Apparel Design and Merchandising

Programs offered
  • Apparel Design (major)
  • Apparel Merchandising (major)
  • Apparel Design and Merchandising (minor)

Apparel Design (BA)



This major is designed to train you for a broad range of careers such as apparel designer, fashion editor, stylist, technical designer, fabric coordinator, product developer, sourcing specialist, apparel/textiles quality control manager, art director, pattern-maker, costume designer for films and plays, curator, and entrepreneur.

  • A minimum 79 credits are required for this major, including 25 upper-division credits.
  • You may apply to the Apparel Design major upon completion of at least three FCS courses with an overall GPA of 2.5 or higher.
  • This major requires completion of the Family and Consumer Sciences Core, which includes:
    • FCS 1050 “Introduction to FCS,” completed in your freshman or sophomore year. (If you are a transfer student, you may complete this in your junior year.)
    • FCS 3240 “Individual and Family Development,” completed after FCS 1050.
    • FCS 4899 “Senior Capstone,” completed after FCS 3240 and during your senior year.
  • You will participate in the Student Fashion Show to present your design lines as an apparel design student.
  • All students in this major are required to participate in the Senior Portfolio Show.
  • In FCS 4846 “CAD for Apparel Portfolio,” you will have the opportunity to create a professional apparel design portfolio through CAD.
  • A minimum 33 credits in FCS courses are required for this minor, including 25 upper-division credits.

Apparel Merchandising (BA)


This major is designed to train you for a broad range of careers, such as retail buyer, retail merchandiser, sales manager, marketing director, fashion coordinator, production manager, sourcing specialist, product developer, brand manager, visual merchandiser, image consultant, business owner and entrepreneur, fashion stylist, and store manager.

  • A minimum 79 credits are required for this major, including 25 upper-division credits.
  • For admission to this Apparel Merchandising major, you are required to have completed at least three FCS courses and have overall GPA of 2.5 or higher.

Fashion Institute of Technology (FIT)

If you are majoring in one of the Apparel Design and Merchandising majors and have maintained a minimum 3.0 GPA, you may select from seven specializations if you are accepted into the liaison program with the Fashion Institute of Technology in New York City.

You will study at FIT in your senior year and will complete a dual degree — a BA from SPU and an AAS from FIT — upon your graduation.

Specializations offered through the liaison program with FIT include these:

  • Fashion buying and merchandising
  • Advertising and communication
  • Advertising design
  • Apparel production management
  • Textile technology
  • Textile design
  • Fashion design
  • Accessories design

If you are considering this option, speak with your academic counselor and faculty advisor early in your academic career in order to meet the requirements of both FIT and SPU.

Apply for the major or minor

  • You should apply for a major or minor by your junior year.
  • Your application is due on or before the first Friday of Autumn, Winter, or Spring quarter.
  • Applications for all majors and minors, except Interior Design, are reviewed once per quarter.
  • Faculty must approve all admission to the majors and minors.
  • Your overall GPA must be a minimum of 2.5 for admission to the major for Apparel Design or Fashion Merchandising.
  • Apply to these majors or minor through the online Major or Minor application. You must complete the major or minor requirements in effect when you are admitted to the major or minor.

SPU students on campus

Family Consumer Sciences 

Visit Family and Consumer Sciences to see how an FSC degree can help you achieve your goals to make a difference in the world.

Time Schedule: Family Consumer Sciences

Course planning

Suggested course sequences help you complete your degree in a timely manner.