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Fashion Merchandising and Design Major

What is a Major in Fashion Merchandising and Design?

Our fashion merchandising and design major inspires students to envision fresh, creative approaches to meet the challenges facing the global apparel industry.

Why Study Fashion Merchandising and Design at Virginia Tech?

The fashion merchandising and design major offers a holistic approach to the fashion industry by learning about both the merchandising/business side as well as the design/product development side of the industry. With classes in product development, textiles, merchandising, and more, students learn how the industry works together from start to finish. Some typical career paths include design, buying, merchandising, product development, and retail management. You’ll gain strong industry ties, have opportunities for internships, participate in exhibitions of student work, engage with professionals and alumni on campus, and have the opportunity to participate in study tours within the United States and abroad.

Of Students Complete Internships

Average Class Size

Top 50
Fashion Merchandising Schools in the U.S.

Careers and Further Study

What can you do with a major in Fashion Merchandising and Design?

Jobs Held by Our Graduates

  • Design
  • Technical design
  • Sourcing
  • Strategic planning
  • Buying
  • Retail Merchandising
  • Management

Beyond the Classroom

Experiential Learning

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.

Professional Development
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.

Undergraduate Research
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 (2023; 2025) 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 Away

Study Away

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.  


The goal of the fashion merchandising and design (FMD) program is to prepare students to envision and practice innovative, technically accurate, and creative approaches to meet the career demands in the exciting and fast-paced global fashion industry. Through cutting edge curriculum, students gain skills in technologies and learn in-depth information about this consumer-centric industry, from fibers and fabrics for textiles; to apparel product design, development and production; to retail merchandising and sales. 

Goal 1: Advance national and international recognition of the FMD program
Goal 2: Enrich the undergraduate experience
Goal 3: Advance the relationship between the FMD program and the fashion industry

The mission of the fashion merchandising and design program is to provide students with a solid academic background as well as an industry relevant degree in fashion merchandising and design. We incorporate consumer, business, and design perspectives into teaching and learning, research and creative scholarship, and outreach.

Bachelor of Science in Apparel, Housing, and Resource Management Degree

Fashion Merchandising and Design Major Requirements

  • History of Costume 
  • Introduction to Textiles 
  • Apparel Production 
  • Merchandising Strategies
  • Portfolio

Minor and Elective Hours

Our program gives you the opportunity to build knowledge in another area by pursuing a minor, double major, or cognate.

120 hrs
B.S. Apparel, Housing, and Resource Management

45 hrs
General Education

65 hrs
Major Requirements

10 hrs


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