Merchandising degree programs teach students how to purchase, promote and successfully manage inventory. Relevant associate's, bachelor's and master's degree programs are available at several colleges and universities throughout the U.S; doctoral programs are offered as well, but they are less common.
Schools with Merchandise Management Programs
The following schools offer merchandise management programs. Tuition statistics are based on the current academic year.
|College/University||Location||Institution Type||Degrees Offered||Undergraduate Tuition and Fees, In-State (2015-2016)*|
|University of Wisconsin - Stout||Menomonie, WI||4-year, Public||Bachelor's||$9,203|
|University of Maryland - College Park||College Park, MD||4-year, Public||Bachelor's||$9,996|
|Colorado State University||Fort Collins, CO||4-year, Public||Bachelor's, Master's||$10,558|
|Georgia State University||Atlanta, GA||4-year, Public||Bachelor's, Master's||$8,974|
|Orange Coast College||Costa Mesa, CA||2-year, Public||Associate's||$1,184|
|Suffolk County Community College||Selden, NY||2-year, Public||Associate's||$5,100|
|Eastern Michigan University||Ypsilanti, MI||4-year, Public||Bachelor's, Master's, Doctoral||$10,417|
|Nassau Community College||Garden City, NY||2-year, Public||Associate's||$4,854|
Source: *National Center for Education Statistics
School Selection Criteria
Consider the following when looking for merchandising management schools:
- If you want to focus on a particular area of the field, such as fashion merchandising, retail management or supply chain management, you may want to look for a school that offers a major or concentration in that field.
- It can be helpful to find out whether the school offers real-world internship opportunities in which you can gain hands-on training.
- If you are considering associate's degree programs, you should check to see if course credits can be transferred into bachelor's degree programs, since a higher level degree is usually required for a management position.
- You may want to find out if there are business-related student organizations on campus, which may bring in interesting speakers, set up networking events and facilitate other relevant enrichment opportunities.
Associate's Degree Programs
At the associate's degree level, students can find relevant Associate of Applied Science (AAS) programs in merchandising management or a closely related field, such as retail business management or fashion merchandising. These two-year programs cover basic concepts in the retail field, such as marketing, consumer behavior and customer service. They also include general education courses.
Bachelor's Degree Programs
Bachelor's degree programs in merchandising management provide much of the same introductory business coursework as associate-level programs, but they also allow students to pursue specialized electives and get more hands-on experience in the field. For instance, students may learn about international retail through study abroad programs, and they may have the chance to participate in an internship. Concentration options can include buying and product management, store operations management, human resource management or fashion marketing.
Master's Degree Programs
Master's degree programs in merchandising provide more advanced coursework than undergraduate programs. They give students the chance to study higher-level business and marketing concepts and to develop the decision-making and leadership skills they will need for top jobs in the field. In some programs, students can focus their training by pursuing a minor, such as marketing, management, psychology or sociology.
Doctoral Degree Programs
While PhD programs in merchandising management are rare, there are a few schools with relevant degree offerings. In these programs, students have the chance to take graduate-level courses that focus on both design and business aspects and conduct research in a particular interest area within the field, leading to a final dissertation. Graduates are prepared for work in industry or academia. Some programs are available in partially online formats in order to meet the needs of working professionals.
Degree programs in merchandising management are available at the associate's, bachelor's, master's and doctoral levels. They can be found at both two-year and four-year colleges and universities.