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Academic Majors


Apparel, Retail Merchandising and Design/Apparel Studies

Students interested in the apparel and textiles industry find opportunities in design, product development, marketing, sales, product quality assurance, consulting, business ownership and research. Apparel studies graduates develop and deliver products to the global market place. They create innovative and sensitive solutions to meet consumer and societal needs. Apparel studies at North Dakota State University provides students a theoretically-based education with practical application.

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Background Information

The world’s textile and apparel industries are made up of companies that produce fibers, yarns, textiles and apparel, and accessory products for industrial, wholesale and individual consumers around the world. These industries are some of the largest and most productive in the world. Because of the size and nature of the apparel textile industry, and the interconnectedness with many other industries, the career opportunities are limitless.

Career Opportunities

Graduates have a timeless sense of style and firm grasp of the fashion marketplace as a result of the apparel studies option of the apparel, retail merchandising and design degree. They develop a trained eye and skills to develop, showcase and sell styles to a fashion-conscious public. Graduates have a solid education foundation to provide them flexibility in our quickly changing work environment. Graduates are able to choose challenging careers that build on their particular interests. For example, graduates have accepted positions in production development and management, visual merchandising, technical design, fashion writing and editing, quality control, museum collection management, and theatrical costuming. Other graduates have used their skills to successfully run their own businesses.

The Program

An option in apparel studies focuses on developing, designing and marketing materials and products within the market and industry. The curriculum incorporates an international and historical focus. Students pursuing a Bachelor of Science degree in apparel, retail merchandising and design with the apparel studies option have flexibility in their program of study. They can combine the major with a minor in hospitality and tourism management, communication, public history, visual arts, theater arts or other areas based on their planned career path. Those with well-defined career goals can combine an apparel studies major with a second minor or second major that builds upon their interests. (The apparel, retail merchandising and design/retail merchandising focus allows students to prepare themselves for a career in retailing; see the Apparel, Retail Merchandising and Design/Retail Merchandising fact sheet).

Our Contacts Beyond College Walls

The Department of Apparel, Design and Hospitality Management regularly plans travel and study programs to fashion, design and/or business centers. Off-campus study provides students contact with practicing professionals. Study tours to national and international destinations expose students to the fast pace of the changing global apparel textile industry and allow them to earn college credit. The department's affiliation with the Fashion Institute of Technology (FIT) in New York City permits NDSU students who qualify to earn credits as visiting students and to gain experience in the heart of the fashion and textiles business world. Students study at NDSU for their first three years and attend FIT their fourth year of study, if accepted by FIT into the visiting student program, to earn an associate degree at FIT and bachelor’s degree from NDSU. North Dakota students pay out of state tuition (based on FIT’s tuition structure) for this program. Through the Tri-College University, students may take advantage of course offerings and facilities provided by Minnesota State University Moorhead and Concordia College. In addition, NDSU offers many study abroad programs in which students are encouraged to participate.

The Facilities

The Department of Apparel, Design and Hospitality Management is housed in Evelyn Morrow Lebedeff Hall (EML) and the Family Life Center (FLC) on the NDSU campus. The Emily P. Reynolds Historic Costume Collection provides an excellent resource for students’ projects and reports. Clusters of computers are located in the FLC and EML Hall for students’ convenience. Wireless Internet can be accessed throughout campus.

Extra-Curricular Activities

The Fashion, Apparel and Business Organization (FABO) allows interested students additional contacts with professionals and opportunities for leadership. Other organizations in the college and University provide further opportunities for personal and professional growth.

Apparel and Textiles Research

Recent research of benefit to North Dakota and the region includes adolescent issues related to dress and consumer behavior, retail strategies for small retailers, factors relating to impulse buying and historic clothing as evidence of the social history of the Upper Great Plains. Access to the Emily Reynolds Historic Costume Collection is available online at A special focus of the collection includes items from the Germans from Russia ethnic group. Linkage with culturally diverse populations through exchanges of apparel and textiles information has been a recent theme of research.


A limited number of scholarships are designated for students majoring in the department; additional scholarships are available to all college majors. For further information on scholarships, contact the Director of Student Services and Development.

Transfer Students

A suggested curriculum is provided; other combinations are possible. Students who plan to transfer to NDSU should contact the Department of Apparel, Design and Hospitality Management for guidance in selecting courses before or during the first year.

Sample Curriculum

General Education RequirementsCredits
First Year Experience
  HD&E 189 - Skills for Academic Success1
  COMM 110 -Fundamentals of Public Speaking3
  ENGL 110, 120 - College Composition I, II 3, 3
  ENGL 320 - Business and Professional Writing3
Quantitative Reasoning
     STAT 330 - Introductory Statistics

Science & Technology
  CSCI 114 - Microcomputer Packages or
    CSCI 116 - Business Use of Computers

3 or 4
  Science and Technology Electives7
Humanities & Fine Arts6
Social & Behavioral Sciences
    ECON 105 - Elements of Economics

  PSYC 111 - Introduction to Psychology or
    SOC 110 - Introduction to Sociology

Cultural Diversity-
Global Perspective
  ECON 105 - Elements of Economics3
Major Requirements Credits
ADHM 155 - Apparel Construction and Fit or
  ADHM 370 - Sewn-Product Manufacturing
    and Analysis

ADHM 171 - Fashion Dynamics 3
ADHM 181 - Aesthetics and Visual Analysis of
   Apparel Products

ADHM 271 - Visual Merchandising and Promotion 3
ADHM 272 - Product Development 3
ADHM 310 - History of Fashion 3
ADHM 366 - Textiles 3
ADHM 367 - Textiles Laboratory 1
ADHM 375 - Professional Development 1
ADHM 385 - Global Fashion Economics 3
ADHM 481 - Capstone in Apparel, Retail Merchandising
    and Design

ADHM 486 - Dress and Human Behavior 3
ADHM 489 - StudyTour 1-3
Total 34
Related Requirements Credits
Professional Electives 21
Minor and Elective Requirements 16

This sample curriculum is not intended to serve as a curriculum guide for current students, but rather an example of course offerings for prospective students. For the curriculum requirements in effect at the time of entrance into a program, consult with an academic advisor or with the Office of Registration and Records.

Evelyn Morrow Lebedeff Hall
Room 270

Evelyn Morrow Lebedeff Hall is located in the center of campus on Centennial Boulevard and is connected to the east end of the Katherine Kilbourne Burgum Family Life Center (Campus Map)

Contact Information

Connie Eggers, Academic Advisor
College of Human Development and Education
North Dakota State University
Dept #2600, PO Box 6050
Fargo, ND 58108-6050

Tel: (701) 231-9847 / Fax: (701) 231-7174


Department of Apparel, Design, and Hospitality Management
College of Human Development and Education
North Dakota State University
Dept #2610, PO Box 6050
Fargo, ND 58108-6050

Tel: (701) 231-8604 (or) 231-7351 / Fax: (701) 231-5273

Office of Admission
North Dakota State University
Ceres 114
Dept #5230, PO Box 6050
Fargo, ND 58108-6050

Tel: (701) 231-8643 / Fax: (701) 231-8802



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Office of Admission
North Dakota State University
Phone: +1 (701) 231-8643 / Fax: (701) 231-8802
Campus address: Ceres Hall 114
Physical/delivery address: 1301 Administration Ave., Fargo, ND 58102
Mailing address: NDSU Dept. 5230 / PO Box 6050 / Fargo, ND 58108-6050
Page manager: NDSU Webmaster

Last Updated: Wednesday, June 29, 2016 2:38:56 PM