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Fashion and Apparel Merchandising

The University of Central Missouri has been training fashion industry professionals since 1907. Our Fashion and Apparel Merchandising program provides the hands-on experience, industry connections and business knowledge you need for a successful career in this dynamic field.

The global fashion system is always changing. Our program, fully accredited by the American Association of Family and Consumer Sciences (AAFCS), is updated frequently to remain on the leading edge of industry trends and emerging technology. 

UCM’s Fashion and Apparel Merchandising program offers three tracks

  • Textiles and Clothing in Business: Turn your interest in business, marketing, technical design, product development or merchandising into a rewarding career by earning a degree from the Fashion and Apparel Merchandising program. Learn by doing in class and outside of it, with many opportunities for service-learning experiences and a fully equipped student-run fabrication lab.
  • Fashion Merchandising: Enhance your UCM studies with a minor in Fashion Merchandising. Our flexible program can be tailored to your needs, enabling you to dive deeper and gain practical experience in design, product development, entrepreneurial skills and much more.
  • Apparel and Textiles Merchandising: If your goals include working in fashion retail, merchandising or product development, our program will give you the practical skills you need to get ahead. You’ll learn hands-on techniques, such as sewing, alongside business and merchandise promotion skills.

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Complete programs in person or online

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95% employment in fashion in 6 months

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Student-run Fashion Shop on site

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Fully accredited by the AAFCS

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Gain extensive hands-on experience

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Professional development opportunities

Find your Fashion and Apparel Merchandising future at UCM

Launching a career in the fashion industry requires strong skills — and a strong network. UCM’s Fashion and Apparel Merchandising program offers many avenues to build connections with your peers, among the community and in the broader industry, including:

  • Fashion Shop: Experience the full life cycle of fashion products in UCM’s innovative student-run fabrication shop. Design, produce, promote, price and sell custom products using our industry-standard facilities. 
  • Clothing Fabrication Lab: Practice taking your design ideas from concept to reality in our cutting-edge technology lab. Work with vinyl, embroidery, 3D printing, sublimation and other applications. 
  • Internships: The University of Central Missouri is located near Kansas City’s thriving arts and design scene. Our program’s robust community and business partnerships afford excellent internship opportunities. You can build your network, job skills and resume while receiving support from program faculty.
  • Fashion shows: Gain experience and access to industry expos by working or volunteering for events such as Kansas City Fashion Week, UCM Earth Week’s Recycle>Restyle>Revamp and the Moonlight Market in downtown Warrensburg.
  • Guest speakers: Learn about careers in fashion from professionals at companies such as Kendra Scott, Nordstrom, Walmart and Buckle, or from UCM alumni such as Quinn Ahrens and Jessica Williams.
  • MAGIC Trade Show: Get a firsthand look at the business of fashion with a trip to one of the largest fashion markets in the country, the MAGIC Trade Show in Las Vegas. 
  • Volunteer: See the fashion world from behind the scenes by volunteering for Kansas City Fashion Week, or create apparel for Bra Couture Kansas City to support cancer patients and survivors.
  • Campus organizations: Join the vibrant Fashion Business Association to build your peer network. You may also work with UCM’s Fashion Council for greater involvement in social media and product development for the UCM Fashion Shop.


What can you do with a degree in one of UCM’s Fashion and Apparel Merchandising degree programs?

Our graduates are prepared for nearly any career within fashion and apparel merchandising and are frequently recruited by multiple companies. 

Program faculty serve as career mentors and will work with you throughout your years at UCM to prepare you for your dream job in fashion and merchandising, including: 

  • Product development
  • Technical design
  • Fashion buying
  • Visual merchandising
  • Store management
  • Entrepreneurship
  • Wholesale sales
  • Branding
  • Website merchandising




Community College Connection

The University of Central Missouri has partnered with Johnson County Community College to facilitate the transfer of students who have earned their Merchandising or Design associate degrees at JCCC into UCM’s Fashion and Apparel Merchandising program.



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The fashion program is accredited by the American Association of Family and Consumer Sciences, which holds us accountable for high standards and updated curriculum.

Click HERE for FCS Unit information.


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