Our Students

Have you ever wanted to go to New York City? What about Seattle, Washington? Have you ever wanted to graduate with your best friends? Find out more about how you can get involved and have the time of your life!


NRF Student Association

The NRF Student Association provides talented students interested in retail careers with unique educational and scholarship programs, networking opportunities and access to the latest industry news and research.

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NRF Student Association

MSU Fashion Board was founded in the mid 1950's by a group of fashion-focused individuals. This group devoted time and effort to learning style and sharing it with our campus. Since its beginning, Fashion Board has become one of the most respected organizations on campus. After all, what would life be without fashion?

MSU Fashion Board is comprised of MSU students that produce fashion shows on campus and in the Starkville community. We have positions for male and female models, hair and make-up artists, and backstage staff members. We model clothing from local area vendors, provide models for Town and Gown Magazine upon request, and judge local area K-12 beauty pageants and revues.

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Student Engagement

FDM Abroad

FDM Abroad

"We take photos as a return ticket to a moment otherwise gone."

This is the best way to put into words what Italy meant to me. Italy was an experience of a lifetime and it's hard to express just how it impacted my life. Not only did I learn about Italian culture and fashion, I also gained more friendships than I ever thought possible. After our final class presentations, emotions were running high. It was definitely a bittersweet moment that I will never forget. Luckily, I have tons of pictures and videos to reminisce on this experience of a lifetime.

Katie Brown, Alum, FDM
NYC Study Tour

NYC Study Tour

The City that Never Sleeps, Empire City, The Big Apple- no matter what you call it, New York is the center of the fashion world. As such, I was extremely fortunate to take part in the week-long Mississippi State study tour of NYC in May. We explored product development and the chain of production at places like Kohl's Design Studio. We heard from top professionals in marketing and retailing at places like Hanky Panky. We explored careers and opportunities in publishing and made connections at Hearst Magazine. Getting to explore a city that is known for being full of culture and life is an adventure everyone should experience.

Morgan Beech, Junior, FDM
Historic Costume Collection

Students taking the Historic Costume course during the Spring 2015 semester got the opportunity to explore and showcase some of their favorite pieces from the MSU Historical Costume Collection. The exhibition featured apparel and accessories dating all the way back to the 19th century with designers such as Chanel, Oscar de la Renta, Vera Wang and many more. Alumni, students, faculty, and staff came to the reception to see the exhibit for themselves and take a stroll through memory lane.

Margaret Allison, Senior, FDM
Cotton Summit
NRF Big Show

NRF Big Show

The Big Show was an extension of my education and an investment in myself. I gained valuable networking skills, experience in the art of balancing professional dress and fashion forward thinking, and I formed relationships with people who were striving to succeed in the same field I was. While in New York, we got the opportunity to utilize the contacts that the School of Human Sciences has made over the years which was such a great supplement to the conference itself. I personally benefited so much from a dinner we had with MSU graduates living in the city that were breaking into the industry as professionals. We networked and got tips on how to best utilize and convey our education in the workforce. I was expecting to get to NYC and learn about the industry, but I came home with such a great understanding of the people that make the industry possible, and I had a renewed energy to succeed in the field I love.

Erika Tucker, Senior, FDM
Cotton University Dyeing Workshop

Cotton University Dyeing Workshop

In November, I participated in a dyeing workshop sponsored by Cotton University. At the workshop, Dr. Phyllis Miller taught us how to dye fabric using a low-immersion water dyeing technique. We were then given cotton scarves and were able to practice the technique we learned by soaking the fabric in a soda ash solution and then applying several different colors of dye. Afterwards, Hannah Reynolds spoke about the Cotton University website and all the resources it provides for students, faculty, and industry professionals. It was an awesome experience and a very informative look into apparel design techniques. I love that we, as fashion students, are given so many opportunities to participate in events that can expand our knowledge and benefit our careers.

Dara McCluskey
Cotton Incorporated Headquarters Tour

Cotton Incorporated Headquarters Tour

I have visited Cotton Incorporated in Cary, NC twice in the past two years, and both visits were exciting and informative. Being able to witness the production of cotton yarns and fabrics is like rocket science to a fashion major. However, if it were not for companies such as Cotton Incorporated, every item of clothing may be a synthetic. It was also very nice to see how each machine worked in the fabric production process. Synthetics may be on the rise in the market, but cotton is sure to make a major comeback. As one of the top 20 finalists in Cotton Inc.'s 24 Hour Runway Design Contest and a member of Cotton University, students like myself are helping to change the stigma on cotton.

Brittany Henderson, Senior, FDM
Leadership Retail Program
NRF Shop.Org Summit

NRF Shop.Org Summit

The Shop.org Summit in Seattle, WA was an amazing opportunity where we learned about new ideas in retail, along with broadening our outlook on the fashion/consumer industries. Getting to sit down with industry professionals from companies such as Lilly Pulitzer, Nike, Urban Outfitters, etc. was an opportunity that I'll never forget. On this trip, we received information about internship opportunities, met different students in similar majors from across the U.S., went sight-seeing through Seattle, and all became closer friends in the process. If other students are considering applying for this amazing opportunity in the future, I'd highly recommend it.

Jesse Newton, Junior, FDM

Student Stories

MSU students design dresses for orphans

"MSU students design dresses for orphans"

MSU design students reap what they 'sew'

"MSU design students reap what they 'sew'"

Historic Costume and Textile Collection celebrates 30 years with 'Fashion A to Z' exhibit at MSU

"Historic Costume and Textile Collection celebrates 30 years.."

MSU students win at State fashion event

"MSU students win at State fashion event"

Advancing the Field…The Newtral Nonwoven

"Advancing the Field...The Newtral Nonwoven"

MSU students exhibit futuristic fashions

"MSU students exhibit futuristic fashions"

Careers & Internships

The Mississippi State University Career Center is a premier resource that provides state-of-the-art services, programs, and events to meet the complete career development needs of students and alumni. https://www.career.msstate.edu/students/

For cutting edge information on where a career in retail might take you, look at the National Retail Federation's website. It's just for students:nrffoundation.org/retail-career

Activities (2014-2018)

  • The number of required internships for fashion design and merchandising major has been increased to two.
  • New field/work experience course for students to gain on-the-job training at local industry partners throughout the academic year.
  • National Retail Federation certifications has been added to the course offerings. Nearly 100 students have participated in the National Retail Federation Student Program in New York. MSU is one of only two programs in the country to have a Next-Generation Semi-Finalist and winner in the past four years, given annually to the top retail student in the nation.
  • Four networking events in NYC with students on a course-related study tour.
  • Partnered with the MSU Center for Entrepreneurship and Outreach to develop an overnight youth summer camp for the past four years. This camp has served almost 80 students for one week in the summer to develop and launch a rural small retail business.
  • Launched a small retail business, in partnership with the MSU Center for Entrepreneurship and Outreach, on Main Street in Starkville. This 300 sq. ft. retail incubator will give students, community entrepreneurs, and creators a chance to sell their products both in a brick and mortar format as well as through an online store. This educational outreach project will enable CRCPD personnel to teach small start-ups about the struggles of launching a consumer product in today’s retail environment, while helping to navigate a product launch on a larger scale.
  • Four new courses created on fiber product development with focus on the cotton industry as well as sustainability.
  • Master’s Degree focused on merchandising and design and product development has been developed. This degree has an applied non-thesis track similar to a work experience co-op found in engineering programs. We are currently the only fashion design and merchandising master’s program in the country to offer such an option.
  • Sixteen industry speakers have met with students to increase ost-graduation work opportunities.
  • Seven industry connected case studies have been developed for our partners. to gain on-the-job training at local industry partners throughout the academic year.
  • An online retail certificate training program in partnership with the MSU Department of Marketing, Quantitative Analysis, and Business Law; the Mississippi Grocers and Retailers Association; and the National Retail Federation is in development. This certificate will be open to current students as well as any non-degree seeking student. This will enable those working in retail to obtain a certificate in retailing from MSU as well as 3 separate certifications from the National Retail Federation.