Oklahoma State University’s fashion merchandising program, which is a part of the Department of Design, Housing and Merchandising (DHM) in the College of Human Sciences, was ranked No. 19 on The Art Career Project's list of “The Best Fashion Merchandising Schools in the U.S. in 2018.”
TheArtCareerProject.com is nationally recognized for providing information, job opportunities, news, art careers and many other helpful resources to art students and professionals. The Art Career Project evaluates 167 post-secondary institutions to compile its list of the top 20 fashion merchandising schools in the U.S.
Kira Petersons, a DHM senior with an option in apparel merchandising, said she is proud to come from OSU’s fashion program. Petersons said she thinks the professors are the reason the school is so successful.
“We definitely have earned this award,” Petersons said. “OSU’s fashion department is so great, and the professors are the best.”
Petersons had an internship last summer with Michael Kors, in New York, and she said even some of her fellow interns heard of OSU’s program. She said this made her feel more confident in “such a big city with so much talent.”
“I know this program has prepared me for the real world,” Petersons said. “The professors don’t just throw you out into the industry; they give you contacts, advice and skills to truly help you make your dreams come true.”
Megan Whisenant, another senior with an option in apparel merchandising, said she agrees with Petersons.
“I think it shocks a lot of people that a little school in Oklahoma has this title,” Whisenant said. “It’s well-deserved.”
Whisenant said she thinks OSU’s fashion merchandising program does a lot for the community and tries to give back. She said they have a Wings of Hope and Euphoria Fashion Show each year that bring in money for Stillwater, either through giving to charity or bringing in donors and alumni to the city. She said this is one reason she thinks OSU’s program stands out nationally.
Whisenant has been a part of the program for four years. She said she has had nothing but positive experiences. She said all the professors are willing to help regardless of whether they have you in class. Whisenant said she knows the professors care about each student’s success and improving the reputation and credibility of OSU’s program.
“They have contacts everywhere,” Whisenant said. “They literally are so helpful with getting students opportunities all over the industry. I love it.”
Dr. Jane Swinney is the department head for DHM, and she said she’s proud of this ranking for both the department and the university.
Swinney said she thinks the technology OSU’s program has is what puts it on the map when being evaluated. She said the apparel merchandising department has an incredible sewn products lab as well as a partnership with Gerber Technology, which brought in an excess of $10 million in software and technology.
Swinney also said support from alumni and the advisory board play a major role in the department’s success.
“I’m really proud of the facility,” Swinney said. “I’m really proud of the Gerber Technology partnership, I’m really proud of the alumni and advisory board and I’m really proud of the faculty who support the students.”