Department of Retail, Merchandising and Product Development
This degree program is no longer accepting applicants. If you have questions regarding the program, please contact the department chair.
College of Human Sciences
Web Page: http://www.chs.fsu.edu/rmpd
Interim Chair and Professor: Robert Hickner; Professors: Kim, Schofield; Assistant Professors: Manchiraju, McCormick, McQuerry, Ridgway, Clayton; Internship Director: Parker; Teaching Faculty I: Steed; Teaching Faculty I, Retail Center Director: Langston; Professors Emeriti: Davis, Edgeworth, Goldsmith, Heitmeyer, Moore
The major in Global Merchandising and Product Development in the Department of Retail, Merchandising and Product Development (RMPD) has a strategic direction that is designed for students who seek greater depth in the global aspects of merchandising and product development. Courses within this major will expand the knowledge and skills relevant to the physical, behavioral, and economic factors influencing the consumer in the global merchandising and product development environment. Innovative instruction will incorporate the latest technologies and focus on product development from concept to consumer. The global perspective will be achieved not only by an understanding of the international supply chains but also through studying different target markets. This is a non-thesis major designed to provide students with a firm foundation and strong preparation for corporate management positions in merchandising and product development.
The department provides outstanding facilities and leading-edge technology for its majors to immerse them in relevant industry technology. The Product Development Lab’s multi-media computers are equipped with the latest in computer product development and merchandising software, Kaledo, Adobe Photoshop and Illustrator, word processing, spreadsheet, and presentation packages. The lab utilizes curriculum that prepares students for the work interfaces they will encounter in industry. Macy’s Merchandising Laboratory, one of the few university merchandising labs in the United States, provides operational experience with merchandise presentation techniques and inventory management in a retail store facsimile, preparing students for operational challenges in-store. The Office Depot Technology Complex is a hands-on laboratory with retail industry adopted software where students use real-world retail reporting and other technology-related skills. Textile Evaluation and Research Laboratory Complex provides students with a critical understanding of textile science and its impact on a variety of consumer products. The latest color communication technology, modern chemical and physical testing facilities, and computerized analytical equipment are found in this complex. The Historic Clothing and Textiles Collection provides museum-quality conservation, storage, and space for an outstanding teaching and study collection. Apparel and accessories in the collection date from the late 1700’s, with pieces tracing the history of Florida and its residents, including garments and textiles of the Seminole Indians. Textile pieces include the unique Carter Collection of pre-Columbian Peruvian textiles from the late 1400’s. A highly accessible teaching and research faculty provides students with a challenging academic environment. The department is also the home of the Center for Retail, Merchandising and Product Development (The Retail Center). The activities of The Retail Center provide an exchange between the retail industry and RMPD to maintain relevance and rigor in the curriculum. Additionally, The Retail Center provides many networking and project opportunities for RMPD students.
The decision to accept a student for graduate study is made by the departmental graduate faculty, contingent upon meeting University and college admission requirements and is based on the quality of the applicant’s credentials as compared to others in the graduate admissions pool. In addition to the application materials required by the University, the department requires three letters of recommendation and a concise statement of professional goals. Students who do not have previous coursework in the field of study are encouraged to apply, although additional leveling courses will be required. These may be completed while in residence for the graduate degree, but do not apply toward degree credit.
To allow qualified students to pursue graduate degrees, teaching and research assistantships and college and University fellowships are available on a competitive basis. Application materials should be submitted to the department by January 1st to ensure consideration for the following Fall. Forms are available upon request. Information concerning other types of financial aid may be obtained by contacting: Office of Financial Aid, A4400 University Center A, Florida State University, Tallahassee, FL 32306-2430.
Master of Science (MS) Programs
Global Merchandising and Product Development
The master’s degree program in Global Merchandising and Product Development is a coursework program that provides students with professional preparation for stimulating careers in management positions in the production, distribution, and consumption areas. The primary mission of this major is to provide students with advanced knowledge to tackle problems and issues in global merchandising and product development and to apply best practices in solving these problems at the corporate level. The program of study for this major is designed to extend and deepen the core curriculum recommendations made by RMPD industry partners. Content will include, but is not limited to: color communication, computer-aided design, consumer research, creative and innovative problem solving, leadership, promotions and branding, product development and performance, retail merchandising theory and research, state-of-the-art technology communication strategies, sourcing and procurement, and sustainability. Application of these advanced knowledge areas to the integrated field of merchandising and product development in the global economy is the distinction of this major. Graduates will be able to create value for a corporation with integration of knowledge and skills focused on all aspects of global products including development, merchandising, and sourcing with an emphasis on consumer research. The tremendous growth in large multinational brands requires professionals to be globally oriented. Program of study for the master’s degree requires a minimum of thirty-three semester hours. Final approval of the program of study rests with the supervisory committee; students without an undergraduate degree in the field will be required to take additional leveling courses. Detailed course requirements are available from the department. This major is significantly linked to the Center for Retail, Merchandising and Product Development. Master’s students in the major will have the opportunity to connect with industry partners through the Center. The research of the department’s faculty members will contribute effectively to the Center’s mission.
Definition of Prefixes
COA—Home Economics: Consumer Affairs
CTE—Home Economics: Clothing and Textiles
COA 5906r. Directed Individual Study (1–3). (S/U grade only). May be repeated to a maximum of six semester hours.
COA 5971r. Thesis (1–6). (S/U grade only). A minimum of six semester hours is required for the master’s degree.
COA 6980r. Dissertation (1–24). (S/U grade only).
COA 8985r. Dissertation Defense Examination (0). (P/F grade only.)
CTE 5807. Retail Merchandising Concepts (2–4). Prerequisites: MAC 1105, MGF 1106, or MGF 1107. This course is designed to give graduate students an accelerated overview of basic concepts and principles in the merchandising field. Students who have taken CTE 3806 and CTE 4822 are not eligible to enroll in this course. Specifically, this course will (1) provide an overview of every aspect of the retailing industry including historical perspectives, analysis of the decades of the twentieth century, the various materials used by fashion innovators, the design process of apparel and accessories, the roles played by the ancillary arms of the industry, and the marketing of collections, and (2) examine the principles of effective quantitative merchandising management.
CTE 5815r. Retail Technologies (3). In-depth study of the principal retail technologies and systems currently being developed and used for internal retail management and for global supply chain management. May be repeated once as course content changes, with permission from the instructor.
CTE 5816. Merchandising Organization (3). Prerequisites: CTE 4822; MAR 3023, or their equivalents. Synthesis of knowledge concerning retail merchandising emphasizing organizational structure and operational methods.
CTE 5828. Merchandising Buying (3). Prerequisites: CTE 4822; MAR 3023, or their equivalents. Techniques and theories of retail buying with emphasis on the buyers retail management role.
CTE 5833. Merchandising of Small Business Enterprises (3). Issues resulting from the interaction between a family and the business that is owned by that family. Guest speakers include family business owners, bankers, accountants, lawyers and government officials who deal with family businesses.
CTE 5834. Merchandising Theory and Research (3). This course focuses on the theories utilized in merchandising, including evaluating the use of these theories in current research.
CTE 5847. Retail Branding and Promotion (3). Prerequisites: CTE 5807, CTE 5905, or equivalent courses. This course explores the role of brands in promotional advertising and in-store promotions in the retail industry. Students analyze all facets of the promotional mix and impact technology has on the consumer.
CTE 5884. Advanced Fashion Merchandising Practicum (6). (S/U grade only). Prerequisites: CTE 4811, CTE 4822, CTE 4826 and graduate standing in the merchandising track; interviewing for placement required. Professional development through practical experience in retail merchandising.
CTE 5906r. Directed Individual Study (1–3). May be repeated to a maximum of six semester hours.
CTE 5911. Research Analysis in Clothing and Textiles (3). Analysis and interpretation of research in textiles and consumer sciences. Principles of quantitative and qualitative research; methodologies used in survey, experimental, and historical research. Emphasis is placed on theory development and research design.
CTE 5912r. Supervised Research (1–3). (S/U grade only). May be repeated to a maximum of three semester hours.
CTE 5930r. Clothing and Textiles Seminar (1). Exploration of current research in textiles and consumer sciences. May be repeated to a maximum of twelve semester hours.
CTE 5942r. Supervised Teaching (1–3). (S/U grade only). May be repeated to a maximum of three semester hours.
CTE 5945r. Museum Studies Internship (1–6). Prerequisite: CTE 3512. Internship at an institution approved by the Museum Studies program. The emphasis must be on historic clothing, textiles, or accessories. The experience provides an opportunity to apply and expand knowledge in areas of museum studies such as storage, display, education, informatics, and management. May be repeated to a maximum of six semester hours.
CTE 5971r. Thesis (1–6). (S/U grade only). The minimum number of thesis hours for completion of a master’s degree is six.
CTE 6436. Product Innovation and Management (3). This course explores the process of new products management in the global market with a focus on strategic elements of product development such as the new products process, the product innovation charter, and the new product portfolio.
CTE 6900r. Readings in Clothing, Textiles, and Merchandising (1–3). (S/U grade only). May be repeated to a maximum of six semester hours.
CTE 6932r. Clothing and Textiles Seminar (1). Exploration of current research in textiles and consumer sciences. May be repeated to a maximum of twelve semester hours.
CTE 6936r. Special Topics in Clothing/Textiles/Merchandising (1–6). Advanced study of selected topics in textiles, merchandising, or apparel product development with emphasis on problem analysis and resolution. May be repeated when topics vary. May be repeated to a maximum of twelve semester hours.
CTE 6980r. Dissertation (1–24). (S/U grade only).
CTE 8964r. Preliminary Doctoral Examination (0). (P/F grade only.)
CTE 8966r. Master’s Comprehensive Examination (0). (P/F grade only.)
CTE 8976r. Master’s Thesis Defense (0). (P/F grade only.)
CTE 8985r. Dissertation Defense (0). (P/F grade only.)