Bachelor of Science in Apparel Design and Merchandising: Concentration in Design

The Apparel Design and Merchandising program creates an educational and experiential foundation for diverse professional careers in the globally interdependent apparel industry. Students explore human behavior, social problems, and environmental concerns, interpreting influences and outcomes through apparel design and merchandising. Two concentrations are offered:

  1.  Design
  2.  Merchandising

Students will understand and apply knowledge about the roles and functions of various industry sectors in which textiles and sewn products are developed, produced, marketed, sold, and consumed, including design, construction, sourcing, manufacturing, marketing, and merchandising processes. A common core of classes enables students to develop a socially conscious approach to work in the textile and apparel industry and basic knowledge of the field, including career opportunities, terminology, and professional practices as applied to the industry.

Program Learning Outcomes

  1. Industry: Students will understand and apply knowledge about the roles and functions of various industry sectors in which sewn products are developed, produced, marketed, sold, and consumed, including design, construction, sourcing, manufacturing, marketing, and merchandising processes. 
  2. Human Behavior: Students will apply theories and research on appearance and behavior, across the lifespan and in diverse communities. 
  3. Aesthetics: Students will analyze aesthetic expression of dress in relation to historical, socio-cultural, and ecological factors and their relationship to quality of life. 
  4. Historical, Local & Global Issues: Students will identify, analyze, and evaluate issues of social responsibility and ethical behavior with local and global apparel and textile industries as they relate to historical and current issues. 
  5. Industry-Consumer: Students will research, identify, and interpret the needs and wants of consumers and how industry processes are applied to plan, develop, produce, communicate, and sell product. 
  6. Professional Skill: Students will use appropriate technology to facilitate critical, creative, quantitative, and qualitative thinking in oral, written, and visual formats to varied audiences. 
  7. Creative Thinking: Students will demonstrate the ability to design, merchandise, and communicate to and for diverse populations. 

Mandatory Advising

ADM majors must see an advisor to prepare a Graduation Plan which outlines their individual course sequence.  Students who wish to substitute credits earned at another institution for courses offered for the major at SF State must obtain acceptance from the major advisor and the Department Chair.

Writing Competence

Writing skills are necessary for success in the major. GE Area A2 is required to take ADM 360GW, the beginning of the sequence of upper-division ADM courses, which fulfills the GWAR requirement.

Apparel Design and Merchandising (B.S.): Concentration in Design (58 units)

All major courses must be passed with a letter grade of C- or better. CR/NC is not allowed.​

Core Requirements (37 units)

ADM 260Textiles3
ADM 262Fashion Illustration3
ADM 265Introduction to the Fashion Industry3
ADM 360GWFashion, Clothing, and Society - GWAR3
ADM 365Textile Laboratory1
ADM 560Supply Chain Management in the Textile and Apparel World Marketplace3
ADM 561Culture and Historical Costume3
ADM 665Product Development for Apparel3
ECON 101Introduction to Microeconomic Analysis3
FCS 600Professional Development3
ID 240Color and Design3
ISYS 263Introduction to Information Systems3
PSY 200General Psychology3

Design Concentration Requirements (12 units)

ADM 261Apparel Construction3
ADM 361Apparel Design I: Flat Pattern3
ADM 362Apparel Design II: Draping3
ADM 661Advanced Apparel Design3

Electives (9 units)

Select 9 units from the list below. An ADM course in the Merchandising Concentration may also be used an elective. Other courses may be used with approval from an advisor. 

A U 220SF State and Braven Career Accelerator3
ACCT 100Introduction to Financial Accounting3
ACCT 101Introduction to Managerial Accounting3
ADM/ID 366Forecasting Apparel and Interior Design Trends3
ADM 369Fashion Merchandising and Buying3
ADM 466Computer Applications in the Clothing and Textile Industries3
ADM 566Fashion and the Consumer3
ADM 569Visual Merchandising and Promotion3
ADM 675Variable Topics in Apparel Design3
ART 222Introduction to Textile Art3
ART 322Foundations in Fiber and Textiles3
ART 422Weaving I: Beginning3
ART 424Surface Design Studio3
ART 527Repeat Pattern for Fine Art3
BUS 354Starting a Small Business3
DES 221Introduction to 3D Digital Design3
DES 222Digital Design Foundations I3
FCS 543Sustainability in the Textile, Housing, and Food Industries3
FCS 685Projects in Teaching of Family, Interiors, Nutrition, & Apparel3
IBUS 330International Business and Multicultural Relations3
IBUS 430Import-Export Management and Small Business Operations3
JOUR 235Photojournalism I: Foundations of Photojournalism3
TH A 411Costume Design for Stage and Screen3

General Education Requirements

Requirement Course Level Units Area Designation
Oral Communication LD 3 A1
Written English Communication LD 3 A2
Critical Thinking LD 3 A3
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
Humanities LD 3 C2
Arts or Humanities LD 3 C1 or C2
Social Sciences LD 3 D1
Social Sciences: US History LD 3 D2
Lifelong Learning and Self-Development (LLD) LD 3 E
Ethnic Studies LD 3 F
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), a major or minor, or an elective.
American Ethnic and Racial Minorities LD or UD 3 AERM
Environmental Sustainability LD or UD 3 ES
Global Perspectives LD or UD 3 GP
Social Justice LD or UD 3 SJ

Note: LD = Lower-Division; UD = Upper-Division.

First-Time Student Roadmap (4 Year)

The roadmaps presented in this Bulletin are intended as suggested plans of study and do not replace meeting with an advisor. For a more personalized roadmap, please use the Degree Planner tool found in your Student Center.

First-Time Student Roadmap

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

For information about satisfying the requirements described in (1) and (2) above at a California Community College (CCC), please visit 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 requirements.

Remedial courses are not transferable and do not apply to the minimum 60 semester units/90 quarter units 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 a course was not passed on the 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 the 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 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. Note that, as described below, 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 (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. To review more information about the A3 requirement, please visit

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.