Ohio University

Retail and Fashion Merchandising

Retail Merchandising and Fashion Product Development

Is your dream job in the fashion industry? Interested in product development, merchandising, buying or retail management? Start your career off by studying Retail and Fashion Merchandising.

Retail and Fashion Merchandising is offered as both a major and a minor. Learn more about the minor in Retail and Fashion Merchandising.

Program Code



The Retail and Fashion Merchandising curriculum offers coursework in both creative (product development and promotion) and analytical (sales performance and trend) areas of merchandising, with a focus on fashion products. Through this program, students learn how to navigate a career path in a fast-paced, dynamic industry. Supervision, leadership, and management activities, in the context of fashion and retail careers, are emphasized.


Admission Information

For Freshmen/First-Year Admission, Change of Program or External Transfer
Students interested in the Retail and Fashion Merchandising program will enter Ohio University with a pre-major code of ND8835 (Pre-Retail and Fashion Merchandising). To be admitted to the major, you must apply and be accepted after successful completion of six courses and achieving an accumulative GPA of 2.0 or higher. To obtain the documents necessary to change your major or externally transfer into the program you will need to speak with a representative in the Office of Student Affairs located on the 1st floor of McCracken Hall in Room 102. The main office can be reached at 740.593.4400

Career Opportunities

Career opportunities include retail management, buying, product development, merchandising, visual presentation, quality control and wholesale sale, and entrepreneurship.

Our graduates have gone on to exciting careers with companies such as:

  • Steve Madden/Cejon
  • DSW
  • Maurices
  • Kohl's
  • Target
  • Big Lots
  • L Brands
  • Nordstrom

Honors Program

The MacKenzie King Honors program provides opportunities for involvement in scholarly independent work, one-on-one interaction with faculty, and an in-depth study related to your major. Learn more.


  • Courses:
    Students in the program take a variety of retail-specific and related courses to create a well-rounded, business-focused major. The course of study includes professional development, knowledge of industry-specific business and sales applications, and hands-on retailing experiences. For detailed information about courses and requirements, view the Retail and Fashion Merchandising undergraduate course program listing.
  • Internships:
    Students complete work experiences during both the junior and senior years. The junior level, one credit hour, work experience (RFM 3910) equips students with the entry-level competencies necessary to obtain and succeed in a comprehensive internship program. The senior level, 12 credit hour, internship (RFM 4910) is a rigorous semester-long, full-time internship for academic credit. Placing the internship in the senior year allows students to embark on an internship with the ability to apply competencies obtained from major courses and results in a more meaningful and productive experience for both the employee and the employer.
  • Capstone Course:
    The capstone course (RFM 4800) serves as an intensive personal and professional assessment tool for prospective leaders in the retail merchandising and fashion product development industry.

Facilities and Resources

The Retail and Fashion Merchandising program is housed in the newly renovated McCracken Hall and includes:

  • The Schuyler Eaton Cone Textiles Laboratory
  • The Product Development Room
  • The Mary C. Doxsee Historic Clothing and Textiles Collection - the Collection encompasses items from the early 19th century through today.
  • Student project rooms available for reserve
  • An experimental technology laboratory

Points of Pride

  • Study away opportunities:
    Students can participate in learning about the retail industry through study away programs offered through the department. The program offers a trip to New York City to learn about various aspects of the industry through visits to a variety of retail businesses. A one week trip to Florence, Italy is also available which gives the students the opportunity to learn about the retail industry in the fashion capital of the world. A wide variety of study away opportunities and connections are also available through the University Office of Global Opportunities.
  • Two required internships:
    Our program requires students to complete a minimum of 480 hours of internship work for the major which gives the student more opportunity to gain valuable work experience than similar academic programs in the state.
  • Student Organizations
    Our program offers a variety of student organizations to allow students to connect with each other and to network within their field. These organizations include Fashion Associates, AAFCS, Phi Upsilon Omicron, Professional Retail Leaders, National Retail Federation Student Association and Variant Magazine.
  • Career and Leadership Development Center Liaison
    The department has a dedicated liaison to assist students in exploring options for internship positions and to provide opportunities for networking with retail companies for future employment.

Apply Now


For more information, contact:

Lisa Williams
Program Coordinator
Associate Professor of Instruction
121B McCracken Hall