Earn Your Degree in Merchandising
Whether you want to pursue a career on the creative side or the analytical side of Merchandising, the Southern Miss Merchandising Program can help you realize your potential.
The Merchandising faculty are dedicated to teaching courses that help you determine the right career fit for you. In addition, our small class sizes ensure you get personal attention from your professors.
The College of Business and Economic Development is accredited by the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB).
What Will I Learn?
Merchandising students take courses in Product Development and Sourcing; Textiles; Retail Management; Retail Buying and Assortment Planning; Digital Merchandising; and International Retailing.
Client-based projects, service-learning and hands-on assignments give students the opportunity to work alongside industry leaders to apply course material in real-world situations. Our focus on community-interactive coursework also gives students abundant opportunities to build a professional network while still in school.
The Merchandising Program stands alone in the state and surrounding region in offering students the opportunity to gain a business degree in Merchandising. Our Apparel Construction and Design Certificate, in partnership with the Southern Miss Theatre program, is the only one in the U.S., giving students a unique way to differentiate themselves from graduates at other universities and broaden their career options upon graduation. A merchandising minor is an option for students who wish to enhance their major with an understanding of merchandising and business.
Expert Faculty Who Are There to Help
Our Faculty is committed to bringing industry to life in their classrooms. Collectively they have received the highest-level University and College awards in teaching, service, and in creating technology-enhanced classrooms.
The merchandising faculty takes the time to get to know students and work to create an interactive and collaborative learning environment. Additionally, interaction with industry professionals is facilitated through field trips, guest speakers, study abroad programs and other immersive learning activities.
Most students complete at least one internship before they graduate, many completing two or more. Faculty have established contacts with key fashion and retail brands in local, regional and national cities including Atlanta, New York and Dallas. Faculty routinely assist students in identifying and narrowing their interests and initiating contact with desired employers. Throughout their studies and beyond graduation, merchandising students have access to resume assistance, mock interviews, and practice facilities. Recent graduates have gone on to start careers at Saks Fifth Avenue’s buying offices, Disney’s product development and design studios, Tory Burch’s corporate headquarters, and Anthropology’s visual merchandising division.
Through experiential learning and hands-on classrooms, the Southern Miss Merchandising program teaches the skills necessary to thrive in the fast-paced, ever-changing business world. Students acquire creative skills and knowledge, supplemented by analytical expertise enabling them to excel at both creative and logical thinking. Courses are designed to give students real-world experience and build a solid professional foundation. Most courses include hands-on learning in partnership with industry professionals to solve problems and design creative solutions to real-world challenges.
Merchandising students have a number of opportunities to earn course credit through study tours and study abroad programs domestically and abroad. Students see course concepts in action by meeting with top level industry professionals and touring corporate offices, design studios, product development companies, buying offices and more. Programs vary from one-to-two-week study tours in key merchandising hubs, such as New York City, Atlanta, or Hawaii and longer programs from three weeks to a month in London, Milan, Florence, Tokyo, Hong Kong and Seoul. These programs give students exposure to a wide range of career options and internship opportunities.
Merchandising and non-merchandising students who want to find ways to sharpen their skills while networking with business and community agencies can participate in the Fashion Merchandising Organization (FMO). In addition to organizing professional development activities, the student-led FMO invites guest speakers and orchestrates field trips and other activities, including occasional fashion shows.
- Product Designer
- Market Analyst
- Buyer/Assortment Planner
- Store/Event Planner
- Wholesale Account Representative
- Jacob Harvell, 2018
Pottery Barn Kids Corporate Office, San Francisco CA, Omni-Channel Data Specialist
- Bethany Morel, 2010
L'Occitane en Provence Corporate Office, NYC, Retail Supply Coordinator
- Lindzie Simmons, 2016
Tory Burch Corporate Office, NYC, Assistant Buyer, E-Commerce
- Meagan Renfroe, 2017
Allocation Analyst, Versona (a division of Cato Corporation)