Fashion merchandising is one of the most lucrative fields of the industry. For individuals interested in fashion and business, merchandising master’s can be a great option.
You can pursue a master’s degree in merchandising after any fashion program. This specialized program focuses on retail management, fashion merchandising, visual merchandising, and consumer behavior. To pursue a Master’s in Merchandising, you must know the prerequisites and how to pick the right college.
In this guide, we share a comprehensive overview of the prerequisites, benefits, top colleges, and scholarships available for pursuing a merchandising master’s degree.
What are the prerequisites for a Master’s in Merchandising?
Before you choose any college for a master’s degree in merchandising, it is essential to know about the prerequisites. Every college and university will have its requirements, but some requirements are common for all schools. Here are the common prerequisites for a master’s in merchandising:
A bachelor’s degree
Most universities require applicants to hold a bachelor’s degree from an accredited institution for a master’s degree in merchandising. You may not be required to hold a specific undergraduate major, but having a background in business, fashion, marketing, or a related field is beneficial.
A minimum grade point average (GPA) is usually required for admission into a Master’s in Merchandising program. The GPA requirement may vary across institutions, but a competitive GPA is typically around 3.0 or higher.
Standardized test scores
For some schools, you may also require standardized test scores such as the Graduate Record Examination (GRE) or the Graduate Management Admission Test (GMAT). You must look at college websites for detailed requirements.
Letters of recommendation
A letter of recommendation from professors, employers, or professionals in the fashion industry will help you secure admission to top colleges. The letter should describe your academic abilities, work ethic, and potential for success in a Master’s in Merchandising program.
Statement of purpose
A statement of purpose is typically required, which allows applicants to explain their motivation for pursuing a Master’s in Merchandising and how the program aligns with their career goals. This document should showcase the applicant’s passion, relevant experiences, and future aspirations.
Why should you pursue a master’s in merchandising?
Pursuing a Master’s in Merchandising is beneficial personally and professionally.
The program provides in-depth knowledge and specialized skills in retail management, consumer behavior analysis, fashion merchandising, trend forecasting, and brand management. This provides a comprehensive understanding of the merchandising industry and its dynamics. With a merchandising master’s, you can explore various career opportunities in the retail, fashion, and consumer goods sectors, such as merchandise planner, visual merchandiser, retail manager, and marketing analyst.
Many universities offering Master’s in Merchandising programs have established connections with industry partners and organizations. It opens up opportunities for internships, networking, and industry collaborations benefiting your job prospects. The program also includes professional development components, such as workshops, seminars, and guest lectures by industry experts. These activities help you stay updated with the latest trends, technologies, and strategies in the merchandising field.
Top Colleges for Master’s in Merchandising
Several universities and colleges are offering Master’s in Merchandising programs. To make your search easier, we picked the top 100 colleges for master’s in merchandising based on their strong curriculum, faculty expertise, industry connections, and overall academic excellence.
Let’s get started.
The University of Minnesota offers a Master’s in Retail Merchandising program. The course focuses on retail analytics, consumer behavior, and product development. It provides industry partnerships, research opportunities, and experiential learning for students. The annual fee for the program is approximately $26,500 for in-state students and $40,000 for out-of-state students.
The Master’s in Merchandising program at the University of North Texas emphasizes retail analytics, digital retailing, and merchandising strategies. The university offers several scholarships, including the Merchandising and Digital Retailing Scholarships. It costs approximately $14,000 (in-state) and $27,000 (out-of-state) per annum to pursue merchandising master’s here.
The University of Georgia is another excellent college for merchandising master’s, especially if you are looking for financial assistance. The College of Family and Consumer Sciences at the university offers various scholarships, including the Lois C. Bowers Endowed Scholarship. A Master’s in Merchandising program here has a tuition of $14,000 (in-state) and $29,000 (out-of-state).
The Master’s in Merchandising program at the University of Missouri covers consumer research, supply chain management, and global sourcing topics. The annual fee can be up to $10,000 (in-state) and $28,000 (out-of-state). Students can avail of the College of Human Environmental Sciences Scholarships.
You can explore the Master’s in Retail and Consumer Studies program at the University of Arkansas, which focuses on retail analytics, merchandising strategies, and sustainability. It might not be a core merchandising master’s degree, but it still provides industry collaborations, research opportunities, and internships. With scholarship options like the Dale Bumpers College of Agricultural and Food and Life Sciences Scholarships, you can cover the tuition of approximately $9,000 for in-state students.
With an annual fee of approximately $42,000, TCU is one of the most expensive colleges for a master’s degree in merchandising. The program available focuses on fashion merchandising and retail studies. The Marybeth and John C. Bratten Endowed Scholarship is an option for students with excellent academic records.
The Master’s in Merchandising program at Kansas State University focuses on consumer behavior, retail analytics, and product development. It will cost in-state students around $11,000 to pursue a master’s degree here, while out-of-state students have to spend over $23,000.
At an annual tuition of approximately $14,000 (in-state) and $27,000 (out-of-state), the merchandising master’s program at Ohio University is an affordable option. You can explore this program if you are interested in retail management, consumer research, and branding.
Ohio University, including the College of Health Sciences and Professions Scholarships, offers scholarships.
If you did your bachelor’s in retail management, consumer behavior, or fashion merchandising, the Master’s in Merchandising program at Indiana University Bloomington could be the next step toward advancing your learning.
Indiana University offers scholarships, including the College of Arts and Sciences Scholarships, which can cover the tuition fee of $11,000 (in-state) and $32,000 (out-of-state).
One of the best universities for a Master’s in Textiles, Fashion Merchandising, and Design program, the University of Rhode Island is great for a master’s in merchandising strategies, sustainability, and retail management. The annual fee is approximately $13,000 (in-state) and $29,000 (out-of-state), but students can avail of the Thomas M. Ryan Scholarship.
While we picked the best colleges for master’s in merchandising, this list is not exhaustive. Other institutions also offer high-quality Master’s in Merchandising programs. Also, students are advised to look for details on the respective college’s website, as the annual fees and the availability of scholarships may vary each year.
A Master’s in Merchandising can help individuals in the fashion industry by helping them with advanced knowledge and specialized skills. Such a degree will open up numerous career opportunities in the dynamic merchandising field.
We recommend you pay attention to the prerequisites and, while researching the top colleges for merchandising master’s, look for scholarship and financial aid options. It is essential to thoroughly research and assess each program’s offerings to find the best fit for individual aspirations and interests.