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Degree Overview: Bachelor of Science (B.S.) Degree in Fashion and Retail Management

Majors Overview March 13, 2015

Get information about a Bachelor of Science (B.S.) degree program in Fashion and Retail Management and its coursework, career choices, job and wage outlook, and continuing education choices.

Bachelor of Science (B.S.) Degree Programs in Fashion and Retail Management

Students enrolled in a fashion and retail management program are imparted instruction on business topic areas devised to meet requirements for management careers in the fashion and retail fields. Core coursework covers classes in management strategies, marketing, accounting, economics, and statistics; they can expect to become adept at providing leadership and making sound business decisions.

Schools typically offer bachelor’s degree programs in fashion and retail management as a Bachelor of Science (B.S.) in Retailing with a specialization in fashion merchandising and retail management. The cultural and historical considerations of contemporary industry trends, technical knowledge about creating garments and fabrics, and style are examined, in addition to the visual design skills necessary for promoting fashion products.

Admission criteria typically require incoming students to hold a GED certificate or a high school diploma.


Coursework covers the commercial principles necessary for entering the fashion industry. Fashion industry internships that may involve overseas study are included in many degree programs, whose core coursework may include topic areas such as the following:

•Organizational behavior
•Store design
•Fashion merchandising
•History of fashion
•Retail buying
•Retail management

Career Choices

Those who graduate from the program can expect to gain the retail experience, fashion principles, and management skills necessary for seeking careers as merchandisers or buyers in fashion industries. They may seek career options such as:

•Purchasing manager
•Store department manager
•Retail buyer
•Fashion designer
•Retail store manager

Job and Wage Outlook

Over the 2010 – 2020 decade, retail buyers and purchasing managers can expect job growth rates of 9% and 5% respectively. While retail store supervisors are expected to see a slower-than-average 3% – 9% rate of growth (U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics). In May 2012, fashion designers, retail buyers, purchasing managers, and supervisors of retail stores brought home average annual wages of $62,860, $51,470, $100,170, and $36,820 respectively (BLS).

Continuing Education Choices

Those who complete a bachelor’s degree program can expect many career choices in fashion or retail management (BLS). Those employed as top managers in the retail or fashion fields, including as merchandisers and purchasing managers, can hope for career advancement through completion of a master’s degree program with a business emphasis.

Some schools offer coursework in Master of Business Administration (M.B.A.) programs customized to suit specific professional objectives, such as management and retail marketing. Schools also offer other advanced degree options, such as a Master of Science (M.S.) in Retailing or an M.S. in Merchandising. In-depth instruction is provided in these degree programs in areas such as customer service, retail strategy, business law, international marketing and merchandising, and consumer behavior analysis.

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