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Oklahoma State University

Design, Housing and Merchandising majors earn top 10 rankings

Wednesday, June 14, 2017

euphoria fashion show, catwalk

The apparel design and merchandising degree options at Oklahoma State University are among the highest ranked programs in the country. According to, the apparel design program is ranked sixth nationally among public school and colleges offering fashion design. The merchandising program is ranked seventh nationally.

In the southwest region, the OSU programs are ranked first and second respectively among fashion design and merchandising schools. In addition to Oklahoma, the southwest region includes Texas, Arizona, New Mexico, Colorado, Utah and Nevada.  

The rankings are the result of surveys conducted using criteria on academic reputation, admission selectivity, depth and breadth of the program and faculty and value related to tuition. The schools were able to provide information on their specific programs and offer their perspective on programs they considered ‘best’ nationally and regionally.

The high-ranking programs are offered from the design, housing and merchandising department in the College of Human Sciences at OSU. Courses in the apparel design and production program are taught by nationally and internationally recognized faculty in fully equipped design studios. The Gerber Technology FashionTech lab features digitizers for pattern making, industrial plotters and cutters which students use in the actual production of their design projects. With an emphasis on product development, sustainability and the use of technology in the retail context, OSU merchandising students often begin their careers at corporate levels of major retail and wholesale firms.

Dr. Jane Swinney, DHM department head and president of the American Collegiate Retail Association, said the rankings parallel what industry reports about OSU students.

“Our graduates compete exceptionally well with nationally known design-focused schools,” Swinney said. “Design and Merchandising companies report that our students are well prepared to move into management positions because of their internship experiences and the curriculum based on current industry standards.”

Students in DHM experience state-of-the-art technologies in the department’s new VR Mixed Reality lab and “Our partners have provided DHM students with the tools that are used every day at world class companies,” Swinney said. “Who wouldn’t want employees with the expertise our students have when they graduate?”

The ADP program at OSU is one of only thirteen apparel programs in North America to receive the American Apparel and Footwear Association (AAFA) approval, which assures that our curriculum and facilities have met the rigorous standards of this important industry organization. For more information about the AAFA please visit:

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