Student modeling in the Threads fashion show Student modeling in the Threads fashion show Apparel-Product-Development-Merchandising-Technology

Apparel Product Development & Merchandising Technology

Program Overview

Clothes may make the person — but we'll help make your career. We give you hands-on experience in all aspects of the industry, from concept development to retail distribution. And you won't have to wait to use cutting-edge technology — our apparel labs are some of the most advanced in the country.

Program Snapshot

Program Type: Full-Time
Location: On Campus
Program Length: 2 years
Credit Hours: 30 - 36

Why This Program & What You'll Learn

Fashion changes every day. Your education should be ahead of the trends.

Hands-on research is the core of our apparel product development and merchandising technology program. You won't just study developments after they happen — you'll work with manufacturers and retailers to bring them to life.

That may mean working with Cotton Incorporated on a virtual selling space; or helping Lululemon test thermal fabrics with one of our sensor-equipped manikins; or putting Polartec fabric through its paces while filming runners with infrared cameras.

This collaborative approach is an integral part of our program. It means that when you graduate, you'll have the experiences that will make you competitive in the labor market.

You'll gain much of that experience in on-campus labs featuring technology you'll be hard-pressed to find elsewhere. We're the only university in Michigan to have a 3D body scanner. And we're the first public university in the Midwest to have a MakerBot 3D Printing Innovation Center.

Yet as important as technology is, people are even more important. Our experienced faculty will prepare you for executive-level positions in apparel and textile development, merchandising or go on to pursue an advanced degree.

Program Highlights

As a student in the apparel product development major, you:

  • Solve real-world problems for corporate clients at our Center for Merchandising and Design Technology. Use 3D printers, body scanners, a thermotron chamber, thermal manikins, and more.
  • Get a jump start on grad school with our accelerated master's program. You can earn two degrees in just five years, putting you on a fast track to a career or a Ph.D. program.

Careers & Outcomes

Take a look in your closet — there's a good chance a CMU grad has something to do with the clothes in there. Our alums have gone on to careers at Eddie Bauer, Adidas, Carhartt, Kohl's and many other designers and retailers. You might also go on to pursue a PhD and eventually teach at a college or university.

Career Projected Salary
College Professor/Instructor $79,640
Purchasing Agent $63,470
Fashion Designer $77,450
Product Development Engineer $78,627

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