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University Partners

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The NRF Foundation partners with colleges and universities that are committed to providing tomorrow’s retail leaders with high-quality education and opportunities to find success in the retail industry.

American Public UniversityAmerican Public University

Award-winning, regionally accredited, American Public University offers online degree and certificate programs in Retail Management, Business Administration, Management, Information Technology, Transportation and Logistics, Environmental Sustainability, Security Management, and many more. Affordable tuition and undergraduate book grant for eligible students. Monthly class starts.

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Drexel University

Design & Merchandising at Drexel University’s College of Media Arts & Design combines aesthetic excellence with a strong business foundation. Students gain experience through a six-month industry co-op and opportunities including fashion show production, magazine production and retail enterprise management.

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East Carolina University

East Carolina University’s Fashion Merchandising program covers most aspects of the fashion industry, from the fashion designer to, manufacturers, distributors, marketers, and end the retailers. Students in our program have a vast range of experiences including study abroad, trips to companies and apparel markets, creating visual displays for local retailers, and interacting with industry professionals. Alumni of our program have worked with such notable companies as: Saks Fifth Avenue, Nordstrom, H&M, Burberry, Lilly Pulitzer, Gap, JCrew, Kate Spade, Valentino NY, Crate and Barrel, Ann Taylor, and Vogue.

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FIDM/Fashion Institute of Design and Merchandising

FIDM/The Fashion Institute of Design & Merchandising is a private, co-educational, specialized college with four California campuses in Los Angeles, San Francisco, Orange County, and San Diego.

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Fashion Institute of Technology

The Fashion Institute of Technology is a selective college of art and design, business and technology. FIT's Jay and Patty Baker School of Business and Technology offers 9 diverse majors.

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Florida State University

Tomorrow’s retail leaders are attending Florida State University today! The Center for Retail Merchandising and Product Development, strong industry ties, and an industry-savvy curriculum develop graduates destined for retail career success.

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Georgetown University

Georgetown University is one of the world’s leading academic and research institutions, offering a unique educational experience that prepares the next generation of global citizens to lead and make a difference in the world. We are a vibrant community of exceptional students, faculty, alumni and professionals dedicated to real-world applications of our research, scholarship, faith and service.

Established in 1789, Georgetown is the nation’s oldest Catholic and Jesuit university. Drawing upon this legacy, we provide students with a world-class learning experience focused on educating the whole person through exposure to different faiths, cultures and beliefs.  With our Jesuit values and location in Washington, D.C., Georgetown offers students a distinct opportunity to learn, experience and understand more about the world.

Georgetown has grown to be a major international research university with eight schools, an affiliated hospital and many highly ranked academic programs. Today the university has more than 12,000 undergraduate and graduate students who take classes at five locations: Main Campus, Medical Center, Law Center, GU-Northern Virginia and the university’s School of Foreign Service-Qatar. Georgetown has a large and diverse workforce that employs more than 5,000 faculty and staff members. Under the leadership of President John J. DeGioia, Georgetown has seen rapid growth and expansion, including the addition of several residence halls and the new, state-of-the-art Rafik B. Hariri Building for the business school. Georgetown continues to move forward as one of the world’s leading universities, building upon its distinctive history, unique values and commitment to justice and the common good.

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Georgia Southern University

Individuals who want a career in retail management will find a student-centered program encouraging both academic and professional excellence at the Georgia Southern University Center for Retail Studies.

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Illinois Institute of Technology

IIT is a private, Ph.D. -granting research university with programs in engineering, science, architecture, business, law, design, human sciences, and applied technology. Based on a culture of innovation and excellence, IIT has a professional and technology-oriented focus.

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Indiana University

Indiana University offers degrees in Apparel Merchandising and Fashion Design. Apparel Merchandising cultivates global citizens on analytical and critical thinking in the diverse retail environment. Fashion Design fosters critical reflection in the design, creation, and analysis of fashion products.

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Kent State University

The Fashion School at Kent State University links academic and workplace environments for the professional advancement of individuals who impact the fashion industry.

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Lasell College

Lasell College offers majors in Fashion Retail & Merchandising, Fashion Communication and Promotion, and Fashion Design & Production. Through application of Lasell’s Connected Learning philosophy students apply classroom concepts to fieldwork in the fashion industry.

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LIM College

LIM College – Where Business Meets Fashion is the only college in the U.S. dedicated exclusively to the study of business and fashion. For nearly 70 years LIM College has provided its students with a high-quality education and a pathway into the fashion and retail worlds.

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Longwood University

Longwood University’s AACSB International-accredited retail management BSBA and MBA programs prepare students to excel in new fields or advance their current retail careers. Emphasizing leadership values and ethics as well as academic knowledge integrated with practical experiences, our retail management programs provide the foundation for success. Longwood’s retail management MBA is also available for online enrollment.

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Mississippi State University

The Apparel, Textiles & Merchandising program is designed to provide students with an understanding of the apparel and textile industries, consumer behavior, product knowledge, and business principles. 

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Northern Illinois University

Northern Illinois University’s Retailing and E-commerce Program, which is supported by the Kohl’s Corporation, prepares students for careers in retail management with many of America’s largest retail organizations, including Kohl’s, Target, Sears, Buckle, Wal-Mart and Jewel-Osco. The program is unique in that it emphasizes practical training in course work by incorporating materials from the National Retail Federation. All retailing students engage in a live-case project with the Kohl’s Corporation and have an opportunity to participate in a student-led, annual Kohl’s fashion show. NIU’s retail program has a store and Internet focus as students learn skills in retail management and store operations, service marketing, and e-commerce courses. Thus, NIU students are prepared for both physical retailing and e-commerce careers. The program encourages students to obtain retail internships during their undergraduate education to gain valuable in-store experience. In addition, NIU hosts a “Retail Expo” every spring, which brings together leading retail organizations and students in a recruiting event that is dedicated solely to retail management.

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Ohio University

Ohio University’s Retail Merchandising Program prepares students for a variety of careers in retail. The program ensures students are prepared for retail challenges in the global marketplace, and keeps pace with new technological developments and changing market conditions in the fashion and retailing industries.

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The Ohio State University

Located in the hometown of five of the biggest retail brands in the US, students in the Fashion and Retail Studies program at The Ohio State University gain experience and employment among today’s most creative leaders in retail. OSU is an award-winning university in Columbus, Ohio, one of the most dynamic cities in the Midwest.

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Pennsylvania State University

The Smeal College of Business at The Pennsylvania State University offers highly ranked undergraduate, MBA, executive MBA, Ph.D., and executive education opportunities to more than 5,000 students at all levels. Smeal is among the largest business schools in the United States, As a result, Smeal has become a major source of college recruitment for many retail organizations. Smeal features academic departments that include Accounting, Finance, Management and Organization, Marketing, Risk Management, Supply Chain and Information Systems. The college is also home to major research centers in areas such as supply chain management, business-to-business marketing, corporate innovation, entrepreneurship, and other disciplines.

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Philadelphia University

Philadelphia University’s fashion merchandising and management program features an immersive, career-focused curriculum that prepares students to contribute to all aspects of the fashion value chain. Ranked in the top-50 internationally by, the program teaches current and upcoming trends in advancing technologies and a global fashion marketplace, an industry that has evolved into a billion-dollar business offering many rewarding opportunities, from buying and sourcing to merchandising and brand management.

Our program prepares you to be a leader in the field by:

  • Emphasizing professional training from day one through our dynamic courses and innovative approach.

  • Allowing you to focus on your interests with different curricular options.

  • Encouraging collaborative work experiences addressing real-world challenges.

  • Connecting students with Philadelphia and New York internship opportunities through industry partnerships and our strong alumni network.

  • Offering study abroad programs in fashion capitals including Paris, Rome, Hong Kong and London.

  • Expanding your experience in extracurricular opportunities such as helping produce as The Annual Fashion Show, participating in student-run pop-up stores, or joining the editorial team of PhilaU’s fashion publication, StyleLine.

No matter what path you want to take with in the fashion industry, PhilaU has the education, resources and connections to help you get there.


Purdue University

The Retail Management undergraduate program focuses on the understanding of consumers and their intersection with business. This program prepares students for careers in merchandising, management, and/or marketing consumer goods and services in a variety of retail settings. Students develop creative and critical thinking communication skills, allowing them to secure positions in industries such as e-commerce enterprise, major consumer product firms, and retail companies.

Students are able to individualize their plan of study through application and participation in the Visiting Student Program at FIT,  study abroad programs, completion of a professional field experience, and minor. Numerous opportunities are available for students to interact with industry professionals through NYC, international study abroad programs, company site visits, in-class industry speakers, department sponsored career fairs, and professional development events. 

Faculty and student research projects are designed to engage and challenge, often combining study of human behavior with advanced research equipment and techniques.

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Santa Clara University

The Retail Management Institute at Santa Clara University was formed in 1980. The Institute provides unique educational and career development opportunities for students and retail professionals through three major programs: Retail Studies Program, Executive Education and the Retail Workbench Research and Education Center developing future leaders.

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Offering more degree programs and specializations than any other art and design university, SCAD is uniquely qualified to prepare talented students for professional, creative careers.

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Texas A&M University

The Center for Retailing Studies at Texas A&M University is respected throughout the world as a pipeline for developing talent and a leading source of industry knowledge. Housed in Mays Business School, its retailing curriculum emphasizes business principles, experiential education through internships, and leadership opportunities that prepare students for professional careers in merchandising, management, sales, marketing and related fields. Established in 1983, it is among the nation’s largest retailing programs.

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Texas State University

Texas State's more than 36,000 students choose from 97 bachelor’s, 88 master’s and 12 doctoral degree programs. As an Emerging Research University, Texas State offers opportunities for discovery and innovation to faculty and students. Our students come from around the globe, and our student body is diverse. Forty-two percent of Texas State students are ethnic minorities. Hispanic Outlook magazine ranks Texas State 18th in the nation in Hispanic undergraduate enrollment and 23rd in the nation for total degrees awarded to Hispanic students.

Texas Woman's UniversityTexas Woman's University

The Fashion Merchandising degree at TWU prepares students to work in fashion management, selling, or buying. Students select either a Management emphasis to prepare them to work in fashion or retail management, selling, or promotion careers; or a Planning emphasis to prepare them to work in retail buying and merchandise management careers, primarily in corporate environments; both require a business minor.

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The University of Arizona

The Terry J. Lundgren Center for Retailing combines the resources and expertise of the University of Arizona and the retailing industry. The Center is supported by a Corporate Advisory Board and through its unique structure and partnerships we are able to offer exceptional opportunities to our future retail leaders.

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University of Arkansas

University of Arkansas' Center for Retailing Excellence, through a strong partnership with retailer and supplier industries, is one of the foremost internationally acclaimed centers for retail studies focused on research and the development of students as future leaders in the retailing and related industries. The Center provides a bridge between academics and industry for developing future leaders.

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University of California at Los Angeles

UCLA Anderson School of Management is among the world’s leading business schools, with globally renowned faculty. Supported by a network of 37,000 alumni, and set in the urban hub of Los Angeles, Anderson is defining the future of business by offering students a pioneering approach to management education.

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University of Florida

The University of Florida, David F. Miller Center for Retailing Education and Research is the premier center linking the retail industry to college students and to world-class university-based researchers.

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University of Georgia

The Fashion Merchandising major offered in the Department of Textiles, Merchandising and Interiors, at the College of Family and Consumer Sciences is designed to provide students the skills and competencies needed for careers in retail management, wholesale, merchandising/buying, product development, and entrepreneurship.

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University of Houston

Retailing and Consumer Science/Global Retailing at the University of Houston College of Technology provides on-campus and on-line B.S. and M.S. degrees focusing on global consumer-oriented business practices in retailing, merchandising, technology entrepreneurship, e-tailing, sales, customer services, and public relations.

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University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

The University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign is dedicated to building upon its tradition of excellence in education, research, public engagement, and economic development.  Its 3,000 faculty members discover and create new knowledge.  Several faculty focus their research, publish and offer coursework incorporating the retail industry.  Their work is an economic engine for the state and is recognized with many of the world’s top academic and creative awards.  The campus’ outstanding academic programs, extraordinary resources, and bountiful opportunities attract nearly 45,000 top-caliber undergraduate, graduate and professional students.  They join research teams, spend semesters abroad, intern, create art in old and new ways, and lead and participate in hundreds of student organizations, including a NRF affiliated retail student organization.

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University of Nebraska - Lincoln

The undergraduate programs offer Bachelor of Science degrees in Textile Science, Textile and Apparel Design, Fashion Merchandising, and Textiles & Fashion Communications. All Textiles, Merchandising and Fashion Design undergraduate majors follow a common core sequence in Product Development. While parallel in structure, our programs offer all students the opportunity to tailor their individual programs of study to support specific areas of interdisciplinary interest.

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University of North Carolina - Greensboro

Students graduating from the Department of Consumer, Apparel, and Retail Studies are prepared for careers in apparel design as well as in global retailing and supply chain positions, with the focus on satisfying consumer demand. Students use the latest industry technology and design students develop skills in state-of-the-art design studios. A required supervised internship or semester abroad offer practical experiences, positioning graduates for career success.

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University of North Texas

The UNT merchandising and hospitality management programs represent high growth global industries with growing demands for highly skilled, technologically-oriented employees. The mission of our school is to provide innovation and excellence in learning, research and service and to be an international leader in preparing professionals for careers in the fashion, retail, digital retailing, hospitality, tourism and home furnishings industries.

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University of Pennsylvania

The Jay H. Baker Retailing Center, an interdisciplinary industry research center at the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania, was established in 2002 through a generous gift by Jay and Patty Baker. In 2010 the Bakers endowed the Center permanently. Jay Baker, former president of Kohl's Corporation, is a graduate of the Wharton School, class of 1956. Wharton, the nation’s first business school, has partnered with the leaders of America’s largest industry to establish an unparalleled center for retail research, education, and practice.

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University of Phoenix

Develop essential skills in marketing, merchandising, staffing, strategy, and supply management for retail success. The University of Phoenix School of Business offers a degree program with an elective Retail Management track for students interested in careers in the retail industry.

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University of South Carolina

The University of South Carolina’s Department of Retailing is one of the largest retailing programs in the country. We offer a Bachelor of Science in Retailing with an Emphasis in Retail Management or Fashion Merchandising. The program focuses on strong business and liberal arts core. Team building, communications, decision-making, and problem-solving skills are emphasized in the curriculum. The Department also offers a Master of Retailing degree.

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University of Tennessee - Knoxville

The Retail and Consumer Sciences major at the University of Tennessee is one of the largest programs of this type in the southeast. Students gain knowledge of the retailing industry and the principles and theories involved in managing personnel and merchandising goods for the consumer.

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University of Wisconsin - Madison

University of Wisconsin-Madison is one of the top ranked public universities in the nation. The Retailing major prepares students for managerial and merchandising careers in a dynamic, technologically advanced, and globally focused industry.

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University of Wisconsin - Stout

UW-Stout's Retail Merchandising and Management program prepares students for an exciting career in the retail industry. The program allows students to pursue concentrations in buying and product management, store operations management, fashion marketing or human resource management. Students can also pursue a minor in business administration, art or journalism.

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Are you a student at an NRF member school? Find out more about participating in the NRF Student Association. Learn more or sign up.

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