Merchandising Schools in Chicago, IL with Degree Program Info

There are three schools within 30 miles of Chicago that have merchandising degrees. Read an overview of these colleges' program requirements and find out which school is the right one for you.

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Chicago Merchandising Programs

Chicago-area students can find merchandising programs nearby that range from the certificate to bachelor's degree levels. This article focuses on the required coursework at three schools and also includes a table of details on each institution.

  • The College of DuPage is located in Glen Ellyn, roughly 27 miles from downtown Chicago. This school offers an associate's degree and a certificate program in fashion merchandising.
  • Located about 12 miles from central Chicago, Dominican University in River Forest offers a shorter commute for students who want to take advantage of its bachelor's program in apparel merchandising.
  • Harper College in Palatine offers an associate's degree program in fashion merchandising. Located just about 30 miles from Chicago's downtown area, this school has a greater driving distance than the other two schools, but it offers the benefit of lower tuition costs.

Find schools that offer these popular programs

  • Merchandising and Buying
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Comparison of Schools

To learn more about the profiled schools and easily compare their stats, spend some time reviewing this table.

College of DuPage Dominican University Harper College
School Type 2-year; public 4-year; private, not-for-profit 2-year; public
Total Enrollment (2014)* 29,476 3,498 14,957
Campus Setting Large suburb Large suburb Large suburb
Tuition and Fees (2015-2016)* $5,275 for in-district students; $10,885 for in-state students; $12,985 for out-of-state students $30,670 $3,228 for in-district students; $9,396 for in-state students; $11,208 for out-of-state students
% of First-Year Students Receiving Any Form of Financial Aid (2013-2014)* 69% 93% 50%
Acceptance Rate (2014)* N/A - open admissions 61% N/A - open admissions
Retention Rate (2013-2014)* 69% 81% 68%
Undergraduate Graduation Rate (2014)* 17% 63% 21%

Source: *National Center for Education Statistics

College of DuPage

The fashion merchandising programs at the College of DuPage prepare students for positions in visual merchandising, sales or management. Although these are onsite programs, students have the option of taking a few of the fashion courses online.

Fashion Merchandising Certificate

This certificate program requires students to complete 30 credits of coursework. The required curriculum covers fashion motivation, fashion marketing and merchandising, apparel quality analysis and textiles. Students can complete this program in two terms.

Associate in Applied Science in Fashion Merchandising

Students in this degree program must earn a minimum of 64 credits to graduate. The curriculum covers the same topics as the certificate program and requires at least 18 credits in general education courses. Elective options include visual merchandising, business practices for the fashion entrepreneur and experiential fashion topics. Students also have the opportunity to participate in a cooperative education internship for credit.

Dominican University

Offered through the university's Rosary College of Arts and Sciences, the merchandising bachelor's program can help students to develop a critical eye for apparel along with merchandising techniques. Some students enrolled in the apparel merchandising program choose to double major in the apparel design program, since the two share many courses.

Bachelor of Arts in Apparel Merchandising

The apparel merchandising program covers topics in textile science, economics, specialty markets, promotional strategies and retail buying. Students must also participate in an internship related to merchandising. Dominican University offers students in its apparel programs the opportunity to study abroad in Milan and Paris.

Harper College

Students in the fashion merchandising program at Harper College must take general education courses in addition to the courses required for the major.

Associate in Applied Science in Fashion Merchandising

This 2-year degree program requires 63 credits for graduation. The fashion merchandising curriculum includes courses in 20th century costumes and trends, retail merchandising, fashion forecasting, visual fashion merchandising and professional selling. Graduates of this program may be able to secure employment in different areas of the fashion industry, such as fashion advertising and promotion, displaying, buying and fashion copywriting.

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