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Degree Overview: Bachelor of Arts (B.A.) Degree in Merchandising

Majors Overview March 12, 2014

Areas such as product development, fashion, and retail will have merchandisers who decide what items to sell or promote for a wholesaler or company. Students will dive into topics such as marketing, buyer behavior, and line development in Bachelor of Arts (B.A.) degree programs in Merchandising. Many universities and colleges offer 4-year programs.

B.A. Programs in Merchandising

Those who have an interest in fashion, marketing and business would benefit by enrolling in a Bachelor of Arts degree program in Merchandising. Program coursework may include the study of textile and apparel design. The undergraduate merchandising program is devised to impart knowledge about the principles of fashion movement and change, as well as the impact of culture on clothing.

Classroom coursework is augmented with tour retail facilities, and retail conferences, in addition to participation in a study abroad program. Programs may facilitate Internship opportunities within buying offices, department stores and major corporations. Experience as assistant merchandise coordinators or buyer’s assistants can be gained by students.

Education Requirements

Admission criteria may include prerequisite coursework, in addition to a high school diploma. Prerequisites may include programs relating to basic textiles and apparel. Students may also have to submit a statement of goals, letters of recommendation and a minimum GPA.


Communications, accounting, visual merchandising, store development, modern fashion and international marketing, contemporary fashion, store development, visual merchandising, accounting and communications may be included in the core coursework of an undergraduate merchandising program. The program may include additional courses such as:

•Buyer behavior
•Line development
•Retail management
•Western art
•Global marketing
•Fashion promotion

Career Choices

Those who successfully complete an undergraduate merchandising program can pursue employment in fields such as promotions, international marketing, buying, photography, advertising, sales and retail management and aspire for various career titles such as:

•Special events coordinator
•Showroom sales representative
•Visual merchandiser
•Personal shopper
•Retail manager

Continuing Education Choices

Individuals who seek a doctoral degree in merchandising, as well as those aiming to operate a fashion-related business, can continue their education by earning a master’s degree in merchandising that would prepare them for careers in research, teaching, store management, product development, merchandise management, or retail buying. A non-thesis or thesis option may be included in programs whose coursework may include topic areas such as the psychological aspects of clothing and textile and apparel distribution.

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