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Fashion Merchandising FAQ

  • Commonly asked questions for current and prospective students of Fashion Merchandising.

    Can I complete the FSMR program in four years?

    Yes! Our program is a total of 120 credits. If students take 15 to 16 credits of appropriate courses they will graduate in four years. We have a sequencing sheet that shows the breakdown of the four years with courses and the semesters when the courses are taken. This is an aid for students to keep on track. Our students are assigned an academic advisor who assists students in making adequate progress towards their Fashion Merchandising degree. Students who need to repeat courses, change majors, or transfer from another institution should take advantage of IUP’s Summer and Winter sessions to catch up on needed coursework.

    Will I have difficulty getting my Fashion Merchandising classes?

    The Fashion Merchandising classes are set up so that there is no time conflict among classes at the same class level. There are, for the most part, enough seats in the classes that as long as students register in a timely fashion they get into the courses needed.

    What is the FSMR connection to FIT in New York City?

    Our Fashion Merchandising program participates in a Visiting Student Program with the Fashion Institute of Technology (FIT) in NYC. This program is ONLY for those students interested in the following FIT programs: Accessories Design, Advertising and Marketing Communications, Communications Design, Fashion Design, Jewelry Design, Textile/Surface Design, and Textile Development and Marketing. Students complete their Liberal Studies and Fashion Merchandising requirements at IUP during their first three years, then apply (including a design portfolio where applicable) to the FIT Visiting Student Program for their senior year. If accepted into the Visiting Student Program, students complete their senior year at FIT and transfer their FIT credits back to IUP. IUP then grants the student a Bachelor of Science degree in Fashion Merchandising. FIT grants an Associate of Applied Science degree to the student once a final transcript from IUP, stating that the bachelor’s degree has been conferred, has been sent to FIT. Interested students should contact the FIT/FSMR liaison when entering IUP in order to better prepare for the FIT application process.

    Where do your graduates get jobs and in what positions?

    Our Fashion Merchandising graduates gain employment in all aspects of the apparel industry. Graduates are employed as buyers, visual merchandisers, product developers, merchandise coordinators, retail managers, and other positions within the industry. Our graduates work from coast to coast, with many finding employment in the Pittsburgh, Philadelphia, Los Angeles, and New Jersey and New York City regions. They work with such companies as Tadashi Shoji, Caffeine Culture, The Buckle, American Eagle Outfitters, QVC, The BonTon, Forever 21, Dick’s Sporting Goods, Burlington Coat Factory, Nautica, Columbia Sportswear, Gabriel Bros., and Russell Newman/St. Eve. Students start to actively pursue jobs during their senior year at IUP, and the FSMR 480: Seminar in Fashion Merchandising course and the Career Development Center on campus assist students in searching for viable positions as well as in developing cover letters, resumes, and interviewing techniques.

    What extracurricular activities can I become involved related to Fashion Merchandising?

    Our program has a very active professional student organization, the IUP Fashion Association (FA). The FA meets biweekly and hosts trips, brings in professional guest speakers, sponsors fundraisers, participates in service projects, and hosts two fashion shows a year. For more information about the organization, its officers, activities, and calendar of events, please visit the IUP Fashion Association website.

    Is an internship required for graduation? How do I find an internship?

    Internships, although strongly suggested, are not required for graduation. Students who choose to do a fashion internship usually participate in one during the summer between their junior and senior year. In this way, students have taken several FSMR courses to help them to be better prepared for the experience. An internship taken for credit (one credit hour equates to forty hours of work) will go towards their four to nine free electives needed for graduation. Students who choose not to do an internship will take four to nine credits of coursework in order to fulfill the free elective graduation requirement.

    Students start the search process for an internship site. Several on-line internship sites are available, or students could visit corporate sites of companies in which they are interested. They need to discuss options with their adviser and internship supervisor. A faculty intern supervisor is involved in the process to make sure the student is pursuing a viable site. Several larger companies, such as QVC, Target, and Nordstrom’s, have well-established internship programs. However, students may find equally beneficial internships at a smaller or local fashion establishment.

    Why should I choose IUP and not a specialty fashion school?

    Our main concern is with our students’ success. Students in our program receive a strong liberal arts education with a competitive Fashion Merchandising curriculum and a strong business component. As a state-owned institution, IUP students benefit from low tuition, a collegiate atmosphere, and caring faculty members who focus on teaching. Students can participate in campuswide activities such as sororities/fraternities, majors clubs, artistic performances, and sports events. IUP also offers many courses that are on line or available during winter and summer breaks, making it more convenient for students. Fashion Merchandising classes range in size from forty to fifty for lecture classes and eighteen to twenty-five for lab classes, making it a personable environment. The Indiana community is also very accessible to our students via the Indigo Bus System, and many businesses are within walking distance of campus.

    What are the Math and Science requirements for the Fashion Merchandising program?

    All of FSMR students are required to take Math 101 (Foundations of Mathematics) or higher, Math 214 or 217 (Probability and Statistics), Accounting 201 (Accounting Principles I), and FSMR 360: Apparel Industry II (Merchandise Mathematics). For those students wishing to pursue a minor in Business Administration, Accounting 202 (Accounting Principles II) and Finance 310 (Finance I) are required. Science requirements include Chemistry 101 and 102 (College Chemistry I and II) OR Physical Science 105 and 106 (Physical Science I and II).

    Does the FSMR program have different admission requirements than that of the general IUP admission requirements?

    The Fashion Merchandising program does not have any special admissions requirements.

    How do I sign up for classes for the next semester?

    After entrance into the FSMR program, students are assigned an academic advisor. Students are encouraged to introduce themselves to their academic advisor at the beginning of their academic career and seek their advice and guidance in regards to academic issues. Each semester, the students will have an appointment with their academic adviser to receive their registration pin number as well as a listing of courses to take for the next academic semester. The students will then register on line from their computer or from one of the computer labs.

    I am interested in doing a double major in Fashion Merchandising and Marketing. How much longer will it take to achieve this?

    Because our Fashion Merchandising program’s Liberal Studies requirements closely mirror those of the Marketing program, a double major in Fashion Merchandising and Marketing is very doable. Most students are able to complete both programs in four-and-a-half years.

    What opportunities are there for studying fashion abroad?

    There are two programs that the university has signed study abroad agreements with for Fashion Merchandising students. They are the American Intercontinental University program, based in London, and the Study Abroad Italy program, based in Milan or Florence. Courses taken at these schools usually transfer back into the Major Controlled Elective Category of the FSMR program.