The following are the required courses for this major. Students who attend Orientation and meet with the Education Department can obtain personalized academic counseling to complete the program. Transfer credits, changes in curriculum, and other factors may affect the academic plan for individual students. The FIDM Education Department can provide additional information.
Associate of Arts (A.A.)
This course explores what it takes to launch a new venture, both as an entrepreneur and an employee. Students develop a business plan, including identifying opportunities and establishing objectives, matching customer profile to site locations, analyzing competitors practices, and developing a competitive marketing mix. Students also learn the necessary business establishment requirements and financial projections to secure capital or financing to initiate their business venture. Prerequisites: COSM 2380, COSM 2450, SMED 2750
In this process-oriented course, students combine deep, disciplined research with careful writing and revision to produce a thoughtful, creative, and personally meaningful research essay. They learn to formulate focused research questions, identify and investigate credible sources, and synthesize expert opinion with their own insight in support of a clearly defined, complex thesis. The emphasis is on curiosity, exploration, and discovery. As part of the process, students also gain confidence and competency in two primary areas of written expression: organization and mechanics.
20th Century Designers
An exploration of major designers who have had a sustained impact, in both couture and ready-to-wear, on todays fashion. Students analyze how key figures in fashion design have influenced the styles and trends in line development of each decade since 1850, with emphasis on the last 30 years.
Color & Design Theory
An introductory study of the principles and elements of color and design theory. Students critique aspects of a visual representation by analyzing the components of design and the use of color by the artist.
This course explores financial and consumer math, the geometry of flat and 3-dimensional spaces, and the basics of statistical analysis. Integrating mathematical equations and concepts in the context of problem solving and discovery, students complete projects and assignments demonstrating the effective use of quantitative tools to support their conclusions.
A course in oral communication designed to give students poise, speaking confidence, and the ability to develop and produce a focused, well-organized speech that holds the audiences attention through effective delivery methods. Presentational skills and audience-centered communication are emphasized.
Designed to foster independent thinking, this course strengthens students capacity to reason clearly, critically, and creatively, including the ability (1) to analyze the arguments of others, (2) to synthesize effective arguments of their own, and (3) to solve problems skillfully. Students also gain experience in reading closely and conducting purposeful, imaginative research skills essential to the examination of demanding social, moral, political, and personal issues.
This course facilitates a comprehensive understanding of the tools and techniques necessary to effectively navigate the complexities of the job market. Students explore critical components of employment in order to prepare for their job search; the ultimate result is placement in their desired career. Students learn how to build a meaningful resume, navigate career sites, including FIDM Career Network and LinkedIn, effectively research desired industry and organizations, and perfect interviewing techniques and skills. This is a Pass/Fail class necessary for FIDM graduation. In addition to nine (9) hours of class workcomprised of three consecutive classes, three (3) hours eachstudents should be prepared for an additional three (3) hours of homework for each of the three weeks.
Perspectives in Diversity
This course examines the subtle and overt ways in which society marginalizes and discriminates against groups of people including, but not limited to, racial, cultural and ethnic groups, religious groups, women, the elderly, persons with disabilities (including physical and mental challenges), gender fluidity and LGBTQIA+. Students will not only study the historical realities, institutions, and a legal system that have enabled discrimination to continue, they will delve into the roots of hatred, fear and bias, the very foundations of prejudice and discrimination, in order to become conscious of and active in their own contributions to a more just and inclusive society.
American Political & Economic History
A survey of American history from 1930-2000. Emphasis is on the political and economic features, both domestic and foreign, that contributed to the emergence of the welfare state and the nations rise to global leadership after World War II. The course provides an understanding of the Great Depression, the Second World War, the Cold War, Americas eventual emergence as the worlds only superpower, and the interrelation of all these factors.
This course inspires and push beginning designers to learn the fundamentals of Adobe Illustrator and Photoshop. Through hands-on projects, students learn the digital tools to bring their visions to life. In practical application, students understand the difference between a vector and raster image as well as the proper workflows and digital hygiene within the Adobe Creative Suite.
Consumer Behavior and Research
A course that examines the sociological and psychological variables that shape the consumer decision-making process. Students explore a variety of methodology and research techniques for understanding consumers wants and needs, attitude formation, purchase motivation, and consideration, as well as maximizing satisfaction and consumer loyalty. Prerequisites: MMKT 1550, MMKT 2880
Brand Management Strategies
Students gain an understanding of basic brand principles through exposure to classic and contemporary branding strategies, applications, and case studies. Students explore key brand identity elements, positioning and leveraging brand equity.
Through the written word marketers evoke images that resonate with the target market. This course explores traditional and new media communication methodology. Students acquire a wide variety of writing skills to effectively communicate across traditional and new media platforms.
Integrated Marketing Communications
In this advanced marketing course, students explore creative message strategies including: traditional and new media, public relations, and other innovative means of communication. Applying these techniques, they create an effective integrated marketing communications campaign that meets the challenges posed by promoting in a sophisticated, rapidly evolving marketplace. Prerequisites: COSM 2250, SMED 2880, MMKT 2420
An examination of micro- and macro- marketing strategies involving the four parts of the marketing mix (product, price, promotion, and distribution). Students learn how environment, lifestyles, and buying behavior influence the marketing/merchandising approach and work in teams to create, develop, and present a marketing plan for a new product.
Fashion Merchandising & Assortment Planning
An in-depth study of the financial planning process for the apparel industry. Students are introduced to pricing principles, the purchasing process, methods of analysis, and calculating profitability. Utilizing Excel, a six month financial plan and unit plan are created by each student in a series of classroom exercises. Prerequisites: GNST 1450, MRCH 1950, TSCI 1440
The Business of Fashion Merchandising
A survey of the fashion apparel industry, with emphasis on the roles played by design, textile and product development, merchandising, and distribution in the creative and business cycles. This course introduces students to apparel terminology, textile and manufacturing resources, and industry participants, as well as to the many career paths and job opportunities open to them.
The Retail Environment
This course explores store and non-store retailing formats, structure, purpose, as well as the challenges and integration of retail channels. Students gain an understanding of the retail industry and are exposed to todays global environment. They are introduced to franchising, licensing, branding, and pertinent retail terminology. Career paths and opportunities in the fashion industry are further defined and explored. Prerequisite: MRCH 1100
This course gives students insight into the complexity of decision making for buying and planning merchandise assortments and product development. Emphasis is also placed on the application of technology to solve business problems. Students develop problem-solving skills through the analysis of current business practices in merchandising, including buying, assortment planning, pricing, inventory control, and timing the purchase timing. The importance of customer service and developing strategic partnerships with vendors and suppliers is examined. Prerequisites: MRCH 1100, MRCH 1550
Trend Analysis & Styling Concepts
This course is an introduction to the methodology of tracking and forecasting trends in the fashion industry. Students examine how world economy, popular culture, visual arts, runway collections, and retail and street fashion combine in varying degrees to shape current styles and determine future trends. A culminating styling project challenges them to synthesize what they have learned in an informed prediction about future trends for a specific brand and target market. Prerequisite: MRCH 1420, TSCI 1500
Applied Digital Communications
Students integrate their knowledge of Adobe Photoshop, Illustrator and InDesign to create effective digital campaigns for the marketing and merchandising of apparel, footwear and accessories. Emphasis is on innovation and concept design explorations enhanced by computer-aided applications Prerequisite: GRPH 1000
Excel for Business Applications
This course is designed to assist the student in developing a facility with electronic spreadsheets in support of effective business management. Students develop a working knowledge of computerized spreadsheet and chart functions as applied to business management concepts with related mathematical formulas and operational requirements.
Merchandise Presentation Strategies
In this course, students learn how to develop effective product placement concepts across a variety of shopping platforms from in-store to electronic devices to increase customer satisfaction, drive sales, and increase profitability. Emphasis is also placed on how data is being used to enhance visual merchandising execution. Prerequisite: MRCH 1550, 1820
Global Supply Chain & Logistics
A thorough exploration of international sourcing, production, and distribution strategies current in the textile and apparel industries. Students gain practical understanding of global supply chain management and import/export regulations and a heightened awareness of the legal, ethical, economic, and social implications of sourcing decisions. Prerequisite: TSCI 1500
In this course, students combine quantitative analyses and financial planning with creative merchandising strategies to curate a dynamic assortment for their target consumer. Through market and trend research, the integration of business acumen with aesthetic principles is covered in order to create the optimal customer experience. Prerequisites: MPDV 2100, MRCH 2760
Data Insights & Fashion Analytics
In this course, students explore the current concepts of customer analytics and their application to business practices in the retail industry. They analyze data collection methods and implement best strategies for their chosen case study company. Guidelines for practices in the field of Artificial Intelligence and the use of large datasets are reviewed. Prerequisite: MRCH 2760
In a highly competitive retail environment where product differentiation is key, students will propose a new private label initiative for an existing brand in a pop-up location after analyzing consumer demand, studying the history of private label, and examining the process of product development. Prerequisite: MRCH 2760.
Advanced Business Applications
This advanced technology course prepares students for a variety of advanced Excel applications as required in todays business sector. Prerequisite: MRCH 2250
Case Studies in Retail Strategies
In this capstone course, students analyze the current business practices of a prominent retailer with special attention to the organizations present strengths and weaknesses, the challenges it faces in todays global economic climate, and the impact of current trends in consumer purchasing behaviors on its financial health. Through research, the student assesses the organizations current value and makes informed recommendations for maximizing future growth. Prerequisite: SMED 2750
Sustainability & Social Responsibility
Introduces students to the concept, history, and science of sustainability and its relationship to the business of ethical fashion. Coursework topics focus on the development of eco-friendly materials, responsible manufacturing and distribution, and how companies are integrating social responsibility for the environment into their corporate philosophy and business practices. Prerequisites: COSM 2380, MMKT 2460, MPDV 2400, MRCH 2420, SMED 2750
Merchandise Planning & Allocation
Students apply previously learned merchandising concepts with new analytics to measure common retail metrics. Using analysis of past and current performance, students identify trends and develop financial plans and learn various allocations methods used in the retail buying industry. Prerequisites: MRCH 2640, MRCH 2760.
Students learn how to create a successful online business. Through class lecture and industry speakers students learn how to navigate e-commerce applications including document automation, domestic and international payment systems, online banking, and shopping cart software. Prerequisites: MRCH 1950, MPDV 2820
Textiles & Product Analysis
Students in this course identify and select fabrics and fabric finishes to fulfill specific customer needs relating to garment structure, design aesthetic, performance, and care across divergent target market groups. Students also master the precise textile terminology essential to effective communication with designers, manufacturers, and marketers. Prerequisite: MRCH 1100