Merchandising Master's Degrees: Online and Campus-Based Programs

Learn how you can earn a master's degree in merchandising online or on campus. See program options, and get more information about the career opportunities in the field. Schools offering Fashion Design & Merchandising degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

What Will I Learn in a Merchandising Master's Degree Program?

The world is becoming more interconnected, and a Master of Science in Merchandising will help prepare you to work in an evolving global marketplace. You will learn how a product moves through the various phases of development and distribution, from creation to consumer. Concepts like how technology can help you manage information and product flow or forecast future trends also will be covered. By learning how to effectively navigate the cultural, political, economic and social influences on consumers around the world, you will be able to plan and execute successful marketing and distribution strategies for different regions of the globe.

Common Courses Product lifecycle, trend forecasting, product flow, marketing, distribution strategies
Online Availability Online programs are available
Possible Careers Trend analyzer, product developer, merchandising specialist, purchasing manager

Can I Complete My Degree Online?

There are relatively few master's degree programs that focus solely on merchandising, but you can find both on-campus and online programs. The admission and graduation requirements for both programs are generally the same. You will need to complete approximately 36 credit hours, which can usually be finished in three years or less - even if you are working full-time. You may have the opportunity to participate in a practicum if you desire. There are thesis and non-thesis tracks available, depending on the program.

Online programs will require you have Internet access and, possibly, a computer with specific technical requirements. In addition to virtual attendance at class, you might have regular phone conferences with your professors. Because of the flexibility an online program has in course delivery, some online programs are taught through a consortium of schools. While you apply to a particular institution and receive your degree from that institution, your instructors may be teachers from other participating universities. This allows you to learn from faculty you may not have had access to in a traditional program.

What Kind of Career Can I Pursue?

When you complete the program, you will have the skills to navigate the consumer driven global marketplace, to solve problems in merchandising and to create new opportunities for marketing your product. Your ability to negotiate, analyze and make decisions will qualify you for management and leadership roles in retail and wholesale companies. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that in May 2014, purchasing managers - which includes wholesale and retail merchandising managers - earned an annual average salary of $111,810.

Other career choices could include merchandising specialist, in which you work with retail outlets to determine how to best market and sell products. You might become a trend analyzer - figuring out what the 'next big thing' will be - or a product developer who oversees the entire development process of a product.

To continue researching, browse degree options below for course curriculum, prerequisites and financial aid information. Or, learn more about the subject by reading the related articles below:

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The schools in the listing below are not free and may include sponsored content but are popular choices among our users. Tuition and costs will vary across programs and locations. Be sure to always request tuition information before starting a program.

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