Textiles, Fashion Merchandising and Design


Immerse yourself in the fascinating world of fashion with a degree in Textiles, Fashion Merchandising and Design (TMD). Classes focusing on textiles and the fashion business are complemented with supporting course work in marketing, consumer behavior, sustainability, technology, innovation, and creative skills. This comprehensive course of study will give you a deep understanding of the development, buying, promotion, and selling of apparel and home furnishings.

You’ll also gain a full understanding of the global textile and apparel supply chain—from design to the consumer. So, while you can focus your degree on a specific part of the supply chain, you will know them all, and you’ll be equipped to communicate with experts in the fashion world outside your area of concentration.

This program of study includes a series of professional electives that complement the coursework within the department, so you can easily minor in another discipline, such as business, art, or communications. You can also complete a dual degree in TMD and a fashion language (Italian or French), and still finish in four years. Many of our majors study abroad and/or complete internships as part of their study.

This degree, which offers three concentrations—in fashion merchandising, apparel design, and textile science—serves as a bridge between theory and practice, providing a tremendous opportunity for hands-on learning. Program highlights include internships, study-abroad opportunities, and dual degrees with a “fashion” language (Italian or French).

URI’s library archive of over 40,000 commercial patterns as well as the department’s Historic Textile and Costume Collection of some 20,000 items—one of the best university collections in the country—serve as outstanding resources for hands-on learning.

Areas of Concentration

Fashion Merchandising
In this area, you’ll supplement your TMD study with coursework in marketing, management, consumer studies, or art. You’ll study consumer sales of apparel and home furnishings, along with the buying, promotion, and sale of goods and services. When you graduate, your career options will include fashion coordination, sourcing, allocation, buying, and retail management.       

Apparel Design
In this area, you’ll analyze sewn products, and explore apparel production, fashion design, flat pattern, and draping. Supplemental coursework will cover fashion merchandising, theater costuming, fashion history, and business. Career options include product development, fashion, and technical design.

Textile Science
This area includes specialized courses in textile performance, detergency, color science, and dyeing and finishing, along with several course options in the history of fashion, textiles, and furniture. You’ll have a wide range of career options, such as dyeing, finishing, color management and quality control, forensic science, biomedical materials, and military materials.

Students with particular goals can design their own series of courses to create a unique degree that will prepare them for careers in interiors, the home sewing industry, theatrical costuming, or museum work.

* Both the B.S. Textiles, Fashion Merchandising and Design and the B.S. Textile Marketing programs are part of the New England Regional Tuition Program, which offers discounted tuition rates to students from New England states without a similar program (conditions apply).


The Department of Textiles, Fashion Merchandising and Design is endorsed by the American Apparel and Footwear Association.