The School of Human Sciences' Center for Retail and Cotton Product Development launched in Fall 2014 to establish and build connections between the apparel and retail industries and Mississippi State University. Currently, the fashion design and merchandising (FDM) concentration has 120 undergraduate students and 4 faculty members. As part of the School of Human Sciences, within the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences, FDM is one of the fastest growing majors and is positioning itself to become a premier collegiate program in the southeast for retail, merchandising, apparel design and textiles. In fact, it is the only four-year merchandising and design program in Mississippi and one of only a few product development programs in the United States.
The CRCPD promotes mutually beneficial education, research and service partnerships between Mississippi State University and national and regional corporate organizations in these fields. At the core of the CRCPD will be three main goals, in line with the university mission: education, research and service. A three-year evaluation based on the following goals will serve to assess the Center's progress and provide a basis for future strategic planning and initiatives with industry organizations in the retail, merchandising, apparel design and textile fields, with a focus on cotton research and promotion.