Individuals in North Carolina who have an interest in fashion might seek bachelor's, master's, doctoral and post-baccalaureate certificate programs in design and merchandising and related disciplines. Offered at public and private 4-year universities in the state, the programs may include minors, concentration areas and capstone courses as well as internship requirements. A few programs may be available online.
Even though North Carolina has nine schools with relevant programs, the seven described below are the non-profit options available.
Appalachian State University
Boone's Appalachian State University offers a 128-semester-hour bachelor's degree program that emphasizes both apparel design and merchandising through the Reich College of Education consumer and family science division. Major design courses include apparel construction, consumer textiles, pattern design, computer-aided design, fashion buying, illustration/portfolio, visual merchandising and an internship. The minor requires courses in economics, accounting, professional selling, retail management and marketing research, along with an internship. Students have opportunities to take part in field trips to fashion hotspots, such as New York City and Atlanta.
East Carolina University
This Greenville-based university has a 126-semester-hour merchandising bachelor's degree with a fashion concentration, along with minor options in business, communication, hospitality management or art. Offered through the College of Health and Human Performance, concentration courses provide training in textiles, apparel and human behavior, fashion history and quality analysis. The 40-credit merchandising core includes a capstone course and 2 internships, 1 of which takes place during the summer before senior year.
Johnson & Wales University - Charlotte
The Charlotte campus of Johnson & Wales University offers a bachelor's degree in fashion merchandising and retailing within the College of Business. The 183.25-quarter-credit program includes study in advertising, marketing, promotion, merchandise math and buying. Some students travel to New York, Europe or Asia for exposure to showrooms, buying centers and international markets. The program also includes directed-work experiences, career electives or internships.
Mars Hill University
Located in Mars Hill, this school combines apparel and interior merchandising in its bachelor's degree program, which focuses on fashion, design, technology and business. Within the required 128 semester credits, students have elective options such as a fashion study tour, directed readings in areas of interest, independent research study and the creation of decorative/wearable art. A 6-credit internship is required, in addition to a capstone course for portfolio development. The program is available through the Department of Business Administration.
Raleigh's Meredith College offers a program that combines fashion design and merchandising, and students may choose to concentrate on either area. Required core courses in the 124-semester-credit program include apparel merchandising, clothing construction, visual merchandising, costume history, textiles, marketing and microeconomics. Within the Department of Human Environmental Sciences fashion design and merchandising program, students have travel opportunities in the United States and abroad, in addition to research possibilities and student organizations.
North Carolina Central University
Durham-based North Carolina Central University has a program of study with a concentration in apparel design, which focuses on management, design, science, consumer behavior and technology. The required number of semester credits required to earn the bachelor's degree varies from 124-197, depending on the student's background in areas such as math and science, in addition to which minor electives are chosen. This school also offers a 36-hour master's degree program with a concentration in textiles and apparel. Applicants submit a writing sample and must be members of the American Association of Family and Consumer Sciences (AAFCS). The apparel programs are offered through the Department of Human Science.
University of North Carolina at Greensboro
Located in Greensboro, the University of North Carolina's Department of Consumer, Apparel and Retail Studies offers students an undergraduate consumer, apparel and retail studies program with concentrations in global apparel, retailing/consumer studies and apparel product design. The first 2 years include introductory courses and general education requirements, while the last 2 years involve work in concentration areas, minors and internships. Graduate students may also earn a post-baccalaureate certificate, master's degree or doctoral degree, in addition to an accelerated bachelor's-to-master's degree program. Program candidates submit 3 letters of recommendation and a written personal statement for consideration, in addition to Graduate Record Examination scores for all programs but the certificate. Select graduate programs are available online.
School Comparison: At a Glance
|School Name||School Type & Setting||Fashion Programs Offered||Undergraduate Tuition & Fees (2018-2019)|
|Appalachian State University||4-year, public; distant town||Bachelor of Science in Apparel Design and Merchandising|| $7,364 (in-state)
|East Carolina University||4-year, public; small city||Bachelor of Science in Merchandising: Fashion Concentration|| $7,188 (in-state)
|Johnson & Wales University - Charlotte||4-year, private not-for-profit; large city||Bachelor of Science in Fashion Merchandising and Retailing||$32,441*|
|Mars Hill University||4-year, private not-for-profit; large suburb||Bachelor of Science in Apparel and Interior Merchandising||$32,968*|
|Meredith College||4-year, private not-for-profit; large city||Bachelor of Science in Fashion Merchandising and Design||$37,176*|
|North Carolina Central University||4-year, public; midsize city|| Bachelor of Science in Family and Consumer Sciences: Apparel Design,
Master of Science in Family and Consumer Sciences: Textiles and Apparel
| $6,464 (in-state)
|University of North Carolina at Greensboro||4-year, public; large city|| Bachelor of Science in Consumer, Apparel and Retail Studies,
Post-Baccalaureate Certificate in Apparel Supply Chain Management,
Accelerated Bachelor of Science to Master of Science in Consumer, Apparel and Retail Studies,
Master of Science in Science in Consumer, Apparel and Retail Studies,
Doctor of Philosophy in Consumer, Apparel and Retail Studies
| $7,331 (in-state)
Source: *NCES College Navigator