Graduate Programs

M.S. in Design and Merchandising

Apparel and Merchandising Specialization

Major areas of specialization for graduate study and research in Apparel and Merchandising (AM) include:

  • Apparel Design and Production
  • Consumer Behavior
  • Historic Costume and Textiles
  • Merchandising
  • Product Development
  • Social-Psychological and Cultural Aspects of Dress and Appearance
  • Textile Science


Background (Undergraduate Level) Coursework

Although required background courses for students pursuing a master's degree in AM will vary according to the area of study selected, all AM students must have completed coursework in the following areas: textiles (e.g., DM 120) and fashion industries (AM 101). Additional requirements for specific areas of interest are listed below.

  • Apparel Design and Production: basic apparel production with lab (e.g., AM 241), basic apparel design (e.g., AM 143, AM 240)
  • Consumer Behavior: consumer behavior (e.g., DM 272) or merchandising (e.g., AM 270)
  • Historic Costume and Textiles: historic costume (e.g., AM 363) or historic textiles (e.g., AM 460)
  • Merchandising: accounting, statistics, marketing, merchandising (e.g., AM 270)
  • Social Psychological and Cultural Aspects of Dress and Appearance: clothing and human behavior (e.g., AM 250)
  • Textile Science: chemistry with lab (e.g., CHEM 103, CHEM 104)

Graduate Study

Apparel and Merchandising Checksheet

The apparel and merchandising curriculum and the support of faculty with expertise and experience in diverse areas afford graduate students the opportunity to develop individualized programs of study that will assist them in meeting both professional and personal goals. AM graduate students have examined diverse topics for their thesis research, including:

  • The Needs, Desires, Activities, and Skills of Independent Clothing Designers as Small Business Owners
  • Evaluation of Processes that Affect Dimensional Change when Converting a Fabric into A Garment: A Fundamental Study
  • Robes of Tradition: Japanese Courtesans and Geisha
  • Guatemalan Huipil: A Cultural, Contextual, Multi-Disciplinary Discovery
  • Aesthetic Preferences for Textiles Between U.S. and Japanese Consumers
  • Evolution of a Market: Globalization and Free Trade in the Los Angeles County Apparel Industry
  • Interactions Among High School Cross Country Runners and their Coaches: Creating A Cultural Context for Athletes’ Body-Related Attitudes and Behaviors
  • The Impact of Students’ Clothing Styles, Appearances, and Popularity on Teachers’ Perceptions
  • Plant-Based Antibacterial Agents for Textile Substrates