In a two-year fashion merchandising master's degree, students gain an advanced understanding of textiles and production techniques, business strategies in the fashion industry, and how to market different product lines. Students will need to have a bachelor's degree (Bachelor of Arts in Fashion Merchandising and Design, Bachelor of Arts in Fashion and Textiles, Bachelor of Science in Design) and high GRE scores to enroll. Some master's programs in fashion merchandising allow students to choose a particular area of focus, such as textile merchandising, fashion marketing, or fashion retailing, among others. Many programs also include a practicum experience, an internship, and/or a thesis in the fashion industry that should prepare students for employment.
Master of Science in Fashion Merchandising and Design
A graduate degree program in fashion merchandising and design combines business courses with courses on fashion trends and textiles. Some examples of core courses include:
- Textile products
- Color science
- Apparel production
- Fashion retailing and Fashion merchandise buying
- Fashion theory and analysis
- Consumer behavior in fashion retailing
Employment Outlook and Salary Information
A graduate degree in fashion merchandising can open doors to a variety of careers in design houses and retail establishments. Some positions available might include purchasing agent, fashion marketing specialist, showroom manager, and personal shopper. In addition, graduates can find employment as purchasing managers, boutique owners or senior executive buyers.
In the purchasing field, job growth was projected to be slower-than-average, with 2% growth expected from 2014 to 2024 for buyers and purchasing agents and managers, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). Purchasing managers earned a median annual salary of $108,120 while purchasing agents had $62,220, and wholesale and retail buyers made $52,940 as of May 2015, the BLS reported.
Fashion merchandising graduate degrees are most commonly found as a master's program, preparing students for a variety of jobs in the fashion industry such as buying, selling, displaying or managing different aspects of fashion.