The department offers one program, Retailing, leading to the Master of Science degree. The program provides a research-intensive experience that prepares students for optimal professional positions or further higher education. Course work focuses on the general theories and principles of retailing and students work with faculty advisors to develop specialized areas of study such as international retailing, retail management, consumer behavior, retail strategy, human resource management, and e-commerce.
Students select one of the following areas of concentration: consumer behavior, retail strategy, or international retailing. The consumer behavior area deals with understanding consumption/purchase behavior and applying knowledge to develop retail strategies. The retail strategy area focuses on positioning, financial management, human resources and other functional areas in the retail firm. The international retailing area focuses on theories of global retail expansion, comparative retail systems, and international retail strategy.
Factors that are weighted in considering applications for admission to the Master of Science program are grade–point average, academic background, and work experiences. It is desirable for a student to have a background in one of the following areas: retail/merchandising management, economics, marketing, or management. Collateral work, which does not count toward graduation, may be required for those students with inadequate undergraduate preparation or experience.
In addition to meeting the requirements of the university and of the College of Communication Arts and Sciences, students must meet the requirements specified below.
Requirements for the Master of Science Degree in Retailing
The master’s degree program in retailing is available under Plan A (with thesis) or Plan B (without thesis). Plan A requires 30 credits including 7 credits of RET 899 Master’s Thesis Research. Plan B requires 34 credits including 3 or 4 credits of RET 898 Master’s Project. The additional credits required for Plan B permit student–faculty interaction comparable to Plan A. Students must complete required core courses, one area of concentration as referenced above, a statistics/research component, and a minor area. Under the direction of a major advisor, each student develops a plan of study to meet individual needs and interests.