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Information on Master’s Degree Programs in Retail Management

Majors Overview June 8, 2015

This article talks about master’s degree programs in retail management and their education requirements, coursework, career choices, and job outlook.

Master’s Programs in Retail Management

Professionals in the hospitality or retail fields seeking advanced skills in visual merchandising, business administration, and marketing, would benefit from Master of Science (M.S.) in Hospitality and Retail Management programs. Students with a degree in hospitality would also benefit from the MS programs in Hospitality and Retail Management.

The area of concentration such as retail, event, or food service management may be afforded to students enrolled in the program. While there is variation among schools offering this program, about 37 credit hours are required to complete most programs. The completion of seminar and classroom hours, conducting of individual research and writing of project reports or theses are common requirements of a master’s degree program.

Education Requirements

Admission criteria typically require incoming students to hold a baccalaureate degree in hotel management, hospitality, or related areas, in addition to submitting letters of recommendation and grade transcripts. Students enrolled in some graduate programs in hospitality and retail management are also expected to have at least two years of work experience in the tourism or hospitality industry.


The focus of coursework within a graduate hospitality and retail management degree program is on both specific retail trade and business principles related to the hospitality industry. Core coursework may cover topic areas such as:

•Retail buying
•Sensory evaluation
•Retail research and issues
•Cost control
•Advanced marketing
•Strategic management
•Community engagement
•Operations management
•Focus group research
•Financial management
•Human resources management

Career Choices

Program graduates can seek leadership or management roles within the hospitality industry, especially those pertaining to purchasing, marketing, or sales. They may choose from possible job options such as:

•Tourism sales manager
•Purchasing manager
•Tourism advertising manager
•Marketing manager
•Promotions manager
•Purchasing agent
•Hotel sales supervisor

Job Outlook

Over the 2012 – 2022 decade, the growth of 10% has been predicted for retail sales jobs. During the same period, retail sales positions at warehouses and supercenters were expected to see a 28% growth (U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics). In May 2014, the first-line supervisors of retail sales workers brought in an average annual wage of $42,190 (BLS).

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