The Apparel Merchandising and Product Development program is part of the School of Family and Consumer Sciences in the BGSU College of Education and Human Development

  • Minor Available
  • Bachelors Available
  • Minor Available
  • Bachelors Available

Fashion Merchandising and Product Development

If the fashion merchandising world excites you, the fashion merchandising and product development program will give you the professional skills to succeed in fashion.

BGSU graduates work in every area of the global fashion industry, from textile supply to apparel product development, CAD design and brand representation. You'll work alongside our highly respected and nationally ranked faculty who focus on your education and personal growth.

The Business of Fashion

On campus, you’ll build professional skills specific to fashion merchandising and product development: apparel buying, styling, product line conception and analysis of trends – all in a specialized studio area on the Ohio campus.

Off campus, you will be encouraged (and assisted) to visit fashion hubs everywhere from Columbus, Ohio, Chicago and New York City to Paris, London, Milan, Tel Aviv and Sydney. You’ll also have the opportunity to study at the Fashion Institute of Technology in New York City. 

Experienced faculty within the program will advise and mentor you every step of the way toward success in the business of fashion.

Stand Out in courses like

  • Computers for Apparel Products
  • Product Development Studio
  • Consumer Analysis in Fashion
  • Twentieth Century Fashion
  • Omni-Channel Retailing
  • Visual Merchandising
  • Technical Design


The fashion merchandising and product development (FMPD) program at Bowling Green State University is a comprehensive degree program that prepares future professionals for exciting, challenging and fast-paced careers in the fashion industry. 

By the end of a major or minor degree in the program, you will understand the process and mathematical calculations used to plan and control profits and inventories in the global textile and apparel business. Our cutting-edge fashion design, merchandising and production courses will equip you with the technical skills involved in the modern apparel product development processes. From anticipating consumer demand, product development, merchandising, production planning and management, and selection of textile and apparel products, and notably, the use of technology in all these steps.  

You will graduate from this college degree course with an understanding of the relationship between culturally diverse consumers of fashion and the ability to use the consumer behavior process to achieve success in the apparel business. 

Student Technology Guide

The Fashion Merchandising and Product Development (FMPD) lab space provides each student with a workstation and monitor. Students are expected to bring their own laptops and connect to the monitor in the FMPD lab for design work. Students will be advised when to purchase a subscription to Adobe Creative Cloud (Photoshop and Illustrator) to be used in specific classes. FMPD students may use a PC or Mac laptop, but Chromebooks are not recommended. Please follow the BGSU ITS Recommended Minimum Hardware guide when purchasing a laptop.

Internships and Careers

Graduates of the BGSU FMPD program are prized for their broad knowledge of professional apparel development processes and for their creativity and problem-solving abilities. 

Our students complete two internships with merchants, product developers and retailers at store and corporate levels globally, meaning that you will graduate with at least two professional experiences. 

Top-level employers recognize the strength of this program and seek out BGSU students for jobs and internships. Students have gone on to work for companies including Express, Nordstrom, Macy’s, Bloomingdale’s, Victoria’s Secret, Coach, Loft and Columbia Sportswear Co., to name a few.

GO FAR in your career

  • Merchandise buyer
  • Visual merchandiser
  • Product developer
  • Fashion stylist
  • Textile manager

Average Starting Salary & BGSU Placement Rate

Mean salary is $58,000-$77,000* — BGSU fashion merchandising and product development graduates average starting salary

98% of fashion merchandising and product development graduates report they're employed, in graduate school or starting a business within six months of graduation

(BGSU data compiled from students who completed the related questions on the graduation survey.)

You will have the option of minoring in marketing in our nationally ranked Schmidthorst College of Business or studying in New York City, where BGSU FMPD students have a 98% acceptance rate at the Fashion Institute of Technology.

Learning Outcomes

Upon completion of the baccalaureate degree, students in fashion merchandising and product development are expected to be able to:

  • Plan textile and apparel product lines to meet the identified target market needs using the product development process.
  • Evaluate apparel industry processes in which products are developed, produced, marketed, sold and consumed in the global economy.
  • Formulate solutions to global apparel and textile problems as evidence of critical and creative thinking skills.
  • Evaluate issues of personal and social responsibility, professional behavior, and ethics related to the impact of individual, organizational and corporate decision-making.


We aspire to be a comprehensive, contemporary and dynamic program that prepares graduates as professionals for the global fashion industry.


Our mission is to challenge learners to become competitive professionals in the global fashion industry. We do this through education, experiential learning, innovation and professional practice.

National Retail Federation Student Association

The close-knit FMPD student body is heavily involved in the BGSU student association branch of the world’s largest retail trade association, the National Retail Federation. Affiliation brings students several benefits, and gives you an advantage with retail recruiters.

Benefits include discounted attendance at Retail’s BIG show in New York City, membership of the Association’s LinkedIn student group and eligibility for several scholarships. 

“This program gave me a solid foundation for my work today. Supplementing an FMPD degree with courses in entrepreneurship and marketing is a great way to stay ahead of the ever-changing retail environment.”

Barrett Evans ’06, Leadership Institute Director, Macy’s

Bowling Green State University [BGSU] is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.  BGSU has been accredited by the Higher Learning Commission since 01/01/1916. The most recent reaffirmation of accreditation was received in 2012 - 2013. Questions should be directed to the Office of Institutional Effectiveness.

The fashion merchandising and product development program will go through its next Program/Cluster Review during the Academic Year 2021-22. More information.

Bowling Green State University programs leading to licensure, certification and/or endorsement, whether delivered online, face-to-face or in a blended format, satisfy the academic requirements for those credentials set forth by the State of Ohio.

Requirements for licensure, certification and/or endorsement eligibility vary greatly from one profession to another and from state to state. The apparel merchandising and product development program does not lead to professional licensure.

Under the Higher Education Act Title IV disclosure requirements, an institution must provide current and prospective students with information about each of its programs that prepares students for gainful employment in a recognized occupation.

The fashion merchandising and product development program is not a recognized occupation that requires a gainful employment disclosure.

College of Education and Human Development logo white

The Fashion Merchandising and Product Development program is part of the School of Family and Consumer Sciences in the BGSU College of Education and Human Development

* Job placement and salary information was compiled by the Office of Academic Assessment through the Graduation Survey from AY2015-2018. The data are gathered around the time of Commencement and a follow-up survey six months post Commencement. For the salary question, data for programs with fewer than fifteen responses are not included. Salaries for those programs are from the National Association of Colleges and Employers Summer 2019 Survey. For questions regarding the data, contact

Updated: 09/26/2023 10:10AM