About this Major

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A group of AMM students

The department provides a Bachelor of Science (BS) program in Apparel Merchandising and Management (AMM) with options in Fashion Retailing and Apparel Production.  Both options emphasize interactive linkages with the apparel creation and retail sectors in the Los Angeles area.  These are designed to meet the needs of students seeking management and leadership careers in their chosen apparel and fashion retail fields.  Many AMM majors also complete a business, communications or art related minor to complement their AMM major.  Our graduates are in high demand.  Many alums go on to careers with some of the best-known names in the US apparel and retail sectors.  Some of our graduates have gone on to become Buyers, Merchandisers, Product and Brand Managers, Visual Merchandisers, Production Managers, CAD Specialists and Designers.  The globalization of the apparel business means there are exciting jobs for graduates with technical expertise and marketing skills to work in the US, European, Latin American, and Asian apparel sectors. Please read about possible Careers and Salaries.

Our students are drawn from a rich diversity of cultural backgrounds, reflecting southern Californian society.  In addition, we attract many students from around the United States and from international locations, especially Asia and Latin America.  They are drawn to study the apparel business in the setting of the Los Angeles area, home to one of the most dynamic apparel sectors in the world. Please read more about the apparel industry.

The department has an active faculty and undergraduate research program.  Research interests focus on apparel and textile industry issues and embrace product development, market dynamics, supply chain management, international trade, industry development, and business strategy.  The Apparel Technology and Research Center (ATRC) specializes in sponsored industry research programs and outreach activities.  The current focus of the ATRC is on apparel and textile market research and strategic analysis. Please read more about our Research Activities.

The Department also offers a Minor in Fashion Merchandising that has become extremely popular on campus with a variety of majors. Follow this link to more information about the minor.


The AMM program was established in 1995 on the initiative of two Professors in the Textiles and Clothing area of a major in the College of Agriculture.  They perceived an unmet need for an apparel degree that focused on developing professional managers for the southern California apparel and retail sectors.  After two years of consultation with industry leaders, both within the region and nationally, followed by a further two and a half years of University review and curriculum development, the AMM program was launched in September 1995.  The program was housed in Building 45, an agricultural engineering facility that contained AMM's "parent", the Department of Landscape and Irrigation Science.  The first intake of undergraduate students was 39.

As part of the development of the AMM program, the Apparel Technology and Research Center (ATRC) was established in 1992 to carry out industry outreach and applied research activities.  In 1994, the ATRC was accepted into the Apparel Research Network and became a special demonstration site in 1995, winning a $10+ million Department of Defense - Defense Logistics Agency research contract from the Federal government.  As a result of the contract, a major remodeling of the building helped to establish a modern lab-based set-up for the program.

In 1997, the Apparel Production Option of the AMM program gained professional accreditation from the American Apparel Manufacturer's Association (now the American Apparel & Footwear Association), becoming one of only 13 programs in the US to achieve this recognition.  As the Department's reputation grew both locally and nationally, enrollment expanded continuously.  In 2001, AMM was elevated to become a department in its own right within the College of Agriculture, becoming the only specialized University-based apparel department west of the Rocky mountains.  By Fall of 2006, the number of majors in the program had risen to 245, with a further 60 students engaged in the Fashion Merchandising minor.  Today, the AMM department is building on the strong foundations laid during its first decade with an upgraded curriculum, additional facilities, new research directions, and an expansion of the faculty.