Fashion Design & Merchandising
The Fashion Design & Merchandising program focuses on the fashion industry, including how products and services are produced, distributed and promoted to consumers. Students may tailor their program by choosing either Fashion Design or Fashion Merchandising as their area of emphasis.
Program Admission and Curriculum
Students who meet University admission requirements may be accepted directly into the Davis College as Fashion Design & Merchandising majors. To earn a bachelor’s degree, all students must complete 128 credit hours including the General Education Curriculum required by the University.
Core courses for this major include, but are not limited to, introduction to fashion business, introductory textiles, fashion, the body and culture, apparel production or product development, fashion and dress through history, and visual merchandising.
Students who choose an emphasis in fashion design must also complete courses in design concepts of dress, figure and fabric drawing, design and illustration and flat pattern design. Complete course listings and descriptions can be found in the current WVU Undergraduate Catalog.
All merchandising students are required to complete a three-credit practicum course that allows them to apply knowledge gained from course work in a business setting. These students must also complete a six-credit internship. Fashion design students must complete a three-credit internship. Practicums and internships are only available during the fall and summer semesters. Opportunities also exist to spend time in New York on the Fashion Study Tour, as well as studying abroad as part of the WVU Design in Italy Program.
Graduates find a variety of positions with retail, apparel and textile firms. Retail opportunities typically begin with an executive training program and may lead to positions in store management, planning, buying, visual merchandising and fashion promotion. Apparel firm positions include assistant designer, designer, design director and sample coordinator. Entry-level positions range from $30,000 to $42,000. With experience, buyers earn an average of $60,000 to $80,000. Design directors can earn $250,000.