Design & Merchandising

Major: Design and Merchandising
Degree Awarded: Bachelor of Science (BS)
Calendar Type: Quarter
Total Credit Hours: 181.0
Co-op Options: One Co-op (Four years)
Classification of Instructional Programs (CIP) code: 50.0499
Standard Occupational Classification (SOC) code: 13-1022

About the Program

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.

Dual/Accelerated Degree Program

Also available is an accelerated dual degree program which combines study in the areas of fashion retail merchandising and product development with the MBA degree.

Additional Information

For more information about this major, visit the College's Design & Merchandising page.

Degree Requirements

Students pursuing the Bachelor of Science in Design & Merchandising have 31 Career Pathway electives of their choosing. These electives enable students to pursue specific areas of study in Retail Operations, Buying and Merchandising; Marketing, Media and Public Relations; Product Development and Sourcing; and Entrepreneurship and Graduate School Preparation. In addition, electives can be used for focused study in Media Merchandising (D&M Magazine), Fashion Show Production, optional Study Abroad courses, and/or pursuit of a minor.

General Education Requirements
CIVC 101Introduction to Civic Engagement1.0
ENGL 101Composition and Rhetoric I: Inquiry and Exploratory Research3.0
or ENGL 111 English Composition I
ENGL 102Composition and Rhetoric II: Advanced Research and Evidence-Based Writing3.0
or ENGL 112 English Composition II
ENGL 103Composition and Rhetoric III: Themes and Genres3.0
or ENGL 113 English Composition III
ENVS 160Environment in the News2.0
ENVS 260Environmental Science and Society3.0
GEO 111Natural Disasters3.0
MATH 119Mathematical Foundations for Design4.0
UNIV A101The Drexel Experience1.0
COOP 101Career Management and Professional Development1.0
Required Arts and Humanities
COM 220Qualitative Research Methods3.0
COM 230Techniques of Speaking3.0
Arts and Humanities elective *3.0
Required Social Science
Select one of the following:3.0
Politics of Hip Hop
Introduction to Social Psychology
Retail Intersections: Social & Cultural Issues
Social Science electives **6.0
Visual Studies Requirements
ARTH 103History of Art III3.0
ARTH 314Contemporary Art 3.0
Select one of the following:3.0
Asian Art and Culture
Art of India
Art of China
Art of Japan
African-American Art
African Art
Special Topics in Art History
Special Topics in Art History
PHTO 110Photography3.0
VSST 101Design I4.0
VSST 102Design II4.0
VSST 103Design III4.0
VSST 110Introductory Drawing3.0
Professional Requirements
ACCT 110Accounting for Professionals4.0
ARTH 335 [WI] History of Costume I: Preclassical to 18003.0
ARTH 336 [WI] History of Costume II: 1800-19203.0
or ARTH 337 History of Costume III: 1920 to Present
DSMR 100Computer Imaging I3.0
DSMR 103Introduction to the Fashion Industry 3.0
DSMR 201Analysis of Product3.0
DSMR 210Presentation Techniques Design and Merchandising3.0
DSMR 211Computer Design for Design and Merchandising3.0
DSMR 230Textiles for Design and Merchandising3.0
DSMR 231Retail Operations3.0
DSMR 232Merchandise Planning and Buying4.0
DSMR 310Merchandising Operations & Management3.0
DSMR 311Visual Merchandising4.0
DSMR 333Fashion Product Development3.0
DSMR 454Sourcing Strategies for Textile and Apparel4.0
DSMR 464Merchandising Analytics 4.0
DSMR 477 [WI] Design and Merchandising Seminar3.0
DSMR 496 [WI] Senior Problem in Design and Merchandising3.0
ECON 201Principles of Microeconomics4.0
ECON 202Principles of Macroeconomics4.0
ENTP 105Entrepreneurial Thinking3.0
MKTG 201Introduction to Marketing Management4.0
MKTG 321Selling and Sales Management4.0
or MKTG 326 Marketing Insights
or MKTG 344 Professional Personal Selling
or MKTG 356 Consumer Behavior
or MKTG 362 Brand and Reputation Management
PHIL 301Business Ethics3.0
Career Pathway Electives ***31.0
Total Credits181.0

Writing-Intensive Course Requirements

In order to graduate, all students must pass three writing-intensive courses after their freshman year. Two writing-intensive courses must be in a student's major. The third can be in any discipline. Students are advised to take one writing-intensive class each year, beginning with the sophomore year, and to avoid “clustering” these courses near the end of their matriculation. Transfer students need to meet with an academic advisor to review the number of writing-intensive courses required to graduate.

A "WI" next to a course in this catalog may indicate that this course can fulfill a writing-intensive requirement. For the most up-to-date list of writing-intensive courses being offered, students should check the Writing Intensive Course List at the University Writing Program. Students scheduling their courses can also conduct a search for courses with the attribute "WI" to bring up a list of all writing-intensive courses available that term.

Sample Plans of Study

Fall/Winter Co-op (Cycle A)

First Year
FallCreditsWinterCreditsSpringCreditsSummerCredits
DSMR 1033.0DSMR 1003.0CIVC 1011.0VACATION
ENGL 101 or 1113.0DSMR 2303.0DSMR 2013.0 
ENVS 2603.0ENGL 102 or 1123.0ENGL 103 or 1133.0 
UNIV A1011.0GEO 1113.0ENVS 1602.0 
VSST 1103.0VSST 1024.0MATH 1194.0 
VSST 1014.0 VSST 1034.0 
 17 16 17 0
Second Year
FallCreditsWinterCreditsSpringCreditsSummerCredits
ACCT 1104.0ARTH 1033.0DSMR 2324.0ENTP 1053.0
COM 230 or 2203.0COOP 101*1.0DSMR 210, AFAS 301, COM 220, PSY 150, or WGST 3243.0DSMR 210, COM 220, or PHTO 1103.0
Art History Elective3.0DSMR 2313.0ECON 2024.0Career Pathway Electives6.0
Select one from the following:3.0DSMR 211 or COM 2203.0MKTG 2014.0 
ECON 2014.0Career Pathway Elective3.0 
Career Pathway Elective3.0  
   
   
   
   
 13 17 18 12
Third Year
FallCreditsWinterCreditsSpringCreditsSummerCredits
COOP EXPERIENCECOOP EXPERIENCEARTH 3143.0DSMR 3114.0
  DSMR 3103.0DSMR 4773.0
  DSMR 3333.0Select one of the following:4.0
  Career Pathway Electives7.0
   
   
   
   
   Social Science3.0
 0 0 16 14
Fourth Year
FallCreditsWinterCreditsSpringCredits 
ARTH 3353.0ARTH 336 or 3373.0PHIL 3013.0 
DSMR 464 or 4544.0DSMR 454 or 4644.0Social Science (choice)3.0 
DSMR 496 (Or Career Pathway Elective)3.0DSMR 496 (Or Career Pathway Elective)3.0Career Pathway Elective4.0 
Career Pathway Elective4.0Career Pathway Elective4.0Arts and Humanities (choice)3.0 
 14 14 13 
Total Credits 181

Fall/Winter Co-op (Cycle A - London Option)

First Year
FallCreditsWinterCreditsSpringCreditsSummerCredits
DSMR 1033.0DSMR 1003.0CIVC 1011.0VACATION
ENGL 101 or 1113.0DSMR 2303.0DSMR 2013.0 
ENVS 2603.0ENGL 102 or 1123.0ENGL 103 or 1133.0 
UNIV A1011.0GEO 1113.0ENVS 1602.0 
VSST 1014.0VSST 1024.0MATH 1194.0 
VSST 1103.0 VSST 1034.0 
 17 16 17 0
Second Year
FallCreditsWinterCreditsSpringCreditsSummerCredits
ACCT 1104.0ARTH 1033.0COM 220, AFAS 301, DSMR 210, PSY 150, or WGST 3243.0COM 220, DSMR 210, or PHTO 1103.0
COM 230 or 2203.0COM 220 or DSMR 2113.0DSMR 2324.0ENTP 1053.0
Art History Elective3.0COOP 101*1.0ECON 2024.0Career Pathway Electives6.0
Select one of the following:3.0DSMR 2313.0MKTG 2014.0 
ECON 2014.0Career Pathway Elective3.0 
Career Pathway Elective3.0  
   
   
   
   
 13 17 18 12
Third Year
FallCreditsWinterCreditsSpringCreditsSummerCredits
COOP EXPERIENCECOOP EXPERIENCEDSMR 3103.0London Classes
  DSMR 3333.0ARTH 3143.0
  Select one of the following:4.0Social Science (choice)3.0
  Career Pathway Electives9.0
   
   
   
   
  Career Pathway Electives6.0 
 0 0 16 15
Fourth Year
FallCreditsWinterCreditsSpringCredits 
ARTH 3353.0ARTH 336 or 3373.0PHIL 3013.0 
DSMR 454 or 4644.0DSMR 3114.0Social Science (choice)3.0 
DSMR 477 or 4963.0DSMR 477 or 4963.0Career Pathway Elective4.0 
Career Pathway Elective3.0DSMR 454 or 4644.0Arts and Humanities (choice)3.0 
 13 14 13 
Total Credits 181

Spring/Summer Co-op (Cycle B)

First Year
FallCreditsWinterCreditsSpringCreditsSummerCredits
DSMR 1033.0DSMR 1003.0CIVC 1011.0VACATION
ENGL 101 or 1113.0DSMR 2303.0DSMR 2013.0 
ENVS 2603.0ENGL 102 or 1123.0ENGL 103 or 1133.0 
UNIV A1011.0GEO 1113.0ENVS 1602.0 
VSST 1014.0VSST 1024.0MATH 1194.0 
VSST 1103.0 VSST 1034.0 
 17 16 17 0
Second Year
FallCreditsWinterCreditsSpringCreditsSummerCredits
ACCT 1104.0ARTH 1033.0COM 220, AFAS 301, DSMR 210, PSY 150, or WGST 3243.0COM 220, DSMR 210, or PHTO 1103.0
COM 230 or 2203.0COM 220 or DSMR 2113.0DSMR 2324.0COOP 101*1.0
Art History Elective3.0DSMR 2313.0ECON 2024.0ENTP 1053.0
Select one of the following:3.0ECON 2014.0MKTG 2014.0Career Pathway Electives6.0
Career Pathway3.0Career Pathway Elective3.0 
   
   
   
   
   
 13 16 18 13
Third Year
FallCreditsWinterCreditsSpringCreditsSummerCredits
ARTH 3143.0DSMR 3114.0COOP EXPERIENCECOOP EXPERIENCE
DSMR 3103.0DSMR 4773.0  
DSMR 3333.0MKTG 321, 326, 344, 356, or 3624.0  
Career Pathway Electives7.0Social Science (choice)3.0  
 16 14 0 0
Fourth Year
FallCreditsWinterCreditsSpringCredits 
ARTH 3353.0ARTH 336 or 3373.0PHIL 3013.0 
DSMR 454 or 4644.0DSMR 454 or 4644.0Social Science (choice)3.0 
DSMR 496 (Or Career Pathway Elective)3.0DSMR 496 (Or Career Pathway Elective)3.0Career Pathway Elective4.0 
Career Pathway Elective4.0Career Pathway Elective4.0Arts and Humanities (choice)3.0 
 14 14 13 
Total Credits 181

Co-op/Career Opportunities

The Drexel Co-op experience is a renowned collegiate program and the essence of the Drexel Difference in the Westphal College of Media Arts & Design. Design & Merchandising students spend a minimum of six months (two terms) working in positions during which they apply classroom and studio skills to an actual work experience within their chosen professions. Design & Merchandising students leave for co-op academically equipped to be part of a company, and return as young business professionals having integrated classroom knowledge into the workplace and improved their resume.

Students who complete the Bachelor of Science in D&M from Drexel are prepared for success in a wide range of Career Pathways.

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)
  • Purchasing
  • Visual Merchandiser
  • Allocation

Marketing, Media and Public Relations

  • Fashion Marketing Coordinator
  • Product Campaign Specialist
  • Publicist
  • 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

Entrepreneurship

  • Store Owner
  • Freelancer
  • Brand Creator

Learn more about how our alumni have succeeded across the business of fashion.

Co-op Experiences

Some past co-op employments of design and merchandising students include:

  • Assistant Buyer, Urban Outfitters/Anthropologie/Free People, Philadelphia, PA
  • Merchandising Co-op, TJX Companies, Framingham, MA
  • Merchandising Assistant, Nation Design, New York, NY
  • Product Development, Boathouse Sports, Philadelphia, PA
  • Social Media Engagement Co-op, AP Brand Group, Philadelphia, PA
  • Merchandising Co-op, Mundi Westport Group, New York, NY
  • Pattern & Graphics Trend Forecast Co-op, Fashion Snoops, New York, NY
  • Public Relations Assistant, QVC, West Chester, PA
  • Assistant Merchandiser/Wholesales Co-op, Few Moda Inc., New York, NY
  • Fashion Sales and Merchandising Co-op, Program F Showroom, Philadelphia, PA
  • Fashion PR/Social Media & Influencer Marketing Co-op, Krupp Group, New York, NY
  • Showroom Sales Co-op, Marchesa, New York, NY
  • Public Relations Assistant, Neiman Marcus, King of Prussia, PA
  • Design/Market Co-op, Charlotte Ronson, New York, NY
  • Public Relations Co-op, KB Brand Partners, New York, NY
  • Marketing Co-op, Lagos, Philadelphia, PA
  • Production Co-op, Derek Lam, New York, NY
  • Social Media/Brand Ambassador/Merchandising Assistant, Nicole Miller, Philadelphia, PA

Visit the Drexel Steinbright Career Development Center page for more detailed information on co-op and post-graduate opportunities.

Fashion, Product Design & Merchandising Faculty

Kristen Ainscoe, BS (Drexel University). Assistant Teaching Professor. Visual merchandiser; merchandise management.
Christine Baeza, MLD (Penn State University). Assistant Teaching Professor. Ethics, social justice & sustainability, design thinking, merchandising management, textiles and circularity, social entrepreneurship.
Catherine Byers, MA (American University). Assistant Teaching Professor. Journalism; marketing and communications.
Nick Cassway, BFA (Tyler School of Art). Associate Teaching Professor. Curating; experimental portraiture; computer design.
Anne Cecil, MA (University of the Arts). Adjunct Instructor. Web designer, product designer, merchandising and artist.
Joseph H. Hancock, II, PhD (Ohio State University). Professor. Apparel merchandising, textiles and clothing, culture and marketing strategies.
Rachel Mednick, MS (LIM College). Adjunct Instructor. Fashion sustainability, textiles, entrepreneurship, fashion presentation and show production.
Beth Phillips, MS (Georgetown University). Teaching Professor. Business and international marketing, linguist, analysis of products.
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