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Merchandising (M.S.)

Make a unique, creative mark. Start a marketing trend. Advance in the retail industry. 

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The online Master’s in Merchandising is a 36-credit-hour program. Choose a capstone from one of these options:

  • The practicum option involves a work experience in line with your degree and includes training, mentoring and networking opportunities.
  • The research project option requires independent study on a topic of your choice and a final paper; you will benefit from regular contact with a faculty adviser who will offer guidance in and critique of your work.
  • The thesis option concludes with an overarching research project and requires a presentation to your thesis committee. Students pursuing the thesis option must be prepared to come to campus a minimum of three times throughout the process.
  • Students may also choose to pursue a course-only option by taking 36 credits of courses. All classes need to be approved by an adviser.

Coursework emphasizes current trends in the United States and the global marketplace. The online program promotes competency-based curriculum and interaction with faculty experts and our Advisory Board to prepare students for a challenging career. These factors will distinguish you from peers and prepare you for the creative energy of the industry.

The ability to communicate is key in so many of today’s jobs. Students have ample opportunities to enhance their communication skills. Retail employees need to be able to leverage technology and social media to bring customers into stores, and once customers are there, must interact with them in a fun and unique way. Our class exercises offer such training.

Our online program will assure that you will learn how to stay competitive in ecommerce, balance the sustainable interests of businesses, consumers, and society, and move up the career ladder.With retailing currently generating $4 trillion of the U.S. economy, merchandising offers ample opportunities for professional growth.

Certified for success. Career Opportunities: 

  • Department Manager
  • Assistant or Head Buyer
  • Product Marketing Director
  • Product Development
  • Visual Merchandising
  • Sourcing Specialist
  • Marketing Specialist
  • Brand Development
  • Fashion Director

Providing access to the best opportunities.

GPIDEA Partnership

This program is offered through SDSU's partnership with the Great Plains Interactive Distance Education Alliance (GPIDEA). Collaborative, multi-institutional online programs expand and diversify your educational opportunities. Courses led by instructors from partner universities and interactions with geographically-dispersed students will broaden your perceptions and knowledge. Learn more about GPIDEA.


"The courses that are required within the Master's of Merchandising program are 100% relevant to my job within the fashion industry. Also, since I work within the footwear sector of the industry, I am able to focus my studies on footwear specifically and further my knowledge of the current trends within this area."

Danielle Germain, Online Student
Master's in Human Sciences - Merchandising


Program Contact

Nancy Lyons
School of Health and Consumer Sciences
Phone: 605-691-1629

Kendra Kattelmann
College of Education and Human Sciences
Phone: 605-688-4045

SDSU GPIDEA Coordinator

Aimee Maher
Phone: 605-688-4154

SDSU Continuing and Distance Education

Phone: 605-688-4154
Email: sdsu.distance@sdstate.edu
Website: sdstate.edu/online

SDSU Graduate Admissions

Phone: 605-688-4181
Email: gradschl@sdstate.edu
Website: sdstate.edu/graduate