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Merchandising degree programs teach students how to market, sell, and manage inventory for specific products. Though program options for merchandising in Florida are limited to two schools, individuals can find a variety of program types. Students seeking a merchandising-related degree program in Florida may consider undergraduate degree and graduate degree and certificate programs at Florida State University or the undergraduate degree program at Johnson and Wales University in North Miami. An internship or practicum experience will be required.
The following are more detailed profiles of each of the schools in Florida with programs related to merchandising and the programs they offer.
Florida State University
Located in Tallahassee, Florida State University is a large, public research university offering almost 300 different programs of study to more than 41,000 students each year at the baccalaureate, graduate and doctoral levels. The College of Human Sciences offers a bachelor's program in merchandising and product development that prepares students to immediately contribute in the retail setting. A graduate degree and graduate certificate program are also available for students interested in advanced merchandising studies.
Florida State University's Department of Retail Merchandising and Product Development offers a 4-year retail merchandising program which teaches buying and sourcing, current industry software, visual merchandising strategies, consumer behavior, forecasting, textiles, organization and sales. Graduates will understand how to bring products from conception to consumption. The program also places a strong emphasis on the changing technology of the field.
In addition to fulfilling the university's general studies requirements, students must complete departmental-specific coursework. Course topics include merchandising strategy, inventory management, distribution, merchandising and allocating. An intensive internship is required and provides hands-on, real-world experience with one of more than 200 merchandising partners of Florida State University. Graduates may obtain permanent positions through their internship experience.
The master's degree program in clothing, textiles and merchandising with an emphasis in global merchandising and product development provides advanced studies for students who wish to enter the corporate world. Coursework in this program includes computer-aided design software, consumer research, problem solving, leadership, branding, retail merchandising theory and sustainability.
Students can also earn graduate certificates in retail management while completing bachelor's degree programs. In order to earn this certificate, a student must complete 12 credits of graduate-level coursework in merchandising organization and merchandising buying. A merchandising practicum experience is also required.
Individuals enrolled in any of these programs can take advantage of opportunities to learn outside of the classroom at Florida State University. The school features several student organizations such as the Collegiate Merchandising Association, where students can interact with their peers and contribute to a fashion magazine published by the association. Florida State University also features the Center for Retail Management and Product Development, also known as 'The Retail Center'. The Retail Center was established in 2006 and provides opportunities for students to network and exchange information with industry professionals.
Johnson and Wales University - North Miami
Students at the North Miami campus of Johnson and Wales University can pursue undergraduate studies in merchandising through its College of Business. The bachelor's degree program in fashion merchandising and retail marketing exposes students to fashion, marketing, advertising, business concepts and retail merchandising through coursework and practical, hands-on experience. Students in the program can select from concentrations areas in advertising, human resources management, international business or operations management. The 183.25 credit program emphasizes academic theory though courses in retailing, textiles, consumer behavior, fashion history, brand marketing, visual merchandising and product development. General education courses in economics, communication skills and sociology are also required. In addition to traditional coursework, students must complete a term-long internship experience. Study abroad opportunities are also available. Individuals in the program can find extracurricular enrichment though student business clubs, career fairs and community service projects.
School Comparison: At a Glance
|School Name||School Type & Setting||Merchandising Programs Available||Tuition & Fees (2015-2016)|
|Florida State University||4-year, public; midsize city|| Bachelor of Science of Retail Merchandising and Product Development,
Master of Science in Clothing, Textiles and Merchandising with a major in Global Merchandising and Product Development,
Graduate Certificate in Retail Merchandising
| $6,507 in-state; $21,673 out-of-state (Undergraduate )*
$11,543 in-state; $25,975 out-of-state (graduate)*
|Johnson and Wales University - North Miami||4-year, private not-for-profit; large suburb||Bachelor of Science in Fashion Merchandising and Retail Marketing||$29,576 (undergraduate)*|
Source: *NCES College Navigator