Online Degree Programs in Apparel Merchandising

Learn what types of apparel merchandising degrees are available and how online programs are structured. Check out what courses you'll find in an online apparel or fashion merchandising degree program. Find out about careers in the field, including average salaries. Schools offering Fashion Design & Merchandising degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

What Types of Apparel Merchandising Programs Are Available Online?

Apparel merchandising programs are available online, mostly at the associate's and bachelor's degree levels. You could earn an Associate of Applied Science in Merchandising and Design or a Bachelor of Science in Fashion Merchandising and Management. Online master's degree programs in apparel merchandising are rare; however, you may find related online master's programs that focus on general merchandising or fashion. Through apparel merchandising degree programs, you gain an understanding of how the fashion industry works and can prepare for a career in fashion buying, display and promotion.

Online Degree LevelsAssociate's, bachelor's; related master's programs are available online
Online RequirementsCourse-specific hardware or software, such as word processing and presentation programs, may be required
Common CoursesHistory of fashion, product development, fashion buying, visual display, textiles
Median Annual Salary (2016)$43,209 for assistant buyers; $40,138 for visual merchandisers*

Source: *PayScale.com

How Do Online Programs Work?

Online coursework is typically the same as it is for on-campus programs, but it is delivered via multimedia content on the Internet. You can log in asynchronously and view your course materials. Assignments are submitted online, and group collaboration is typically performed through e-mail and chat rooms. To enroll, you need reliable Internet access, basic computer skills, a word processing program and some presentation software. Some online courses have additional hardware or software requirements.

What Will I Learn?

Apparel merchandising at both the associate's and bachelor's degree levels combine business courses - such as marketing, advertising, economics and business law - with courses focusing on trends and issues in the fashion industry. Some programs have you create a professional merchandising portfolio and you may be required to complete an internship. Typical apparel merchandising courses include:

  • Product development
  • History of fashion
  • Fashion buying
  • Design development
  • Fashion sketching
  • Textiles
  • Fashion merchandising
  • Visual display
  • Retail principles

What Is the Career Outlook?

An undergraduate degree in apparel merchandising can prepare you for entry-level careers, such as assistant buyer, visual merchandiser, fashion coordinator or assistant retail manager. According to PayScale.com's January 2016 salary reports, the median annual salary for assistant buyers was $43,209, while the median annual salary for visual merchandisers was $40,138.

To continue researching, browse degree options below for course curriculum, prerequisites and financial aid information. Or, learn more about the subject by reading the related articles below:

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