Fashion Design or Fashion Merchandising?

Which program is right for you?

Students aspiring to find their place in the fashion world are often unaware of a difference between fashion design and fashion merchandising. Both fields are closely related, and play large roles in industry. However, there is enough distinction that they are each worthy of their own programs at Stevenson.

Fashion Design

Bachelor of Science

Fashion Merchandise

Bachelor of Science

Is this program right for me?

The Fashion Design degree curriculum synthesizes the individual aesthetic of the designer with an understanding of the market, historical context of fashion and costume, consumer psychology, materials, and techniques of apparel construction. Students who KNOW they want to build and create fashion using hands-on techniques should go for Fashion Design.

The Fashion Merchandising program is designed to provide majors in the program with an understanding of merchandising as it relates to the apparel and retail industries. Students who KNOW they want to be a part of the fashion world but have a business focus should follow the Merchandising route. Merchandising allows students to study the business and marketing aspects, particularly how the production, distribution, and promotion of goods and services in fashion and retail are developed and delivered to the consumers.

What skills will I learn in this program?

  • ​​Verbal and written communication skills
  • Design Strategies
  • Visual Problem Solving
  • Garment Construction
  • Technical Design
  • Product Development
  • Textile Usage and Development
  • Trend Analysis and Application
  • Consumer behavior
  • Line Creation
  • Patternmaking and Draping
  • Branding
  • Budgeting
  • Sustainability
  • Collaboration
  • Verbal and written communication skills
  • Relationship Building
  • Management and Leadership
  • Consumer Behavior
  • Product Development and Management
  • Persuasive Strategies
  • Group Dynamics and Communication Strategies
  • Collaboration
  • Buying
  • Sourcing and Logistics
  • Marketing and Branding
  • Trend Analysis and Application
  • Problem Solving and Adaptability

What jobs or internships can I get with my degree after graduation?

  • Fashion Designer
  • Technical Designer
  • Product Developer
  • Textile Developer
  • Quality Assurance
  • Fashion Illustrator
  • Personal Stylist
  • Trend Forecaster
  • Sourcing
  • Graduate School
  • Buyer
  • Stylist
  • Fashion Public Relations
  • Sales and Account Representative
  • Trend Forecaster
  • Visual Merchandiser
  • Merchandiser and Allocator
  • Retail and Wholesale Brand Manager
  • Digital Product Manager
  • Social Media
  • Graduate School

What are some highlights or cool features about this program that I can look forward to?

  • Experiential learning through required internships in the fashion industry; network of faculty, staff, and alumni
  • You will develop a collection from concept to product
  • Extraordinary experiences in Fashion with our trips to NYC, New York Fashion Week, and our trip to Magic in Las Vegas and Study Abroad in Fashion
  • Small class size and accessibility of faculty and staff
  • Access to fulltime studio manager
  • The curriculum is developed by industry-experts; skills learned in this program as necessary for success in related careers


  • You will learn practical application of theory in service- based learning courses, and…
  • …Transferable skills sought by employers: Consumer behavior, visual merchandising, retail math, marketing, management
  • Connects skills and passion for a personalized career with minor(s) or double major
  • Experiential learning through required internships in the fashion industry
  • Project-based learning with retailers


Have a Question?

Contact Admissions
Undergraduate Admissions
Owings Mills Campus
Garrison Hall North, Second Floor