Fashion, Dress and Merchandising

Bachelor of Science - Fashion, Dress and Merchandising Major

Areas of Emphasis: Fashion Design, Fashion Merchandising

Program Overview

Students in the Fashion, Dress and Merchandising (FDM) program obtain a broad-based background in fashion design and fashion merchandising. They may pursue a Fashion Merchandising or a Fashion Design Area of Emphasis (AOE); both curricula consist of a minimum of 120 credit hours. A minor in Business Administration or Entrepreneurship is included in the Fashion Merchandising Area of Emphasis.

FDM students are encouraged to seek summer employment in the textile, apparel, or retail fields in order to gain experience and integrate coursework into business professional settings. All FDM students may elect to take a 3-credit-hour work practicum following their second year in the program. Both program options require a 6-credit-hour internship in which students apply textile, apparel, and/or merchandising subject matter in a professional setting. The practicum and internship are available during the summer term only.

Program Opportunities

FDM students may elect to participate in a faculty-led, study abroad summer program to observe the textile, apparel, and retail industries in Italy, preferably following her/his freshman or sophomore year. This 6-credit-hour program, Disegno Italia, has established connections with fashion schools in Milan, the design capital of Italy. A semester abroad during spring semester Junior year also can be arranged. Students who study abroad must register with the WVU Office of International Programs, Third Floor, Stansbury Hall, phone: (304) 293-6955, ext. 0. Website: http://internationalprograms.wvu.edu.

An elective fashion study tour enables students to observe fashion industry and retail sites, view historic costume displays and collections, and network with graduates of the FDM program.  A teaching practicum is another elective opportunity that enables a student to broaden his or her perspective. Students are encouraged to enter design and research competitions and exhibitions sponsored by industry, professional societies, and the University. A student organization, the Fashion Business Association, enriches the student experience by bringing working professionals to campus to share their experiences and providing students with opportunities to develop their leadership skills.

Career Opportunities

All FDM graduates are prepared for entry-level positions or graduate study. Retail opportunities often begin with an executive training program and may lead to positions in management, buying, allocating, planning, fashion promotion, personnel, or visual merchandising. Placement may be found with department stores, specialty stores, mass merchandisers, discount operations, and with small and large chain organizations. Opportunities in the apparel field include design, technical design, sample coordination, sourcing specialist, showroom sales executive, and merchandising. Opportunities in the textile field include sales executive, color analyst, promotion, or education.

Our students have been successful in gaining admission to graduate school in areas such as historic costume and textiles, social psychology of dress, apparel design, textile design, merchandising, and business. With additional study at the graduate level, students may secure positions with fiber and fabric producers, museums that exhibit and preserve textiles and apparel, colleges and universities, and in upper-level apparel business management. The opportunities are many and the employment possibilities varied.

Click the appropriate link below to view the corresponding Area of Emphasis (AOE) Requirements and Suggested Plans of Study.

General Education FOUNDATIONS

Please use this link to view a list of courses that meet each GEF requirement.

NOTE: Some major requirements will fulfill specific GEF requirements. Please see the curriculum requirements listed below for details on which GEFs you will need to select.

General Education Foundations
F1 - Composition & Rhetoric3-6
Introduction to Composition and Rhetoric
and Composition, Rhetoric, and Research
Accelerated Academic Writing
F2A/F2B - Science & Technology4-6
F3 - Math & Quantitative Skills3-4
F4 - Society & Connections3
F5 - Human Inquiry & the Past3
F6 - The Arts & Creativity3
F7 - Global Studies & Diversity3
F8 - Focus (may be satisfied by completion of a minor, double major, or dual degree)9
Total Hours31-37

Please note that not all of the GEF courses are offered at all campuses. Students should consult with their advisor or academic department regarding the GEF course offerings available at their campus.

Curriculum Requirements

Maintain a 2.25 overall GPA.
GEF Requirements 2, 5, and 710
WVUE 191First Year Seminar1
ENGL 101Introduction to Composition and Rhetoric (GEF 1)3
ENGL 102Composition, Rhetoric, and Research (GEF 1)3
MATH 126ACollege Algebra 5-Day (or higher - GEF 3; Minimum grade of C-)3
CSAD 270Effective Public Speaking (GEF 4)3
ARHS 101Landmarks of World Art (GEF 6)3
or ARHS 160 Survey of Art History 2
SOCA 101Introduction to Sociology (GEF 8)3
PSYC 101Introduction to Psychology (GEF 8)3
Major Requirements
Fashion, Dress & Merchandising Core Courses:
A minimum grade of C- is required in all FDM courses
FDM 110Introduction to Fashion Business3
FDM 130Design Concepts of Dress3
FDM 140Introduction to Textiles3
FDM 220Fashion, the Body, and Culture3
FDM 235Product Development3
FDM 251Applied History of Fashion and Dress3
FDM 260Visual Merchandising3
FDM 360Fashion Merchandising3
Business Requirements
ADV 215Principles of Advertising3
ENGL 304Business and Professional Writing (fulfills Writing and Communication Skills requirement)3
Required Emphasis Area (Fashion Design or Merchandising)33
Capstone Experience
FDM 491Professional Field Experience6
Electives (used to reach minimum of 120 required for degree)19
Total Hours120

Elective Practicum

The practicum is an elective, 3-credit course for all FDM students, and is designed to allow students to gain experience and apply their coursework in a professional setting. It is offered through WVU in the summer term only. The practicum is 6-weeks long and is completed during one summer session; students register and pay for 3-credit-hours.

Site Selection: It is up to each student to select and secure his or her own practicum site using all available resources. It is wise to interview at more than one practicum site in order to locate the best possible position. Prior site approval by the practicum course instructor is required. The site must specialize in some aspect of the fashion industry. Students must select a site that will be different from their internship site in order to enhance their competitiveness.

Procedure: Students take the practicum after completing the required prerequisites successfully. An application and approval form, signed contract, and resume are required for registration. All paperwork needs to be complete and submitted by the deadlines or the student will be deleted from the course roster. Prior to embarking on this work experience, all students must participate in the mandatory orientation session(s) which is held at the end of spring semester prior to the practicum.

Internship Requirement

The internship is a required capstone course for all students in the FDM program. It is offered through WVU during the summer term only. All FDM students are required to have a 6-credit-hour internship. This experience is a minimum of eight weeks long and spans both summer terms. All FDM students must register and pay for the credits at the beginning of the summer term and complete the internship during the summer term.

Site Selection: It is up to each student to select and secure his or her own internship site using all available resources including the development of networking contacts. These can be made through the Fashion Business Association, study tour, the WVU Career Services Center, and FDM internship instructors. Students should be prepared to interview when recruiters come to campus during the academic year. It is wise to interview with more than one internship site in order to locate the best possible position that will lead to an enhancement of career goals.  Approval of the site ahead of time by the internship course instructor is required for all proposed sites. The site must specialize in some aspect of fashion merchandising or apparel design.

Procedure: Students may take the internship after completing the required prerequisites successfully. An application and approval form, signed contract, and resume are required for registration. This paperwork needs to be complete and submitted by the summer deadlines or the intern will be deleted from the course roster. Prior to embarking on the internship, all students must participate in the mandatory orientation session(s). The summer orientation session is held at the end of spring semester prior to the internship.

 

Fashion Design Area of Emphasis

Fashion Design Emphasis Requirements
ART 111Drawing 13
or ART 112 Drawing 2
or ART 121 Visual Foundations 1
or ART 122 Visual Foundations 2
ARHS 101Landmarks of World Art3
or ARHS 120 Survey of Art History 1
FDM 210Fashion and Dress Through History3
FDM 230Apparel Production and Fit3
FDM 250Flat Pattern Design3
FDM 330Fashion Design and Illustration3
FDM 350Draping3
FDM 393Special Topics (Advanced Patternmaking)3
FDM 430Fashion Design Portfolio3
Restricted Electives6
Survey of Economics
Survey of Accounting
Survey of Business Law *
Merchandising Practicum
Merchandise Planning and Control
Global Issues and Fashion
Teaching Practicum
Study Abroad: Disegno Italia
Costuming
Intermediate Costume Construction
Advanced Costume Construction
Total Hours33

Suggested Plan of Study for Fashion Design Area of Emphasis

Students may enter the FDM program as first-semester freshmen. Enrollment in the required first-year FDM courses is not limited. The following courses have open enrollment and should be taken by all students the first year in the major: FDM 110, FDM 130, FDM 140. FDM courses are to be taken in sequence. Therefore, it is important that students follow the Suggested Plan of Study that follows. Selected outside courses must be completed prior to enrolling in certain FDM courses.

First Year
FallHoursSpringHours 
FDM 1103FDM 1303 
MATH 126A (GEF 3)3FDM 1403 
ENGL 101 (GEF 1)3PSYC 101 (GEF 8)3 
ARHS 101 or 120 (GEF 6)3ARHS 160 or 101 (GEF 8)3 
WVUE 1911GEF 53 
 13 15
Second Year
FallHoursSpringHours 
FDM 2203FDM 2503 
FDM 230 (Requires minimum grade of B-)3FDM 2513 
CSAD 270 (GEF 4)3FDM 2603 
ART 111, 112, 121, or 1223SOCA 101 (GEF 8)3 
ENGL 102 (GEF 1)3GEF 73 
 15 15
Third Year
FallHoursSpringHoursSummerHours
FDM 3303FDM 3503FDM 491 (Capstone)6
FDM 3603ADV 2153 
FDM 393 (Advanced Patternmaking)3GEF 24 
ENGL 3043Electives4 
Elective3  
 15 14 6
Fourth Year
FallHoursSpringHours 
FDM 2103FDM 2353 
FDM 4303Restricted Elective3 
Restricted Elective3Electives6 
Electives6  
 15 12
Total credit hours: 120

 

Fashion Merchandising Area of Emphasis

Merchandising Emphasis Requirements
FDM 293Special Topics (Fashion Consumer Behavior)3
FDM 361Merchandise Planning and Control3
FDM 493Special Topics (Omni-channel Fashion Retailing)3
FDM 493Special Topics (Fashion Promotion)3
PSYC 251Introduction to Social Psychology3
Business Administration or Entrepreneurial Studies Minor (students must choose one)18
Total Hours33

Suggested Plan of Study for Fashion Merchandising Area of Emphasis

Students may enter the FDM program as first-semester freshmen. Enrollment in the required first-year FDM courses is not limited. The following courses have open enrollment and should be taken by all students the first year in the major: FDM 110, FDM 130, FDM 140. FDM courses are to be taken in sequence. Therefore, it is important that students follow the Suggested Plan of Study that follows. Selected outside courses must be completed prior to enrolling in certain FDM courses.

First Year
FallHoursSpringHours 
FDM 1103FDM 1303 
MATH 126A (GEF 3)3FDM 1403 
ENGL 101 (GEF 1)3ARHS 101 or 160 (GEF 6)3 
SOCA 1013PSYC 1013 
WVUE 1911GEF 53 
 13 15
Second Year
FallHoursSpringHours 
FDM 2203FDM 2513 
ADV 2153FDM 2603 
ENGL 102 (GEF 1)3FDM 293 (Fashion Consumer Behavior)3 
CSAD 270 (GEF 4)3Minor Course3 
Minor Course3GEF 73 
 15 15
Third Year
FallHoursSpringHoursSummerHours
FDM 3603FDM 3613FDM 491 (Capstone)6
FDM 4703Minor Course3 
ENGL 3043GEF 24 
PSYC 2513Electives4 
Minor Course3  
 15 14 6
Fourth Year
FallHoursSpringHours 
FDM 493 (Omni-channel Fashion Retailing)3FDM 493 (Fashion Promotion)3 
Minor Course3Minor Course3 
Electives9Electives6 
 15 12
Total credit hours: 120

Major Learning Goals

fashion, dress and merchandising

Fashion, Dress and Merchandising is grounded in the social and physical sciences - as well as art and design - and is structured through a business lens. Upon graduation from the FDM program at WVU, students will be able to demonstrate the following entry-level competencies:

  • apply leadership/management skills including the ability to work as a member of a team, critique oneself and others constructively, and communicate effectively in written and oral formats;
  • utilize critical and creative thinking strategies in order to interpret customer needs/wants in the development of innovative solutions in the textile and apparel pipeline;
  • utilize process knowledge of the textile and apparel supply chain through an understanding of industry terminology, design principles and processes, business theories and regulations in the development, promotion, and sale of fashion products;
  • exhibit awareness of global political and economic issues, environmental sustainability, and social/cultural change within the textile and apparel industries;
  • utilize textile and clothing core knowledge related to aesthetics and appearance, socio-psychological theories, and dress and human interaction throughout history to serve as a foundation for textile and apparel business decisions;
  • utilize a variety of analysis and synthesis skills that enable them to investigate, analyze, and communicate solutions to problems using a variety of formats.

These competencies are incorporated across the FDM program curriculum. Students are introduced to these learning goals incrementally as they progress from entry-level courses to and including the capstone internship.

Program Requirements

The following minimum requirements are set to insure that students who graduate from the program will have the appropriate skill level and knowledge to succeed in this competitive field.

Students must meet the following requirements in order to continue in the program beyond the first year:

  1. Maintain a 2.25 overall GPA.
  2. All FDM students must earn a C- or above in all FDM courses, and (MATH 126A or MATH 126B or MATH 126C).
  3. Any student who has an overall GPA below 2.25 will be notified of the deficiency and will not be permitted to enroll in FDM courses.
  4. Students who have not been permitted to enroll in FDM courses because of a low GPA may enroll in FDM courses after meeting the 2.25 minimum overall GPA, space permitting.
  5. Any student who has earned a grade of D+ or lower in any of the FDM courses will be notified of the problem and will not be permitted to enroll in the next sequence of FDM courses.
  6. Students who have not been permitted to enroll in the next sequence of FDM courses because of receiving a grade of D+ or lower for one of the required FDM courses may correct the problem by repeating the course(s) the next time it is offered, space permitting, and earning a C- or above. Please note that most FDM courses are offered only once per academic year.
  7. Fashion Design students are required to earn a minimum grade of B- in FDM 230  in order to remain in the Fashion Design area of emphasis.

FDM 110. Introduction to Fashion Business. 3 Hours.

Introduces the fashion business by exploring its production and distribution systems with a focus on basic merchandising, design, marketing and retail concepts.

FDM 130. Design Concepts of Dress. 3 Hours.

Introduction to design theory and methodology, elements of design, principles of composition, and universal design related to dress. Practical application included.

FDM 131. Fashion Design. 3 Hours.

Market trend research and fabric/trim sourcing are used to design a women's wear collection. Studio work helps develop fashion illustration skills, create a collection, and drape one original design.

FDM 135. Figure and Fabric Drawing. 3 Hours.

Basic examination and analysis of illustration techniques related to the human figure and various fabrics.

FDM 140. Introduction to Textiles. 3 Hours.

Study and classification of fibers, yarns, fabrics, color applications and finishes for apparel-industry applications. (Lecture plus laboratory.).

FDM 210. Fashion and Dress Through History. 3 Hours.

History of Western civilization's fashion and dress from antiquity to present within the corresponding social, cultural, technological, and economic contexts.

FDM 220. Fashion, the Body, and Culture. 3 Hours.

Students learn the roles of fashion, the body, and dress in identity, social-psychological functioning, political and economic systems, and cultural diversity.

FDM 222. Fashion Styling Workshop. 3 Hours.

PR: Sophomore or higher. Overview of fashion items needed to attract media attention for a fashion magazine and its editorials. Students produce a photo shoot for a specific target audience with live models, on location, in a professional studio.

FDM 225. Introduction to Italian Culture. 3 Hours.

PR: Sophomore or higher. Exploration of Italian history, culture, art and design through lecture and experiential learning. Field trips such as: Florence, Rome, Siena, San Gimignano, and Monteriggioni. Conversational Italian language included. Students conduct an individual design research project.

FDM 230. Apparel Production and Fit. 3 Hours.

PR: FDM 140 and (MATH 124 and MATH 126 or higher) and PR or CONC: FDM 130 and fashion design major. Basic principles of apparel production, pattern alterations, and fitting. CAD introduction.

FDM 232. Fashion Design Workshop. 3 Hours.

PR: Sophomore or higher and instructor consent. Students research a typical theme or trend to design a small coordinated collection including notebook/sketchbook, mood board, finished and flat drawings, and an original garment. Theoretical lessons, practical lessons, and field trips.

FDM 233. Fashion Accessories Workshop. 3 Hours.

PR: Sophomores or higher and instructor consent. Students research a topical theme or trend to design a small coordinated collection including notebook/sketchbook, mood board, finished, and flat drawings, and an original garment. Theoretical lessons, and field trips.

FDM 235. Product Development. 3 Hours.

PR: FDM 110 and FDM 140 and (MATH 126A or MATH 126B or MATH 126C or MATH 128 or MATH 129 or MATH 150 or MATH 153 or MATH 155). Exploration of concepts and principles of apparel production and post- consumer alternatives.

FDM 250. Flat Pattern Design. 3 Hours.

PR: FDM 210 and FDM 220 and FDM 230. Creative expression through pattern design is studied using the flat pattern method. Original apparel is designed and constructed.

FDM 251. Applied History of Fashion and Dress. 3 Hours.

PR: FDM 231. Object-based and critical theory research applications of Western and non-Western fashion and dress from antiquity to the present. Costume collection and conservation lab work.

FDM 260. Visual Merchandising. 3 Hours.

PR: FDM 210 and FDM 220 and (FDM 230 or FDM 240). An exploration of visual merchandising including elements of design and principles of composition, display, store design, theft prevention, and promotion. Creation and analysis of visual merchandising projects using a teamwork approach.

FDM 261. Fashion Management Workshop. 3 Hours.

PR: Sophomore or higher and instructor consent. Fashion business fundamentals; fashion industry sourcing, supply chain, and fashion buying cycle; management of supplier portfolio; vendor selection and buying decision criteria; retail fashion brand marketing; internationalization of fashion retailing; international branding and flagship stores.

FDM 293. Special Topics. 1-6 Hours.

PR: Consent. Investigation of topics not covered in regularly scheduled courses.

FDM 310. Merchandising Practicum. 3 Hours.

PR: (FDM 230 or FDM 260) and FDM 261 and ENGL 102 and consent. Prearranged, supervised work experience providing practical insight into the apparel profession.

FDM 311. Fashion Study Tour. 1 Hour.

PR: Junior or senior standing in FDM. (May be repeated twice for a maximum of 3 credit hours.) Study of apparel industry through visits to historic costume collections, apparel firms, design showrooms, and retail establishments.

FDM 330. Fashion Design and Illustration. 3 Hours.

PR: FDM 130 and PR or CONC: FDM 210 and FDM 230. Techniques of drawing fashion figures, media, and apparel design presentation techniques explored. Design vocabulary and sources of inspiration examined in the creation of original apparel design renderings and flats for specific target consumers.

FDM 350. Draping. 3 Hours.

PR: FDM 235 and FDM 330. Creative and technical pattern development using the draping method. Original apparel designs patterned and constructed.

FDM 360. Fashion Merchandising. 3 Hours.

PR: (FDM 230 or FDM 260 or FDM 261) and ECON 201. Surveys the structure of retail organizations, location and growth strategies to distribute merchandise to consumers.

FDM 361. Merchandise Planning and Control. 3 Hours.

PR: FDM 360. Addresses inventory performance and fiscal aspects of merchandise planning, purchasing, and pricing. Merchandising mathematical formulas are practiced.

FDM 393. Special Topics. 1-6 Hours.

PR: Consent. Investigation of topics not covered in regularly scheduled courses.

FDM 424. Functional Apparel. 3 Hours.

PR: ENGL 101 and ENGL 102 and FDM 220 and FDM 230. Physical, sociological, and psychological clothing needs of individuals with functional needs. Historical developments and research needs explored. Students conduct a service-learning project.

FDM 430. Fashion Design Portfolio. 3 Hours.

PR: FDM 330 and FDM 350. Techniques of portfolio presentation from introductory page through development of lines that focus on target consumer. Includes development of concept plates, illustrations, flats, and presentation plates.

FDM 470. Global Issues and Fashion. 3 Hours.

PR: FDM 361 or consent. Examines globalization, fashion business, and consumerism. Sourcing, sustainability, international trade, and social justice issues are addressed.

FDM 490. Teaching Practicum. 1-3 Hours.

PR: Consent. Teaching practices as a tutor or assistant.

FDM 491. Professional Field Experience. 1-18 Hours.

PR: Consent. (May be repeated up to a maximum of 18 hours.) Pre-arranged experiential learning program, to be planned, supervised, and evaluated for credit by faculty and field supervisors. Involves temporary placement with public or private enterprise for professional competence development.

FDM 493. Special Topics. 1-6 Hours.

PR: Consent. Investigation of topics not covered in regularly scheduled courses.

FDM 494. Seminar. 1-3 Hours.

PR: Consent. Presentation and discussion of topics of mutual concern to students and faculty.

FDM 495. Independent Study. 1-6 Hours.

Faculty supervised study of topics not available through regular course offerings.

FDM 496. Senior Thesis. 1-3 Hours.

PR: Consent.

FDM 498. Honors. 1-3 Hours.

PR: Students in Honors Program and consent by the honors director. Independent reading, study, or research.