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Academic Program Guide

Retail Merchandising and Product Development

College: Human Sciences
Degree: BS
Limited Access: No

Contact: College of Human Sciences Advising Office
Address: 207 Sandels Bldg.. Tallahassee, FL 32306
Phone: (850) 644-5279

Description of Major

** Please note: Starting with the Fall 2018 semester, this major will be moving to the Jim Moran School of Entrepreneurship. For more information, please contact Kirsten Frandsen at **

The Retail Merchandising and Product Development (RMPD) major prepares men and women for executive training programs and other entry-level positions in retail merchandising and product development within a diverse range of retail and retail-related businesses. The industry-savvy RMPD curriculum produces highly marketable graduates able to contribute immediately to the successful management and operations of retail and retail-related companies whether through corporate operations, the product development function, or store operations.

The curriculum places a strong emphasis on industry-relevant technology, including product development and merchandising software, and professional experience through a required internship. Courses in the Retail Merchandising and Product Development curriculum include content related to merchandising strategy, consumer behavior, design principles, forecasting, buying, sourcing, planning, allocating, distribution, inventory management, store organization, visual merchandising, and sales. Emphasis is placed on soft goods and fashion-driven products.

Prerequisite Coursework

Prerequisite Coursework:
Students must complete the following prerequisites required in preparation for the upper division major. All prerequisite courses must be completed with C or higher (a C minus is NOT sufficient). Students are encouraged to contact the department with questions about completing these requirements.

CGS X060 (3) Computer Literacy or CGS X100 (3)
* CTE X401 (3) Introductory Textile Science
ECO X013 (3) Principles of Macroeconomics
ECO X023 (3) Principles of Microeconomics
* FAD X230 (3) Family Relations
PSY X012 (3) General Psychology or SYG X000 (3) Intro. to Sociology or SYG X010 (3) Social Problems
ACG 2021 (3) Financial Accounting
Any two math courses; MAC X105 (3) College Algebra and STA 2XXX (3) Statistics strongly encouraged.

* Accepted transfer students must complete these courses in their first semester at FSU.

Note: State-wide common prerequisites are always under review. For the most current information and for acceptable alternative courses, visit the “Common Prerequisites Manual.” This is available from the “Student Services” section of .

Requirements for Progression to the Upper-Division Major
Students must complete at least 52 hours of coursework with an adjusted FSU GPA of 2.0 and at least half the hours required in General Education, including freshman English composition and mathematics, or an A.A. degree. Students must also have completed the required prerequisites for the major, each with a grade of C or better (a C minus is NOT sufficient).


Major Program of Studies at FSU: (59 hours)

Students must complete requirements in place at the time they enter the major. As advising is critical to successful program completion, students should consult with a departmental advisor as early as possible.

All required coursework listed below, including electives, must be completed with a grade of C or higher (a C minus is NOT sufficient).

An internship is required to complete this program (please see “INTERNSHIP BLOCK” below for details on the internship requirements). An FSU cumulative GPA of 2.0 is required for graduation.

College Core (6 hours)
FAD 2230 (3) Family Relationships

Select one course (3 hrs.) from the following:
CTE 3808 (3) Consumers in a complex Marketplace
CTE 3512 (3) History of Dress

All of the following major courses are required (51 hours)
CTE 1401C (4) Introductory Textile Science, w/Lab
CTE 2800 (3) Textile, Apparel, and Retail Industry Analysis
CTE 3201 (3) Design Elements & Principles
CTE 3431 (3) Product Development
CTE 3763 (3) Product Analysis and Costing
CTE 3806 (3) Merchandising Principles
CTE 3809 (3) Trend Analysis and Forecasting
CTE 3835 (3) Visual Merchandising Strategies
CTE 4443 (4) Quality Assurance for Textiles and Apparel
CTE 4822 (3) Quantitative Merchandising Management
CTE 4829 (3) Global Sourcing
* CTE 4811 (3) Retail Merchandising Planning Strategies (Intern Block)
* CTE 4826 (3) Merchandising Buying (Intern Block)
* CTE 4866 (3) Executive Perspectives on Retail Management (Intern Block)
* CTE 4882 (6) Professional Internship (Intern Block)

Other Requirements (3 hours)
MAR 3023 (3) Principles of Marketing

* INTERNSHIP BLOCK- In order to intern, students must complete have 90 hours of coursework, have all specified General Education requirements, MAR 3023, and achieve a C or higher in all specified major courses.

Computer Skills Competency: CGS 2060 (3) or CGS 2100 (3).

Oral Communication Competency: (0-3 hours)
Students must demonstrate the ability to orally transmit ideas and information clearly. This requirement may be met through with an approved college-level course.

Minimum Program Requirements - Summary
Total Hrs. Required 120
General Education 36*
Prerequisites 0-6 beyond General Education or major coursework
Major Coursework 59
Minor Coursework 0
Computer Skills 3
Oral Competency 0-3
Electives to bring total hours to 120

*Note: RMPD majors should select ECO 2013, ECO 2023, and one of PSY 2012/SYG 1000/ SYG 2010 to fulfill the Social Science area.

Mapping is FSU’s academic advising and monitoring system. Academic progress is monitored each Fall and Spring semester to ensure that students are on course to earn their degree in a timely fashion. Transfer students must meet mapping guidelines to be accepted into their majors. The map for this major may be found at

1. A minimum of 45 hours at the 3000 level or above, 30 of which must be taken at this University.
2. Half of the major course semester hours must be completed in residence at this University.
3. The final 30 hours must be completed in residence at this University.

Employment Information
Salary Information: National Association of Colleges and Employers, Occupational Outlook Handbook

Representative Job Titles: Executive Trainee or entry-level Manager leading to a variety of positions including: Department Manager, Asst. Store Manager, District or Regional Manager, Assistant Buyer, Buyer, Quality Assurance Assistant, Quality Assurance Manager, Product Development Assistant, Product Development Manager, General Merchandise Manager, Divisional Merchandise Manager, Assistant Planner, Planner, Assistant Allocator, Allocator, Vendor Representative, Salesperson, Visual Merchandising Manager, Advertising Manager, Sales Promotion Manager, Distribution Center Manager, Recruiter, Trainer, Human Resource Manager, College Relations Manager, Stylist, Vendor Rep/Showroom Rep, and E-Commerce.

Representative Employers: Department Store Retailers, Mass Merchandisers, Discount Merchandisers, Large and Small Specialty Stores, Electronic Shopping Networks, Fashion Publications, Food Retailers, Fiber and Fabric Manufactures, Entertainment Retailers, U.S. and State Governments, Online Retailors, Distriution Centers.

View Retail Merchandising and Product Development Academic Map