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Students interested in studying fashion in New York might consider an associate or a bachelor's degree program in fashion merchandising or marketing. One school also offers a fashion business degree that incorporates studies in merchandising. These programs may highlight the buying, visual display, design technology and product development of clothing and accessories for retail and wholesale. Students typically have the chance to gain practical skills by completing an internship experience; some schools also provide students with a study abroad opportunity. There are ten public and private not-for-profit colleges and universities in New York offering fashion merchandising training, and they are discussed below.
SUNY Buffalo State
Buffalo State SUNY (State University New York) is located in western New York in Buffalo. The university has a Bachelor of Science (B.S.) degree program in fashion and textile technology that offers a concentration in fashion merchandising. Students focus on textiles used in apparel design and learn about fashion technology, such as computer-aided design (CAD). Program participants have access to textile and CAD labs, as well as an assortment of historical costumes. Some of the courses in the fashion merchandising concentration include marketing, fashion retailing, fashion merchandising methods, apparel construction and product development. Student must also complete an internship.
CUNY New York City College of Technology
CUNY (City University of New York) New York City College of Technology in Brooklyn offers a fashion merchandising program through its School of Professional Studies. The Associate of Applied Science (A.A.S.) degree is a business-focused program in fashion marketing that prepares students to work in merchandise planning and control, fashion merchandising and fashion buying. In addition to business coursework, students can take classes in merchandise planning, advertising, textiles and fashion buying.
Fashion Institute of Technology
The Fashion Institute of Technology (FIT) is a fashion, art and design school in New York City that is part of the SUNY system. The school's 2-year A.A.S. degree program in fashion business management prepares students for wholesale and retail fashion careers and includes the general education typically necessary for transfer into a bachelor's degree program. Some of the required courses include fashion marketing, retail management, merchandising technology and product development. Students also have the option to complete an intensive 1-year program.
The institute's fashion business management Bachelor of Science (B.S.) program gives students the opportunity to complete internships and studies locally and abroad in such locations as London, Paris, Rome and Hong Kong. Some of the courses include sales management, CAD product development, licensing, fashion planning and inventory management.
Genesee Community College
Genesee Community College is located in Batavia, about halfway between Rochester and Buffalo in western New York. The A.A.S. degree program with a concentration in fashion merchandising management trains learners in fashion merchandising, buying, visual display, styling and sales. Some of the required business coursework includes planning and control, fashion trends, fashion show production and visual merchandising. Participants also complete a fashion work experience course and participate in coordinating an annual student-run fashion show.
Herkimer County Community College
Situated in rural Herkimer, about 16 miles east of Utica in central New York, is Herkimer County Community College. The school's A.A.S. in Fashion Buying and Merchandising is a liberal arts program that prepares graduates for a variety of fashion business careers. Some of the required business classes include organization and management, accounting, marketing and public relations. Other fashion-related studies could include textiles, costume history, customer service and fashion show production.
Marist College is in Poughkeepsie, a city in the Hudson River Valley between Albany and New York City. Through the fashion department, students can earn a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in fashion design and a Bachelor of Science degree in fashion merchandising. Some of the courses that participants must take include buying, international retail, apparel design and product development.
Fashion merchandising students also participate in the student-run fashion show, as well as present a business and investment plan. Additionally, while an internship is not required, students in the fashion merchandising program are encouraged to complete at least 2 of them to gain a competitive advantage in the fashion marketplace.
Nassau Community College
Garden City, located on Long Island, is home to Nassau Community College. This school has an A.A.S. degree program in fashion buying and merchandising. Business classes are combined with fashion marketing electives, some of which include menswear, import buying, fashion coordination and garment construction. During the program, students may participate in a work experience for credit to gain hands-on knowledge of the fashion industry.
The New School
Located in New York City is The New School, which houses the Parsons College for Design. Parsons provides education in fashion, art and design and has been featured on the television show, Project Runway. A 2-year A.A.S. degree program in fashion marketing is offered at the West Village campus, as well as online, and transfer students may earn the degree through a 1-year fast-track program. It teaches students about the relationship between merchandising, marketing and design. Some of the A.A.S. curriculum includes color theory, social commerce, digital fashion technology, branding, production methods, merchandising math and studio coursework. The merchandising workshop course allows students to take on the roles of merchandiser and designer, learning how to spot trends, forecast colors and plan lines. Program participants must complete an internship and may have the opportunity to study fashion merchandising in Italy.
Also offered on-campus and online is an 8-course certificate in fashion business. During this certificate program, students may study fashion merchandising, retail buying, consumer behavior and global marketing.
SUNY Westchester Community College
Westchester Community College is about 30 miles north of New York City in Valhalla and is part of the SUNY system. Students interested in studying business and fashion might be interested in the fashion merchandising program, which prepares learners for entry-level roles in textile merchandising, store management and fashion manufacturing. The A.A.S. degree program includes classes in fashion design technology, visual merchandising, global merchandising, apparel design and fashion art. Optional internships and overseas studies in locations such as Italy, Spain and France provide future fashion merchandisers with a chance to apply their coursework to real-world situations.
Villa Maria College
Villa Maria College is a small school in Buffalo that offers a Bachelor of Fine Arts (BFA) degree program in fashion design and merchandising. As a fine arts degree, this program places a greater emphasis on artistry in fashion merchandising, whereas other programs focus more on the business aspects of the industry. The college has professional-quality apparel construction facilities on its campus. Some of the required coursework includes CAD color and print, sewing techniques, fashion trends, fashion sketching, international retailing and business law. During their BFA studies, students participate in an internship and a senior fashion show, as well as develop a professional portfolio.
School Comparison: At a Glance
|School Name||School Type & Setting||Fashion Merchandising Degree Programs Offered||Undergraduate Tuition & Fees (2015-2016)*|
|SUNY Buffalo State||4-year, public; large city||Bachelor of Science in Fashion and Textile Technology with a Concentration in Fashion Merchandising|| $7,669 in-state;
|CUNY New York City College of Technology||4-year, public; large city||Associate in Applied Science in Fashion Marketing|| $6,669 in-state;
|Fashion Institute of Technology||4-year, primarily associate's, public; large city|| Associate in Applied Science in Fashion Business Management,
Bachelor of Science in Fashion Business Management
| $5,230 in-state;
|Genesee Community College||2-year, public; distant town||Associate of Applied Science in Fashion Business with a Concentration in Fashion Merchandising Management|| $4,410 in-state;
|Herkimer County Community College||2-year, public; fringe rural||Associate of Applied Science in Fashion Buying and Merchandising|| $4,590 in-state;
|Marist College||4-year, private not-for-profit; large suburb|| Bachelor of Fine Arts in Fashion Design;
Bachelor of Science in Fashion Merchandising
|The New School||4-year, private not-for-profit; large city|| Associate in Applied Science in Fashion Marketing,
Certificate in Fashion Business
|Nassau Community College||2-year, public; large suburb||Associate of Applied Science in Fashion Buying and Merchandising|| $4,854 in-state;
|SUNY Westchester Community College||2-year, public; large suburb||Associate of Applied Science in Fashion Merchandising|| $4,723 in-state;
|Villa Maria College||4-year, primarily associate's, private not-for-profit; small city||Bachelor of Fine Arts in Fashion Design and Merchandising||$20,260|
Source: *NCES College Navigator.