Department of Retail, Merchandising and Product Development
College of Human Sciences
Interim Chair and Professor: Robert Hickner; Professors: Kim, Schofield; Assistant Professors: Clayton, Manchiraju, McCormick, McQuerry, Ridgway; Teaching Faculty I, Internship Coordinator: Parker; Teaching Faculty I: Steed; Teaching Faculty I, Retail Center Director: Langston; Professors Emeriti: Davis, Edgeworth, Goldsmith, Heitmeyer, Moore
The Department of Retail, Merchandising and Product Development (RMPD) offers the Retail, Merchandising and Product Development major. This exciting major is responsive to the changes taking place in retail and retail-related industries. From the beginning of the product development process all the way through to the consumer, RMPD graduates find exciting career opportunities from New York to Los Angeles, and around the world. As a major, one participates in an industry-savvy curriculum resulting in graduates who can contribute to the retail and apparel-related companies who hire them.
The Retail, Merchandising and Product Development (RMPD) major prepares men and women for executive training programs and other professional positions leading to a variety of opportunities within retail, textiles, apparel, merchandising, and related industries. The curriculum produces highly marketable graduates who are able to add value to successful management of organizations, whether through corporate operations, the product development function, or field operations. Representative careers include allocating, buying, sourcing, forecasting, store management, product development, sales management, visual merchandising, public relations, publications, and styling. Representative employers include department and discount store retailers, mass merchandisers, food retailers, specialty stores, electronic shopping networks, fashion publications, fiber, fabric, and apparel manufacturers, retail merchandise manufacturers, entertainment retailers, U.S. and state governments, trade organizations, and shopping centers and malls.
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, Adobe Photoshop and Illustrator, Kaledo, Mockshop, word processing, spreadsheet, and presentation packages. The lab helps deliver 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 provides a hands-on laboratory with retail industry adopted software where students use real-world retail reporting and other technology-related skills. The Textile Evaluation and Research Laboratory Complex provides students with a critical understanding of textile science and its impact on a variety of consumer products with the latest color communication technology and modern chemical and physical testing facilities. The Historic Clothing and Textiles Collection provides museum-quality conservation and storage 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 joint college of Human Science and College of Business FSU Retail Innovation Center. The activities of The Retail Innovation Center provide an exchange among the retail and retail related industries and RMPD to maintain relevance and rigor in the curriculum. Additionally, The Retail Innovation Center provides many networking, travel, and scholarship opportunities for RMPD students.
Due to the faculty's strong commitment to the personal and professional development of students, students receive outstanding career mentoring and advising. Honors in the major projects and other directed individual study experiences allow students who meet eligibility requirements to pursue particular areas of individual interest. Team projects, computer projects, field trips, and speakers from the retail, apparel, and textile industries are a regular part of the learning environment. Internships are required in the Retail, Merchandising and Product Development major. The highly popular RMPD Summer study abroad program provides unique opportunities for students in all majors to study global aspects of the field via coursework and international travel experiences. International internships are also encouraged through the International Programs at Florida State. Department-sponsored student organizations supplement classroom learning by providing opportunities to develop leadership skills in professional settings. For more information please visit http://www.chs.fsu.edu/Departments/Retail-Merchandising-Product-Development.
Computer Skills Competency
All undergraduates at Florida State University must demonstrate basic computer skills competency prior to graduation. As necessary computer competency skills vary from discipline to discipline, each major determines the courses needed to satisfy this requirement. Undergraduate majors in retail, merchandising and product development satisfy this requirement by earning a grade of "C" or higher in CGS 2060 or CGS 2100.
State of Florida Common Program Prerequisites
The state of Florida has identified common program prerequisites for this University degree program. Specific prerequisites are required for admission into the upper-division program and must be completed by the student at either a community college or a state university prior to being admitted to this program. Students may be admitted into the University without completing the prerequisites, but may not be admitted into the program.
At the time this document was published, some common program prerequisites were being reviewed by the state of Florida and may have been revised. Please visit https://dlss.flvc.org/admin-tools/common-prerequisites-manuals for a current list of state-approved prerequisites.
The following lists the common program prerequisites or their substitutions, necessary for admission into this upper-division degree program:
- ACG X021
- CGS X060 or CGS X100
- CTE X401
- FAD X230
- ECO X013
- ECO X023
- MAC X105 or MGF X106 or MGF X107
- PSY X012 or SYG X000 or SYG X010
Honors in the Major
The Department of Retail, Merchandising and Product Development offers a program of Honors in the Major to encourage talented juniors and seniors to undertake independent and original research as part of the undergraduate experience. For requirements and other information, see the "University Honors Office and Honor Societies" chapter of this General Bulletin. Interested students who meet eligibility requirements should discuss this opportunity with a faculty advisor early in their junior year.
Entrance and Retention Requirements for Majors
Students are eligible to enter the Department of Retail, Merchandising and Product Development when they have met the University requirements for transfer to an upper-division program, including an FSU GPA of 2.0 or higher and completion of all math requirements. Additionally, specified foundation courses required for each major must have been completed with a grade of "C" or better. See individual major descriptions for a listing of these courses and additional eligibility requirements. A separate application to the department is not required.
To remain in good standing in the program, students in RMPD must achieve and maintain a GPA of 2.0 to enroll in CTE 4822 and a GPA of 2.0 to enter the merchandising intern block. Students must be in good standing to take senior-level classes and to graduate. A grade of "C" or better must be achieved in all courses required for the major, including foundation courses, college core requirements, and professional electives.
A grade of "C" or better must be achieved in all courses required for the major, including foundation courses which, in addition to the math requirements, are ECO 2013 and ECO 2023, PSY 2012 or SYG 1000 or SYG 2023, CGS 2060 or CGS 2100. Oral competency may be met through any course approved as such by the University. Detailed curriculum guide sheets and sequencing plans are available through the advising office and on the department Web site, at http://www.chs.fsu.edu/Departments/Retail-Merchandising-Product-Development. Students are expected to meet the curriculum requirements in place at the time they enter the major. An FSU GPA of 2.0 or higher is required to remain in good standing.
Each Retail, Merchandising and Product Development student is assigned to a full-time professional advisor until the major is completed. Advisors assist students with the proper sequencing of courses and provide other academic planning-guidance. Students are responsible for reviewing the General Bulletin and other advising materials distributed by the department and abiding by the academic policies and requirements described within them, including course prerequisites. The department reserves the right to drop students from classes for which they have not completed the prerequisites.
The curriculum for the major in the department is comprised of three parts: lower division requirements, College of Human Sciences core requirements, and major course requirements. Students must meet the curricular requirements in effect at the time they enter the major. Detailed curriculum sheets are available from the advising office and on the department Web site, at http://www.chs.fsu.edu/Departments/Retail-Merchandising-Product-Development.
College of Human Sciences Core
All students in the department are required to complete the College of Human Sciences core requirements consisting of six semester hours. The required core courses for this major are FAD 2230 and one other course as specified by the department in the curriculum sheet at http://www.chs.fsu.edu/Departments/Retail-Merchandising-Product-Development. A grade of "C" or better must be earned in each of these courses.
Retail, Merchandising and Product Development
The Department of Retail, Merchandising and Product Development (RMPD) curriculum produces highly marketable graduates who are able to add value to successful management of organizations, whether through corporate operations, the product development function, or field operations. Students who complete a minor in communication also may focus their career development on fashion publishing. Internships within the retail industry and its associated industries provide real-world business experiences. Graduates of the program are sought by recruiters from top retail firms. Recruiters visit campus to give presentations and interview students who may be interested in joining their organizations.
RMPD offers an outstanding internship program that has been in place for over four decades and works with over 200 companies globally. Interns work in cities such as Los Angeles, Atlanta, Dallas, New York City, Orlando, Miami, and London. To prepare for the internship, Retail, Merchandising and Product Development students are required to complete a coordinated block of internship courses (CTE 4811, 4826, and 4866) followed by the internship which may take place during the Summer, Fall, or Spring semesters. The internship provides students with a chance to apply managerial, operational, and analytical skills to workplace experiences.
The merchandising block courses (CTE 4811, 4826, and 4866) are taken during the first half of the internship semester. All material normally covered in a full semester, including the final examination, is completed during the accelerated period. The second half of the semester is the off-campus internship or practicum (CTE 4882). The Department of Retail, Merchandising and Product Development assists students in identifying potential internship positions and, through a process explained during merchandising coursework, for approving the placement of students. The intern may or may not receive compensation, depending on the policy of the host company. During the internship, the student is responsible for all assignments given by the department and the host company. The interning student is also responsible for housing, relocation arrangements, and expenses. Each intern is cooperatively evaluated by both the company and the RMPD Internship Coordinator. An unsatisfactory rating by either the company or the RMPD Internship Coordinator will result in a failing grade in CTE 4882.
The student is responsible for obtaining the internship with the assistance of the Internship Coordinator. To ensure a placement that best meets the professional needs of each student, the department partners with retail organizations over a wide geographic area. Candidates are advised that the Department of Retail, Merchandising and Product Development exercises the final authority for approving the internship and the company in which the student will intern. A contractual agreement verifies the terms of the internship and must be submitted to the Internship Coordinator upon completion of the first week of field work. Submission of an application by a candidate is an agreement to accept an assignment in a location where the objectives of the internship can best be achieved. Failure to accept an assignment relieves the Department of Retail, Merchandising and Product Development and the University of any further responsibility to assist in procuring an internship.
An intern is expected to meet the standards set by pertinent state laws and by the cooperating firms. Candidates should be aware that, consistent with applicable law, information pertaining to all public records (such as arrest and/or conviction in a court of law) may be routinely furnished to the cooperating stores as well as to prospective employers. The Department of Retail, Merchandising and Product Development will take all reasonable steps to place a student in an internship but will not be liable if a student cannot be placed.
Internship application takes place via an online process the term prior to the semester in which the student desires to intern. The following eligibility requirements must be met in order to intern.
- Students must have a minimum of ninety credit hours overall and twenty-five credit hours in the department and must have completed the following classes with a "C" or better: CTE 1401C, 2800, 3201, 3431, 3763, 3806, 3809, 3835, 4443, 4822, 4829; MAC 1105 or MGF 1106 or 1107; MAR 3023; CGS 2060 or 2100; ECO 2013 and 2023; and SYG 1000 or SYG 2010 or PSY 2012.
- An overall GPA of 2.0
Requirements for Minors
Due to the heavy demand for courses by RMPD majors, minors in RMPD are no longer available.
A graduate certificate is available to qualified students. Please contact the RMPD Department for more information.
Definition of Prefixes
CTE—Home Economics: Clothing and Textiles
CTE 1401C. Introductory Textile Science (4). This course is an introduction to fibers, yarns, fabric structures, coloration, and finishes related to performance, selection, and care. It includes laboratory experience in the identification and analysis of fibers, yarns, fabrics, finishes, and textile coloration.
CTE 2800. Textile, Apparel, and Retail Analysis (3). This course offers an overview of the textile, apparel, retail, and support services industries and the career opportunities available within these industries. The nature, scope, and structure of each segment of each industry in the domestic and international marketplace is analyzed.
CTE 3201. Design Elements and Principles (3). This course is an introduction to design as process and product: with applications in functional, structural, and decorative design; optical illusions; art elements and principles; design analysis.
CTE 3431. Product Development (3). Prerequisites: CTE 1401C, CTE 3763, CTE 3809, and CTE 4443. This course explores topics in product development. Focus on stages of product development for specific end use areas.
CTE 3512. History of Dress (3). This course explores the development of Western dress from the 15th century to the present as a reflection of socio-cultural factors including cultural values, ethnicity, gender, class, art, customs, economy, politics, religion, geography, and technology.
CTE 3763. Product Analysis and Costing (3). Prerequisite: CTE 1401C. This course offers an evaluation of apparel products in relation to costing and product development.
CTE 3806. Merchandising Principles (3). Prerequisites: CTE 2800 and CTE 3201. This course is an overview of businesses that design, produce, distribute, and sell fashion and basic goods. Theoretical foundations and practical application of the principles of retail merchandising.
CTE 3808. Consumers in a Complex Marketplace (3). Prerequisite: CTE 2800. This course explores the decision making behavior of consumers in a complex and diverse marketplace, including consumer rights and responsibilities.
CTE 3809. Trend Analysis and Forecasting (3). Prerequisites: CTE 2800, ECO 2013, and ECO 2023. Corequisite: CTE 3806. This course explores the process and methods of trend analysis and fashion forecasting with a dual focus on both consumer and business aspects.
CTE 3835. Merchandise Presentation and Inventory Analysis (3). Prerequisites: A grade of "C" or better in ACG 2021, CGS 2060 or CGS 2100, CTE 3806, ECO 2013, ECO 2023, and MAC 1105 or MGF 1106. This course is an analysis of consumer trends, inventory needs, and merchandise presentation methods to drive a business from a store and buying perspective using visual merchandising methods, current inventory analysis software, retail store reports, and the Macy's Merchandising Laboratory.
CTE 3881r. Elective Internship in Retail, Merchandising and Product Development (3–6). (S/U grade only.) Prerequisites: CTE 1401C, CTE 2800, and CTE 3806. This elective course introduces students to a hands-on approach to basic retail merchandising (prior to the intern block) in the following areas: selling, merchandising, product knowledge, inventory control and management.
CTE 4443. Quality Assurance for Textiles and Apparel (4). Prerequisite: CTE 1401C. This course offers an evaluation of textile materials for specific end users, industry compliance, certified performance, and government standards.
CTE 4463r. International Textile and Apparel Product Development (3). Prerequisites: CTE 1401C, CTE 3201, and CTE 3806. This course studies current practices and technology in textiles and apparel product development in an international setting. Course requires students to travel to and live at international sites at their own expense. May be repeated to a maximum of nine semester hours.
CTE 4518. Historic Clothing and Textiles in European Museums (3). This course studies preservation, curatorial choices, display techniques, and the educational significance of historic clothing and textiles in European museums. Discussion of the importance of historic clothing and textiles in European museums as a reflection of the art, customs, religion, technological development, and economy of the periods presented.
CTE 4537r. Historic Textiles and Clothing Collection Management (1–3). Prerequisite: Instructor permission. This course is a practicum at Florida State University Historic Clothing and Textiles Collection. Students learn proper textile preservation, conservation, storage, and display techniques for flat textiles and garments. Other experiences include museum education, informatics, and database management. May be repeated to a maximum of six semester hours.
CTE 4707. International Topics in Design Industry (3). Prerequisite: CTE 1401C, CTE 3201, and CTE 3806. This course offers an in-depth study of designers and of the design industry in international sites. Students gain a perspective on the influence of fashion on economic, social, artistic, and global culture.
CTE 4803r. International Topics in Merchandising (3). Prerequisite: CTE 3806. This course is the study of current practices and technology in merchandising in an international setting. The course requires students to travel to and live at international sites at their own expense. May be repeated to a maximum of nine semester hours.
CTE 4811. Retail Merchandising Planning Strategies (3). Prerequisites: Senior standing, a 2.50 GPA, as well as a grade of "C" or better in CTE 3835, CTE 4822, and MAR 3023. Corequisites: CTE 4826 and CTE 4882. This course provides an overview of strategic planning as a framework for retail-firm analysis. Through the completion of retail-store business plans, students hone their leadership, negotiation, and interpersonal skills.
CTE 4822. Quantitative Merchandising Management (3). Prerequisites: A 2.0 GPA as well as grade of "C" or better in ACG 2021, CTE 3806, ECO 2013, ECO 2023, MGF 1106, MGF 1107, and MAC 1105. This course examines principles of effective merchandising management through mathematical procedures.
CTE 4826. Merchandising Buying (3). Prerequisites: A 2.50 GPA as well as a grade of "C" or better in CTE 3835, CTE 4822, and MAR 3023. Corequisites: CTE 4811, CTE 4866, and CTE 4882. This course examines techniques and theories of retail buying, concentrating on buying functions, and the strategic role of the buyer in retail management. This course is part of the intern block for merchandising majors only.
CTE 4829. Global Sourcing (3). Prerequisites: CTE 3806, ECO 2013, and ECO 2023. This course covers global trade, trade practice and theories, as well as the global sourcing related to the textile, apparel, and retail industries.
CTE 4832. Merchandising of Small Business Enterprises (3). This course offers a discussion of issues resulting from the interaction between merchandising and small business. Family businesses and other types of ownership are discussed. Guest speakers include family business owners, bankers, accountants, lawyers and government officials who deal with small and family businesses.
CTE 4843. Retail Branding (3). Prerequisite: CTE 3806. This course explores retail and fashion brand development, promotion, experience, and performance. Students develop their own brand.
CTE 4866. Executive Perspectives on Retail Management (3). Prerequisites: CTE 3835, CTE 4822, and MAR 3023. Corequisites: CTE 4811, CTE 4826, and CTE 4882. This course prepares students to assume a professional role in retail, merchandising, product development, or the industry support services through developing career strategies that emphasize solid management and leadership concepts and principles. The course provides exposure to retail and manufacturing industry leaders, and assistance in preparing for the role of an intern.
CTE 4882. Professional Internship (6). (S/U grade only.) Prerequisites: Major status, CTE 4811, CTE 4826, and CTE 4866. This internship in a retail setting allows students to understand merchandising functions through management, buying, or product development. Both professional development and career preparation are emphasized.
CTE 4890. Executive Merchandising Management (3). Prerequisites: A 2.50 GPA as well as a grade of "C" or better in CTE 3806, CTE 3835, CTE 4822, and MAR 3023. This course examines the roles and responsibilities of executive merchandising managers in retail culture; critical competitive challenges in the global, quality, social, and technological environment of various retail settings. This course is part of the intern block for merchandising majors only.
CTE 4905r. Directed Individual Study (1–6). Prerequisite: A 2.50 GPA. May be repeated to a maximum of six semester hours.
CTE 4937r. Special Topics (1–3). This course is an analysis of current issues and practices in textiles and consumer sciences. May be repeated to a maximum of twelve semester hours as topics vary.
CTE 4970r. Honors Work (1–6). This course provides qualified, upper-division majors in textiles and consumer sciences an opportunity to undertake an independent and original research project in their particular area of interest. May be repeated to a maximum of nine semester hours. A minimum of two semesters is required to complete an honors project.
COA 5906r. Directed Individual Study (1–3). (S/U grade only.)
CTE 5807. Retail Merchandising Concepts (2–4).
CTE 5815. Retail Technologies (3).
CTE 5816. Merchandising Organization (3).
CTE 5828. Merchandising Buying (3).
CTE 5833. Merchandising of Small Business Enterprises (3).
CTE 5834. Merchandising Theory and Research (3).
CTE 5847. Retail Branding and Promotion (3).
CTE 5884. Advanced Fashion Merchandising Practicum (6). (S/U grade only.)
CTE 5906r. Directed Individual Study (1–3).
CTE 5911. Research Analysis in Clothing and Textiles (3).
CTE 5912r. Supervised Research (1–3). (S/U grade only.)
CTE 5930r. Clothing and Textiles Seminar (1).
CTE 5942r. Supervised Teaching (1–3). (S/U grade only.)
CTE 5945r. Museum Studies Internship (1–6).
CTE 6436. Product Innovation and Management (3).
CTE 6900r. Readings in Clothing, Textiles, and Merchandising (1–3). (S/U grade only.)
CTE 6932r. Clothing and Textiles Seminar (1).
CTE 6936r. Special Topics in Clothing/Textiles/ Merchandising (3).
For listings relating to graduate coursework for thesis, dissertation, and master's and doctoral examinations and defense, consult the Graduate Bulletin.