Curriculum

Master's Degree - Merchandising

Core Courses

Consumer Behavior

This course offers an evaluation of psychological, sociological, and cultural theories of consumer behavior through the examination of factors influencing consumers' decision-making process.

Financial Merchandising Implications

This course is an advanced study of financial trends in the merchandising industries. This includes implications related to sole proprietors, partnerships, franchises, S corporations, and C corporations. The course focuses on the financial implications of recent advances in the field of merchandising of importance to graduate students as they embark on careers in academia and/or merchandising industries.

Foundations of Sustainability

Introduction to the theory, principles, and practices of sustainability. Examination of environmental, social, and economic sustainability at both the global and apparel and textile industry levels. Exploration of innovative practices and social change strategies for the furtherance of sustainability.

International Retail Expansion

In this course, students gain a comprehensive understanding of theory, practices, and trends on international merchandise management. Students analyze global retail systems, the methods of distribution to global consumers, and opportunities for sustainable sourcing practices within the supply chain.

Product Design, Development and Evaluation

This course is an advanced study of issues and management strategies necessary to design and produce a competitively priced product. Students examine the role of globalization and rapidly changing technology in the development of a successful product.

Professional Advancement

In this course, students analyze leadership and how it affects organizational culture and change through a prism of past and current experiences. Students examine various leadership styles and develop a personal leadership philosophy for professional advancement in merchandising.

Promotional Strategies in Merchandising

Students in this course will develop strategic integrated marketing campaigns to effectively communicate corporate social responsibility while balancing the triple bottom line for maximizing outcomes for people, profit, and the planet.

Research Methods

In this course, students learn the research process and use various methods to conduct a consumer research study. Students also analyze the practical and theoretical issues involved in the designing, conducting, and evaluating of research used in the industry. Prerequisites: Graduate level course in statistics and completion of MERCH 500-level courses.

Retail Theory & Current Practices

In this course, students learn to evaluate effectiveness and/or appropriateness of retail theories and current practices. Students learn to assess internal and external environmental forces impacting strategic decisions by retail firms and to synthesize past and present trends in order to forecast probable future patterns. Prerequisite: Retail Management course.

Strategic Planning

Students will examine the strategic planning process, investigate external environmental trends and current business strategies, and explore pathways for integrating sustainability using a triple bottom line approach. Prerequisite: Instructor's permission.

Merchandising Analytics

This course uses quantitative data from the merchandising industry to support managerial decision making including how to format and analyze typical consumer data. This course will strengthen your decision making and analytical skills while providing you with new perspectives and approaches to apply quantitative techniques and methods to solve real-world business problems.

Practicum/Creative Component/Thesis

Master's Research Project

Program Summary
Cost per credit hour:

2020-2021: $590
2021-2022: $590

Average time to complete:
Master's degree: 28 months
Graduate certificate: 12 months

36 Hours


12 Hours

University Contact
These campus coordinators can help you navigate Great Plains IDEA. Click on the university name to learn more about how Great Plains IDEA works at that campus. Rachel Ohmes
Melissa Selders-Ortez
Karla Sisco
Aimee Maher
Melisia Bieber
University Members
Members of the Great Plains IDEA are universities accredited by a regional accrediting agency recognized by the U.S. Department of Education. Member universities recruit, admit and graduate students, teach in an academic program and contribute to the leadership and maintenance of the alliance. Membership in the alliance is a selective process that engages institutional leadership at all levels.

Kathryn Holt headshotThe Great Plains IDEA program was a perfect fit for my schedule as it allowed me to work, travel, and learn on the go. The nature of the program fosters a flexible learning environment, and as a student, you have access to all the tools you need with any online portal. With multiple universities contributing to the course roster, there are numerous offerings which provide students with plenty of options to build their skillset.

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