000 Items in historical costume collection
Top 50 Fashion Merchandising Schools in the U.S.
22 Average upper-level class size
What Is a Degree in Fashion Merchandising and Design?

Our fashion design programs provide students with the knowledge and skills necessary to succeed in a variety of roles within the fashion industry including:

  • Design
  • Technical design
  • Sourcing
  • Strategic planning
  • Buying
  • Merchandising
  • Retail management positions
Why Study Fashion Merchandising and Design Here?

Here's how we'll help you earn your degree:

  • Provide strong industry ties
  • Encourage internships
  • Host exhibitions of student work
  • Sponsor events that bring professionals and alumni to campus
  • Lead study tours within the United States and abroad

Beyond the Classroom

Strong Community

Fashion Merchandising and Design Society
Professional Development

Our faculty work side-by-side with students to advise them on pursuing research interests, presenting and publishing their work, and preparing them for careers. The Fashion Merchandising and Design Society is an organization for students interested in the fashion industry.  Members meet monthly and participate in career-building workshops. Our annual fashion show is a highlight of the organization.  

Our expertise and your skill make Virginia Tech's Fashion Design programs a perfect fit.

Research

Undergraduate Research

While in the classroom, you will learn textile composition and drawing techniques. Then, you will spend time in design studios working with merchandise, creating visual displays in retail-size spaces, and using Computer Aided Design (CAD) software in the digital design lab.

In addition, Virginia Tech hosts the Oris Glisson Historic Costume and Textile collection which contains approximately 5000 items of historic significance dating from 1840 to the present. Portions of the collections are displayed throughout the year in the Wallace Hall Atrium and provide design inspiration, as well as historic documentation.

research in library

Study Abroad (or Nearby)

Fashion Study Tour
Study Away

On our New York Fashion Study Tour, you can participate in a week-long trip to the Big Apple where you'll get the chance to network with New York fashion retailers, merchandisers, and apparel alumni. Guided tours of fashion houses and appointments with industry experts offer a full New York City fashion experience. 

The European Study Abroad is offered for several weeks every other summer (2017; 2019) and includes stops in London, Paris, Rome, Florence, and other European fashion capitals.  As part of this program you will visit universities with fashion programs, tour European boutiques, and visit design houses, like Prada.

Study Abroad Fashion New York Europe

Get Experience

Field Studies at Leading Companies
Internships

In the past year, our students have interned with leading companies including:

  • Nordstrom
  • Ralph Lauren
  • Disney
  • Kate Spade
  • Lilly Pulitzer
  • Loft, J. Crew
  • Anna Sui
  • Showroom Delfina
  • Milly
  • Accessories Collective 

Jobs range from showroom sales and design, to e-commerce and public relations.  

Fashion Design Research
What Our Students Are Saying

“Fashion merchandising and design's smaller class sizes let me to interact more with my peers and instructors for a more personalized education.”

Lauren Amos, '16

"Our program does a great job of teaching us the basics for many different positions in the fashion industry. From there, you can grow within your job."

Katie Lyons, '13

"I love the fashion merchandising and design major because you get hands on experience. Class sizes are small and the professors are always willing to help you! The major offers so many opportunities in different fields of the fashion industry."

Kara Heuple, '17

“I felt well equipped with the knowledge and skills necessary to be competitive and gain notoriety while working in a competitive field.  After opening my stores, I realized just how valuable and well-rounded my education was because my program taught me the creative aspect of the industry as well as the business side.”  

Sarah Jane Hull, ‘04

"Virginia Tech's fashion merchandising and design program prepared me with real knowledge of the fashion retail industry. Upon entering a new job after college, I felt prepared for the workforce and equipped with essential skills. I am grateful for the dedicated faculty who mentored me along the way.”

Rachel Carter, '15

Careers and Further Study