About the Retail Management Bachelor’s Program
The mission of the retail management program is to prepare students to make a contribution to the retail industry and to society as a whole through quality education, research, and service. By focusing on both the role of diverse and global consumers and the complex infrastructure of retailing goods and services, faculty members maintain and expand a partnership between the retail industry and academics. The program also holds two professional networking events each year, the Retail Management Reception in the fall and the Retail Symposium in the spring. Retail management courses emphasize integration of theory, e-commerce, category management, leadership, industry application, and career planning strategy (includes study in technology, communication, marketing, management, accounting and economics). An internship program, industry-sponsored course projects and a strong alumni base afford students the opportunity to interface with a dynamic combination of retail executives and organizations throughout their academic study. Students have the opportunity to study abroad either through an exchange or afilliated program or through a faculty led program. RTL 4300 - Retailing Field Study Tour is offered each summer with a typical rotation of Europe in even years and Asia in odd years. Students may take the course twice for credit. (See what students had to say about their study abroad experience.)
In addition, the program assists students in seeking internship opportunities and career placement after graduation. A 10-week, 300- to 400-hour supervised internship in the retail industry is required of each student with a retail management major. The supervised internship experience is planned jointly by the faculty and student and is generally following their junior year. RTL 3389 - Professional Practices in Retailing , is required during the spring semester prior to enrollment in RTL 3395 Internship in Retailing . An earned grade of C or better is required in all RTL core and elective courses, as well as any course accepted as a substitution for RTL core or elective courses.
Concentrations in Retail Management. The retail management program offers concentrations in (1) Fashion Merchandising, (2) Store Management and (3) Corporate Retailing to better meet the needs of students and the retail community by focusing on the specific skills needed for fashion retailers, store management or technology and analytical skills necessary for corporate retailers. The Fashion Merchandising concentration brings together textiles and fashion and retailing. This concentration includes the retail core courses as well as retail courses focused on fashion merchandising and courses from the Department of Design, including textiles, introduction to fashion design and clothing construction. The Store Management concentration is designed to give students an overall perspective of retail management for large corporate stores to preparing students to own their own retail store. The Corporate Retailing track is focused on developing technology skills and data analysis required for those seeking positions in corporate retail such as retail buyers or category managers. Fashion merchandising includes the retail core and ADM 1303 , ADM 2311 , RTL 3310 , RTL 3380 , and RTL 4320 or RTL 4350 . Retail students focused on store management may choose six hours from the following courses for the store management concentration: RTL 3370 , RTL 3345 , RTL 3375 or RTL 3380 , RTL 4355 , and RTL 4350 . The requirements for the corporate/research concentration are a 2.8 GPA and RTL 3380 , RTL 4320 , and RTL 4330 . In addition to the concentrations, the program allows students to focus on clusters within the curriculum through both required courses and retail electives. This enables them to tailor their curriculum to their own career goals. The clusters are visual merchandising, retail buying, and small business. The courses in the visual merchandising cluster are: RTL 3350 Visual Merchandising and Promotion and RTL 4320 Retail Category Management. The courses in the buying cluster are: RTL 3370 Retail Management Analytics, RTL 3375 Retail Buying or RTL 3380 Retail Buying and Control, and RTL 4350 Retail Global Sourcing. The courses in the small business cluster are: RTL 3350 Visual Merchandising and Promotion, RTL 3345 (see what students had to say about their study abroad experience), RTL 3375 Retail Buying or RTL 3380 Retail Buying and Control, RTL 4335 Practices in Web-based Retail Management, and RTL 4355 Entrepreneurship: Retail Business Planning. In addition to undergraduate courses, in the students’ final semester they may choose RETL graduate courses as electives. These courses are found in the graduate section of the catalog.
Communication Literacy Requirement. In Retail Management it is vital that graduates are able to communicate to a vast array of stakeholders in various methods. The communication literacy plan includes communication in the following forms: verbal, written, analytical and interpersonal interaction. Since each is distinctive, there is no specific sequencing, unless a prerequisite is in place. Communication literacy courses for this B.S. degree are RTL 3389 (interpersonal interaction), RTL 3395 (analytical), RTL 4335 (written), and RTL 4330 (written – online course) OR RTL 4355 (written – online course).