Management: Fashion Merchandising

Management Fashion Merchandising imageBachelor of Professional Studies

The Fashion Merchandising specialization emphasizes the business functions of promoting and selling fashions in the retail sector and coordinating the design, production and retail processes in the manufacturing sector of the fashion industry. This specialization combines fashion studies, and business/career studies to prepare graduates for entry-level employment in fashion merchandising.

The Fashion Merchandising Program features several unique opportunities for students to explore the many facets of the fashion industry, including trips to New York City for seminars with fashion industry professionals. A fashion tour class is offered annually in January, during which students visit an array of small and large fashion sites, which may include design rooms, showrooms, retailers and museum fashion exhibits.

Each year the department presents a professional-caliber juried fashion show that captures the energy and excitement of the fashion industry. The show is a culmination of an entire year of illustrating, draping, patternmaking, construction of garments, and show planning. Students also complete a three-credit-hour fashion internship where they have the opportunity to experience the fashion industry up close.

A New York City semester is an option for qualifying students, during which they are enrolled in Cazenovia College and taking their senior-level courses in New York City, including internship, senior collection research and planning, and an elective class. Options are also available for study-abroad programs.

This program is fully accredited through the International Assembly for Collegiate Business Education. Visit to learn more about our accreditation status and to review the 2010-2011 Annual Report to IACBE.

• Provide students with a liberal arts education that combines general education courses with fashion and business courses;
• Prepare students for fashion industry careers in fashion production, manufacturing and/or sales;
• Provide students with career-focused academic experiences through various internships and other off-campus classes and seminars and co-curricular experiences.

The Fashion Design program is housed in Jephson Campus B (formerly South Campus), a few blocks from the main campus.  This facility includes:
 • Sewing/design laboratory including domestic and industrial sewing machines, pattern cutting tables and other design equipment.
 • A CAD lab with dual platform Macintosh computers installed with fashion industry software including OptiTex patternmaking and NEDGraphics presentations, as well as hardware such as scanners, and printers capable of printing up to 44" fabric.
 • A material resource room.
 • Lecture and seminar rooms.

Special Features:
Fashion Tour Class: The week-long Fashion Tour in New York City is offered each spring semester to provide students with an overview of the fashion industry and to prepare them for internships. Students attend seminars with management personnel at fashion businesses including showrooms, design rooms, retailers, industry associations and museums. In addition, students tour the famous garment district for fabric and trim sourcing during a four-day field trip to New York.

Fashion Show: Each April the Fashion Studies Department sponsors a professional caliber juried fashion show that captures the energy and excitement of the fashion industry. The show gives students an opportunity to display their designs to an audience of friends, family, and industry professionals. Students may participate in the planning and production of the show through the Fashion Promotion class. The show is the culmination of an entire year of illustrating, patternmaking and construction of garments, and show planning by all fashion students.

Senior Collection/Senior Project: All students are required to complete a senior project in which they write a major research paper. Merchandising students focus on the analysis of a business topic and design students also create the concept and garments for an original fashion collection. This highly creative project is the culmination of four years of education in the Fashion Studies Department. 

Internship Preparation:
  • Students must complete a required number of credits in their program and demonstrate knowledge-based and social competency to qualify for internship placement
  • The Fashion Tour class provides students with an overview of the fashion industry and prepares them for internships
  • Faculty and staff in the Fashion Studies Program, College Career and Internship offices work with students to help define their goals, explore internship options, and complete the application process
  • Click here for information on the semester in New York City program and local and regional internship sites.
Career Options
Assistant Designer                       Technical Designer
Patternmaker                               Apparel Manufacturer
Stylist                                         Store Management
Sales Representative                    Product Development
Retail Management                      Costume Designer
Sample Pattern Maker                  Design Business Owner
Quality Control Analyst                 Fashion Promotions Coordinator
Merchandise Manager                  Assistant Buyer
   Course (Credits)    
   See Degree Requirements: General Education requirements (33)
   Critical Thinking, Problem Solving and Information Literacy: 
      BU 473 Business Research Methods (3)
   Senior Capstone: BU 495 Senior Capstone (3)

Art & Sciences Courses
   Course (Credits)    
   HG 131    Macroeconomics OR HG 132    Microeconomics (3)
   SM 261    Statistics (3)
   FA 218     Fashion History  (3)
Total Arts & Sciences Program Credits - 9
Career Courses   
   Course (Credits)    
   AC 331    Financial Accounting  (3)
   AC 332    Managerial Accounting (3)
   BU 110    Principles of Management (3)
   BU 120    Principles of Marketing (3)
   BU 205    Consumer Behavior  (3)
   BU 233    Human Resource Management (3)
   BU 301    SPSS (1)
   BU 363    Business Law & Ethics (3)
   BU 401    International Business  (3)
   BU 451    Fashion Buying & Merchandise Planning  (3)
   BU 481    Business Management Internship 
                  (emphasis on fashion merchandising) (3)
   IM 120    Intro to Computers OR IM 121, 122, & 123 (3)
   IM 326    E-Commerce  (3)
   FM 131    Survey of the Global Apparel Industry  (3)
   FM 213    Basic Textiles  (3)
   FM 250    Fashion Merchandising  (3)
   FM 361   Fashion Promotion  (3)
   FM 365    Product Development Principles  (3)
   FM 366    Product Development Applications (3)
   FM 382    Fashion Tour   (2)
   FM, FD, BU, AC, IM ___    Fashion or Business Elective  (3)
Total Career Program Credits - 60
Open Electives
   Course (Credits)    
   100-400 level  (15)
Total Open Elective Credits - 15

Contact Information:

Karen Steen
Professor and Program Director, Fashion Design/Merchandising
Jephson Campus B 240
Phone: (315) 655-7101
E-mail: ksteen

Megan Lawson-Clark
Assistant Professor, Fashion Design/Merchandising
Jephson Campus B 210
Phone: (315) 655-7560
E-mail: melawsonclark

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