UNC Greensboro’s Department of Consumer, Apparel, and Retail Studies (CARS) moved up this year in rankings among the nation’s top fashion merchandising programs, according to Fashion-Schools.org.

CARS ranks No. 4 among fashion merchandising programs at public and private universities in the South and is one of the top 15 programs at public universities across the nation for fashion merchandising. The rankings are based on academic reputation, admission selectivity, depth and value of program and geographic location.

CARS bumped up to 19 from 22 last year among public and private schools nationwide for fashion merchandising, just below schools like the Fashion Institute of Technology in New York and Savannah College of Art and Design. For public schools, CARS came in 13th this year, jumping three spots from last year’s 17th.

The program secured its place in the fashion design industry as well, ranking No. 4 in the South and No. 15 nationally among public fashion design schools.

CARS, celebrating its 100th year at UNCG, offers students hands-on learning opportunities, including study trips to fashion meccas – such as New York, London and Italy – across the globe, an annual student-run fashion show that draws hundreds of attendees and internships with top fashion companies such as VF Corporation, Polo Ralph Lauren and Saks, Inc.

Undergraduates in the department select one of three concentrations: apparel design, retailing and consumer studies, and global apparel and related industry studies. In addition to the undergraduate program, CARS offers a post-baccalaureate certificate, a master’s degree and a PhD program.

As retailers continue to compete with e-commerce and the online marketplace, the program is making some curriculum changes to address these issues, such as offering classes in retail and consumer data analytics to focus on researching what the consumer wants, said Dr. Nancy Nelson Hodges, CARS Burlington Industries Professor and department head.

View the video below for more about the CARS program.

Story by Elizabeth L. Harrison, University Communications
Photography by Martin W. Kane, University Communications
Videography by Grant Evan Gilliard, University Communications