Bachelor of Science in Apparel Design and Merchandising

This is an archived copy of the 2016-2017 bulletin. To access the most recent version of the bulletin, please visit Any changes will appear on our errata page.

The Bachelor of Science in Apparel Design and Merchandising prepares students for a career in the fashion industry including apparel design, visual merchandising, product development, promotion, and retail strategies. Two emphases are offered:

  1. apparel design and,
  2. fashion merchandising.

A common core of classes enables students to develop a consumer and socially conscious approach to the textile and apparel industry and a basic knowledge of the field including career opportunities, terminology, and professional practices as applied to the industry.

Application Filing Period

The apparel design and merchandising program is impacted, which means there are more applications than capacity. Transfer student applications for admission to this major are accepted by the University’s Office of Undergraduate Admissions only during the application filing period of October 1 to November 30 (for admission the following fall). No late applications or applications for spring will be considered. Both new transfer and on-campus students wishing to change majors, are required to submit an additional departmental application. See departmental website for supplemental program application and exact deadline in January.

Mandatory Advising

ADM majors must see an advisor to prepare a Graduation Plan that outlines course sequence. Some major classes will require that this plan be presented on the first day of classes. See department office (Burk Hall 329) for information to include in the advising folder. Students who wish credits earned at another institution to be accepted in lieu of courses offered for the major at SF State must obtain acceptance from their advisor and the department chair.

Writing Competence

Good writing skills are necessary for success in the major. Second year written composition (ENG 214 or equivalent) with a grade of C- or better is required to take ADM 360GW, the beginning of the sequence of upper division ADM courses, which fulfills the GWAR requirement.

The major includes 15 units of prerequisite work and 43 units of advanced courses. Within the 43 units, all students take 22 units of core courses and 21 units in one emphasis: apparel design or fashion merchandising. A prescribed sequence of courses must be adhered to as some classes are offered only in the fall or spring semesters. Students should consult course descriptions in this Bulletin for prerequisites. All major courses must be passed with a letter grade of C- or better. CR/NC is not allowed.

Apparel Design and Merchandising (B.S.) — 58 units

ADM Prerequisites (15 units)

Select a college level drawing or fashion illustration class3
ECON 101Introduction to Microeconomic Analysis3
ECON 102Introduction to Macroeconomic Analysis3
ID 240Color and Design3
PSY 200General Psychology3

Core Requirements (22 units)

(must be passed with a C- or better; CR/NC is not allowed)

ADM 260Textiles3
ADM 265Introduction to the Fashion Industry3
ADM 360GWFashion, Clothing, and Society - GWAR3
ADM 365Textile Laboratory1
ADM 560Textiles and Apparel in the World Marketplace3
ADM 561Culture and Historical Costume3
ADM 665Product Development for Apparel3
CFS 600Professional Development3

Emphasis Chosen from Emphases Listed Below (21 units)

Apparel Design Emphasis

ADM 261Apparel Construction3
ADM 361Apparel Design I: Flat Pattern3
ADM 362Apparel Design II: Draping3
ADM 661Advanced Apparel Design Problems3
Select nine units from the Electives below9

Fashion Merchandising Emphasis

ADM 369Fashion Merchandising and Buying3
ADM 466Computer Applications in Clothing and Textile Industry3
ADM 566Fashion and the Consumer3
ADM 569Visual Merchandising and Promotion3
Select nine units from the Electives below, must include 3 units of MKTG prefixed courses9
Electives for Both Emphases
ACCT 100Introduction to Financial Accounting3
ACCT 101Introduction to Managerial Accounting3
ADM 262Fashion Illustration (cannot be counted as elective if used as prerequisite)3
ADM 300Designers of the 20th/21st Centuries3
ADM 366Forecasting Apparel and Interior Design Trends3
ART 222Introduction to Textile Art3
ART 422Weaving I - Beginning3
ART 424Surface Design Studio3
CFS 543Sustainability in the Textile, Housing, and Food Industries3
CFS 657New York Fashion Study Tour3
CFS 685Projects in Teaching of Consumer and Family Studies/Dietetics3
IBUS 330International Business and Multicultural Relations3
IBUS 430Import-Export Management and Small Business Operations3
ISYS 263Introduction to Information Systems3
MGMT 354Starting a Small Business3
MGMT 405Introduction to Management and Organizational Behavior3
MKTG 431Principles of Marketing3
MKTG 433Personal Selling3
MKTG 436Retail Management3
MKTG 469Digital Marketing3
Select any ADM course in the alternate emphasis3

General Education Requirements

Requirement Course Level Units Area Designation
Oral Communication LD 3 A1
Written English Communication I LD 3 A2
Critical Thinking LD 3 A3
Written English Communication II LD 3 A4
Physical Science LD 3 B1
Life Science LD 3 B2
Lab Science LD 1 B3
Mathematics/Quantitative Reasoning LD 3 B4
Arts LD 3 C1
Arts or Humanities LD 3 C1 or C2
Humanities: Literature LD 3 C3
Social Sciences LD 3 D1
Social Sciences: US History LD 3 D2
Social Sciences: US & CA Governement LD 3 D3
Lifelong Learning and Self-Development (LLD) LD or UD 3 E
Physical and/or Life Science UD 3 UD-B
Arts and/or Humanities UD 3 UD-C
Social Sciences UD 3 UD-D
SF State Studies
Courses certified as meeting the SF State Studies requirements may be upper or lower division in General Education (GE), in a major or minor, or may be an elective.
American Ethnic and Racial Minorities (AERM) LD or UD 3
Environmental Sustainability (ES) LD or UD 3
Global Perspectives (GP) LD or UD 3
Social Justice (SJ) LD or UD 3

Note: LD = lower division; UD = upper division.

First Time Student Roadmap (4 year)

Apparel Design Emphasis

This 2016 - 2017 roadmap opens in a new tab.

Fashion Merchandising Emphasis

This 2016 - 2017 roadmap opens in a new tab.

General Advising Information for Transfer Students

  1. Before transfer, complete as many lower division requirements or electives for this major as possible.
  2. The following courses are not required for admission but are required for graduation. Students are strongly encouraged to complete these units before transfer; doing so will provide more flexibility in course selection after transfer.
    • a course in U.S. History
    • a course in U.S. & California government
    • a 2nd-semester course in written English composition

For information about satisfying the requirements described in (1) and (2) above at a California Community College (CCC), go to Check any geographically accessible CCCs; sometimes options include more than one college. Use ASSIST to determine

  • Which courses at a CCC satisfy any lower division major requirements for this major
  • Which courses at a CCC satisfy CSU GE, US History, and US & CA Government

Remedial courses are not transferable and do not apply to the minimum 60 units/90 quarters required for admission.

Additional units for courses that are repeated do not apply to the minimum 60 units required for upper division transfer (for example, if course was not passed on first attempt, or was taken to earn a better grade).

Before leaving the last California community college of attendance, obtain a summary of completion of lower division General Education units (IGETC or CSU GE Breadth). This is often referred to as a GE certification worksheet. SF State does not require delivery of this certification to Admissions, but students should retain this document for verifying degree progress after transfer.

Credit for Advanced Placement, International Baccalaureate, or College-Level Examination Program courses: AP/IB/CLEP credit is not automatically transferred from the previous institution. Units are transferred only when an official score report is delivered to SF State. Credit is based on the academic year during which exams were taken. Refer to the University Bulletin in effect during the year of AP/IB/CLEP examination(s) for details regarding award of credit for AP/IB/CLEP.

Students pursuing majors in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) disciplines often defer 6-9 units of lower division general education in areas C and D until after transfer in order to focus on preparation courses for the major. (This advice does not apply to students pursuing associate degree completion before transfer.)

Transferring from institutions other than CCCs or CSUs

Review SF State's lower division General Education requirements. As described above, the four basic skills courses required for admission meet A1, A2, A3 and B4 in the SF State GE pattern. Courses that fulfill the remaining areas of SF State’s lower division GE pattern are available at most two-year and four-year colleges and universities.

Of the four required basic skills courses, a course in critical thinking (GE A3) may not be widely offered outside the CCC and CSU systems. Students should attempt to identify and take an appropriate course no later than the term of application to the CSU. Review more information about the A3 requirement here.

Identify and complete a 2nd-semester written English composition course before transfer. This is usually the next course after the typical “freshman comp” course, with a focus on writing, reading and critical analytical skills for academic purposes, and developing skills in composing, revising, and the use of rhetorical strategies.

Waiting until after transfer to take a single course at SF State that meets both US and CA/local government requirements may be an appropriate option, particularly if transferring from outside of California.

All students must meet the transfer eligibility requirements outlines below for admission. For more information, visit the Undergraduate Admissions section.

  • Complete 60 or more transferable semester units or 90 or more quarter units
  • Earn a college grade point average of 2.00 or better in all transferable courses. Non-local area residents may be held to a higher GPA standard.
  • Be in good standing at the last college or university attended
  • Complete 30 semester units (45 quarter units) of general education, including four basic skills courses:
    1. One course in oral communication (same as CSU GE area A1)
    2. One course in written composition (same as CSU GE area A2)
    3. One course in critical thinking (same as CSU GE area A3)
    4. One course in mathematics or quantitative reasoning, with intermediate algebra as a prerequisite (same as CSU GE area B4)
  • The four basic skills courses and minimum of 60 transferable semester units (90 quarter units) must be completed by the spring semester prior to fall admission, or by the fall semester prior to spring admission. Earn a "C" or better grade in each basic skills course.