College of Social and Behavioral Sciences

School of Applied Human Sciences

Our Curriculum

Our Curriculum is a Thoughtfully Designed Program of Study 

  • The 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.
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Sample Study Plan Requirements for Major Requirements for Minor  Portfolio Requirements
  • Other important requirements for Textile and Apparel students deserving mention and consideration are:
    • Completion 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.
    • Attending 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.
    • As 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.
  • What 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.

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.

  • Introduction to the Textile and Apparel Industry -- This course is designed to give students an overview of the textile and apparel fashion pipeline.  The course...
    • gives insight into how the various facets of the textile and apparel industry fit together and interact with each other
    • outlines career opportunities
    • gives students a rational and realistic view of the discipline
    • sets the stage for subsequent courses by informing the students of
      • principles and theory of fashion change
      • principles and theory of market segmentation
      • techniques for analyzing textile and apparel businesses
      • historical perspectives of the industry
  • Textile 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:
    • color, line, shape, and balance
    • applications of creativity relevant to the field
    • advertising lay out and design
    • foundations of color theory
    • textile design and pattern theory
    • initial concepts of apparel design, with a stress on creativity
    • introduction to state-of-the-art U4ia product development software for apparel design
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  • Textiles -- This course will give students a basic understanding of the materials used in textile and apparel applications.  Students will learn about:
    • fiber science  -- how fibers are manufactured and their physical and chemical properties
    • yarn manufacturing technology and yarn physical and aesthetic properties
    • fabric manufacturing and fabric physical and aesthetic properties
    • preparation, dyeing, and finishing applications on textile materials
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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.

  • Apparel 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:
    • garment sizing
    • three dimensional concepts of apparel
    • draping behavior
    • style features including:
      • sleeves
      • collars
      • waistline
      • neck line
      • edge finish
      • closures
    • apparel specifications
    • developing a "knock-off"
  • Fashion 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:
    • theories of market segmentation applied to textiles and apparel
    • principles of promotion
    • promotion planning
    • visual merchandising, including:
      • window displays
      • in-store displays
    • catalogue analysis and layout
    • use of state-of-the-art U4ia product development software for creation of promotional newspaper and magazine spreads

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.

  • Quality 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:
    • Theories of quality and quality management
    • Textile Material Specifications
    • Textile Testing Methods
    • Concepts of physical analysis and marketplace expectations of textile materials, including:
      • basic textile material characterization
      • durability, including tensile and wear properties
      • color science and colorfastness
      • comfort, hand and drape
      • flammability
      • absorbency and repellency
      • thermal properties
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  • Textile 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:
    • in-depth understanding of fabric forming technologies
    • principles of design and physical structure of woven and knit fabrics
    • the relationship between design limitations and fabric forming technology
    • use of state-of-the-art U4ia product development software to design fabrics
  • Product 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:
    • creating patterns by apparel design methods of flat pattern, draping, and drafting
    • use of computer design software for pattern, grading, and marker production
    • sourcing of materials, costing, and production planning
    • production of actual patterns and musling prototypes
    • an associated one-hour self-study is also available for the purpose of producing finished apparel products for design show and portfolio use
  • Apparel Buying and Merchandising -- Planning, developing, and presenting a finished product line is the central purpose of this course.  Also addressed in the course are:
    • Developing, sourcing, and merchandising a product line for an identified target marked
    • Assortment plan development with a focus on:
      • style
      • size
      • color
      • price point
    • Concepts of merchandising mathematics

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.

  • History 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:
    • sociological, cultural, political, and artistic trends related to the emergence of differing forms of dress over the time continuum
    • museum science as related to analysis of historical textile and apparel artifacts
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  • 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:
    • advanced understanding of fashion change theory
    • within the context of apparel fashion and research methodology, the following matters are given consideration:
      • human development
      • gender construction
      • ethnicity
      • politics
      • sociological and psychological dimensions

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.

  • Computer 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:
    • fashion trend analysis
    • market segmentation
    • product line creation
    • design story boards
    • promotion plans
    • pattern development
    • color trend analysis and selections
    • hang tags
  • Professional 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:
    • Career preparation, including:
      • self-inventory of job interests, values, and skills
      • resume and portfolio fine tuning
      • issues involving leadership and ethics
      • consideration of personality temperament and teamwork
    • Exposure to job market potential
    • An experiential team-project designed to apply textile and apparel business knowledge in a retail environment

    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:

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