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

Students in the Design & Merchandising program develop proficiencies in commerce, business strategies, design, and product quality. They learn to communicate verbally and visually about products across traditional and emerging media, and gain the business knowledge and skills required to promote and sell an aesthetically grounded point of view in the global marketplace.

The Design & Merchandising program at Drexel University's Antoinette Westphal College of Media Arts & Design educates and prepares students to effect change in the business of fashion via creative problem-solving in design and commerce. Through an interdisciplinary and experiential approach, we strive to graduate adaptable, creative, confident, and passionate professionals who are technologically adept, creative thinkers, business minded, and globally aware.

Through the dynamic classroom, co-op experience, and study abroad opportunities, the program prepares students to create, merchandise, market, promote, and distribute products based on a knowledge of visual/aesthetic and business considerations. Design & Merchandising students graduate with the knowledge and skills needed for success in traditional and emerging roles in the global marketplace, and as practical and responsible corporate citizens who will make the world a better place.

Design & Merchandising majors focus study in the areas of retail and wholesale operations, merchandise management, visual merchandising, textiles, and product development and sourcing, along with trend forecasting, marketing and media, and public relations and event production.

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
PSY 150Introduction to Social Psychology3.0
Social Science electives **6.0
Visual Studies Requirements
ARTH 102History of Art II3.0
ARTH 103History of Art III3.0
ARTH 314Contemporary Art 3.0
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: 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
ARTH 1023.0COOP 1011.0DSMR 210, COM 220, or PSY 1503.0DSMR 210, COM 220, or PHTO 1103.0
COM 230 or 2203.0DSMR 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, DSMR 210, or PSY 1503.0COM 220, DSMR 210, or PHTO 1103.0
ARTH 1023.0COM 220 or DSMR 2113.0DSMR 2324.0ENTP 1053.0
COM 230 or 2203.0COOP 1011.0ECON 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, DSMR 210, or PSY 1503.0COM 220, DSMR 210, or PHTO 1103.0
ARTH 1023.0COM 220 or DSMR 2113.0DSMR 2324.0COOP 1011.0
COM 230 or 2203.0DSMR 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

Opportunities

An education in Design & Merchandising prepares individuals for a wide variety of career paths. Graduates often pursue opportunities in buying, merchandising, and retail operations; fashion and home product development and sourcing; fashion product promotion; media merchandising; social media coordination; and public relations. More recently, graduates select careers in merchandising technologies or customer relationship management. Students may elect to choose a minor opening up an unlimited number of options.

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.
Catherine Byers, MA (American University). Assistant Teaching Professor. Journalism; marketing and communications.
Nick Cassway, BFA (Tyler School of Art). Assistant Teaching Professor. Curating; experimental portraiture; computer design.
Anne C. Cecil, MA (University of the Arts). Assistant Teaching Professor. Web designer, product designer, merchandising and artist.
Michael Glaser, MFA (Ohio State University) Program Director for Product Design. Associate Professor. <em>Westphal College of Media Arts & Design</em> Quantifying the designer's intuition; the interplay between digital and physical forms; human desire to shape our surroundings.
Joseph H. Hancock, II, PhD (Ohio State University). Professor. Apparel merchandising, textiles and clothing, culture and marketing strategies.
Beth Phillips, MS (Georgetown University). Associate Teaching Professor. Business and international marketing, linguist, analysis of products.
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