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 an appreciation for style and product quality, learn to communicate verbally and visually about design across traditional and emerging media, and gain the business knowledge and skills required to promote 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 via creative problem-solving in design and commerce. Through an interdisciplinary approach, we strive to graduate adaptable, creative, confident and passionate professionals who are technologically adept and globally aware.

Through the classroom, co-op experience and study abroad opportunities, the program prepares students to create, merchandise, market, promote and distribute fashion product, 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 more compelling, beautiful place in which to live and work.

Design & Merchandising majors typically focus study in the areas of fashion and fashion-related retail merchandising, product development and product promotions. Elective credits may be used for a concentration in Retail Buying & Merchandising; Fashion Product Development; Fashion Promotion & Special Events; Merchandising Technologies; and Design Management for Design & Merchandising. Elective credits may also provide students with an option to minor in business administration, art history, product design, another discipline, or to pursue other specific educational goals. 

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

Degree Requirements

Students pursuing the Bachelor of Science in Design & Merchandising may complete a concentration in an area of study using free electives. Students may pursue more than one concentration or combine a concentration with a minor.

Concentration in Retail Buying & Merchandising
This concentration is designed to broaden students' practical and theoretical understanding of consumption as it relates to retail buying, management and merchandising. With the growth in cross-channel retail, students need to develop their skills not only for careers in traditional brick-and-mortar retailing establishments, but other retail models. These include: print and electronic based retailing (catalog, television, and Internet). In this concentration, students explore all major retail merchandising and marketing channels and their requirements for buying, staffing, technology, logistics, distribution, and organizational behavior.

Concentration in Fashion Product Development
This concentration analyzes the dominant forces shaping 21st century merchandising decisions, including global product sourcing, international retail development, and the increasingly important role of the consumer in product design. Students successfully completing this concentration develop practical applications to critical issues facing industry decision makers, understand supply chain management from the producer and retailer perspective, identify new markets for products and create strategies for entering those markets, implement merchandising strategies in sectors across the design industries and gain exposure to the latest technology and communication tools that support the industry.

Concentration in Fashion Promotion and Special Events
Through the Fashion Promotion and Special Events concentration students who are interested in a career in public relations, special events planning and marketing, creative and media direction within the design industries will have the opportunity to take classes inside and outside the AW College of Media Arts & Design. These partnerships will enhance the students' background in this area of specialization, and dramatically increase networking and employment opportunities.

Concentration in Merchandising Technologies
Merchandising utilizes technology on the front end for fashion product promotion and on the back end to research, design, source, produce and distribute fashion and home product. In this concentration, students will study topical issues in merchandising technologies through a variety of theory and "hands on" based courses. Upon completion of this concentration students will be familiar with the current technologies in play, analyze the appropriate uses of available technology and be familiar with emerging trends.

Concentration in Design Management in Design & Merchandising
Design management is a relatively new area of study for the design and merchandising student. This concentration is specifically designed to prepare the student to pursue Design Management at the graduate level. 

General Education Requirements
CIVC 101Introduction to Civic Engagement1.0
ENGL 101Composition and Rhetoric I: Inquiry and Exploratory Research3.0
ENGL 102Composition and Rhetoric II: Advanced Research and Evidence-Based Writing3.0
ENGL 103Composition and Rhetoric III: Themes and Genres3.0
MATH 119Mathematical Foundations for Design4.0
PHYS 121Physical Science for Design I4.0
PHYS 122Physical Science for Design II4.0
UNIV A101The Drexel Experience2.0
Required Arts and Humanities - students elect a minimum of 9 credits. *9.0
Required Social Science - students elect a minimum of 9 credits **9.0
Free Electives31.0
Visual Studies Requirements
ARTH 101History of Art I: Ancient to Medieval3.0
ARTH 102History of Art II: Renaissance to Romanticism3.0
ARTH 103History of Art: Modern Art3.0
PHTO 110Photography3.0
VSST 101Design I4.0
VSST 102Design II4.0
VSST 103Design III4.0
VSST 110Introductory Drawing3.0
VSST 111Figure Drawing I3.0
VSST 201Multimedia: Performance4.0
VSST 202Multimedia: Space4.0
VSST 203Multimedia: Materials4.0
Professional Requirements
ACCT 110Accounting for Professionals4.0
ARTH 300 [WI] History of Modern Design3.0
DSMR 100Computer Imaging I3.0
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 Principles3.0
DSMR 232Retail Merchandise Planning4.0
DSMR 310Computer Integrated Merchandising Management3.0
DSMR 311Visual Merchandising4.0
DSMR 333Fashion Product Development3.0
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
FASH 201Survey of the Fashion Industry3.0
MKTG 201Introduction to Marketing Management4.0
Art History Electives ***6.0
Total Credits181.0
*

Arts and humanities electives must equal a minimum of 9.0 credits. Suggested arts and humanities electives: ENGL 303 Science Fiction; ENGL 335 Mythology (Women in Literature); HIST 163 Themes in World Civilization III; ENGL 335 Mythology; any foreign language.

**

Social science electives must equal a minimum of 9.0 credits. Suggested social science electives: SOC 210 Race, Ethnicity and Social Inequality; SOC 215 Sociology of Work; SOC 240 Urban Sociology; SOC 345 Sociology for the Environment; SOC 340 Globalization; SOC I499 Independent Study in SOC.

***

Suggested art history electives: ARTH 335 History of Costume I: Preclassical to Directoire [WI] ; ARTH 336 History of Costume II: Directoire to World War I [WI] ; ARTH 477 Art History Seminar.

Concentration Options

Retail Buying & Merchandising Concentration

Required Courses
DSMR 313International Fashion Merchandising3.0
DSMR 314Visual Merchandising III4.0
DSMR 324Retail Intersections: Social & Cultural Issues3.0
DSMR 325Retail Buying and Assortment Strategies4.0
Select three from the following:11.0
Color and Trend Forecasting
Fashion Product Promotion
Marketing Channels and Distribution Systems
Professional Personal Selling
Interactive Marketing
Consumer Behavior
Total Credits25.0

Fashion Product Development Concentration

Required Courses
DSMR 313International Fashion Merchandising3.0
DSMR 320Merchandising and Design Directions3.0
DSMR 434Fashion Product Sourcing3.0
Select four from the following:14.0
International Negotiations
Fashion Product Promotion
International Business
International Trade
New Product Development
Global Marketing
Total Credits23.0

Fashion Promotion and Special Events Concentration

Required Courses
DSMR 205eFashion Promotion3.0
DSMR 326Fashion Product Promotion4.0
Select one of the following:2.0-3.0
Visual Merchandising II
Media Merchandising I
Fashion Show Production I
Select 13.0 - 14.0 additional credits from the following:13.0-14.0
Introduction to Journalism
Public Relations Principles and Theory
Document Design and Evaluation
International Public Relations
Media Merchandising II
Media Merchandising III
Music Merchandising
Fashion Show Production II
Style and the Media
Advertising & Integrated Marketing Communications
Consumer Behavior
Total Credits23.0

Merchandising Technologies Concentration

Required Courses
DSMR 205eFashion Promotion3.0
DSMR 305eTailing3.0
Select a minimum of 5 from the following:15.0
Electronic Publishing
Web Development I
Web Development II *
Web Development III **
Overview of Digital Media
Digital Storytelling
Explorations in New Media
Visual Merchandising II
Media Merchandising II
Media Merchandising III
Total Credits21.0
*

The pre-requisite for this course is CT 230.

**

The pre-requisite for this course is CT 240.

Design Management in Design & Merchandising Concentration

Required Courses
DSMR 205eFashion Promotion3.0
DSMR 305eTailing3.0
DSMR 313International Fashion Merchandising3.0
DSMR 434Fashion Product Sourcing3.0
Choose 11.0 -12.0 additional credits from the following:11.0-12.0
Business Law I
International Public Relations
International Negotiations
International Business
International Trade
Technology Management
New Product Development
Global Marketing
Total Credits23.0

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 Center. 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. Transfer students need to meet with an academic advisor to review the number of writing-intensive courses required to graduate.


Sample Plans of Study

Fall/Winter Co-op (Cycle A)

Term 1Credits
ENGL 101Composition and Rhetoric I: Inquiry and Exploratory Research3.0
FASH 201Survey of the Fashion Industry3.0
PHYS 121Physical Science for Design I4.0
UNIV A101The Drexel Experience1.0
VSST 101Design I4.0
 Term Credits15.0
Term 2
ENGL 102Composition and Rhetoric II: Advanced Research and Evidence-Based Writing3.0
PHYS 122Physical Science for Design II4.0
UNIV A101The Drexel Experience1.0
VSST 102Design II4.0
VSST 110Introductory Drawing3.0
 Term Credits15.0
Term 3
CIVC 101Introduction to Civic Engagement1.0
DSMR 100Computer Imaging I3.0
ENGL 103Composition and Rhetoric III: Themes and Genres3.0
MATH 119Mathematical Foundations for Design4.0
VSST 103Design III4.0
VSST 111Figure Drawing I3.0
 Term Credits18.0
Term 4
ACCT 110Accounting for Professionals4.0
ARTH 101History of Art I: Ancient to Medieval3.0
DSMR 231Retail Principles3.0
ECON 201Principles of Microeconomics4.0
 Term Credits14.0
Term 5
ARTH 102History of Art II: Renaissance to Romanticism3.0
COOP 101Career Management and Professional Development0.0
DSMR 211Computer Design for Design and Merchandising3.0
DSMR 232Retail Merchandise Planning4.0
ECON 202Principles of Macroeconomics4.0
 Term Credits14.0
Term 6
DSMR 201Analysis of Product3.0
DSMR 210Presentation Techniques Design and Merchandising3.0
DSMR 230Textiles for Design and Merchandising3.0
VSST 201Multimedia: Performance4.0
 Term Credits13.0
Term 7
ARTH 300 [WI] History of Modern Design3.0
VSST 203Multimedia: Materials4.0
PHTO 110Photography3.0
Free Elective 3.0
Arts and Humanities Elective 3.0
 Term Credits16.0
Term 8
ARTH 103History of Art: Modern Art3.0
DSMR 310Computer Integrated Merchandising Management3.0
DSMR 333Fashion Product Development3.0
MKTG 201Introduction to Marketing Management4.0
Social Science Elective 3.0
 Term Credits16.0
Term 9
DSMR 311Visual Merchandising4.0
DSMR 477 [WI] Design and Merchandising Seminar3.0
Art History (ARTH) Elective 3.0
Arts and Humanities Elective 3.0
Free Electives 3.0
 Term Credits16.0
Term 10
DSMR 496 [WI] Senior Problem in Design and Merchandising3.0
Art History (ARTH) Elective 3.0
Social Science Elective 3.0
Free Electives 7.0
 Term Credits16.0
Term 11
VSST 202Multimedia: Space4.0
Social Science Elective 3.0
Free Electives 9.0
 Term Credits16.0
Term 12
Free Electives 9.0
Arts and Humanities Elective 3.0
 Term Credits12.0
Total Credit: 181.0

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

Term 1Credits
ENGL 101Composition and Rhetoric I: Inquiry and Exploratory Research3.0
FASH 201Survey of the Fashion Industry3.0
PHYS 121Physical Science for Design I4.0
UNIV A101The Drexel Experience1.0
VSST 101Design I4.0
 Term Credits15.0
Term 2
ENGL 102Composition and Rhetoric II: Advanced Research and Evidence-Based Writing3.0
PHYS 122Physical Science for Design II4.0
VSST 102Design II4.0
UNIV A101The Drexel Experience1.0
VSST 110Introductory Drawing3.0
 Term Credits15.0
Term 3
CIVC 101Introduction to Civic Engagement1.0
DSMR 100Computer Imaging I3.0
ENGL 103Composition and Rhetoric III: Themes and Genres3.0
MATH 119Mathematical Foundations for Design4.0
VSST 103Design III4.0
VSST 111Figure Drawing I3.0
 Term Credits18.0
Term 4
ACCT 110Accounting for Professionals4.0
ARTH 101History of Art I: Ancient to Medieval3.0
DSMR 210Presentation Techniques Design and Merchandising3.0
DSMR 231Retail Principles3.0
ECON 201Principles of Microeconomics4.0
 Term Credits17.0
Term 5
ARTH 102History of Art II: Renaissance to Romanticism3.0
COOP 101Career Management and Professional Development0.0
DSMR 211Computer Design for Design and Merchandising3.0
ECON 202Principles of Macroeconomics4.0
Free Elective 4.0
 Term Credits14.0
Term 6
DSMR 201Analysis of Product3.0
DSMR 230Textiles for Design and Merchandising3.0
DSMR 232Retail Merchandise Planning4.0
VSST 201Multimedia: Performance4.0
 Term Credits14.0
Term 7
DSMR 477 [WI] Design and Merchandising Seminar3.0
PHTO 110Photography3.0
VSST 203Multimedia: Materials4.0
Arts and Humanities Elective 3.0
Art History (ARTH) Elective 3.0
 Term Credits16.0
Term 8
DSMR 310Computer Integrated Merchandising Management3.0
DSMR 333Fashion Product Development3.0
MKTG 201Introduction to Marketing Management4.0
Social Science Elective 3.0
 Term Credits13.0
Term 9
London Option (History of Modern Design 4.5, Fashion Product Promotion 4.5, and 9 credits electives) 18.0
 Term Credits18.0
Term 10
ARTH 103History of Art: Modern Art3.0
DSMR 496 [WI] Senior Problem in Design and Merchandising3.0
Free Electives 3.0
Social Science Elective 3.0
 Term Credits12.0
Term 11
DSMR 311Visual Merchandising4.0
VSST 202Multimedia: Space4.0
Arts and Humanities Elective 3.0
Art History (ARTH) Elective 3.0
 Term Credits14.0
Term 12
Free Electives 6.0
Art History (ARTH) Elective 3.0
Social Science Elective 3.0
Arts and Humanities Elective 3.0
 Term Credits15.0
Total Credit: 181.0

Spring/Summer (Co-op Cycle B)

Term 1Credits
ENGL 101Composition and Rhetoric I: Inquiry and Exploratory Research3.0
FASH 201Survey of the Fashion Industry3.0
PHYS 121Physical Science for Design I4.0
UNIV A101The Drexel Experience1.0
VSST 101Design I4.0
 Term Credits15.0
Term 2
ENGL 102Composition and Rhetoric II: Advanced Research and Evidence-Based Writing3.0
PHYS 122Physical Science for Design II4.0
UNIV A101The Drexel Experience1.0
VSST 102Design II4.0
VSST 110Introductory Drawing3.0
 Term Credits15.0
Term 3
CIVC 101Introduction to Civic Engagement1.0
DSMR 100Computer Imaging I3.0
ENGL 103Composition and Rhetoric III: Themes and Genres3.0
MATH 119Mathematical Foundations for Design4.0
VSST 103Design III4.0
VSST 111Figure Drawing I3.0
 Term Credits18.0
Term 4
ACCT 110Accounting for Professionals4.0
ARTH 101History of Art I: Ancient to Medieval3.0
DSMR 231Retail Principles3.0
ECON 201Principles of Microeconomics4.0
 Term Credits14.0
Term 5
ARTH 102History of Art II: Renaissance to Romanticism3.0
DSMR 232Retail Merchandise Planning4.0
ECON 202Principles of Macroeconomics4.0
Free Elective 3.0
 Term Credits14.0
Term 6
DSMR 201Analysis of Product3.0
DSMR 210
or 211
Presentation Techniques Design and Merchandising
Computer Design for Design and Merchandising
3.0
DSMR 230Textiles for Design and Merchandising3.0
VSST 201Multimedia: Performance4.0
 Term Credits13.0
Term 7
ARTH 300 [WI] History of Modern Design3.0
COOP 101Career Management and Professional Development0.0
PHTO 110Photography3.0
VSST 203Multimedia: Materials4.0
Free Elective 3.0
Arts and Humanities Elective 3.0
 Term Credits16.0
Term 8
ARTH 103History of Art: Modern Art3.0
DSMR 310Computer Integrated Merchandising Management3.0
DSMR 333Fashion Product Development3.0
MKTG 201Introduction to Marketing Management4.0
Social Science Elective 3.0
 Term Credits16.0
Term 9
DSMR 311Visual Merchandising4.0
DSMR 477 [WI] Design and Merchandising Seminar3.0
Art History (ARTH) Elective 3.0
Arts and Humanities Elective 3.0
Free Elective 3.0
 Term Credits16.0
Term 10
DSMR 496 [WI] Senior Problem in Design and Merchandising3.0
Art History (ARTH) Elective 3.0
Social Science Elective 3.0
Free Electives 6.0
 Term Credits15.0
Term 11
VSST 202Multimedia: Space4.0
Free Electives 8.0
Social Science Elective 3.0
 Term Credits15.0
Term 12
Free Electives 11.0
Arts and Humanities Elective 3.0
 Term Credits14.0
Total Credit: 181.0

Co-op/Career Opportunities

Opportunities

An education in Design & Merchandising prepares individuals for a wide variety of career paths. Graduates often pursue opportunities in retail operations and buying, fashion and home product development, fashion product promotion. More recently, graduates select careers in merchandising technologies, or design management. Each of these areas is offered as a concentration, or the student 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:

  • Wholesale Co-op, Alexander McQueen, New York, NY
  • Assistant Buyer, Urban Outfitters/Anthropologie, Philadelphia, PA
  • Product Development Assistant, Charming Shoppes, Bensalem, PA
  • Design and Merchandising Assistant, Jones New York, New York, NY
  • Public Relations Assistant, QVC, West Chester, PA
  • Assistant Fashion Coordinator, Special Events Department, Saks Fifth Avenue
  • Fashion Showroom Co-op, BCBG Max Azria, New York, NY
  • Public Relations Assistant, Neiman Marcus, King of Prussia, PA
  • Design/Market Co-op, Charlotte Ronson, New York, NY
  • Design Assistant, Calvin Klein, New York, NY
  • Retail/Manufacturing/Merchandising Asst., Nicole Miller, Philadelphia PA

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

Dual/Accelerated Degree Program

Only available to Design & Merchandising majors (4-year with co-op), this dual degree program combines study in the areas of fashion retail merchandising and product development with the MBA degree. The program is designed to allow students to complete both the bachelor's degree and the Master of Business Administration degree in five years.

Incoming freshmen selected for this program will generally have a minimum of 1350 on the SAT, a GPA of 3.5 or better, and rank in the top 10% of their high school graduating class. A strong candidate for this program will have taken significant AP coursework while in high school.

Degree Requirements 

The degree requirements for each program are located on the following pages:

Additional requirements for the dual degree program

  • A cumulative GPA of at least 3.2 is required throughout the program.
  • Students must take the GMAT examination and achieve a minimum score of 570 prior to the end of the tenth term in order to continue in the program. It is recommended that students take the GMAT examination late in the student's third year.
  • Students must submit an acceptable of plan of study at least three terms before anticipated start of graduate part of the program.

Students should visit the Westphal College of Media Arts and Design for more information.

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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