The M.S. in Design and Merchandising, Apparel and Merchandising Specialization, offers the opportunity for students to critically explore how apparel products are designed and developed, distributed, and merchandised as well as the ways in which consumers interact with and use those products in various historical and cultural contexts. Emphasis is placed upon fostering cultural awareness and a commitment to social responsibility. The Plan A emphasizes the development of content knowledge and research skills through the completion of an original research study, preparing graduates well for doctoral level work or for industry positions requiring critical thinking, analytical abilities, and/or depth of knowledge in the field. A minimum of 30 credits are required to complete this program.