Missouri State University
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Fashion Merchandising and Design

Department of Fashion and Interior Design  

For More Information

Missouri State University
901 South National Avenue
Springfield, Missouri 65897
Office: 417-836-5136
Fax: 417-836-4341
Email: JoshuaPorter@missouristate.edu

Career Preparation

Divided into two major areas of emphasis, the Fashion Merchandising and Design program allows for specialization in Fashion Design/Product Development or Fashion Merchandising/ Management, or a student may choose both options for a background in both fashion design and fashion merchandising. Entry level career opportunities in design/product development include positions as assistant designer, cutter, assistant sketcher, sketcher/stylist, assistant product developer, pattern design engineer, pattern marker maker, digitizer, Computer Aided Design (CAD) technician, grader, production assistant, piece goods buyer and manufacturing supervisor. Fashion Merchandising/ Management career opportunities include retail manager, retail buyer, fashion coordinator, apparel consultant, display designer, fashion forecaster, sales representative, fashion editor/journalist, showroom sales assistant, and product merchandiser. Other diverse career opportunities include theater costume designer, museum costume curator and historian.

Ninety percent of the FMD graduates seeking employment find it in the FMD field of study. Apparel design and merchandising graduates have found positions with companies that include Wal-Mart, The Limited, Express, Victoria’s Secret, Lord & Taylor, Macy’s, Saks Fifth Avenue, Famous Barr, Dillard’s, Neiman Marcus, J.C. Penney, BCBG, Estee Lauder, Claire’s, Target, K-Mart, Lerner New York and Walt Disney World. The beginning salary for graduates ranges from $23,000 to $45,000, depending upon previous experience and technical knowledge. If graduates are willing to relocate to a metropolitan area, career opportunities are excellent.

Academic Program

Missouri State offers a Bachelor of Science degree in Fashion Merchandising and Design. A minimum of 125 credit hours is required for the degree. A 2.0 cumulative GPA is required for graduation. In all FMD courses, a final grade of C or better is required.


Please consult the Missouri State Catalog online at www.missouristate.edu/catalog for specific course information.


  • FMD 101: Introduction to Fashion
  • FMD 103: Introduction to Fashion Construction
  • FMD 201: History of Fashion
  • FMD 202: Fashion Textiles
  • FMD 203: Kaledo for the Fashion Industry
  • FMD 210: Computer Applications in the Fashion Industry
  • FMD 301: Introduction to Product Development
  • FMD 303: Evaluation of Product Quality
  • FMD 304: Application of Product Development
  • FMD 305: Pre-Internship Seminar
  • FMD 306: Merchandising Mathematics
  • FMD 307: Advanced Computer Imagery
  • FMD 403: Post-Internship Senior Seminar


The FMD faculty teach both freshman and upper-level courses. Faculty members keep current and are involved in college, community, state, national and international activities related to their fields of expertise. Faculty members have published research in professional journals, have presented research at national and international conferences and have published textbooks. Most faculty members in product development and merchandising have had executive level industry experience in the field.


The apparel design studio and a computer laboratory are equipped with up-to-date equipment for students to learn current techniques and processes. Through a grant of 1 million dollars, Kaledo by Lectra is available for student use in our computer lab. Field trips to major fashion centers, as well as guest speakers, extend classroom facilities and give students a broader and more realistic look at the world of fashion.


Student Organizations

Students have opportunities to meet and network with professionals in the fields of design, manufacturing and fashion merchandising/ management. A student organization that enriches the college experience is the Association of Fashion and Design.   AFAD activities include sponsorship of student trips to career seminars in Kansas City, Chicago and Dallas; guest speaker presentations; and community service projects. Students also gain practical experience (as well as scholarship monies) by participating in the Fashion Group International, Inc. seminars in Kansas City, Chicago and Dallas. The International Textiles and Apparel Association (ITAA) and Fashion Group International, Inc. affiliations provide students both a national and international perspective on the fashion spectrum.

Student Work Experience/Professional

Internship Program

Actual experience working in a design, manufacturing or retail setting is an effective method of learning for those considering a career in the fashion industry. A 4 credit hour internship is required for every fashion major before they can graduate.

Study Tours

The department offers study tours to various fashion markets every year. These trips allows students the opportunity to develop a more professional attitude as well as gain exposure to the markets and major regional fashion centers. Tour sites include Kansas City, Chicago, Dallas, New York City, Paris, China, Italy, and Greece. For more details on upcoming tours, contact the Department of Fashion and Interior Design office.

Job Placement

Direct assistance to graduates is available through the Career Center on campus. Many employers list job vacancies or request candidate referrals from the center. University Career Fairs are also held each semester for students to meet recruiters and learn more about different companies.