School and Ranking Information
There are about eight schools with fashion marketing-related programs located within 100 miles of Atlanta. While there is only one top-ranked college with a fashion marketing program in the city, there are two top schools in the region that offer fashion merchandising programs. Based on location, program offerings, rankings and other stats, the following schools are considered the best in the area:
- Winner: The University of Georgia (UGA) is a highly ranked school that has bachelor's and master's degree program offerings in fashion merchandising. Although it's the farthest school from Atlanta at 72 miles away, it also has the highest graduation rate and the lowest tuition of these three schools, and it awarded the most degrees in the field in recent years.
- Runner-Up #1: The Savannah College of Art and Design (SCAD) in Atlanta offers bachelor's and master's degree programs in fashion marketing. It was nationally ranked for its graduate fine arts programs in 2012.
- Runner-Up #2: Clark Atlanta University (CAU), ranked among the top Historically Black Colleges and Universities, is located near downtown Atlanta and offers a bachelor's degree program in fashion design and merchandising that includes studies in fashion marketing.
School Comparison Chart
|Category||University of Georgia||Savannah College of Art and Design||Clark Atlanta University|
|Rankings|| 63rd among national universities in 2013,
21st among top public schools in 2013, nationwide*
|127th among graduate fine arts programs in 2012, nationwide*||15th among historically black colleges and universities in 2013*|
|Location||Athens, GA (about 72 miles from downtown Atlanta)||Atlanta, GA||Atlanta, GA|
|School Type||Four-year, public||Four-year, private not-for-profit||Four-year, private not-for-profit|
|Tuition & Fees (2012-2013)||$9,842 in-state, $28,052 out-of-state (undergrad); $9,596 in-state, $24,596 out-of-state (graduate)**||$32,405 (undergrad); $33,170 (graduate)**||$19,830 (undergrad)**|
|Fashion Marketing Degrees Offered||Bachelor's and master's degrees||Bachelor's and master's degrees||Bachelor's degrees|
|Fashion Marketing Degrees Awarded (All Levels) in 2011-2012||80**||N/A||27 in fashion/apparel design (merchandising concentration not specified)**|
|Most Popular Fashion Marketing Programs in 2011-2012||Bachelor of Science in Fashion Merchandising (71 awarded)**||N/A||N/A|
|Undergraduate Graduation Rate (in 150% of normal program time) for 2005 Entering Class||84%**||64%**||41%**|
|Noteworthy||Students can learn through studies abroad in China/Hong Kong, London, Ghana and New York City||Campus near downtown Atlanta has fashion marketing facilities with industry-standard equipment and studios||Fashion merchandising students may study internationally during the third year in such cities as London, Paris and Milan|
Sources: *U.S. News & World Report, **NCES College Navigator.
Winner: University of Georgia
- Named the tenth best educational value for public schools in the U.S. by The Princeton Review in 2013
- Forbes ranked the university 17th among schools in the South for 2013
- Department of Textiles, Merchandising and Interiors houses a historic fashion collection of over 1,500 garments and accessories
UGA is a public university located in Athens, GA, that offers a 120-credit Bachelor of Science program with a major in fashion merchandising through the College of Family and Consumer Sciences. Some of the required program coursework includes retail buying, global retailing and fashion trend analysis. Students might also earn an entrepreneurship certificate offered through the UGA business school. Program participants may specialize in general fashion merchandising or product development and design, and internships at retailers or manufacturers are offered during the summer semester.
The department also has a 30-credit Master of Science program in textiles, merchandising and interiors with four concentrations, including an emphasis in merchandising and international trade. Students must take nine credits in the concentration area, which could include courses in fashion promotion and visual merchandising, apparel economics, international textiles and apparel retailing, as well as a thesis. The department is also home to textile science labs and three student organizations, like the Student Merchandising Association and Fashion Design Student Association.
Runner-Up #1: Savannah College of Art and Design
- Offers the only Atlanta-area programs focused on fashion marketing
- School hosts an annual fashion show
- Students have access to accessory design labs and a fashion resource room
SCAD is a private arts school that has a campus in Atlanta offering bachelor's and master's degree programs in fashion marketing. The 180-credit Bachelor of Fine Arts program covers sourcing, supply chain management, trends and consumer knowledge. Major curriculum courses include fashion merchandising, product development, import buying and visual communication in fashion.
Students interested in advanced roles in fashion marketing can pursue a Master of Fine Arts (MFA) or a Master of Arts (M.A.) degree in luxury and fashion management. Both master's degree programs require classes in fashion marketing and advertising, financial management and marketing, fashion promotion and marketing of luxury goods. The MFA program requires 90 hours of coursework, including four electives and a master's thesis. Students can also choose to complete either a field internship or a teaching internship. The M.A. degree program requires completion of 45 credits, including one elective class and a master's project.
Runner-Up #2: Clark Atlanta University
- Ranked 184th among all schools in the South in 2013 by Forbes
- Exceptional program participants may partake in multiple internship opportunities
The Department of Art at CAU offers a Bachelor of Arts program in fashion design and merchandising. This 123-credit major includes courses in visual merchandising, promotional planning and fashion show production, as well as an internship. The program has two concentrations, including an emphasis in fashion merchandising that teaches students how to create promotional plans and target markets for sales and advertising.
Those who pursue the fashion merchandising option may explore fashion marketing, wardrobe styling, retail math and trend forecasting. Students also complete a senior capstone. In addition, they're encouraged to choose electives that could include consumer behavior, advertising and business communication.