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Schools with Fashion Retail Management Programs: How to Choose

Associate, bachelor's and master's degree programs are offered in fashion retail management. Each of these programs contains general education requirements along with fashion-specific coursework. Choosing a fashion school is dependent on a student's career goals and how much experience he or she hopes to obtain prior to graduation.

Individuals may study fashion retail management at the associate's, bachelor's and master's degree levels. The programs are commonly provided through the fashion, management or human services departments of two-year colleges and four-year fashion institutes and universities.

Schools with Fashion Retail Management Programs

The following 2-year and 4-year institutions provide fashion retail management programs for interested students:

College/University Location Institution Type Degrees Offered Undergraduate Tuition (2015-2016)*
Fashion Institute of Technology New York City, NY 4-year, primarily associate's, Public Certificate, Associate's, Bachelor's $5,230 (In-state) $14,230 (Out-of-state)
Fashion Institute of Design and Merchandising Los Angeles, CA 4-year, primarily associate's, Private for-profit Associate's $29,930
Chaffey College Rancho Cucamonga, CA 2-year, Public Associate's, Bachelor's $1,153 (In-state) $6,217 (Out-of-state)
San Diego City College San Diego, CA 2-year, Public Certificate, Associate's $1,142 (In-state) $4,670 (Out-of-state)
University of Arizona Tucson, AZ 4-year, Public Bachelor's $11,403 (In-state) $32,630 (Out-of-state)
Point Loma Nazarene University San Diego, CA 4-year, Private not-for-profit Bachelor's $32,400

*Source: National Center for Education Statistics

School Selection Criteria

While all retail programs contain instruction in management and business planning, some programs are more business oriented while others are geared towards fashion design. Therefore, a student who wants to work directly with designers and buyers or who wants to actually design clothing should choose a program geared towards design rather than the business side of the industry. Consider the following when selecting a fashion retail school:

  • Choose a program that caters to career goals; working with designers directly or designing clothing themselves.
  • The location of a fashion school plays a factor in the involvement of major retail stores and designers in the school's programs and the students' accessibility to these programs.
  • The amount of instruction provided in international and Web-based fashion marketing and sales, topics that are rare among fashion programs.

Associate of Applied Science in Fashion Retail Management

Typically, these programs require two years of study. These programs typically do not teach specific design techniques or contain internship requirements.

Bachelor of Science in Fashion Retail Management

Bachelor's degree programs in retail management contain general education and advanced fashion design classes. Students are usually offered internship or study abroad opportunities in their junior year at a major fashion design house or corporate headquarters of a retail store.

Master of Business Administration in Fashion Retail Management

Because business administration degree programs teach general management techniques and business principles, the focus of retail management business programs is also on the business aspects of the fashion sector. Many times these programs offer students the choice to concentrate on obtaining professional skills or researching the field.

Fashion retail management degree programs are available at the associate's, bachelor's and master's levels. These programs are readily available at 2-year and 4-year public and private institutions.


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