Apparel Design & Merchandising, B.S.

From the runways of Paris and Milan, to the retail stores of Richmond, KY, fashion is all around us. This thriving, global industry accounts for more than $3 trillion annually, and employs more than 58 million people worldwide. For over 105 years, the Family and Consumer Sciences department at EKU has exposed students to the art and business of fashion with our industry and experience- based education.

The Apparel Design and Merchandising (ADM) program is committed to excellence in education as it prepares our students for exciting career opportunities in the fast-paced world of fashion. Whether your dream is designing clothes, creating window displays, retail management, or owning your own business, our ADM program provides a comprehensive knowledge base for success in both design and merchandising-related careers.

As an ADM student, you will take studio and lecture courses designed to meet industry standards and requirements. Through our fashion-based curricula you will learn apparel design, product development, merchandising and marketing strategies, and the business of fashion. Courses are designed to equip students with the skills and knowledge necessary for applications in the apparel design and merchandising industries. Upon graduation, you will have ample professional experience to be immediately productive in your chosen career.

The ADM program at EKU offers students opportunities for hands-on learning with our fully equipped design studio, textiles testing lab, historic costume collection, fashion styling studio and department window displays.  Students will become versed in technology with industry software like Visual Retailing in our departmental computer lab, and have the opportunity to participate in our annual fashion show. Students will also gain experience through internships, and discover new worlds with study abroad and travel opportunities


Join the fun and follow us on Instagram @eku_adm or https://www.instagram.com/eku_adm/


Meet Our Students


ADM Fast Facts

Did you know….?

  • Our department began offering classes in clothing and textiles in 1912.
  • EKU offers the only fashion degree with a fashion design emphasis in Kentucky.
  • Our small class sizes allow for individualized and personalized attention from faculty.
  • Our students have studied fashion in Florence, Milan, New York, and beyond.
  • 100% of our students will complete two industry-based internships.
  • Fashion incorporates STEAM education (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, Math).   Learn more about how fashion is STEAM here.

Course Curriculum

As an ADM student, you will take studio and lecture courses designed to meet industry standards and requirements. Through our fashion-based curricula you will learn apparel design, product development, merchandising and marketing strategies, and the business of fashion. Courses are designed to equip students with the skills and knowledge necessary for applications in the apparel design and merchandising industries. Upon graduation, you will have ample professional experience to be immediately productive in your chosen career.

Total credits required for degree in Apparel Design & Merchandising: 120 including a minimum of 50 hours in core courses.

Course Descriptions

Suggested Curriculum Guide

Current EKU Catalog


Careers, Internships, and Cooperative Study

Fashion goes beyond the runway. Behind the glamour and lights lies the business of fashion. The largest job sector in the United States and worldwide, the clothing and textiles industry accounts for more than $3 trillion annually, and employs more than 58 million people. Explore career, cooperative study, and internship opportunities with the ADM program.


Program Outcomes / Objectives

Upon completion of a degree in Apparel Design and Merchandising graduates will demonstrate critical/creative thinking by: 1) identifying cultural influences on the apparel/textile industry and consumer; 2) applying design principles to visual merchandising and/or apparel design projects; 3) developing apparel and textile products based on target customer need; and 4) communicating ideas and information effectively to the target audience. Graduates are prepared to work in a variety of merchandising and design positions. Recent graduates have been employed in retail management, technical design, visual merchandising, and theatrical costume design. Metropolitan areas provide the most job opportunities. Entry-level positions include management trainee, assistant manager, and design assistant. Two years after graduation students can expect to be employed in positions such as retail manager, district supervisor of stores, technical designer, design journeyman, and visual merchandiser.



Program Advisors

Dr. Amber Chatelain

Ms. Susan Kipp

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