B.S. Fashion and Retail

Are you interested in fashion product development or retail merchandising?
Degree Type Bachelor of Science
CAREERS AND SALARY Annual Employment Report
Delivery On Campus

UW-Stout's Bachelor of Science in Fashion and Retail program (formerly Apparel Design and Development) emphasizes current industry practices, internship opportunities, and career placement. You'll explore real-world aspects of the fashion and retail industries including market researching, planning, designing, developing, buying, and marketing.

Our students gain experience working on real-world projects with a unique combination of design and technology. / UW-Stout

To meet the needs of the fashion and retail industry, the program offers three concentrations:

  • Fashion Design and Development | Get ready for a career in global textiles and fashion product industries by experiencing hands-on product development in all ready-to-wear garments and apparel categories.
  • Fashion Marketing | Focus your career through professional networking and internships in corporate-level retail merchandising, promotion, and marketing in the areas of fashion and home goods.
  • Retail Analytics | Prepare for corporate-level retail planning and analyst positions by exploring areas such as buying, sourcing, merchandising, operations, logistics, and accounting in an omnichannel retail environment.

Pursuing a bachelor's degree in Fashion and Retail prepares you for an exciting lifelong career in fashion design and development, fashion marketing, merchandising, buying, and retail analytics. You'll develop critical-thinking and communication skills and gain hands-on experience in every aspect of the fashion and retail industry.


Program Overview

View program plans, credit requirements and course descriptions.


Your studies will include merchandise planning, product sourcing, social media marketing, and market research, as well as coursework on visual merchandising, apparel construction, textile pattern structures, and 21st-century garment engineering and manufacturing.

To complement the academic program of study, students are required to have two field study experiences. These co-ops/internships are a summer or semester-long work experience in product development or management training positions with major fashion and retail companies.

Use the Request Information form to receive a program summary and learn more about the Bachelor of Science degree in Fashion and Retail.

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Hidden Fields

Preparing for your Fashion and Retail degree

High school students interested in entering the fashion and retail field should have a college preparatory background emphasizing English, speech, writing skills, math, social studies, economics and accounting. Work experience in a retail store is suggested.

Starting Out

During your first few semesters, you'll enroll in a combination of general education studies and major foundation courses. General education includes:

  • English composition
  • Speech and a variety of other student-selected courses in the humanities
  • Social and behavioral sciences
  • Natural science
  • Technology
  • Analytical reasoning
  • Initial courses in the major include:
  • Introduction to retail merchandising and management
  • Basic retailing
  • Computer applications

Advisers are eager to help you with course selection and career direction. Additional assistance is available through the Advisement and Career Center, Counseling Center and Career Services.

Moving Forward

The Fashion and Retail program provides a sound body of knowledge from which to launch a successful career in retailing. The curriculum provides professional courses in both general retailing and in your concentration of choice. General education courses ensure that you have a well-rounded education.

You'll also contribute to the operation of The Niche, a student-inspired specialty store located in UW-Stout's Heritage Hall. You and other students take charge of all aspects of this retail operation, including planning and purchasing, inventory control, advertising, visual merchandising, special events, selling and supervision.

The retail faculty and teaching staff are former retailers who work closely with students and retail companies. They maintain and cultivate industry relationships, which provide up-to-date information and career planning for you and helps you develop solid contacts for employment upon graduation.

Career Opportunities

A number of student organizations provide you with excellent leadership training, career insights and recreation opportunities. Join our award-winning Stout Retail Association student organization with more than 100 members ready to work in apparel merchandising, fashion management, store operations, consumer electronics, culinary arts, market research, publicity and merchandising analysis.

Graduates of the Fashion and Retail program usually enter the professional field through an executive training program with a major retail company. This training generally consists of planned rotations in various supervisory positions within the store, merchandising division, distribution center or other areas of the company.

Entry Positions

  • Buyer » Bon Ton Stores
  • Vice President, Merchandise Planning » Brooks Brothers
  • Merchandise Manager » JC Penney
  • Store Team Leader » Target
  • Operations Manager » Lands' End
  • Executive Trainer » The Gap
  • Merchandiser » Oshkosh B'Gosh
  • Advertising Coordinator » Target
  • Buyer » Target Corporation
  • Manager » The Disney Store
  • Operations Manager » Kmart Corporation
  • Business Analyst » Target Corporation
  • Store Manager » Banana Republic
  • Buyer » Pottery Barn
  • Financial Planner » Eddie Bauer
  • Vice President » Krazy Kat Sportswear
  • Store Manager » Best Buy
  • Buyer » Best Buy
  • Project Manager, Store Innovations » Walmart

Past Student Internships

  • Adidas
  • Alice & Olivia
  • Eloquii
  • Express
  • Garnett Hill
  • Lands’ End 
  • Kohl’s
  • Maiyet
  • Marc Jacobs
  • Michael Kors
  • Rebecca Taylor
  • Rag & Bone
  • Target
  • Vans

Companies Where Graduates Work

  • American Eagle
  • Adidas
  • Columbia
  • Duluth Trading Company
  • Express
  • Garnett Hill
  • Lands’ End 
  • Kimberly Clark
  • Kohl’s
  • Nike
  • Nordstrom
  • Ralph Lauren
  • Target

Job Descriptions

Technical Designer: the engineer of clothing! The technical designer oversees the making of the garment and communicates via technical sketches and specification packages with patternmakers and manufacturers to develop prototypes and initial fit garments. Then works with fit models and makes fit corrections before approving final production runs for shipments to sales floors or online vendors.   

Technical Design Assistant: assists the technical designer in all aspects of the position.

Product Development Manager: oversees product development departments within organizations, typically this department is made up of technical designers. 

Product Manager: oversees product categories for time and delivery.

Designer: designs clothing according to market demands with an understanding of fabrics, garment construction, sizing specifications, grading standards, and manufacturing limitations. 

Assistant: assists designer with all aspects of the position.

CAD/Textile Designer: (Computer Aided Design) creates original textile prints according to market, manufacturing, and cost structures. 

CAD/CAM Specialist: (Computer Aided Design/Computer Aided Manufacturing) 

Pattern maker: Build patterns from specifications utilizing computer software in 2 and 3D forms. Size grading and production planning can also fall under a pattern maker’s responsibilities. 

Quality Auditor/Manager: utilizing product specifications, analyze products to ensure standards are met via audits and testing. 

Sourcing and Production: work with vendors to secure trims, fabrics, and product components. Build, manage, and negotiate the product development timeline.

UW-Stout students showcase fashion online

The final showcase for UW-Stout seniors studying Apparel Design and Development looked much different this year.

Fashion slideshow thumbnail imageStudent Gallery

Our students gain experience working on real-world projects with a unique combination of design and technology. There are no limits to how far your imagination will take with a fashion and retail degree.

View Student Gallery

Fashion and Retail

All Fashion and Retail News

New program targets fashion design, retail trends

Change is part of the fabric that drives the dynamic fashion design and retail industries.

Student studies effects of COVID-19 on retail merchandising during summer cooperative

Gonion conducts essential research to benefit supermarket and consumers during pandemic and for the future

Virtual show keeps apparel design majors’ collections in spotlight

What’s a fashion show without the thrill of seeing a live model pirouette in the spotlight wearing an eye-catching new design?