Apparel, Retail Merchandising and Design Program Mission

We prepare students to be problem solvers and leaders who create and manage products, people, services, and experiences for the global marketplace.

Apparel, Retail Merchandising and Design Program Goals

  1. Educate students for careers in the global marketplace including buying, merchandise planning, product development, sourcing, styling, and e-commerce.
  2. Develop students’ critical and creative thinking skills, communication skills, technological abilities, and quantitative and qualitative research skills.
  3. Provide students with experiential learning opportunities through internships, field trips and study tours.
  4. Develop students’ ability to function as ethical team members and leaders within professional, socially responsible, and culturally diverse environments.
  5. Analyze sustainability and environmental impact issues as they relate to industry activities. 

Program Learning Outcomes

Core Requirement

  • Industry Process: Understand functions of apparel/textile industry sectors and analyze global consumer markets to develop, evaluate and sell profitable product lines.
  • Appearance and Human Behavior: Understand and apply theories and concepts regarding the interrelationships among historic, cultural, and psychological factors on the role of dress and its impact on human behavior.
  • Global Interdependence: Evaluate theoretical perspectives and issues within the global marketplace in relation to ever-changing trade, political, and technological landscapes of international business frameworks.
  • Aesthetics and Design Process: Use aesthetics and the design process to develop products that are marketable, sustainable and culturally appropriate.
  • Ethics, Social Responsibility and Sustainability: Demonstrate an understanding of the role that ethics, social responsibility, sustainability, and environmental impact plays in the global apparel and textile complex.
  • Critical and Creative Thinking: Develop the ability to apply critical thinking strategies to identify problems and apply creative solutions within the global apparel and textile complex.
  • Professional Development: Demonstrate communication skills, leadership and team work appropriate to the industry.

Fashion Product Development

  • Industry Process: Develop knowledge of apparel construction terminology, techniques and trends for a specific target market. 
  • Industry Process: Evaluate quality and serviceability standards of ready to wear apparel.
  • Aesthetics and the Design Process: Apply the design process and aesthetic principles in developing fashion products for a variety of people and markets.

Fashion Entrepreneurship/Retail Merchandising

  • Industry Process: Develop retail financial strategies, analyzing micro- and macro-factors and applying financial terms and formulas.
  • Industry Process: Analyze trends in the marketplace to transform products and services to meet consumer needs in the international retail environment.
  • Global Interdependence: Analyze diverse political, legal, cultural and economic systems in the global market to evaluate retail markets and develop retail strategies.

Apparel, Retail Merchandising and Design Degree

Major: Three Options

Fashion Product Development Option

Students interested in design and product development would find the fashion product development option a great area of study. Graduates develop and deliver products to the global marketplace. This option focuses on developing, designing and marketing materials and products within the market and industry.   

Fashion Entrepreneurship Option

In the fashion entrepreneurship option, you will not only learn how to develop and sell products, you will also learn how to manage a successful business.  Alumni from the program are using what they learned in the classroom to successfully run their own businesses.

Retail Merchandising Option

New retail opportunities are emerging around the world today with digital retailing and retail technology.  The course of study includes classes on sourcing, buying, merchandising, promotion, and consumer behavior.

For more information, click here.

Apparel, Retail Merchandising and Design Minor

A minor in Apparel, Retail and Design (ARMD) is available. The 16-credit minor in ARMD will provide a student with a basic background in the field. This can be combined with a major in marketing, or one of the many majors in Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences, or Science and Math; any major where the study of apparel, fashion, the theater or human interaction is concerned would be strengthened by a minor in ARMD.

For more information, click here.


Certificate in Apparel, Retail Merchandising and Design

A ten-credit certificate is offered in Apparel, Retail Merchandising and Design and can be completed online.

For more information, click here.



M.S. in Merchandising

A master’s degree in merchandising will help you deliver the right product or service to the consumer in the right place, in the right quantities, at the right time and the right price.
See additional information about M.S. in Merchandising ⇒



Student Work

Take a moment to review the top-quality work our students produce at NDSU.  Examine work and research projects that showcase the great talent of our students and define the preparation for a career in Apparel, Retail Merchandising and Design.



Venture Out!

Study tours are offered Fall and Summer semesters each year.  One study tour is required for Apparel, Retail Merchandising, and Design majors.  This is an opportunity for students to learn about the industry beyond the classroom. Learn more about study tours ⇒



Study Abroad

“Life is all about the people that we surround ourselves with.”

-Emily Wotzka, Study abroad experience in England - Fall 2017

Learn more about Emily’s Experience ⇒

 “Even if it's a simple thing, like a new word in Spanish, it's still exciting to watch yourself grow. When you're pushed outside of your comfort zone and put in a completely different culture, you find out so much about yourself.”

- Colie Winsor, Study abroad experience in Spain – Spring 2016

Learn more about Colie’s Experience ⇒

Learn more about study abroad ⇒


Get to Know Our Alumni

Our alumni have secured noteworthy positions across the spectrum of the industry and across the globe. 


Britta Cabanos

Britta Cabanos studied Apparel and Textiles at NDSU and Fashion Design at F.I.T. in New York City. She has over 25 years of experience as a swim and athletic apparel Designer & Director at Creative Capital Design, the design studio she co-founded with her partner. Past work includes designing for Tommy Hilfiger, DKNY, Champion, Nike, Inc. Perry Ellis, Jantzen, Zumba and Engine Swim in Australia.  She is currently a consultant for clients in NYC, California and Portland. Britta is a gifted designer and maker with technical expertise and skill to design each collection at both the macro and micro levels.  She is the Founder & Chief Editor at  IFD is a global online resource for the apparel industry with the vision to inspire, inform & connect creative thinkers, makers and brands.  Britta overseas all IFD content development, producing design and development workshops, behind the scenes stories, mini-documentaries and major industry events.  Britta also works with interns and serves as a mentor to students at the high school and college level.

View more Alumni Bios ⇒








Be rewarded for your hard work and apply for some of the many scholarships available to NDSU Apparel, Retail Merchandising, and Design students.

Some scholarships are designated for students majoring in the department and additional scholarships are available to all college majors.

Apply now!

Grow your spark into a flame!

Apparel, Retail Merchandising, and Design Program Coordinator
Jaeha Lee
E. Morrow Lebedeff Hall 308D
Fargo, ND 58108-6050
Phone: 701-231-8220
Fax: 701-231-5273

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