Retail Buyer Schools and Colleges in the U.S.

Retail buying, also commonly known as retail merchandising, involves developing, planning, purchasing, presenting and selling products. Programs in retail buying and merchandising are offered through both 2-year and 4-year colleges. When selecting a retail buyer school, students often consider the available degree programs, possible degree specializations and available internship opportunities.

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How to Select a Retail Buyer School

Students seeking retail buyer educational programs often consider possible specializations within retail buying. While all retail buyer programs include education and training in business, management and merchandising operations, specialized programs can teach students factors unique to specific industries of interest. Examples of possible focus areas include fashion and textile merchandising, home furnishings merchandising and electronics merchandising.

Another factor to take into account when choosing a retail buyer school is the desired education level and credential. Common credentials awarded in the field of retail buying and merchandising include certificates, associate's degrees, bachelor's degrees and master's degrees. Certificate programs cover the basic topics of the field, including industry overview, retail buying and merchandising. Certificate program graduates qualify for entry-level positions in retail buying.

Associate's and bachelor's degree programs in retail buying and merchandising combine core merchandising, business and marketing courses with general education requirements. Students holding associate's and bachelor's degrees also qualify for entry-level positions in retail buying; however, they may have an edge in gaining employment over those who hold only certificates.

Master's degree programs in retail buying strongly emphasize economic, business and management concepts in addition to industry-specific topics like fashion and textiles or electronics. Graduates of master's degree programs qualify for management positions in merchandising and retail buying.

Students may also consider the internship opportunities available at retail buyer schools when choosing a program. Because of geographic location or industry relationships, some schools may offer better or more personally desirable retail buying internship opportunities. Internships offer students the opportunity to gain first-hand experience and build professional networks while still in school.

Largest Schools by Student Enrollment

College/University Student Population Institution Type
University of Minnesota - Twin Cities 51,140 4-year, Public
Michigan State University 46,510 4-year, Public
Riverside Community College 36,146 2-year, Public
City College of San Francisco 34,868 2-year, Public
University of North Texas 34,830 4-year, Public
American River College 34,610 2-year, Public
Pima Community College 34,136 2-year, Public
Santa Ana College 33,916 2-year, Public
Mt San Antonio College 30,026 2-year, Public
University of South Carolina - Columbia 27,488 4-year, Public
Central Michigan University 27,225 4-year, Public
El Camino Community College District 27,098 2-year, Public
Long Beach City College 26,927 2-year, Public
Palomar College 26,805 2-year, Public
Pasadena City College 26,713 2-year, Public
Portland Community College 26,278 2-year, Public
Sacramento City College 26,128 2-year, Public
Fresno City College 24,783 2-year, Public
Orange Coast College 24,742 2-year, Public
University of Akron 24,119 4-year, Public
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Popular Schools

  • School locations:
    • Online Learning
    • Alabama (3 campuses)
    • Arkansas (1)
    • Arizona (3)
    • California (14)
    • Colorado (1)
    • Florida (2)
    • Georgia (3)
    • Iowa (1)
    • Idaho (1)
    • Illinois (2)
    • Indiana (4)
    • Kansas (1)
    • Kentucky (2)
    • Louisiana (2)
    • Maryland (1)
    • Michigan (6)
    • Minnesota (2)
    • Missouri (4)
    • Mississippi (1)
    • North Carolina (2)
    • Nebraska (1)
    • Nevada (2)
    • Ohio (9)
    • Oklahoma (1)
    • Oregon (2)
    • Tennessee (5)
    • Texas (8)
    • Utah (1)
    • Virginia (5)
    • Washington (3)
    • Wisconsin (2)
    • West Virginia (1)

    Online and Classroom-Based Programs

    • Bachelor
        • Bachelor in Marketing
        • Bachelor in Business Administration - Marketing Management and Project Management
        • Bachelor in Business Administration
    • Associate
        • Associate in Business Management

    What year did you graduate from high school?

  • Minimum eligibility requirements:
    • Must live within close proximity to school locations
    • Must be graduated from high school by 2011
    School locations:
    • Online Learning
    • Minnesota (1 campus)
    • Texas (1)
    • Washington (1)

    Online and Classroom-Based Programs

    • Bachelor
        • Bachelor of Fine Arts - Fashion Design and Merchandising
        • Bachelor of Fine Arts - Fashion Merchandising
        • Bachelor - Fashion Merchandising
        • Bachelor of Science - Retail Merchandise Management
        • Bachelor of Science - Business Management
        • Bachelor - Retail Merchandise Management
    • Associate

    What is your highest level of education?

  • Minimum eligibility requirements:
    • Masters degree applicants must have a Bachelors degree
    • Doctorate degree applicants must have a Masters degree
    School locations:
    • Online Learning

    What is your highest level of education?

  • Minimum eligibility requirements:
    • Applicants must have completed 12 college credits
    School locations:
    • Online Learning
    • California (19 campuses)
    • Washington (1)

    Online and Classroom-Based Programs

    • Master
        • MBA - E-Business Strategic Management
    • Non-Degree
        • Certificate - Business Administration

    What is your highest level of education?

  • Minimum eligibility requirements:
    • Must be 18 years of age or older
    School locations:
    • Online Learning

    What is your highest level of education?

  • Minimum eligibility requirements:
    • Must complete an application online and submit transcripts for their highest degree earned.
    School locations:
    • Online Learning

    Online Programs

    What is your highest level of education?

Other Schools:

  • School locations:
    • Michigan (1 campus)
    Areas of study you may find at Michigan State University include:
      • Graduate: Doctorate, First Professional Degree, Master
      • Non-Degree: Coursework
      • Undergraduate: Bachelor
    • Business
      • Accounting and Bookkeeping
      • Business Economics
      • Business Finance
      • Business Management and Operations
      • Business Marketing
      • Hospitality Management
      • Human Resource Management
      • Sales and Merchandising
        • Merchandising and Buying
  • School locations:
    • Texas (1 campus)
    Areas of study you may find at University of North Texas include:
      • Graduate: Doctorate, Master
      • Post Degree Certificate: Postbaccalaureate Certificate
      • Undergraduate: Bachelor
    • Business
      • Accounting and Bookkeeping
      • Business Economics
      • Business Finance
      • Business Management and Operations
      • Business Marketing
      • Business Support and Administrative Services
      • Hospitality Management
      • Human Resource Management
      • Information System Management
      • Sales and Merchandising
        • Merchandising and Buying
        • Merchandising Marketing, Sales, and Distribution
      • Specialized Sales
  • School locations:
    • California (1 campus)
    Areas of study you may find at Stanford University include:
      • Graduate: Doctorate, First Professional Degree, Master
      • Undergraduate: Bachelor
    • Business
      • Business Economics
      • Business Management and Operations
      • Business Support and Administrative Services
  • School locations:
    • Massachusetts (1 campus)
    Areas of study you may find at Harvard University include:
      • Graduate: Doctorate, First Professional Degree, Master
      • Post Degree Certificate: Postbaccalaureate Certificate
      • Undergraduate: Associate, Bachelor
    • Business
      • Business Economics
      • Business Management and Operations
      • Human Resource Management

Popular Schools

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Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics