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Degree Overview: Graduate Degree Program in Fashion Merchandising

Majors Overview May 3, 2015

Get information about graduate degree programs in fashion merchandising and their education requirements, coursework, and job and wage outlook.

Graduate Degree Programs in Fashion Merchandising

Students enrolled in a degree program in fashion merchandising gain a strong grasp of the fashion industry combined with knowledge of basic marketing and business principles. While few schools, if any, offer graduate programs in the field, some offer a Master of Science (M.S.) in Fashion Merchandising and Design.

It typically takes students two years to complete these programs, which may include a thesis. Students gain an advanced grasp of the ways of marketing different product lines, business strategies in the fashion industry, and textiles and production techniques.

Students enrolled in some master’s programs in fashion merchandising are allowed a choice of particular areas of focus, including fashion retailing, fashion marketing, or textile merchandising. An internship or a practicum experience in the fashion industry is also included in many programs, which are aimed at preparing students for employment.

Education Requirements

Admission criteria typically require incoming students to hold a bachelor’s degree in a related field, in addition to passing the Graduate Record Examination (GRE). They can choose from appropriate bachelor’s degrees in the field such as a Bachelor of Science (B.S.) in Design, Bachelor of Arts (B.A.) in Fashion and Textiles, or Bachelor of Arts (B.A.) in Fashion Merchandising and Design.


The coursework of a graduate degree program in fashion merchandising and design features a combination of business courses and courses on fashion trends and textiles. Core coursework may include topic areas such as the following areas of study:

•Fashion promotion
•Fashion theory and analysis
•Fashion merchandise buying
•Consumer behavior in fashion retailing
•Apparel production
•Color science
•Textile products
•Fashion retailing
•Fashion merchandising operations control

Job and Wage Outlook

With a graduate degree in fashion merchandising, a graduate can pursue various careers in retail establishments and design houses. They may choose from positions such as personal shopper, showroom manager, fashion marketing specialist, or purchasing agent. In addition, graduates can also seek employment as senior executive buyers, boutique owners, or purchasing managers.

Over the 2012 – 2022 decade, a slower-than-average job growth rate of four percent has been predicted for buyers and purchasing agents and managers in the purchasing field (U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics). In 2012, purchasing managers brought in an average annual wage of $60,550 (BLS).

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