There are only two schools in Rhode Island that offer merchandising programs. Students interested in pursuing a course of study in merchandising can choose to enroll in a bachelor's program, which both colleges offer. Those who already have a bachelor's degree can opt for the post-baccalaureate certificate or master's degree in merchandising offered by one of the schools. Concentrations are available at both schools, and at least one university includes internships in its programs. Graduate students may choose between thesis and non-thesis tracks.
A brief overview of the programs available in Rhode Island is given below, followed by a table of school and tuition information.
Johnson & Wales University - Providence
Located in Providence, the College of Business at Johnson & Wales University offers a fashion merchandising and retail marketing bachelor's degree program that prepares students for management careers in the field of retail. This program is geared toward the merchandising of home furnishings, accessories, clothing and specialty items. Major courses include apparel quality analysis, merchandise buying, global influences on fashion history, consumer behavior and retail executive decision making. Students have the option of choosing a concentration in advertising, e-commerce, fashion product development, business-to-business selling or fashion communications. An internship that gives students hands-on training in retail merchandising is also required.
University of Rhode Island
The University of Rhode Island offers bachelor's, post-baccalaureate certificate and master's programs in merchandising at its campus in Kingston. Students in the bachelor's program can choose to focus on 1 of the following 4 subject areas: textile science, interior furnishings and design, fashion merchandising or apparel studies. The certificate program is available to students who have obtained a bachelor's degree in another field and want to learn about fashion merchandising. The curriculum covers topics like fashion theory and analysis, textiles and clothing, fashion promotion and consumer behavior in fashion retailing.
The master's program allows students to choose a 30-credit thesis option or a 33-credit non-thesis option. Courses could include research, conservation, repair, cleaning or storage of textiles, cultural aspects of dress, operations control or consumer behavior. The University of Rhode Island maintains a historic textile and costume collection that is used to teach students enrolled in classes offered by the Department of Textiles, Fashion Merchandising and Design; the costumes can also be viewed by appointment.
School Comparison: At a Glance
|School Name||School Type and Setting||Merchandising Programs/Degrees Offered||Undergraduate Tuition and Fees (2015-2016)|
|Johnson & Wales University - Providence||4-year, private not-for-profit; midsize city||Bachelor of Science in Fashion Merchandising and Retailing||$29,556*|
|University of Rhode Island||4-year, public; large suburb|| Bachelor of Science in Textiles, Fashion Merchandising and Design,
Certificate in Fashion Merchandising,
Master of Science in Textiles, Fashion Merchandising and Design
|$12,862 in-state; $28,852 out-of-state*|
Source: *NCES College Navigator.