Design & Merchandising Major
DISCOVER YOUR DYNAMIC FUTURE IN THE FASHION LIFESTYLE INDUSTRIES
Degree: From Concept to Consumer
Drexel’s innovative Design & Merchandising (D&M) major integrates visual design, merchandising, and business insight for the fashion lifestyle industries. The Bachelor of Science degree educates students to conceptualize, plan, develop, market, and measure the opportunity for products and services for consumers through physical stores, online channels, televised content, and interactive media. Students develop thorough knowledge of how products come to life through sustainable textiles, design, and production, and strategize the optimal assortment, inventory, and pricing for business goals. The multidisciplinary curriculum, based on both theory and practice, is delivered through immersive, experiential learning. Graduates work across the fashion lifestyle industries engaged in creative strategies, dynamic merchandise assortments, and new product lines for global consumer markets.
The D&M program is ranked in the top nine of fashion merchandising colleges in the United States by Fashion-schools.org and in the top fifteen of fashion and business management programs in the world by Business of Fashion. Drexel is one of the nation’s top universities located in Philadelphia, the sixth largest city, with easy access to the city’s rich cultural life, vibrant design scene, and pivotal retail and entrepreneurial marketplace. From buying and fashion marketing to sustainability and product development, companies in Philly, New York City, Boston and other cities offer students a variety of career paths in wholesale, retail, textiles, sourcing, media, marketing, visual merchandising, and public relations.
Program: We are unique
- You’ll participate in Drexel’s renown cooperative education (co-op) program, spending six months away from the classroom gaining in-demand career skills, bringing products and services to consumers, and receiving exposure to valuable industry networks. Co-op employers include Urban Outfitters, TJX, Nicole Miller, Marchesa, Fashion Snoops and others.
- You’ll take fashion business courses that promote real-world project-based learning. Students work in functional teams exploring business challenges and mapping out opportunities. Industry professionals and fashion merchandising entrepreneurs mentor students and critique business strategies.
- You’ll expand your global intelligence through robust study abroad options from the Office of Global Engagement, including the highly popular London College of Fashion, Accademia Italiana in Florence and Ecole Superiere de Commerce Exterieur (ESCE) in Paris.
- You’ll tailor your interests and passions via career pathway electives allowing targeted study in ecommerce, fashion marketing, communications, magazine and media publication, product development, entrepreneurship and others. Students also produce the award winning D&M Magazine.
- You’ll learn in a fashion merchandising program that has sustainability integrated throughout the curriculum along with courses that evaluate the intersection of society, culture, and fashion.
Student Journey: We prepare you for success
First year: Engagement You will take four merchandising-related courses and learn visual design and critique capabilities, as well as draft your career pathway.
Second year: Multidisciplinary You will take courses in the LeBow College of Business, as well as the College of Arts and Sciences, developing a strong business acumen and a soft skills portfolio.
Third year: Experiential You will complete a Drexel six-month co-op, working full-time in buying and retail corporate offices, wholesale showrooms, marketing studios, and design headquarters.
Fourth year: Synthesis You will address real world challenges that are critiqued by industries, such as an inclusive social media marketing strategy and a business plan for a socially responsible fashion retailer.
Through program memberships, D&M students participate in scholarship competitions among leading industry and academic organizations:
Career Pathways: Step into industry
Students who complete the Bachelor of Science in D&M from Drexel are prepared for success in a wide range of fields.
Retail Operations, Buying and Merchandising
- Account Executive/Sales Director
- Assistant, Associate or Senior Buyer
- Showroom Sales Representative
- Merchandise Manager (Digital and Store)
- Operations Manager
- Store Leadership (Regional and District)
- Visual Merchandiser
Marketing, Media and Public Relations
- Fashion Marketing Coordinator
- Product Campaign Specialist
- Marketing Researcher
- Fashion Forecaster
- Fashion Magazine Editor
- Television and Magazine Stylist
- Graphic Designer
Product Development and Sourcing
- Fabric Manager
- Quality Control Specialist
- Product Line Developer
- Sourcing & Production Manager
- CAD Specialist
- Store Owner
- Brand Creator
Learn more about how our alumni have succeeded across the business of fashion.
Learning Outcomes: Well-rounded Skills
Upon completion of the Bachelor of Science in Design & Merchandising degree and a six month co-op, students will have the ability to:
- Demonstrate strong verbal communication, writing and visual presentation skills.
- Develop, execute, and communicate creative ideas and merchandise strategies for application in the consumer lifestyle industries.
- Demonstrate the ability to synthesize visual research, quantitative and qualitative market data, and retail trade information for industry decision making and strategic planning.
- Demonstrate a comprehension of diverse marketplaces and consumers around the world and the ability to pursue leadership roles, delegate tasks and manage team outcomes.
- Demonstrate competence in retail mathematics, analysis of data and merchandise planning supported by software applications along with the ability to conduct comprehensive research and apply findings to chosen concentration in design and merchandising.
Resources and Facilities
Students take D&M courses in the URBN Center, Westphal’s state-of-the-art facility with access to an extensive array of apparel and footwear collections, digital archives and data platforms including:
- Vogue Digital Archive
- WGSN and Fashion Snoops trend forecasting resources
- Digital media outlets, including Women’s Wear Daily, Sourcing Journal, New York Times, Harvard Business Journal, and others
- Industry and consumer research digital platforms, including Mintel, Statista, ESRI, Mergent Intellect, PriCo, Passport, and IBISWorld
- EDITED Retail analytics platform
- AIMS360 Enterprise resource planning/production lifecycle management software
- Richard & Penny Fox Historic Costume Collection, an outstanding museum-quality collection of over 17,000 fashion items and accessories from Renaissance textiles to French couture
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