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Only three postsecondary institutions in Kentucky offer degree programs in the fashion field, and all of them are public schools. Programs are available at both the bachelor's and master's level and cover a wide variety of fashion-related topics. In some cases, students will need to complete an internship or thesis. Students also gain practical experience through studio and practicum courses. Read program synopses for each school below, and use the chart to compare some of the schools' characteristics.
Eastern Kentucky University
Eastern Kentucky University in Richmond offers a Bachelor of Science program in apparel design and merchandising through the Department of Family and Consumer Science. This program covers fashion design, clothing construction and business principles. Some of the classes teach students to analyze fabrics, develop fashion products and drape patterns. Courses also cover marketing, management and economics. Hands-on training is acquired through studio classes and a senior practicum.
Students majoring in other subjects can earn a minor in apparel design and merchandising by completing six classes. Two of these courses are electives, and the remaining four include merchandising and clothing design fundamentals, textile fundamentals, quality clothing design and historical attire. A few scholarships are awarded to apparel design and merchandising majors, as well as to students in the family and consumer science department.
University of Kentucky
Lexington's University of Kentucky has a Bachelor of Science and a Master of Science program in merchandising, apparel and textiles. The Department of Merchandising, Apparel and Textiles within the College of Agriculture's School of Human Environmental Sciences offers these programs. About eight faculty members teach classes in this department. Some available resources include the Betty D. Eastin Historic Costume Collection, the Textile Testing Lab and the Merchandising, Apparel and Textiles Club.
In the bachelor's program, students learn about retail, cultural costumes, merchandising, textile analysis and social views of fashion. Several business-related classes are also included, like accounting, marketing and management. Each student must also complete an internship in his or her junior or senior year.
The MS program requires 30 credits, including several research-oriented classes. Students can work with faculty members to design their curricula to focus on merchandising, social and behavioral studies, textile science or historic dress. Both a thesis and a non-thesis option are offered. A limited number of graduate assistantships and scholarships are available.
Western Kentucky University
Western Kentucky University in Bowling Green offers a fashion-related major and minor. The programs are offered through the College of Health and Human Services' Department of Family and Consumer Sciences. The Bachelor of Science program in textiles and apparel merchandising merchandising allows students to concentrate in fashion merchandising. Classes may include fashion perspectives, clothing construction, fabrics, textile quality evaluation, management and marketing.
Students who minor in textiles and apparel merchandising complete 24 credits, including four required courses in fabrics, textile quality, fashion basics and fashion perspectives. The remaining four electives are chosen with the help of an advisor in the family and consumer sciences department.
School Comparison: At a Glance
|School Name||School Type & Setting||Fashion Degree Programs Offered||Undergraduate Tuition & Fees (2015-2016)|
|Eastern Kentucky University||4-year, public; distant town|| Minor in Apparel Design and Merchandising,
Bachelor of Science in Apparel Design and Merchandising
|$8,150 in-state, $17,640 out-of-state*|
|University of Kentucky||4-year, public; large city|| Bachelor of Science in Merchandising, Apparel and Textiles,
Master of Science in Merchandising, Apparel and Textiles
| $10,936 in-state, $24,268 out-of-state
$11,688 in-state graduate tuition and fees,
$26,154 out-of-state graduate tuition and fees*
|Western Kentucky University||4-year, public; small city|| Minor in Textiles and Apparel Merchandising,
Bachelor of Science in Textiles and Apparel Merchandising
|$9,482 in-state, $24,132 out-of-state*|
Source: *NCES College Navigator.