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Degree Overview: Bachelor’s Degree Programs in Fashion Design and Marketing

Majors Overview April 14, 2015

Get information about bachelor’s degree programs in fashion design and marketing and their coursework, career choices, job and wage outlook, and continuing education choices.

Bachelor’s Degree Programs in Fashion Design and Marketing

Students enrolled in a four-year Bachelor of Fine Arts (B.F.A.) degree program in Fashion Design and Marketing will develop technical, critical thinking, and creative skills in garment design and construction. Access and information to labs are available, wherein students collaborating with other students on group projects or working by themselves may use industry-standard tools, techniques, and materials.

Marketing and business classes offered in the program focus on basic courses in fashion design, such as construction, draping, and drawing. The classes cover materials sourcing, fashion buying, consumer behavior, and market research.

Field experience opportunities are available in some programs, while promotional labs are available in other schools, where hands-on experience can be gained by students in building campaigns related to fashion marketing. Admission criteria typically require incoming students to hold a GED certificate or a high school diploma.


Completion of general education requirements in subject areas like English and math is augmented by students’ gaining a broad understanding of the business and creative aspects of the fashion industry. Core coursework may commonly include topic areas such as the following:

•Product development
•Consumer behavior
•Fashion marketing
•History of fashion design
•Retail store management
•Computer-aided fashion design

Career Choices

Those who complete a bachelor’s degree program in fashion design and marketing may seek entry-level careers in the fashion industry, particularly in retail purchasing or design. Additional training or employment experience may be a requirement of candidates for advanced career titles. They may seek possible career titles such as:

•Fashion public relations agent
•Store planner
•Visual merchandiser
•Fashion promoter
•Fashion forecaster
•Retail buyer
•Fashion import manager

Job and Wage Outlook

Over the 2012 – 2022 decade, slower-than-average job growth rate of four percent have been predicted for retail buyers (U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics). During the same period, public relations specialists are expected to see average job growth of twelve percent. In May 2012, retail buyers brought in an average annual wage of $60,550. Public relations specialists banked $54,170 on average during the same time.

Continuing Education Choices

Those who complete a bachelor’s program can opt for continuing education by earning a master’s degree in a related field, such as marketing, apparel or fashion designing, and textiles, to develop the advanced patternmaking, sewing, draping, and design skills necessary for pursuing management positions in the fashion industry.

Within the curricula of graduate fashion merchandising programs, advanced courses in trend watching, forecasting, and product evaluation augment courses in fashion design and construction. Completion of this coursework would enable a graduate to seek a career as a visual merchandiser or retail buyer, among other related job areas. It usually takes two years to complete a master’s degree program that may include non-thesis and thesis options.

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