Top Retail Management Schools and Colleges in the U.S.

Jul 27, 2018

Learn about three of the best schools in the nation that offer programs in retail management. Go over their rankings and accolades, and see degree program and course details.

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School Overviews

Aspiring retail managers can find relevant training programs at the undergraduate and graduate levels. In addition to coursework, some programs provide real-world internship opportunities. Syracuse University, the University of South Carolina, and Central Michigan University offer three of the best programs in retail management in the U.S. Each of these schools was nationally ranked by U.S. News & World Report for 2017.

Syracuse University

School Highlight: Graduates of Syracuse University figure prominently in the retail industry at all levels in careers such as buyer, store manager, and sales/marketing representative.

The focus of the retail management program at Syracuse University in Syracuse, NY is fashion and apparel. The Retail Management program has specializations in buying, store management, product development, and marketing. Students are able to experience real-life opportunities through internships beginning sophomore year. Program coursework includes sales and strategy, consumer law, visual merchandising, and store planning. Syracuse was ranked #60 among national universities for 2017 by U.S. News & World Report.

University of South Carolina

School Highlight: The University of South Carolina in Columbia is the largest in the state, with more than 40,000 students attending eight different campuses.

At the University of South Carolina, the B.S. in Retailing is a liberal arts program with specializations in retail management and fashion merchandising. The fashion merchandising track has classes in textiles, trends in fashion, and visual merchandising. The Master of Retailing program at USC is intended for those planning a career in advanced corporate-level management. Specializations are offered in retail technology, international retailing, and retailing strategy. Also offered is a Master of Retailing program. The school is ranked #49 among public schools by U.S. News & World Report for 2017, with a #1 ranking in undergraduate international business.

Central Michigan University

School Highlight: At Central Michigan University, students can join the American Marketing Association, the Hospitality Services Association, or Pi Sigma Epsilon, which focuses on helping students develop professional sales and management skills.

Undergraduates at Central Michigan University in Mount Pleasant can pursue a major in marketing, which includes relevant courses in retail management, retail strategy, and sales management as well as a real-world internship opportunity. Another option is to pursue a minor in retailing. The minor's curriculum examines retailing and merchandising concepts through a management lens. It is commonly pursued by students in the fashion merchandising and design major, another relevant bachelor's degree option for students who are interested in retail management jobs in the future. For 2017, Central Michigan University was ranked #110 among public schools and #202 among all national universities by U.S. News & World Report.

Top Retail Management Programs

These four schools also offer high quality education in retail management:

College/University Name lLocation Distinction
Eastern Kentucky University Richmond, KY Students in the apparel design and management program can take part in co-ops, internships, and a fashion week.
Florida International University Miami, FL Offers a specialized Latin America Luxury Retail Management Program for those who already have a bachelor's degree
Texas Tech University Lubbock, TX Has retail alliances with several large companies, including Walmart and JDA
University of Washington - Seattle Campus Seattle, WA Offers a Retail Management minor

There are a variety of program offerings in retail management and closely related fields at well-regarded universities. Both majors and minors are available.

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