Apparel, merchandising, and design

Apparel, merchandising, and design

Iowa State University (ISU) is the place to be for textiles and clothing. Our students, faculty, and staff are on the cutting edge of education in this industry. Here are some reasons why hundreds of students choose the Iowa State apparel, merchandising, and design program:

  • Getting opportunities to model in, design for, and produce the annual Fashion Show — one of the largest student-produced fashion shows in the nation.

  • Learning in state-of-the-art facilities, such as a textiles conservation laboratory, detailed historical garment collection, apparel production center, and clothing museum which expose you to new equipment and complex processes.

  • Using high-tech equipment like the 3-D body scanner, industrial-sized digital printer, and new design software. Hands-on experience with this equipment is hard to find at other schools and gives you an edge for internships, jobs, and graduate school.

  • Learning from some of the best experts in the field. Apparel, merchandising, and design faculty come from a variety of backgrounds (academic, industry, and publications) that will help you learn what it takes to succeed in this field.

As an apparel, merchandising, and design student, you will build a comprehensive base of knowledge about the textiles and apparel industry, including merchandising and marketing strategies, product development, and production processes. You’ll further define your career path by choosing from either the merchandising, design or product development options for this bachelor of science degree.

Creative and technical design

As a designer, your option has been accredited by the National Association of Schools and Art and Design. Your studies will traverse traditional hand methods and high-tech innovations in patternmaking, illustration, construction techniques, surface and structure design, technical design, and portfolio processes. Enter your designs in Iowa State’s celebrated Fashion Show.

Program information

Curriculum requirements
2020-21 catalog requirements (PDF)

4-Year plans
2020-21 sample 4-year plan (PDF)

 

Product development and innovation

As a product innovator, apply your knowledge of textiles and design thinking to develop and prototype products for special markets, including accessories, non-apparel soft goods, and functional design.

Program information

Curriculum requirements
2020-21 catalog requirements (PDF)

4-Year plans
2020-21 sample 4-year plan (PDF)

A top program in the U.S.

2019 rankings by Fashion School show our fashion design and merchandising programs are No. 3 among public fashion schools.
Read more.

Product management and sourcing

Take a balanced approach to creative and analytics. Learn to manage a product as you prepare each style for the production process. Manage style and line details, material and production sourcing, cost control, and timely delivery to offer exceptional quality and value to your customers.

Program information

Curriculum requirements
2020-21 catalog requirements (PDF)

4-Year plans
2020-21 sample 4-year plan (PDF)

 

Merchandising and retail analytics

As a merchandiser, get savvy in the world of buying, visual merchandising, retail marketing, entrepreneurship, and merchandise and brand management. Move forward with an entrepreneurial business plan for a brick-and-mortar boutique or an online venture. Compete and learn by presenting your ideas to a panel of judges in Iowa State’s annual entrepreneurship showcase.

Program information

Curriculum requirements
2020-21 catalog requirements (PDF)

4-Year plans
2020-21 sample 4-year plan (PDF)

Looking to diversify a related major or degree?

A merchandising certificate is also available.

 

Fashion communication

As a fashion influencer, your studies will build on the basics of merchandising, visual merchandising, trend forecasting, marketing, and entrepreneurship.  Add a required minor in journalism, public relations, event management, or communication studies to prepare for a career in magazine, public relations, digital influencing, and customer visual experiences.

Program information

Curriculum requirements
2020-21 catalog requirements (PDF)

4-Year plans
2020-21 sample 4-year plan (PDF)

 

Accelerated degree option
An accelerated degree option is available for each of these options. 

Get involved

AMD study abroad programs

The apparel, merchandising, and design program offers various international opportunities through the College of Human Sciences International Programs office

Careers and internships

Graduates of the apparel, merchandising, and design programs are well-prepared for entrance in careers in technical and creative design, buying, visual merchandising, and sourcing careers. They are also able to pursue further education options in graduate programs.

Graduate programs in apparel, merchandising, and design

Career services
Prepare for your next job or internship with Career Services, where staff will assist you with job and internship searches, interview preparation, and resume/cover letter review.

Look at a list of career possibilities inside the apparel, merchandising and design industries.

 

Internships
Internships are available with corporate headquarters of retailers, design firms of all sizes, stores, e-commerce agencies, showrooms, costumers, stylists, public relations firms, magazines, catalog companies, fair trade firms, forecasting firms, and shopping centers. Students research potential internships and employers in two classes: AESHM 113, Professional Development, and AESHM 311, Seminar on Careers and Internships.

To apply for internships and full-time positions, use CyHire, on-campus career fairs, career services, and talk to your internship coordinator.

See where other students have interned. Visit Career Connections.