Fashion Merchandising & Retailing - B.S.

Effective Fall 2020, Johnson & Wales University will complete its transition from a term calendar to a semester calendar. Starting with the 2020–21 catalog, all programs will represent course requirements in semester credit hours rather than quarter credit hours. Students who started on terms and will finish their degree requirements on semesters should consult with their assigned academic counselor in Student Academic Services or faculty advisor on semester transition academic planning.

The Fashion Merchandising & Retailing bachelor’s degree program prepares students for careers in a variety of marketing, managerial and executive opportunities. Students learn fashion and retail concepts in areas such as merchandise buying, visual merchandising and fashion marketing.

Upon completion of the program, graduates are expected to:

  • Apply the major concepts, skills and values related to global fashion markets and designer contributions.
  • Communicate effectively to diverse audiences, purposes and situations through a variety of professional methods as required in fashion merchandising and retailing.
  • Use decision-support tools to resolve contemporary business issues using ethical business practices.
  • Apply creative and advanced analytical competencies necessary for careers in fashion merchandising and retail marketing.
  • Identify, analyze and forecast future industry trends in the acquisition of products and manufacturing of consumer goods.

Upon completion of the Merchandising Buying specialization, students are expected to:

  • Apply merchandising competencies necessary for careers in product allocation and retail buying.

Upon completion of the Fashion Marketing and Visual Merchandising specialization, students are expected to:

  • Apply visual design competencies required for creative careers in visual merchandising and fashion marketing.

Students may apply skills learned in this degree program to opportunities such as directed experiential education, internships, summer work or study abroad programs. These programs are tailored based on the student’s learning, interests and professional goals. Students may also meet with faculty advisers to select a specific career focus.

Upon graduation, students are prepared for fashion and retail entry-level positions in areas such as retail sales management, fashion showroom management, executive store management, merchandise buying, visual merchandising, fashion marketing, fashion forecasting, fashion blogging, fashion promotions, and textile development.

The Fashion Merchandising & Retailing degree program at the Providence, Charlotte and North Miami campuses offers two specializations: Merchandising Buying and Fashion Marketing and Visual Merchandising.

The Merchandising Buying specialization (22.5 credits) prepares students for careers in the fashion and retail industries and is designed to align with industry standards. This specialization complements the student's degree by providing expanded career opportunities, and gives students the opportunity to develop expertise in the areas of merchandise allocation, buying, analysis and/or product development. 

The Fashion Marketing and Visual Merchandising specialization (22.5 credits) is designed specifically for those students considering visual merchandising as a career. Principles of Composition & Design (GDES1030) may be taken as an elective in this specialization at the Providence and North Miami campuses. The courses in this specialization are intended to give students the opportunity to develop expertise in areas that complement their major. These courses prepare students for careers within the field and align with industry standards. Real-world applications are embedded in this specialization. The Fashion Marketing and Visual Merchandising specialization is suitable for students who are interested in careers in fashion promotion, visual merchandising, event planning, fashion marketing, advertising, communications and fashion blogging. 

Fashion Merchandising & Retailing

A four-year program leading to the bachelor of science degree

Business Foundations
ACCT1210Financial Accounting4.5
ACCT1220Managerial Accounting4.5
CAR0010Career Management1
FIT1040Spreadsheet Design for Business Solutions4.5
LAW2001The Legal Environment of Business I4.5
MGMT1001Contemporary Business Management I4.5
MGMT2001Human Resource Management4.5
MRKT1001Principles of Marketing4.5
Major Courses
RTL1005Introduction to Retailing4.5
RTL1020The Business of Fashion4.5
RTL2063Retail Industry Seminar4.5
RTL2095Fashion and Retail Lab4.5
RTL3020Merchandise Mathematics4.5
RTL3030Cases in Fashion and Retail4.5
RTL4010Retail Executive Decision Making4.5
A&S Core Experience
Communications Foundation Courses 13.5
English Composition
Advanced Composition and Communication
Communication Skills
Integrative Learning 9
Two ILS courses, one at the 2000 level, and one at the 4000 level.
Arts and Humanities 9
Crisis and Controversy: A Critical Thinking Approach
Ethics: A Global Perspective
One course from ART, HIST, HUM‡, LIT, or REL
A Survey of College Mathematics (or higher, based on student's placement)
One course from BIO^, CHM±, PHY° or SCI
Social Sciences 9
One course from ANTH°°, LEAD, PSCI, PSYC or SOC
A&S Electives9
Two courses with an EASC attribute, at least one at 3000 level or higher.
Free Electives #
45 credits selected from 1000-4999 numbered offerings within the university. 45
Total Credits181.0

Visit Courses by Subject Code for a listing of all campus courses.

‡HUM courses are not offered in North Miami or Online.
^BIO courses are not offered in North Miami, Charlotte or Online.
¶CAD courses are only offered in Providence.
±CHM courses are not offered in North Miami or Online.
°PHY courses are not offered in Charlotte.
°°ANTH courses are not offered in North Miami or Charlotte.

#  In addition to classes, free elective credit can be applied to a number of options such as Directed Experiential Education (DEE), Internship, Minor or Study Abroad. For Accelerated Master's program students, up to three graduate-level courses may apply. Students are strongly encouraged to contact an adviser before scheduling free elective credits.

Specialization in Merchandising Buying *
Consumer Behavior
Apparel Quality Analysis
Merchandise Buying
Choose two of the following:
Product Development
Global Sourcing
Fashion Forecasting
Specialization in Fashion Marketing and Visual Merchandising *
Marketing Communications
Social Media Marketing
Visual Merchandising
Choose two of the following:
Advanced Brand Communications
Principles of Composition & Design
Product Development
History of Fashion
The Business of Event Management

NOTE: Students must pass MATH0010 Basic Mathematics or have equivalent placement scores to enroll in required math course(s).

Students who graduate with a bachelor's degree must leave Johnson & Wales University with effective writing skills to fulfill the graduation writing requirement. These writing skills will be assessed at the completion of ENG1021 Advanced Composition and Communication. Students who have met the requirement of ENG1021 Advanced Composition and Communication or ENG1027 Honors Advanced Composition and Communications: Civic Discourse outside of Johnson & Wales University must fulfill the graduation writing requirement through successful completion of ENG0001 Writing Workshop.

In collaboration with academic colleges across all JWU campuses, JWU Study Abroad programs offer a variety of international options for major, minor, Arts & Sciences, and elective credit at many price points for students during the academic year and summer. Faculty-led, exchange, affiliate, and direct-enroll programs range in duration from one week to a full semester. Financial aid is applicable and scholarships are available. Visit the study abroad website for information, program descriptions and online applications.