Georgia Southern University's Fashion Merchandising and Apparel Design program has been named one of the top fashion merchandising schools in the United States by Fashion-Schools.org.
In a review that looked at more than 200 institutions and their academics, admissions, programs, faculty and other criteria, Georgia Southern ranked among the top 25 percent in the nation and made the top schools list at No. 49.
Other Georgia schools that made the Top 75 Fashion Merchandising Schools list were: University of Georgia (No. 17, top 10 percent), Brenau University in Gainesville (No. 67, top 35 percent) and Clark Atlanta University (No. 68, top 35 percent).
"This means Georgia Southern is up there with the premiere national programs," said Cynthia Johnson, Ph.D., the chairwoman of the School of Human Ecology. "It means we have a rigorous, competitive program where we are teaching our students and preparing them to become buyers or designers in the global fashion industry."
Georgia Southern was also ranked ninth on the list of Top 15 Fashion Schools in the South. Other Georgia schools making this list were: Savannah College of Art and Design (No. 1), UGA (No. 3), Brenau (No. 12) and Clark Atlanta (No. 13).
There are more than 200 students now enrolled in Georgia Southern's program, and they are getting hands-on experience in designing, producing and selling clothing, shoes and accessories for men, women and children. They are also taught about fashion history as well as fabric research and development.
"The training at Georgia Southern takes students around the world," Johnson said. "Before graduating, these young designers and merchandisers have traveled to Paris, London, Rome and New York for internships. We prepare them to design or sell merchandise and then put them in locations where they are exposed to opportunities as they begin their careers."
Mychael Knight is one of the best-known graduates of the fashion merchandising and apparel design program. He appeared on "Project Runway" in 2006 and finished fourth in the competition, and he now produces his own clothing line. Professor Hope Wallace won the People's Choice award for her designs during Fashion Week in Charleston, S.C., last March.
"I think the ranking says a lot about what we are doing, and more people are learning about our academic reputation," said Barry Joyner, Ph.D., the dean of the College of Health and Human Sciences. "It is good to see the program getting this recognition, and a lot of the credit goes to our faculty. Our students appreciate how their professors are dedicated to help them by staying late, answering questions and coming in on weekends to open the design lab."
See the Top 75 list at fashion-schools.org/articles/top-75-fashion-merchandising-schools-us. Visit fashion-schools.org/articles/top-15-fashion-schools-south to see the list of Top 15 Fashion Schools in the South.
According to its website, Fashion-Schools.org "endeavors to be the authoritative online resource for students seeking information about fashion school programs and careers in fashion."