The Department of Fashion and Apparel Studies (FASH) prepares students to thrive in the fast-paced field of fashion. Relevant curricula address the conceptualization, design, pre-production, planning, communication, and distribution of apparel and related products through two undergraduate major programs and three undergraduate minors Our emphasis on integrating technology, international experiences, industry relationships, and mentoring throughout our programs exemplify this commitment, and contribute to the professional success our graduates achieve. The Apparel Design and Fashion Merchandising programs allow students to supplement their state-of-the-art education with hands-on experiences through study abroad, involvement in research and scholarship, and internship programs.
The Apparel Design major focuses on trend research, conceptualization, and pre-production of products for apparel-related industries that meet the functional, expressive, and aesthetic needs and desires of the consumer.
The Fashion Merchandising major prepares students for fashion management relative to planning, development, sourcing, production, distribution, and communication of fashion products in the global environment.
An Honors Degree option is available for each major. In addition, minors in Fashion History and Culture, Fashion Management, and Sustainable Apparel and Textile Innovation as well as a 4+1 program leading to the completion of a Bachelor of Science in Fashion Merchandising and a Master of Science in Fashion and Apparel Studies are offered.
Students who wish to transfer from another major in the University are advised to contact the Department office regarding application policies and procedures.
The Minor in Fashion History and Culture provides a unique opportunity for students to develop an understanding of the origins and evolution of dress and fashion in relation to global societies and cultures. Clothing and appearance (i.e. dress) are forms of non-verbal communication. Varying social, national, ethnic, and gender groups project their identities through their dress. When examined from both historical and contemporary perspectives, as well as through analysis of cultural differences, clothing, and appearance contribute to our understanding of the world. As an interdisciplinary subject, the development and importance of dress and fashion from pre-historic times until present day incorporates historical, economic, aesthetic, technological, social, and cultural factors that influenced clothing change.
The Fashion Management minor focuses on the business aspects of the fashion industry that provide a broad scope of related topics and give students from any discipline a foundational understanding of this complex industry. The fashion industry continues to change and adapt to consumer preferences, technology innovations, global scope of business and many other complexities. Courses for the minor give students a comprehensive foundation in product development, sustainability, business, global impact, sourcing, trade and branding. Knowledge of these topics will make students even more marketable in this 4 trillion dollar industry.
The minor in Sustainable Apparel and Textile Innovation engages students in interdisciplinary learning that supports social change; rethinks the fundamental ways apparel and textile businesses and industry operate; and tackles the chemical, energy, waste, and water challenges associated with textile materials and manufacturing. This minor will give students the chance to take what they learn in other disciplines, beyond Fashion and Apparel Studies courses, and think more rigorously and imaginatively about how to use knowledge from other fields to impact deeply embedded social and environmental challenges.
The Fashion History and Culture, Fashion Management and Sustainable Apparel and Textile Innovation minors are open to students majoring in any academic discipline and across all colleges with one exception; FM majors are not eligible for the Fashion Management minor. Minors are awarded only to students who have applied and been admitted to the program.
Applications to be admitted into the minor are submitted on-line through UDSIS. Admission will be based on the cumulative GPA of 2.0 and the completion of at least 28 credits at the University of Delaware prior to application.
The credits required for the minor may also be used to meet other distribution requirements, such as degree major requirements and electives. Students seeking a minor in Fashion History and Culture, Fashion Management, or Sustainable Apparel and Textile Innovation may not take more than six credits of the required fashion courses at another institution.
B.S. in Fashion Merchandising/M.S. in Fashion and Apparel Studies 4+1
The 4+1 program allows undergraduate Fashion Merchandising majors to complete the master’s degree in Fashion and Apparel Studies in half the time. By accelerating attainment of a master’s degree, students are provided with expanded opportunities for attaining effective written communication skills, to think critically to solve problems, to work independently, and an opportunity to gain research experience with faculty scholars. A Master of Science in Fashion and Apparel Studies may result in expanded opportunities for career growth in fashion, apparel, retail, and related industries.
The Bachelor of Science degree in Fashion Merchandising requires 124 credits. An additional 31 credits are required for the Master of Science in Fashion and Apparel Studies, including three hours of special problem research. Undergraduate courses taken in the junior and senior years are combined to waive up to 13 credits of bachelor degree course requirements. In the freshman and sophomore years and first semester of the junior year, students follow the FM curriculum as outlined in the undergraduate catalog.
Students are admitted into the 4+1 program in the spring of the junior year. During the second semester of the junior year and the senior year a minimum of 12 graduate credits at the 600 and 800-levels will be completed. Upon completion of the four-year undergraduate degree, students will immediately begin taking the remaining graduate credits over a one-year period.
Specific admission requirements are:
- Students must be enrolled at the University of Delaware in the Department of Fashion and Apparel Studies pursuing an undergraduate major in Fashion Merchandising.
- A minimum of 60 undergraduate credits and a GPA equivalent to at least 3.2 on a 4.0 scale in all prior undergraduate college-level course work.
- Students must take the GRE or GMAT; however, the GRE/GMAT is waived if a student has a 3.5 GPA or higher.
- Candidates for admission must submit three letters of recommendation and a personal statement describing interests, intellectual goals, and how this program would meet their goals and objectives. A resume and a writing sample (research paper) are required.
- Students are admitted with provisional status until completion of the senior year and 124 credits, whereupon they are granted regular status as graduate students.
Admission to the 4+1 program is a competitive process. Application deadlines: Review of applicants begins October 15th of the junior year and students are officially notified by November 1st. Students begin the 4+1 program in the spring of the junior year.