Home Program Mission Our Faculty Curriculum Spring Course Advice Fall Course Advice Placements Why UNI? Industry Contact Us Student Group Analysis Lab TAPP News Design Shows

horizontal rule

Our Curriculum

Our Curriculum is a Thoughtfully Designed Program of Study


bulletThe Textiles and Apparel Curriculum is a series of core courses that comprise the basic knowledge and skills required for career success.  In addition to the Textile and Apparel courses, which are central to the academic experience, students take a substantive core of business courses, liberal arts core courses, and electives of their own choice.  The liberal arts core courses, which all UNI students take, are designed to give graduates a "well-rounded" and thorough undergraduate degree.


Below are four icons that link to important curriculum requirements. You will find below, a sample study plan designed for a student to complete the program in four years.  To find it, please click on the image of a maze below.  Also available below are summaries of course requirements for the Textile and Apparel major and minor. In addition Textile and Apparel Majors are required to create a portfolio that is submitted to faculty for review before students graduate. Clicking on the portfolio icon will lead to more detailed information about that particular requirement for your degree.

Sample Study Plan

Requirements for Major

Requirements for Minor

Portfolio Requirements


bulletOther important requirements for Textile and Apparel students deserving mention and consideration are:
bulletCompletion of a 4 credit course industry internship comprising 320 hours of field experience, as well as additional academic components such as keeping a journal and completing two field projects with accompanying summary reports.
bulletAttending a field trip with your professional development class to visit various textile and apparel companies and to attend a career fair. Costs for a trip of this nature may range between $200 to $400.
bulletAs a requirement in your professional development course, you are also requested to complete a job shadow experience with a textile and apparel company. While a very few students conduct their job shadows locally, most travel to other locations such as Minneapolis, Chicago and Milwaukee. On their own volition other students have travelled as far as New York, Los Angeles and Baltimore.

bulletWhat follows below is a general description of the key courses in the curriculum.  Reading through the course descriptions, should give you a very good idea of what the study of Textiles and Apparel is all about.

horizontal rule

Foundational Core Courses

The foundational core courses are a combination of creative, technical, and business knowledge and experiences that serve to underpin the curriculum and give the students the basic understanding required to succeed in subsequent portions of the program.  You will be introduced to the textile and apparel industry, as well as the basics of product design and textile science.

bulletIntroduction to the Textile and Apparel Industry -- This course is designed to give students an overview of the textile and apparel fashion pipeline.  The course...
bulletgives insight into how the various facets of the textile and apparel industry fit together and interact with each other
bulletoutlines career opportunities
bulletgives students a rational and realistic view of the discipline
bulletsets the stage for subsequent courses by informing the students of
bulletprinciples and theory of fashion change
bulletprinciples and theory of market segmentation
bullettechniques for analyzing textile and apparel businesses
bullethistorical perspectives of the industry


bulletTextile and Apparel Design Foundation Courses -- These courses, of which there are two, outline design principles and elements as they apply to the Textile and Apparel Industry.  One course focuses on an introduction to creative design for textile products, where as the other focuses on principles of computer aided design. Overall, the students learn concepts such as:
bulletcolor, line, shape, and balance
bulletapplications of creativity relevant to the field
bulletadvertising lay out and design
bulletfoundations of color theory
bullettextile design and pattern theory
bulletinitial concepts of apparel design, with a stress on creativity
bulletintroduction to state-of-the-art U4ia product development software for apparel design

    wpe9.jpg (73986 bytes)          wpeB.jpg (84801 bytes)


bulletTextiles -- This course will give students a basic understanding of the materials used in textile and apparel applications.  Students will learn about:
bulletfiber science  -- how fibers are manufactured and their physical and chemical properties
bulletyarn manufacturing technology and yarn physical and aesthetic properties
bulletfabric manufacturing and fabric physical and aesthetic properties
bulletpreparation, dyeing, and finishing applications on textile materials

    wpe13.jpg (63579 bytes)   wpe15.jpg (51439 bytes)   wpe17.jpg (54485 bytes)   wpe19.jpg (48768 bytes)  


horizontal rule


Midlevel Core Courses

The midlevel core courses continue to build a foundation for understanding the textile and apparel profession, but at a somewhat higher level than the foundational core courses.  Focus at this level is upon the physical structure of three dimensional apparel products, and a more in-depth understanding of the business issues that are involved in the textile and apparel industry, with a focus on marketing and promotion.

bulletApparel Evaluation -- Understanding the physical structure of three dimensional apparel forms and the elements of their assembly is the primary goal of this course.  Concepts addressed in this course include:
bulletgarment sizing
bulletthree dimensional concepts of apparel
bulletdraping behavior
bulletstyle features including:
bulletneck line
bulletedge finish
bulletapparel specifications
bulletdeveloping a "knock-off"


bulletFashion Promotion -- An analysis of the promotion and marketing activities integral to the textile and apparel industry are addressed in a comprehensive manner.  Application of fundamental marketing theories is the foundation upon which this course rests.  The course is underpinned by applied project which focuses upon management of the programs annual design exposition.  Students will also address the following during course work:
bullettheories of market segmentation applied to textiles and apparel
bulletprinciples of promotion
bulletpromotion planning
bulletvisual merchandising, including:
bulletwindow displays
bulletin-store displays
bulletcatalogue analysis and layout
bulletuse of state-of-the-art U4ia product development software for creation of promotional newspaper and magazine spreads


horizontal rule

Upper Level Textile & Apparel Technical and Business Core

These courses comprise a core of courses that focus on advanced concepts in the textile and apparel profession.  The courses address the scientific, technical, and business issues that require mastery for success in the textile and apparel industry.

bulletQuality Assurance in Textiles and Apparel -- Advanced understanding of the physical properties and marketplace expectations of textile materials used in apparel and a myriad of other end uses is the focus of this course.  Issues covered include:
bulletTheories of quality and quality management
bulletTextile Material Specifications
bulletTextile Testing Methods
bulletConcepts of physical analysis and marketplace expectations of textile materials, including:
bulletbasic textile material characterization
bulletdurability, including tensile and wear properties
bulletcolor science and colorfastness
bulletcomfort, hand and drape
bulletabsorbency and repellency
bulletthermal properties



bulletTextile Structures -- The purpose of this course is to more thoroughly develop the student's understanding of fabric formation processes and the design of fabric structures including:
bulletin-depth understanding of fabric forming technologies
bulletprinciples of design and physical structure of woven and knit fabrics
bulletthe relationship between design limitations and fabric forming technology
bulletuse of state-of-the-art U4ia product development software to design fabrics


bulletProduct Development and Design -- The emphasis of this course is on the technical aspects of the product development process.  Design analysis  and design replication is carried to a more sophisticated level in this course.  Activities in the classroom include:
bulletcreating patterns by apparel design methods of flat pattern, draping, and drafting
bulletuse of computer design software for pattern, grading, and marker production
bulletsourcing of materials, costing, and production planning
bulletproduction of actual patterns and musling prototypes
bulletan associated one-hour self-study is also available for the purpose of producing finished apparel products for design show and portfolio use



bulletApparel Buying and Merchandising -- Planning, developing, and presenting a finished product line is the central purpose of this course.  Also addressed in the course are:
bulletDeveloping, sourcing, and merchandising a product line for an identified target market
bulletAssortment plan development with a focus on:
bulletprice point
bulletConcepts of merchandizing mathematics


horizontal rule

Textile and Apparel Liberal Arts Core

These courses, which draw upon the important liberal arts disciplines of history, psychology, anthropology and sociology are in the textiles and apparel curriculum to address key theoretical underpinnings of fashion theory and consumer science.  A commonality in both of the liberal arts core courses is refinement of problem solving skills, which is considered of great value by employers in the textile and apparel business.

bulletHistory of Costume -- In this course an overview of fashion trends and patterns are viewed from an historical perspective.  Considered in the course are matters such as:
bulletsociological, cultural, political, and artistic trends related to the emergence of differing forms of dress over the time continuum
bulletmuseum science as related to analysis of historical textile and apparel artifacts

    wpe10.jpg (50398 bytes)    wpe12.jpg (70540 bytes)    wpe14.jpg (56695 bytes)


bullet Human Behavior and Dress -- Textiles and apparel are considered in relation to culture, society and the individual.  An important element of this course is its focus on basic research methods.  Also included in the course:
bulletadvanced understanding of fashion change theory
bulletwithin the context of apparel fashion and research methodology, the following matters are given consideration:
bullethuman development
bulletgender construction
bulletsociological and psychological dimensions


horizontal rule

Textile and Apparel Capstone Courses

The capstone courses are designed to pull the curriculum into a comprehensive whole, through student involvement in projects that require them to draw upon the reservoir of knowledge they have acquired during their previous studies.  After completion of the capstone courses, students are ready for graduation and entry into the textile and apparel professions.

bulletComputer Applications for the Textile and Apparel Industry -- This is the capstone product development class, which is accomplished with the use of U4ia product development software.  The intention of the course is to have students apply all that they have learned regarding product development within the context of a large scale project.   During the course students will use computer software to accomplish the following:
bulletfashion trend analysis
bulletmarket segmentation
bulletproduct line creation
bulletdesign story boards
bulletpromotion plans
bulletpattern development
bulletcolor trend analysis and selections
bullethang tags


bulletProfessional Development in Textiles and Apparel -- The second capstone course focuses on refinement of career development skills, and the application of previously learned business acumen in a retail environment.  The course is designed to pull together the experiences garnered in earlier coursework for application in a large scale project format.  The course covers:
bulletCareer preparation, including:
bulletself-inventory of job interests, values, and skills
bulletresume and portfolio fine tuning
bulletissues involving leadership and ethics
bulletconsideration of personality temperament and teamwork
bulletExposure to job market potential
bulletAn experiential team-project designed to apply textile and apparel business knowledge in a retail environment


horizontal rule

For more information about UNI academic programs and course descriptions, it might be useful to review the university catalog.  To visit the official electronic version of the University of Northern Iowa Catalog, just click on the image below: