Family, Consumer and Nutritional Sciences (FCSN) Vision and Mission

Vision - To be an innovative department renowned for rigorous, diverse programs of study steeped in the Catholic liberal arts tradition and distinguished by exemplary graduates responsibly engaged in the world.

Mission - Founded first on Catholic liberal arts tradition and offering rigorous programs of study, the Family, Consumer and Nutritional Sciences (FCNS) department educates women to be professional, ethical leaders. Grounded in science, the students become content experts with an innovative mindset and professional voice. The curriculum empowers students to understand and reflect upon the multi-faceted issues facing individuals and families today, challenging graduates to advocate for the dear neighbor without distinction in a socially responsible manner. Strong inter-professional and community collaborations prepare women for transformational leadership, life-long learning and a commitment to sustainability in the global context.

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Fashion Merchandising Course Descriptions

FASH 2050: TEXTILES (4 credits)

An in-depth consumer-oriented approach to the analysis of fibers, yarns, fabrics and finishes with an eye towards sustainability. Close look at the characteristics of fibers and fabrics and their effect on end-use serviceability. You will learn to differentiate fabrics and finishes. Prerequisites: Sophomore standing.


This course includes basic apparel construction techniques with emphasis on the decision making involved in selecting appropriate techniques and fabrics for particular end uses. It involves an introduction to basic measuring and fitting criteria, as well as basic support materials; it also provides an introduction to the apparel industry labor issues within the context of social responsibility. The concept of fashion sustainability is introduced. Prerequisites: Permission of instructor.


The course involves the study of social, psychological, cultural and aesthetic aspects of dress. Focus is on understanding multicultural diversity and broadening the perspective in which you view dress. Sustainable fashion as a cultural phenomenon is explored. This course includes a service learning component.

FASH 3100: HISTORY OF COSTUME (4 credits)

This class involves the study of the historic patterns of dress from ancient times to the Neoclassic period. Illustrated lectures stress political, economic and social conditions as reflected in the clothing of men and women during each period.

FASH 4100: HISTORY OF FASHION (4 credits)

This course involves the study of the cycles of change in the style of men’s and women’s clothing from 1790 to the present. Focus is on the development of couture and the study of important designers in each period. Illustrated lectures stress political, economic and social conditions as reflected in the clothing during each period. Prerequisites: FASH 3100.

FASH 4952 or 4954: INDEPENDENT STUDY (2 or 4 credits)

Prerequisites: Permission of the faculty and department chair.

FASH 4992 or 4994: TOPICS (2 or 4 credits)

The subject matter of the course is announced in the annual schedule of classes. Content varies from year to year but does not duplicate existing courses.