There are many degree programs in California suitable for individuals seeking a career in merchandising management. School programs differ across the board, resulting in contrasting degree names. Fashion merchandising and retail management are similar majors with a more specialized focus. Such programs lead to the award of primarily associate's degrees, which include courses in general education and may usually be completed in about two years.
Here is an overview of the ten largest schools in the region offering degree programs in merchandising, retail management and fashion merchandising.
American River College
American River College instructs more than 30,000 undergraduate students in its Sacramento campus. The Fine and Applied Arts Department offers an associate's degree in fashion merchandising. The program instructs students in the areas of merchandising, promotion, visual presentation, retail buying and management. Course requirements include: visual merchandising, fashion promotion, retail buying, textiles, advertising and techniques of management.
Chaffey College in Rancho Cucamonga has over 18,000 students enrolled in undergraduate programs. The 2-year school offers an associate degree in fashion merchandising. The fashion merchandising degree requirements include: professional selling, visual merchandising, textiles and introduction to human relations.
City College of San Francisco
The City College of San Francisco presents courses in over 50 academic programs. One of the programs available is an Associates of Science in Fashion Merchandising. The curriculum trains students for careers in fashion merchandising, design and image consulting. The required courses include: business mathematics, textile analysis, retail buying and visual merchandising.
Cypress College is a 2-year school with over 15,000 undergraduate students enrolled. The school has a diverse population with a range of ethnicities represented. As part of the school's multitude of disciplines offered, a 30-month long merchandising associate's degree is available. This curriculum trains students in merchandising and retailing. The program was planned to teach the necessary skills to display and sell merchandise in the most profitable way. Additionally, students can major in the retail management degree program option. The program was designed through a partnership with the Western Association of Food Chains (WAFC) for graduates seeking careers in the grocery industry and other fields with direct consumer interaction.
El Camino College
There are over 20,000 undergraduate students enrolled in El Camino College in Torrance. The Associate of Science in Fashion Merchandising trains students to pursue careers in industries of textiles and design. The degree program also prepares students to transfer to a number of 4-year learning institutions. Required courses include applied color theory, textiles, presentation techniques for fashion, visual and fashion merchandising.
Grossmont College in El Cajon is a 2-year school with just under 20,000 students enrolled. The associate's degree in fashion merchandising is designed to facilitate advancement from entry-level positions in the industry. The required courses include: human relations in business, business communications, retail management and elementary accounting. This curriculum meets the requirements recommended by the WAFC for graduates seeking careers in food service.
Mt. San Antonio College
Mt. San Antonio College is a 2-year school in Walnut with more than 25,000 students enrolled. The Associate of Science in Business: Retail Management prepares students for an entry-level job in the industry. The major core requirements includes principles of accounting, bookkeeping, oral communication, retail store management and merchandising. Mt. San Antonio College also offers an Associate of Science in Fashion Merchandising aimed to help graduates become employed in retail merchandising, manufacturing and promotion positions. The core classes include textiles, fashion strategies, advertising and promotion. The degree program also has a range of electives available including: life management and principles of marketing.
Pasadena City College
Pasadena City College instructs more than 26,000 students annually. The California Community College (CCC) school offers an associate degree to help someone pursue a career in merchandising management. The Associate of Science in Business Marketing explores the realms of marketing and distribution, including a course in merchandising. Students are trained in the tasks of monitoring and facilitating the flow of goods and services to customers and consumers.
Riverside City College
There are more than 18,000 students enrolled at Riverside City College. The school is part of the Riverside Community College District and offers an Associate of Science in Retail Management. The degree program instructs on the tenants of bookkeeping, customer service, floor management, team and staff leadership. The course requirements include: principles of accounting, oral communications, management communications, business mathematics and retail management.
San Joaquin Delta College
Stockton's San Joaquin Delta College is a 2-year school with just under 20,000 students enrolled. The learning institution offers an associate degree in fashion merchandising and another in retail management and merchandising. The fashion merchandising degree option includes the courses of fashion product analysis, textiles, trend forecasting, and visual merchandising. The retail management and merchandising route explores the subjects of business law, bookkeeping, advertising and professional selling.
School Comparison: At a Glance
|School Name||School Type & Setting||Merchandising Management Degree Programs Offered||Undergraduate Tuition & Fees (2018-2019)|
|American River College||2-year, public; large suburb||Associate of Arts in Fashion Merchandising||$1,104 (in-state)* $8,712 (out-of-state)*|
|Chaffey College||2-year, public; large suburb||Associate of Science in Fashion Merchandising||$1,172 (in-state)* $7,604 (out-state)*|
|City College of San Francisco||2-year, public; large city||Associate of Science in Fashion Merchandising||$1,696 (in-state)* $10,372 (out-of-state)*|
|Cypress College||2-year, public; large suburb|| Associate of Science in Merchandising,
Associate of Science in Retail Management
|$1,140 (in-state)* $6,158 (out-of-state)*|
|El Camino Community College District||2-year, public; large suburb||Associate of Science in Fashion Merchandising||$1,144 (in-state)* $6,520 (out-of-state)*|
|Grossmont College||2-year, public; large suburb||Associate of Science in Retail Management||$1,386 (in-state)* $7,196 (out-of-state)*|
|Mt. San Antonio College||2-year, public; large suburb|| Associate of Science in Business: Retail Management,
Associate of Science in Fashion Merchandising
|$1,350 (in-state)* $9,414 (out-of-state)*|
|Pasadena City College||2-year, public; midsize city||Associate of Science in Business Marketing||$1,166 (in-state)* $7,548 (out-of-state)*|
|Riverside City College||2-year, public; large city||Associate of Science in Retail Management||$1,420 (in-state)* $9,160 (out-of-state)*|
|San Joaquin Delta College||2-year, public; large city|| Associate of Science in Fashion Merchandising,
Associate of Science in Retail Management and Merchandising
|$1,288 (in-state)* $8,848 (out-of-state)*|
Source: *NCES College Navigator.