Merchandising Schools and Colleges: How to Choose

Dec 06, 2019

Merchandising programs are offered by 4-year colleges and universities. Students can earn a bachelor's or master's degree in merchandising. There is also the option of earning a graduate certificate as long as a bachelor's degree in any field has already been earned.

Merchandising schools teach students how to sell goods and services by means of design, advertising, pricing and presentation. Courses draw from communications, design and business principles.

10 Merchandising Schools

The following schools award degrees and/or certificates in merchandising.

College/University Location Institution Type Degrees Offered Undergraduate Tuition and Fees (2018-19)*
Baylor University Waco, TX 4-year, Private Bachelor's $45,542
Eastern Michigan University Ypsilanti, MI 4-year, Public Bachelor's, Master's $12,508 in-state
Syracuse University Syracuse, NY 4-year, Private Bachelor's $51,853
Indiana State University Terre Haute, IN 4-year, Public Undergraduate Certificate $9,090 in-state,
$19,836 out-of-state
Madison Area Technical College Madison, WI 4-year, Public Undergraduate Certificate $4,407 in-state,
$6,512 out-of-state
South Dakota State University Brookings, SD 4-year, Public Bachelor's,
Postgraduate Certificate
$8,764 in-state,
$20,812 out-of-state
University of North Texas Denton, TX 4-year, Public Bachelor's,
Postgraduate Certificate
$10,852 in-state,
$19,090 out-of-state
Oregon State University Bend, OR 4-year, Public Bachelor's $11,166 in-state,
$30,141 out-of-state
University of Kentucky Lexington, KY 4-year, Public Bachelor's,
$12,245 in-state,
$29,099 out-of-state
Bradley University Peoria, IL 4-year, Private Bachelor's $33,760

Source: *NCES College Navigator.

School Selection Criteria

Undergraduate and graduate programs can prepare students for a wide variety of careers in retail and marketing. Consider the following when searching for a merchandising school:

  • Find a program that aligns with your specific ambitions such as a particular type of merchandising or good.
  • Look for programs that offer internships and have active alumni networks that can help you find employment upon graduation.
  • Choose a program that emphasizes new media and modern technology in their classes to ensure that you are well-prepared for the contemporary landscape of merchandise marketing and delivery.

Bachelor of Science in Merchandising

A merchandising bachelor's degree program combines merchandising classes with general education courses. Students are usually enrolled full-time for four years and often complete an internship as part of their studies. Graduates may seek positions in marketing, public relations, design or management. Courses found in bachelor's degree programs might include visual merchandising, apparel analysis, and merchandising research.

Graduate Certificate in Merchandising

Graduate certificate programs in merchandising are generally open to holders of a bachelor's degree, no matter whether it was awarded in a different field. They are usually for professionals working in retail who want to seek promotions or for workers in another industry who want to transition to the merchandising field. Certificate programs are typically completed in a year, and they do not confer an academic degree, though some may be transferable for graduate credit. Graduate certificate courses might include consumer behavior, promotional strategies, and retail theory.

Master of Science in Merchandising

Merchandising master's degree programs consist of advanced coursework and may include an internship and capstone project. Applicants must hold bachelor's degrees and demonstrate relevant professional experience. Graduates are prepared for managerial or supervisory positions in retail. Merchandising courses found at the master's level include consumer behavior, product development, merchandising research methods, and retail strategies.

Merchandising programs are available at the certificate, bachelor's, and master's levels. Some schools offer merchandising programs with a particular focus, such as fashion and apparel.

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