Auburn University
Auburn University
Auburn University

Bachelor of Science in Apparel Merchandising, Design and Production Management (BS-AMDP)

     At Auburn University it is recognized that effective career preparation for the apparel and textile industry of the future requires an understanding of the consumer-driven textile/apparel/ retail complex, from textile fiber to design and production, to sourcing and merchandising. Through courses taught by faculty members who are experienced in the industry, students in the AMDP major gain this understanding, giving them an edge for success in whatever area of the apparel, textiles or accessories field they choose to enter.

     The apparel and textile industry operates in a global market, making an understanding of the world economy and cultural diversity essential. The AMDP curriculum provides students with this international perspective through coursework and learning experiences with a global focus. Study abroad experience is strongly encouraged.

     Classroom learning is supplemented with field trips and speakers from the textile/apparel/retailing field. Speakers include corporate CEO’s, internationally recognized designers, product developers, store managers, merchandisers, and industry representatives. Optional study tours to Atlanta, New York, Italy and other countries provide students with a global perspective on international trade laws, fashion trends, and the impact of culture and economics on consumer preferences.

     Students who major in AMDP choose to specialize in one of two options: Apparel Merchandising or Apparel Design and Production Management. Students take a core of courses providing a foundation for merchandising and/or product design and production management. Students in both options participate in a ten-week professional internship during their senior year. Optional internships prior to the senior year are also encouraged. Many sudents also complete one or two minors to further enhance preparation for their chosen career.

Career Preparation

     Apparel Merchandising, Design and Production Management graduates are prepared for a wide range of careers. Their knowledge and understanding of the total apparel/textile/retail complex, along with their unique insights into the consumer-driven market, makes Auburn’s AMDP students highly marketable. In addition, the global perspective of the curriculum opens many national and international career opportunities. Students in all options may increase their marketability by pursuing an International Minor in Human Sciences, and/or minors in Business, Foreign Language, Communication, Sustainability, Philanthropy and Nonprofit Studies, and Hunger Studies.

Degree Options

Apparel Merchandising Option

     The Apparel Merchandising Option provides students with a unique perspective on the competitive, consumer-driven marketplace. A foundation in textile and apparel product knowledge and business fundamentals is combined with a focus on forecasting and interpreting consumer demand. The internationalization of producing and marketing fashion-oriented products is emphasized. The strong business orientation of this option is evident when viewing the list of required supporting courses: Economics, Accounting, Management, Marketing, and Statistics. Specialized course requirements in the Apparel Merchandising Option include: Merchandise Planning and Control, Visual Merchandising, Fashion Analysis and Forecasting, Textiles, World Production and Trade in Textiles and Apparel, History of Costumes, 20th Century Fashion, Apparel Merchandising and Retail Management.

     The senior level internship in the Apparel Merchandising Option is focused on an individual’s career interests and may include marketing, store management, buying, sales, merchandising, media and special events, fashion journalism, or consumer relations experiences. This internship may be served with a domestic or an international firm.

     A sampling of the careers AMDP merchandising majors may pursue includes:

  • Retail Buyer
  • Marketing Director
  • Apparel/Textiles Sales Representative
  • Special Events Coordinator
  • Sales Manager
  • Fashion Coordinator
  • Merchandise Manager
  • Store Owner/Manager
  • Fashion Forecaster
  • Visual Merchandiser
  • Human Resources Director
  • Fashion Journalist

Apparel Design and Production Management Option

     This option is structured around a core of courses, that provide students with knowledge about raw materials and manufactured products, design and product development, production technology, and sourcing and marketing concepts. A computer-aided-design (CAD) laboratory and an industry-equipped apparel production laboratory are the setting for the core courses in product design and production.

     Designers and product developers must be creative, but must also understand that fashion begins and ends with the consumer. This option is unique because of its strong emphasis on developing an understanding of consumer preferences and identifying market niches, in addition to focusing on product development, design and production management principles.

     Students learn to manage apparel products from the design concept through retail sales. “Hands on experience” in the apparel laboratory includes: product development beginning with market research, experience with computer-aided pattern design, grading and marker making, product costing, and quality control and producing tech packages as a part of a team-based Apparel Line Development. Students study management concepts relative to the apparel industry including flexible manufacturing, quick response, and total quality management. Specialized courses required in the option include aesthetics for Design, Design Communication, Product Development, Technical Design, Product Development, Apparel Design, Apparel Engineering nad Portfolio Development for Apparel Design. Optional design classes include Advanced Design, Consumer Decision-Making for Apparel and Fashion Products, Global Retailing, or Portfolio Development. Advanced Buying and Accountability is an optional course for students. Students in this option complete professional internships with such leaders as Macy's, Kay Unger, Billy Reid, Anne Barge, and Michael Kors.

     Apparel Design and Production Management students might intern with couture designers or in an industry setting. Unique internships may be possible in theatrical costuming, or in museums with historical costume or textile collections.

A sampling of the careers AMDP Apparel Design and Production Management majors may pursue are:

  • Production Sourcing Manager
  • Apparel Production Manager
  • Apparel/Textiles Quality Control Manager
  • Apparel Product Developer
  • Textile/Apparel Market Researcher
  • Patternmaker
  • Entrepreneur