Top School in Chicago for a Fashion Merchandising Degree

Chicago, IL, has roughly five schools with programs in fashion merchandising. Find the best program for you by reading about one top school's rankings, program offerings and tuition info.

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School and Ranking Info

Future fashion merchandisers in Chicago, IL, can find programs at two for-profit and three not-for-profit schools; all five are located within a 10-mile radius. The smallest of the three not-for-profit institutions is a high-ranking regional university that offers a career-oriented program in fashion merchandising with a substantial, for-credit internship.

  • Winner: Dominican University is a suburban university affiliated with the Catholic Church. Through the university's Rosary College of Arts and Sciences, students can earn a 4-year degree in apparel merchandising while preparing for careers as buyers, fashion show coordinators, managers or visual display merchandisers, among other related positions.

School Info Chart

Category Dominican University
Rankings #19 among Regional Universities in the Midwest;
#8 among Best Value Schools in the Midwest (2015)*
Location River Forest, IL
School Type 4-year; private
Tuition and Fees (2013-2014) Undergraduate: $28,810**
Fashion Merchandising Degree Awards Offered Bachelor's
Fashion Merchandising Degrees Awarded (all levels) in 2013 10**
Undergraduate Graduation Rate (in 150% of normal degree time) for 2007 entering class 63%**
Noteworthy Through the university's Office of Career Development, students can begin developing their professional goals as early as the freshman year

Sources: *U.S. News & World Report; **NCES College Navigator.

Dominican University

  • Fashion merchandising students can minor in business or communications
  • Fashion merchandising students participate in a 2- to 8-credit supervised internship
  • Department of Apparel Design and Merchandising sponsors an annual student fashion show
  • Campus-based Fashion Club promotes awareness of Chicago area fashion events

Founded in 1901, Dominican University enrolls 3,470 students a year and has a student-faculty ratio of 12:1. Academic divisions include the Rosary College of Arts and Sciences for undergraduates and five graduate schools. The College of Arts and Sciences offers 50 different majors, minors, certificates and dual-degree programs in areas ranging from accounting to theology. Majors and minors for aspiring fashionistas can be found through the Department of Apparel Design and Merchandising.

The Bachelor of Arts in Apparel Merchandising program is designed for students who are interested in the business and retail side of the fashion industry; a 7-course minor is also available. Requirements for the major include core coursework in clothing design and merchandising, the history of dress and textile science. Undergraduates also take business courses in computer design applications, economics, management and marketing. Through electives, they also have the chance to explore fashion or specialty markets, the relationship between clothing and social psychology or the use of social media in retail. Additional coursework covers topics in retail buying, merchandising and promotion; branding and international sourcing.

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