The 9 Best Online Associate in Fashion Merchandising Degrees in 2023

What’s fashion merchandising worth? The fashion industry is so huge that the global revenue in 2022 alone amounted to 1.53 trillion U.S. dollars. While store windows and styling are the more noticeable elements in this business, the art and science behind it are driven by fashion merchandising.

Prospective students who want to start a successful career in this field may want to consider earning an associate in fashion merchandising. This degree program will equip them with visual merchandising knowledge and skills to become effective fashion merchandisers.

Best Online Associate in Fashion Merchandising - fact

Featured Programs

They will be able to work with retail stores, designers, and fashion labels to attract window shoppers by building store displays that showcase products and entice buyers. Their work often encompasses retail sales promotion and fashion merchandising management.

Fashion merchandising students also develop campaigns promoting new products and collections. They are taught to learn how to evaluate trends, buy patterns, and demographics of the target market to be more effective at their job. This knowledge will help brands gain exposure and in turn, will increase their revenue.

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The Lowdown

The best associate in online fashion merchandising degree programs gives a good foundation to interested students who want to begin their formal training and open a wealth of opportunities in a dynamic, ever-growing field.

The online associate degree program often combines a passion for style and trend-watching along with a business-focused education. Students are well-prepared to take on fashion and related industries.


When choosing from these fire science degree programs, you must determine whether their program of study, student outcomes, and costs are in your favor. The best online associate in fire science degree meets your current needs and contributes to the achievement of your career goals!

The top Fashion Merchandising associate degree programs on our list were selected based on these criteria:

  • Offered by a regionally accredited community college or university,
  • Features blended or online Fashion Merchandising courses that introduce students to the basics of the discipline and the profession, including store operations, product development, styling, customer service, and retail merchandising,
  • Features faculty personnel with the right educational credentials and professional experience,
  • May offer an Associate-to-Bachelor Transfer Pathway option to students for an easier transition to the bachelor’s degree in Fashion Merchandising,
  • Provides financial assistance, generous transfer credit programs, and comprehensive support services,
  • Receives stellar reviews and feedback from students or alumni and is esteemed by industry groups

Please visit our Methodology page and take a look at our detailed ranking process.

Best Associate in Fashion Merchandising Degree Online

Madison Area Technical College

Madison Area Technical College

Associate Degree in Fashion Marketing

Madison College offers an associate degree program in fashion marketing. This program is designed for those who have a creative flair and interest in fashion and retail businesses.

The focus of the program is equipping students with ample knowledge of the various aspects of the passion industry, encompassing technical design, social media marketing, and retailing.

  • Students will learn how to develop and promote fashion products and services and apply fashion marketing principles in real-world businesses.
  • Attending and participating in guest lectures and seminars are part of the curriculum.
  • The program is available full-time and part-time and can be completed online.
  • Some of the fashion merchandising courses that one can expect in the program include Fashion Analysis, Apparel Marketing, Fashion Merchandising Theory, Retail Management, Textiles, Store Operations, and Merchandise Plan, among others.  
  • Students can usually finish the 59-credit degree in two years.

What Makes This Program Unique:

Working with known area businesses, this program gives students the opportunity to take part in internships or receive employment offers from companies such as Bag Borrow Steal, Loud Treads, Kohl’s. Fair Indigo, Levi’s, Land’s End, and so much more.

Did You Know?

The community college has agreements with UW System Schools, Wisconsin Private Schools, and even some out-of-state schools.

LIM College

LIM College

AAS in Fashion Merchandising & Management

Students interested in learning the world of fashion merchandising may want to consider earning an Associate of Applied Science in Fashion in Merchandising and Management from LIM College.

This program teaches students how the various aspects of the fashion industry come together, from basic business courses to those which focus on real-world applications. 

  • This online program equips students with knowledge and skills to help them develop and sell fashion products and services.
  • Some courses in the associate program curriculum include Applied Concepts in Merchandising, Digital Tools for Fashion Presentations, Product and Development and Merchandising, Fabric for Fashion, Sustainability and the Future of Fashion, and Visual Communication, among others.

What Makes This Program Unique:

The program requires students to take part in a fashion merchandising internship to provide them with priceless experience. Some of the brands they interned with include MAC Cosmetics, Michael Kors, Nickelodeon, Vera Wang, Rebecca Minkoff, and more.

Did You Know?

According to, LIM College is included in the Top 10 Fashion Merchandising Schools and Colleges in the U.S.

Southern New Hampshire University

Southern New Hampshire University

Associate of Science in Fashion Merchandising

Southern New Hampshire University, a private, nonprofit institution based in Manchester and Hooksett, New Hampshire, offers an Associate of Science in Fashion Merchandising program, which covers key knowledge areas of Fashion Merchandising, as well as crucial foundational business knowledge that cuts across many industries in its applicability.

  • The program contains a total of 60 credit hours and has no SAT/ACT score requirements. There is also no application fee.  
  • The program curriculum includes retailing, marketing, color theory, textiles, and more. The program’s General Education component also teaches crucial soft skills like communication, critical thinking, and analysis.
  • The program is delivered asynchronously, which lets students complete their coursework at their most convenient time. Course materials are also accessible 24/7.

What Makes This Program Unique:

SNHU offers some of the lowest rates in the country for online education. Students can also save further by transferring up to 45 credit hours toward their Associate degree.  

Did You Know?

SNHU is recognized by the New England Commission on Higher Education (NECHE), and the AS in Fashion Merchandising program is, in turn, approved by the ACBSP (Accreditation Council for Business Schools & Programs).

Berkeley College

Berkeley College

AAS in Fashion Merchandising and Management

Berkeley College, a private, for-profit college with physical campuses in New York and New Jersey, offers an Associate of Applied Science in Fashion Merchandising and Management degree program, which has a unique industry-side approach and is located right within one of the world’s fashion meccas.

  • Berkeley College’s AAS degree design focuses on the business side of the fashion industry and features all aspects of the fashion industry’s global supply chain.
  • Students have the opportunity to participate in unique learning opportunities such as tours of fashion houses and taking part in the New York Fashion Week, aside from other hands-on learning experiences.
  • The program contains a total of 60 credit hours. Courses are offered both online and onsite, encompassing various subject areas such as fashion business management and future fashion trends.

What Makes This Program Unique:

Berkeley College prides itself on faculty that has extensive experience in the fashion industry and has an advantageous location, being at the heart of one of the world’s fashion capitals.

Did You Know?

For those seeking a similar 4-year degree, Berkeley also offers Fashion Merchandising and Management as a Bachelor of Business Administration (BBA) degree program.

Miami International University of Art & Design

Miami International University of Art & Design

AA in Fashion Merchandising

The Miami International University of Art and Design, a private, for-profit art school, offers an Associate of Arts in Fashion Merchandising degree program, which is a unique blend of style and substance that sees a wide range of applicability toward careers in the fashion industry.

  • The program is offered online, introducing students to the full ins and outs of the fashion industry.
  • Major content areas in the program include Marketing, Management, Styling, Fashion Trends, Advertising, and Public Relations. 
  • Credits earned in the program are transferrable to their online Fashion Merchandising Bachelor’s degree (Bachelor of Arts).

What Makes This Program Unique:

The program features an Introductory Technology fee that covers industry-relevant tools and specialized software needed for coursework, including an iPad, Apple Pencil, and smart keyboard. Students can, however, opt out of the fee ad purchase these at their expense.

Did You Know?

The online education offered by Miami International University of Art & Design is backed by its vibrant community of fashion creatives, whose experience and innovative strategies are integrated into its delivery.

Miami Dade College

Miami Dade College

AS in Fashion Merchandising

Miami Dade College, a public college, offers an Associate of Science in Fashion Merchandising, a program designed to nurture creativity and train students in practical skills in the context of the fashion business industry.

  • The program contains a total of 60 credit hours and takes around two years to complete.
  • The program includes the study areas of Contemporary Retailing, Fashion Forecasting Research, Fashion Merchandising Strategies, Textile, Apparel and Retail Analysis, Textile Science, and Portfolio Collection Development.
  • This associate degree program is primarily aimed at preparing students to take up careers in the fashion industry as creative professionals and emphasizes design, technology, and retail and merchandising practice.

What Makes This Program Unique:

Miami Dade College offers a range of learning format options to cater to student’s needs, including live virtual classes via MDC LIVE and the self-paced MDC Online option.

Did You Know?

This online associate in fashion merchandising degree program serves as the pathway to the Bachelor of Applied Science in Supervision & Management and Supply Chain Management.

Academy of Art University

Academy of Art University

AA in Fashion Merchandising

The Academy of Art University, a private for-profit art school in San Francisco, California, offers an Associate of Arts in Fashion Merchandising degree program, which features a well-rounded preparation for students to enter the fashion industry, providing solid theoretical knowledge as well as a range of crucial skills.

  • The program contains a total of 60 credit hours.
  • The program’s curriculum includes courses in Composition, Fabric and Fiber Technology, Fashion History, Color Science, and more.
  • This associate degree program can also be used as a stepping stone to pursuing their Bachelor of Fine Arts.

What Makes This Program Unique:

Aside from providing firm fundamentals in the field of fashion merchandising, this associate degree program also addresses the need for students to be professionally ready for their job search after graduation, particularly in developing their body of work.

Did You Know?

The Academy of Art University also offers the following fashion industry-related associate degree programs: AA in Fashion Product Development, AA in Fashion Styling, and AA in Fashion journalism, among others.

Houston Community College

Houston Community College

AAS in Fashion Merchandising

The hybrid Associate of Science in Fashion Merchandising at Houston Community College prepares students for a rewarding career in fashion retailing and wholesale operations. They are taught basic training in merchandising techniques along with creative development.

  • This program allows students to learn how to analyze collections based on target consumers, markets, size, and retail price categories.
  • Students are expected to communicate design concepts at different stages of development through basic knowledge of clothing production, drawing skills, and appropriate software.
  • Students should also be able to utilize a broad fashion vocabulary that demonstrates their knowledge of fashion, textile, and knitwear terminology.

What Makes This Program Unique:

This program accepts all the courses earned in the Fashion Merchandising certificates, allowing students with prior knowledge to earn the degree faster.

Did You Know?

The Houston Community College is approved by the National Association of Schools of Art & Design, an accrediting organization of colleges, schools, and universities in the country.

SUNY Fashion Institute of Technology

SUNY Fashion Institute of Technology

One-year AAS in Fashion Merchandising

The SUNY Fashion Institute of Technology offers an Associate in Applied Science degree in Fashion Merchandising, which can be earned online. Students are given the opportunity to gain a solid foundation in the fashion business.

  • The program teaches students all about retailing, merchandise planning, buying, fashion forecasting, the business of styling, and product development.
  • This degree adapts to the changing field by incorporating the latest trends and technology into the curriculum.
  • The online degree program can be completed in two years, with schedules available in the evening and on weekends, along with an online option.

What Makes This Program Unique:

To broaden students’ global perspective, the program requires them to identify and evaluate various global issues and how they will affect the fashion business.

Did You Know?

High school graduates cannot directly apply to the school’s fashion merchandising bachelor’s degree program. They are encouraged to earn the Associate in Applied Science in Fashion Merchandising first before they can proceed.

Fashion Merchandising

Frequently Asked Questions

How long can an online Fashion Merchandising degree be completed?

Most of the time, associates in fashion merchandising programs take two years to complete. However, this usually depends on whether students are enrolled full-time or part-time. Some students are designed to be friendly to working students and professionals, so they are given the flexibility to take the fashion merchandising courses at their own pace.

Other online Fashion Merchandising degree programs have accelerated options, allowing students to finish the course quicker than their counterparts.

What are the common admission requirements for Fashion Merchandising programs?

Most associates in fashion merchandising programs are not strict regarding the admission process. The common requirements often include the completion of the application, a high school diploma, prior transcripts, and, in some cases, test scores. The latter is not always required.

There might be instances where students may be required to complete developmental coursework as needed, often by completing appropriate English and mathematics courses.

What can undergraduates do with a Fashion Merchandising online degree?

What can undergraduates do with a Fashion Merchandising online degree?

There is a wealth of opportunities for those who have successfully earned the online associate in fashion merchandising program. Some do on to work in retail, and others go into art and design. Many choose to become buyers and merchandisers in the fashion industry. Some of the careers they may take part in include:

  • Fashion buyers
  • Fashion designers
  • Fashion editors
  • Fashion event coordinators
  • Market researchers
  • Marketing representatives
  • Merchandise managers
  • Merchandising displayers
  • Social media brand ambassadors
  • Showroom assistants
  • Purchasing agents
  • Retail sales managers
  • Manufacturing sales representatives

Those who want to further their education may opt to enroll in a bachelor’s degree program. This will give them a better understanding of fashion merchandising that can help enhance their credentials.

Many universities that offer associate degree programs in fashion merchandising also offer a bachelor’s degree version of the program. Others have strong partnerships with four-year universities, making it easier for students to continue their education and earn a bachelor’s degree.

What are some standard courses for an Associate in Fashion Merchandising?

In keeping with the structure of typical associate degrees, these programs necessarily contain a General Education component, which includes writing, mathematics skills, and other electives. With regard to major course content, common courses in Fashion Merchandising Associate Degree programs contain the following thematic areas:

Fashion History details the progression of trends and styles that form the history and context of the modern fashion industries.

Fashion Trends/Fashion Forecasting is another one of the major thematic areas in the discipline. Fashion involves not only looking at its history but also being able to anticipate and predict fashion trends, as this impacts significant decisions related to management.

These programs also include a course/courses dedicated to the principles of Advertising, as this is involved in a significant part of the major activities of fashion merchandising professionals. This involves the major content areas of consumer behavior, sales promotion and sales strategies, and more.

Courses in Styling are also typically included in Fashion Merchandising degree programs, as this is considered one of the major skills required of industry professionals.

Retail Buying involves many major sub-activities related to the fashion cycle, which include merchandise planning, consumer research, marketing strategies, retail sales promotion, and others.

These programs also offer a course/courses on Textiles/Materials, as well as Color Theory.

Some fashion merchandising degree programs may also include courses related to digital design, as fashion design continues to incorporate digital tools and design spaces in its core set of design methodologies.

Lastly, Fashion Merchandising involves the business side of the fashion industry. As such, fashion merchandising associate degree programs also typically include business management and financial accounting courses.

How much do associate degrees in Fashion Merchandising typically cost?

It largely depends on the structure of the university/college offering the degree, as for-profit institutions typically cost more than community colleges and private nonprofit institutions.

Some for-profit institutions may have a per-credit hour cost that hovers around the $500 mark, while other institutions may have it lower at around $300 per credit hour for the most affordable ones.

Given their shorter duration, these associate degrees typically cost less than four-year degrees, and while these are only estimates, students can expect the total cost to be around the $10,000 mark.

In the end, it is best to consult directly with particular universities/colleges to get the most exact cost figures, as well as get informed on any financial aid options available to offset the cost even further.

Is there available financial aid for online programs in Fashion Merchandising?

Online fashion merchandising programs often offer financial aid options to interested students. However, the choices vary from school to school.

Some colleges allow eligible students to apply for financial aid, such as the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). There are also scholarships that may be offered on a need-based or merit-based basis. Students may need to demonstrate a strong academic performance or participate in certain activities in order to qualify.

Some scholarships may come from professional associations, community groups, and other organizations. This financial aid does not have to be paid back, which is quite helpful to students who are struggling financially. Other financial aid options include grants and awards.

What can undergraduates do with a Fashion Merchandising online degree?

Summary Points

Fashion Merchandising degree programs are focused on the business side of the fashion industry, which includes the major tasks of purchasing, sales, marketing, and advertising, to name a few.

Associate degrees in Fashion Merchandising feature not only business-related courses but also courses that are concerned with visual art and design.

An Associate in Fashion Merchandising can be used to launch entry-level fashion merchandising careers upon graduation or be used as a stepping stone toward earning a four-year bachelor’s degree in Fashion Design, Fine Arts, or other related degrees.

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