Consumer, Apparel, and Retail Studies Major

On Campus

Prepare Yourself

You’ll be ready for a global fashion career in design and retailing.

The Bachelor of Science in Consumer, Apparel, and Retail studies degree is available in two concentrations: apparel design and retailing and consumer studies. Because we believe in positioning you for a variety of career opportunities, each concentration prepares students to be just what companies looking for — candidates who understand designing, manufacturing, marketing, and retailing fashion and apparel-related products.

Experience our award-winning program

So much is in store for you as a student in the Consumer, Apparel, and Retail Studies (CARS) department, including studio classes, hands-on projects, and internships with leading apparel and retail companies. Connect with and learn from your fellow classmates in the student organization THREADS. Your classroom learning will include best practices and real-world examples from the industry so that everything you learn will be relevant to your future career.

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Our Bachelor of Science, Consumer, Apparel, and Retail Studies program is accredited by the Textile and Apparel Program Accreditation Commission of the International Textile and Apparel Association.
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Available Concentrations

Apparel Design Concentration

To thrive, the fashion industry needs emerging design leaders who understand how to execute a creative vision and bring it to life for consumers. If your goal is to design clothing for a living, CARS will teach you how to combine creativity with business savvy and evolve your design work over the course of a career.

The Apparel Design concentration prepares you for jobs in apparel and textile product design and production. Our graduates have earned placements with companies such as Hanesbrands, Kohl’s, Kontoor Brands (Lee and Wrangler), Nordstrom, and PVH. Of special note is the opportunity you will have to present your own line at the THREADS fashion show, a frequently sold-out event held in downtown Greensboro.

Sample Courses

APD 252: Studio II: Patternmaking/Draping

Introduction to the apparel design process. Introduction to basic flat pattern, draping and fitting principles. Theories and methods in designing apparel for various target markets.

APD 310: Portfolio Development for Apparel Design

Development of a professional design portfolio that will emphasize investigation of specific apparel markets, target consumers, seasons and fabrications, and various illustration techniques.

APD 441: Computer Applications for Textile Products

Utilization of general graphics programs and CAD systems are used extensively in the fashion industry to create a digital presentation of boards, fashion graphics, woven and print designs and technical specification packages.

Retailing and Consumer Studies Concentration

Often, retailing and consumer studies majors tell us that they love their concentration because it allows them to bridge their interest in fashion with their sense for business. If you, too, like the idea of working in a fast-paced business environment, the retailing and consumer studies concentration will position you for apparel retailing, marketing, merchandising, and distribution.

Our graduates have been hired by companies such as Belk, TJ Maxx, Macy’s, Amazon, Polo Ralph Lauren, and Nordstrom. The sample courses below will help you envision the knowledge you’ll take with you when you earn your first great job!

We also have Consumer, Apparel and Retail Studies minor options available to students.

Sample Courses

RCS 361: Fundamentals of Retail Buying and Merchandising

Investigation of the roles and responsibilities of buyers and managers in retail operations. Fundamentals of merchandise mathematics and buying.

RCS 464: Global Retail Strategy

Investigation of consumer benefits offered by multichannel retailing of apparel and related consumer products. Focus on the importance of culture to successful retailing to diverse global consumers.

RCS 484: Advanced Retail Analysis

Investigation of retailing from a strategic perspective. Concepts are analyzed and integrated into applied problem-solving scenarios focused on consumer needs.

Internships and Practicums

Bring your classroom learning to life with exciting internships at some of the most successful companies in the industry.

In CARS, practical learning experiences complement academic programs. Without a doubt, our required internship experience is a transformative experience that will bring your classroom learning to life. The internship program prepares students for the real world of work while providing the industry with well-trained employees.

As a student in the CARS major, you will begin preparation for the internship during your junior year with a professional development course. This course is designed to help you become aware of industry hiring trends and to ensure that you feel prepared for the role of a professional business person.

Located in the Piedmont Triad (Greensboro, High Point, and Winston-Salem), UNCG offers CARS students the unique opportunity to integrate classroom work with the retail, apparel, and textile industries that fuel the local economy. Our interns have worked in firms such as Kontoor Brands, Champion, Polo/Ralph Lauren, and Belk.

If you’d prefer to move outside the Triad, you could go to such exciting places as New York, Los Angeles, London, or Hong Kong. Companies, where CARS students have interned, include Barney’s, Sak’s, Calvin Klein, Tommy Hilfiger, Vibe Magazine, and Alice and Olivia.

Intern positions held by our students:

  • Assistant retail buyer
  • Assistant designer
  • Visual merchandiser
  • Fashion illustrator
  • CAD operator
  • Assistant stylist
  • Merchandise specialist

Prepare to become work-ready

U.S. and international companies are actively seeking graduates with product development and marketing capabilities for careers in retailing, manufacturing, international sourcing, design, and marketing.

Whether applying for their first full-time position or looking for the internship that will get them that first big job, our students find positions with leading companies such as Kontoor Brands, HanesBrands, Polo/Ralph Lauren, Belk, TJX, Tommy Hilfiger, and many more local and global organizations. Because of the University’s proximity to North Carolina’s textile and apparel industry, many students remain in-state.

Others seek opportunities in major metropolitan cities across the U.S. and around the globe, such as New York, Los Angeles, London, and Hong Kong. Our faculty will prepare you and the CARS community will provide the support and networking; altogether, your CARS experience will help you forge a clear path to your goals.

In addition to the on-campus resources, there are plenty of industry-specific sites, such as and to help you in your job search.

Professional associations such as the American Apparel and Footwear Association and National Retail Federation can also be helpful resources.

Reap the rewards of earning a graduate degree

These days, employers are looking for candidates who have a background that combines education and practical experience. In addition, advanced degrees are often the gateway to career advancement. By considering an advanced degree in consumer, apparel, and retail studies, you are taking an important first step toward your individual future success and the impact that you can make going forward.

Military-Affiliated Students

UNCG has been named both Best for Vets and a Military Friendly School. We’re a Yellow Ribbon Program participant, and are proud to offer a variety of benefits for veterans, active-duty military, and military-affiliated students, such as:

  • Online application fee waiver for active-duty service members
  • In-state tuition for out-of-state students (in accordance with the Veterans Choice Act)
  • Credit for relevant military service/training
  • Tutoring assistance

For more information on UNCG Military-Affiliated services and benefits, visit

Have Questions?

If you have any questions regarding our Consumer, Apparel, and Retail Studies program, please feel free to reach out to Consumer, Apparel, and Retail Studies Department ( or call (336) 334-5250.

Dr. Nancy Hodges

Department Head

Burlington Industries Professor

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