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Chrissi Davis walking down a street with text Chrissi Davis '15

Fashion Merchandising Degree Online Bachelor's (BS) Program

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Register By: February 27 Classes Start: March 01

Earn a Fashion Merchandising Degree

  • $320/credit (120 total credits)
  • Transfer up to 90 credits
  • Gain in-demand business and merchandising skills
  • Courses taught by industry experts
  • 24/7 online access to the classroom
  • Required internship for real-world experience

Fashion Merchandising Degree Online Program Overview

Develop a timeless sense of style and gain a firm grasp of business strategy with the online Bachelor of Science (BS) in Fashion Merchandising Management degree from Southern New Hampshire University.

The fashion world is dynamic – evolving as seasons, culture, materials and consumer behavior influence new trends. With an online fashion merchandising degree, you’ll study fashion marketing, color and textile theory, consumer behavior and retail operations, planning and management. You’ll learn how to identify what styles will sell and how to sell them well.

The fashion merchandising degree online courses are taught by industry experts working in the field. Class sizes are small, so you’ll have the opportunity to interact with instructors who understand how style, business and technology intersect. You’ll also gain valuable real-world experience by completing a required fashion merchandising internship.

Learn how to:

  • Identify product life cycle merchandising within the fashion industry
  • Apply management theories and techniques to achieve retail objectives
  • Analyze research in the fashion industry within a global context
  • Examine differences between retail and wholesale fashion environments
  • Illustrate how business and fashion decisions relate to industry technology

Not ready to commit to a bachelor's program? Earn your online fashion merchandising associate degree in two years or less.

Career Outlook

Earning a fashion merchandising degree online can position you for an exciting career that puts you – and fashion – in the public eye. You can combine a love of style with business strategy to help fashion brands and retailers gain exposure and increase revenue in an evolving industry.

According to a 2019 report from the U.S. Congress Joint Economic Committee, the fashion industry employs more than 1.8 million people in the United States alone.1

The types of jobs available continue to shift, as more fashion and retail business moves online. In the United States, retail e-commerce revenue from the sale of fashion apparel, footwear and accessories is projected to reach $146 billion by 2023, up from $102 billion in 2018.2

As the industry evolves, fashion companies and retailers are working to adjust. More than ever, fashion retailers need business-minded leaders with an eye for style and the bottom line.

Dr. Jessica Rogers with the text Dr. Jessica Rogers"The bachelor’s degree in fashion merchandising at SNHU prepares students for careers in fashion merchandising, fashion marketing, retail, and branding," said Dr. Jessica Rogers, associate dean of business programs at SNHU. "With career focused projects this degree will prepare students for fashion industry careers in store management, visual merchandising, social media, entry level merchandising analytics, retail buying, corporate retail positions."

Job options for online fashion merchandising degree holders include:

  • Merchandising manager: Oversee all retail functions for clothing or shoe departments within a store. Create merchandising displays, coordinate the workflow and activities of retail employees, and ensure an attractive appearance for the retail store.
  • Retail fashion buyer: Select products and negotiate with product vendors on behalf of retail companies. Understand the trends in the fashion industry and identify products that will drive sales, reinforce brand attributes and increase the competitive edge of companies.
  • Corporate retail merchandiser: Ensure the right amount of goods are available in stores and enhance profits through pricing and promotional strategies. Work with retail buyers and merchandisers to plan store products and coordinate with suppliers, distributors and analysts.
  • Retail planner: Help a retail company create sales and inventory plans that meet financial targets. Work toward sales goals by analyzing inventory and sales performance data and bringing in new products based on predicted trends and consumer needs.
  • Purchasing manager: Oversee the work of buyers and purchasing agents. Handle more complex procurement tasks, including visiting suppliers’ distribution centers to learn about products, services and prices.
  • Fashion marketing manager: Promote a fashion company's products to identified target markets. Conduct market research and coordinate a variety of campaigns to market a brand or product to potential customers.
  • Retail store manager: Oversee the daily operations of a retail store to help it run smoothly and effectively. Motivate sales teams, create business and marketing strategies, develop promotional materials and train new staff.
  • District manager: Lead a group of retail stores within a specific region, working with company leadership and individual stores to recruit and train store managers, set regional goals and ensure stores adhere to company and industry regulations.
  • Boutique manager: Manage the daily operations of a small retail store focusing on a niche market. Recruit and train staff, network with vendors, order supplies, handle customer complaints and develop marketing strategies.
  • Showroom manager: Oversee staff, maintain cleanliness and coordinate merchandise layouts of a retail showroom. Ensure the showroom attracts buyers and meets sales goals.

With so many diverse opportunities available for online fashion degree holders, salary and job growth potential will vary.

Jobs for marketing managers, for example, are projected to grow 8% through 2028. Marketing managers earned a median salary of $136,850 in 2019.3

Purchasing managers earned a median salary of $121,110 in 2019. Jobs in the field are projected to grow 4% through 2028.3

No matter what your specific area of interest, earning a bachelor’s degree in fashion merchandising can boost your long term earning and career potential.

In 2019, the median weekly earnings for bachelor’s degree holders was about 40% higher than for workers with an associate degree. Bachelor’s degree holders earned about 67% more per week than workers without any college experience.3

Workers with a bachelor's degree also had lower unemployment rates than workers without a 4-year degree. In 2019, the unemployment rate for bachelor’s degree holders was just 2.2%. The unemployment rate was 2.7% for associate degree holders and 3.7% for workers with a high school diploma.3

Start Your Journey Toward an Online Fashion Merchandising Degree

Courses & Curriculum

In earning your online fashion merchandising degree, you'll combine your understanding of design and color theory with business planning and marketing. Textiles, retailing and merchandise planning are just the beginning – you'll also choose from electives in consumer behavior, retailing management and global fashion merchandising topics.

The online fashion degree includes a strong foundation in general business courses. Business core courses may include:

  • Financial Accounting
  • Managerial Accounting
  • Business Law
  • Business Systems Analysis and Design
  • Marketing

These courses ensure you understand the business of fashion and can incorporate key business concepts into fashion merchandising roles.

You can also build a strong foundation of valuable career skills with general education courses focused on writing, quantitative reasoning, humanities, social sciences and more.

In your primary degree courses, you can gain a deeper understanding of both the art and business of fashion.

You can hone your design skills by exploring color theory and textiles, learning about the history of fashion and exploring new trends like sustainable fashion.

Merchandising and management courses can help you understand how merchandise planning and purchasing impact retail profit. You can apply your learning to analyze profit and loss statements and gain insight into the factors that influence a retailer’s financial performance.

You’ll also explore the relationship between manufacturers and retailers. You'll learn how ordering and managing the right merchandise are key to a retailer’s success. And you can put this learning to the test by designing a fashion merchandise strategy for a local fashion retailer.

You can also explore consumer behavior and retail sales promotion. These courses can help you prepare for fashion marketing roles. You can explore the way that consumers make buying decisions, and discover how store layout and design, merchandising, pricing and other factors influence retail fashion sales.

Your degree also includes 18 elective credits so you can supplement your fashion merchandising online courses with courses in marketing, information technology, graphic design or another area of interest.

Throughout your coursework, you’ll learn from expert faculty with years of experience working in the fashion and retail industries. They’ll use their professional experience to help you apply your learning to real world situations.

You’ll also get to apply your learning to a required fashion internship. The internship must be U.S.-based and include a minimum of 150 hours on the job. Your academic advisor can assist you with any questions you may have about finding an internship.

"The internship course that is offered at SNHU has given students the chance to work with some of the best retailers in the country in some of the most amazing fashion experiences," said Dr. Jessica Rogers, associate dean of business programs at SNHU. "Students have worked with the development of wholesale sales in corporate offices, shadowed department store management, used digital technology to help promote sales for social media, and worked in the corporate office merchandising a line of apparel. Internships enhance the skill set of the student’s intent in the field."

With a fashion marketing degree internship, you can build valuable career skills that are in high demand across many industries. These career skills include:

  • Communication: Share ideas within an organization, department or leadership team and target your message to a variety of business and consumer audiences.
  • Analysis: Gather and review consumer behavior and retail data to set strategic goals and monitor an initiative’s progress.
  • Problem solving: Connect classroom learning and practical experience to solve real-world retail problems and discover new opportunities.
  • Critical thinking: Evaluate problems objectively and apply ethical, legal and socially responsible practices to make strategic decisions.

As an online student, you’ll also benefit from the full range of SNHU student services. These services include writing help, tutoring and even online student clubs and professional organizations.

Our career advising team can help you get ready for a job search by reviewing your resume and cover letter helping you prepare for interviews. These services are available even after you graduate.

Curriculum Requirements & Resources

  • Business core: Revised for fall 2020, our undergraduate business programs contain 10 cutting-edge business courses. These core courses are designed to help prepare you for success wherever you go.
  • General education courses: All online bachelor's degree students are required to take general education classes, if not obtained in prior coursework. Through these foundation, exploration and integration courses, students learn to think critically, creatively and collaboratively, giving you the edge employers are looking for.
  • Technology resources: We provide cloud-based virtual environments in some courses to give you access to the technology you need for your degree – and your career. Learn more about our virtual environments.
  • Save time and tuition: Depending on your scores, you could earn up to 12 math credits – the equivalent of 4 courses – toward your degree for less than $50 per assessment with our Pathways to Math Success assessments.

Tuition & Fees

Tuition rates for SNHU's online degree programs are among the lowest in the nation. We offer financial aid packages to those who qualify, plus a 30% tuition discount for U.S. service members, both full and part time, and the spouses of those on active duty.

Online Undergraduate Programs Per Course Per Credit Hour Annual Cost for 30 credits 
Degree/Certificates $960 $320 $9,600
Degree/Certificates
(U.S. service members, both full and part time, and the spouses of those on active duty)
$675 $225 $6,750

Tuition Rates are subject to change and are reviewed annually.

Additional Costs
No Application Fee, $150 Graduation Fee, Course Materials ($ varies by course)

Frequently Asked Questions

University Accreditation

Southern New Hampshire University is a private, nonprofit institution accredited by the New England Commission of Higher Education (NECHE) as well as several other accrediting bodies.

This program and its concentrations are accredited by the Accreditation Council for Business Schools and Programs (ACBSP). Student achievement data can be found on College Navigator.

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References