B.S. Fashion Design & Development

Design a career in fashion that takes your sketches from pattern to presentation.
Degree Type Bachelor of Science
Careers & Salaries Career Outcomes
Delivery On Campus

UW-Stout's Bachelor of Science (B.S.) in Fashion Design & Development program (formerly Apparel Design and Development) emphasizes current industry practices, internship opportunities, and career placement. You'll explore real-world aspects of the fashion and apparel industries, including market research, planning, designing, developing, buying, and marketing.


100% of Graduates Are Employed or Continuing Education.

Our students gain experience working on real-world projects with a unique combination of design and technology. / UW-Stout

Career-Defining Curriculum

UW-Stout's B.S. Fashion Design & Development program prepares you for a career designing and developing ready-to-wear fashion and apparel, including sportswear, knitwear, safety & technical products and garments for special occasions. Throughout core art coursework and advanced design courses, you'll develop the knowledge and skills to succeed in your industry internship experience and prepare a final collection to help launch your career. Our graduates work across the country with top companies.


Program Overview

View program plans, credit requirements and course descriptions.



Your studies will include merchandise planning, product sourcing, social media marketing, and market research, as well as coursework on visual merchandising, apparel construction, textile pattern structures, and 21st-century garment engineering and manufacturing.

Industry-Aligned Experience

To complement the academic program of study, students are required to have two field study experiences. These co-ops/internships are a summer or semester-long work experience in product development or management training positions with major fashion and retail companies.

Gallery of Student Designs

Fashion slideshow thumbnail image

Our students gain experience working on real-world projects with a unique combination of design and technology. There are no limits to how far your imagination will take with a fashion degree.

View Student Gallery

"UW-Stout prepared me to be a leader in my industry. The program prepared me to not just tell beautiful design stories, but to know how to bring those stories to life. I learned how to build garments, curate collections, and work in teams, and those skills became an asset that propelled me through my career to where I am today."

~ Kimberly Monaghan
B.S. Fashion Design & Development

Use the Request Information form to receive a program summary and learn more about the B.S. Fashion Design & Development.

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Prepare for Your Fashion Design & Development Degree

High school students interested in entering the fashion and retail field should have a college preparatory background emphasizing English, speech, writing skills, math, social studies, economics and accounting. Work experience in a retail store is suggested.

Starting Out

During your first few semesters, you'll enroll in a combination of general education studies and major foundation courses. General education includes:

  • English composition
  • Speech and a variety of other student-selected courses in the humanities
  • Social and behavioral sciences
  • Natural science
  • Technology
  • Analytical reasoning
  • Initial courses in the major include:
  • Introduction to retail merchandising and management
  • Basic retailing
  • Computer applications

Advisers are eager to help you with course selection and career direction. Additional assistance is available through the Advisement and Career Center, Counseling Center and Career Services.

Moving Forward

The Fashion and Retail program provides a sound body of knowledge from which to launch a successful career in retailing. The curriculum provides professional courses in both general retailing and in your concentration of choice. General education courses ensure that you have a well-rounded education.

You'll also contribute to the operation of The Niche, a student-inspired specialty store located in UW-Stout's Heritage Hall. You and other students take charge of all aspects of this retail operation, including planning and purchasing, inventory control, advertising, visual merchandising, special events, selling and supervision.

The retail faculty and teaching staff are former retailers who work closely with students and retail companies. They maintain and cultivate industry relationships, which provide up-to-date information and career planning for you and helps you develop solid contacts for employment upon graduation.

Career Opportunities

A number of student organizations provide you with excellent leadership training, career insights and recreation opportunities. Join our award-winning Stout Retail Association student organization with more than 100 members ready to work in apparel merchandising, fashion management, store operations, consumer electronics, culinary arts, market research, publicity and merchandising analysis.

Graduates of the Fashion and Retail program usually enter the professional field through an executive training program with a major retail company. This training generally consists of planned rotations in various supervisory positions within the store, merchandising division, distribution center or other areas of the company.

Entry Positions

  • Buyer » Bon Ton Stores
  • Vice President, Merchandise Planning » Brooks Brothers
  • Merchandise Manager » JC Penney
  • Store Team Leader » Target
  • Operations Manager » Lands' End
  • Executive Trainer » The Gap
  • Merchandiser » Oshkosh B'Gosh
  • Advertising Coordinator » Target
  • Buyer » Target Corporation
  • Manager » The Disney Store
  • Operations Manager » Kmart Corporation
  • Business Analyst » Target Corporation
  • Store Manager » Banana Republic
  • Buyer » Pottery Barn
  • Financial Planner » Eddie Bauer
  • Vice President » Krazy Kat Sportswear
  • Store Manager » Best Buy
  • Buyer » Best Buy
  • Project Manager, Store Innovations » Walmart

Past Student Internships

  • Adidas
  • Alice & Olivia
  • Eloquii
  • Express
  • Garnett Hill
  • Lands’ End 
  • Kohl’s
  • Maiyet
  • Marc Jacobs
  • Michael Kors
  • Rebecca Taylor
  • Rag & Bone
  • Target
  • Vans

Companies Where Graduates Work

  • American Eagle
  • Adidas
  • Columbia
  • Duluth Trading Company
  • Express
  • Garnett Hill
  • Lands’ End 
  • Kimberly Clark
  • Kohl’s
  • Nike
  • Nordstrom
  • Ralph Lauren
  • Target

Job Descriptions

Technical Designer: the engineer of clothing! The technical designer oversees the making of the garment and communicates via technical sketches and specification packages with patternmakers and manufacturers to develop prototypes and initial fit garments. Then works with fit models and makes fit corrections before approving final production runs for shipments to sales floors or online vendors.   

Technical Design Assistant: assists the technical designer in all aspects of the position.

Product Development Manager: oversees product development departments within organizations, typically this department is made up of technical designers. 

Product Manager: oversees product categories for time and delivery.

Designer: designs clothing according to market demands with an understanding of fabrics, garment construction, sizing specifications, grading standards, and manufacturing limitations. 

Assistant: assists designer with all aspects of the position.

CAD/Textile Designer: (Computer Aided Design) creates original textile prints according to market, manufacturing, and cost structures. 

CAD/CAM Specialist: (Computer Aided Design/Computer Aided Manufacturing) 

Pattern maker: Build patterns from specifications utilizing computer software in 2 and 3D forms. Size grading and production planning can also fall under a pattern maker’s responsibilities. 

Quality Auditor/Manager: utilizing product specifications, analyze products to ensure standards are met via audits and testing. 

Sourcing and Production: work with vendors to secure trims, fabrics, and product components. Build, manage, and negotiate the product development timeline.

Program Advisory Committee

Advisory Committee Members

MariaAlmDean- CAHSUW-Stout
Elisa SarasinAndersonMerchandising Assistant Land's End
JenniferAstwoodAssociate Dean, CAHSUW-Stout
BelindaBanikeSenior Fabric EngineerTarget
BryanBartsDirector of Career ServicesUW-Stout
CheriBeck-AndresekDirector of Apparel Technical Engineering & DesignShopoverlander
DaveBeckAssociate Dean, CAHSUW-Stout
JessalynBennettDesign Mason Company
Jessica BernardDirector of Product Development and DesignAmerican Girl
RichBowerRetail Management Recruiter/Retail Internship CoordinatorKwik Trip
Emily BrechtSenior Technical DesignerTarget
KristaCapozziMerchandiserMason Companies
Kelly CarterSr. Assistant BuyerJCPenney
CourtneyChristensonTechnical Design ManagerNike
BrentDejagerPsychology, Business owner of Ramble ProvisionsUW-Stout
DavidDingAssociate Dean- STEMMUW-Stout
GraceDrueckeFounderThe Bali Market
DaniDunnSr. Manager of Talent AcquisitionDuluth Trading Company
AimeeFaustMen's Activewear DesignerChampion/Hanes Inc. 
Daniel FreedmanDean-STEMMUW-Stout
Callie FreyAssociate Product Development ManagerLand's End
Wendy GavinskiPresidentDSG Outwear
Sara GoodmanProduct Line Manager- Apparel Ardisam
Heidi GooldVice President of Digital Product Creation (DPC) TransformationKohl's
CaitlynHallHR Generalist/RecruiterDuluth Trading Company
JaimeeHowardTechnical DesignerTarget
DeannaJubranDirector of OperationsPlace Showroom
AliciaKanitzTechnical DesignerDuluth Trading Company
KarolynKellyTechnical DesignerMason Company
GinaKeyesAssociate BuyerTarget
AngieKlein-MielkeSenior Product Development ManagerTarget
AmberKonkelAdvanced ArtistKohl's
MeganKrajcoDirector of Design PACT
CoriLinsmeyerMenswear DesignerLand's End
CraigMooreAssistant ProfessorUW-Stout
NancyMurrayTeaching Professor and Academic DirectorUW-Madison
Heather PollardDesign DirectorMason Companies
LaurenPryorDirector of Product Development and DesignPodiumwear Custom Sports Apparel
Carline RindtHead of Apparel Diamondback Tool Co.
CecilyRipleyApparel 3D Clothing Technical DesignerPM & J
KaraSaciaPhoto Art DirectorKohl's
Emily Siems RobersonSenior Designer- Merchandise Manager Bioworld Merchandising
JadaSchmidtAssistant Manager, Production Ralph Lauren
GraceStantonDesigner, Women's OuterwearLand's End
LaurenStarkMen's Senior Designer- Alaskan HeadgearDuluth Trading Company
EmmaSwansonAssociate Active DesignerSpanx
HannahWalkerTechnical DesignerTrek
JaneWeilDigital Project ManagerLaserAway
AnneWillisApparel Materials Costing ManagerNike

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