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Information on Master’s Degree Programs in Fashion Marketing

Majors Overview June 3, 2015

Master’s degree programs in fashion marketing are not usually available in the United States; however, many schools do offer Master of Science (M.S.) degree programs in Fashion Merchandising. These programs teach students to sell, manufacture, and buy fashion items as business owners or for wholesale or retail industries.

Master’s Programs in Fashion Marketing

Students enrolled in a 2-year master’s degree program in fashion merchandising get an overview of the fashion industry, in addition to a good grasp of technologies, basic business principles, marketing strategies, and manufacturing practices. They learn about applying those principles of economics and business to their grasp of practices in the fashion industry, with the aim to sell shoes, designer clothes, and accessories.

Fashion merchandising students learn about analyzing and interpreting trends in the fashion retail market, aiming to make informed merchandising and purchasing decisions. They also learn about how to market to key demographics and how to make items visually appealing to consumers through the use of visual merchandising techniques. Incoming students to most master’s degree programs specializing in fashion merchandising are also required to complete a project or thesis paper. A work-study or internship experience at a fashion marketing firm or fashion design house is also commonly included in the coursework.

Education Requirements

Admission criteria typically require incoming students to hold a bachelor’s degree in a field, such as fashion merchandising, fashion design, textiles, marketing, retail management, or business administration. A prior portfolio of work may be a requirement for students seeking admittance to some master’s degree programs.


Program coursework has a primary focus on practical and theoretical business trends in the retail and fashion industry. Core coursework may cover topic areas such as:

•Fashion marketing
•Visual merchandising
•Retail mathematics
•Retail market analysis
•Supply chain management
•Retail buying
•Product development
•Industrial distribution
•Trends in merchandising
•Fashion forecasting

Career Choices

Program graduates may want to own a retail establishment or perform work on the business side of the fashion world. They may choose from available positions such as:

•Fashion buyer
•Apparel wholesaler
•Retail store manager
•Fashion marketing account manager
•Fashion manufacturing director

Job and Wage Outlook

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

Continuing Education Choices

Program graduates may seek continued education by earning a Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) in Business, Specialized Marketing, or Fashion Design that could lead to a career in academia or research. They may also attend seminars and courses offered by some professional organizations and universities in order to stay abreast of emerging technologies and practices in the field.

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