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The Textile Industry

Textiles and fashion apparel is a huge global industry and is a major component of the U.S. economy. Globally, textiles, apparel and apparel retailing totals $2 trillion annually. Sales of apparel and footwear contributed $350 billion to the U.S. economy in 2012, greater than that of new cars ($175 billion) and fast food ($75 billion). (Learn more at https://www.wewear.org/thefacts/)

Across the supply chain, the U.S. textile and apparel industry directly employs more than 4 million people, including sourcing managers, wholesalers, retailers, merchandisers, buyers, creative and technical designers, and marketing professionals. The United States is the fourth largest textile exporter in the world.

The Department

Our degrees cover every aspect of the textile and fashion industry supply chain, and prepare you for the wide range of careers that the industry has to offer. Study abroad and the completion of an internship is a typical part of the degree.  At the same time, the degrees provide the academic rigor appropriate to study at a four-year land grant institution. Courses in the program deal with textiles and fashion from the perspectives of business, art and design, science, sociology/anthropology and history.

Our graduates start their careers in positions such as assistant designers, fashion merchandisers, production coordinators, retail managers, allocation analysts, assistant buyers, and quality control specialists.

Quick Facts

  • Undergraduate Students: 330
  • Graduate Students: 15-20
  • Full-Time Faculty: 8
  • Adjunct Faculty: 7

Degrees Offered

Undergraduate Programs

  • Bachelor of Science in Textile Marketing
  • Bachelor of Science in Textiles, Fashion Merchandising and Design
  • Minor in Textiles, Fashion Merchandising and Design

Graduate Programs

  • Master of Science in Textiles, Fashion Merchandising and Design

Certificate Programs

  • Certificate in Fashion Merchandising
  • Master Seamstress Certificate Program (Providence Campus)

Outreach Services

  • Textile Testing and Conservation Services
  • Training Seminars

Collections and Exhibits

  • Historic Textile and Costume Collection
  • Textile Gallery
  • Commercial Pattern Archive
  • Bainbridge Lace Collection

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