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Program and Application Information
Interim Department Head:Dr. Rebecca Woods
Graduate Coordinator:Dr. Linda Manikowske
Department Location:Evelyn Morrow Lebedeff Hall, EML 178
Department Phone:(701) 231-7352
Department Web
Application Deadline:Applicants should apply at least two months prior to the start of classes each semester.
Degrees Offered:M.S., Certificate - PROGRAMS ONLINE ONLY
English Proficiency Requirements:TOEFL ibT 71; IELTS 6

Program Description

The Department of Apparel, Design and Hospitality Management offers graduate study leading to the Master of Science degree or a Graduate Certificate in Merchandising in collaboration with the Great Plains Interactive Distance Education Alliance (GP-IDEA). The Master’s degree in Merchandising is an online program offered through Distance and Continuing Education at NDSU. Participating faculty members from the GP-IDEA have jointly developed the merchandising curriculum. Course are taught by faculty within the Alliance from Kansas State University, North Dakota State University, Oklahoma State University, South Dakota State University, and the University of Nebraska-Lincoln.

The master’s degree in Merchandising is designed for professionals in a variety of merchandising fields to increase potential for advancing in their careers. Students in this program will learn in-demand  skills such as data analysis, problem solving, and critical thinking to identify customer needs and develop effective business strategies.  The fully online program allows students to complete course work while maintaining their professional careers.

Admissions Requirements

Admission decisions are based upon the predicted success of the applicant as a student and professional in the chosen field and are made only after considering all available data. A student must meet all requirements for full admission. The following criteria act as guidelines for full acceptance: a cumulative baccalaureate GPA of 3.0 or better on a 4.0 scale, and a GPA of at least 3.25 during the final 30 semester credits of graded undergraduate course work, or a minimum GPA of 3.0 on 10 semester credits of graduate course work.

In completing the application, you are asked to write a statement (500 words or less) identifying and discussing your reasons for applying to this program. Within this statement you are to discuss how learning about diverse perspectives, critical thinking, and effective leadership will enhance your understanding of merchandising.

Recommended Skills and Academic Preparation

Adequate technical skills and access is essential to be successful in an online program. Unlimited web access at high speeds is helpful. Word processing programs that are up-to-date are important, as is knowledge of writing and publishing programs. Familiarity with diverse learning management systems is also helpful. NDSU currently uses Blackboard; other institutions have similar but different programs. An ability to self-motivate and learn independently is necessary for programs where face-to-face interactions are not available.

Financial Assistance

Graduate assistantships are not available since this program is online and facilitated through the Great Plains Interactive Distance Education Alliance and Distance and Continuing Education at NDSU. Students who are full-time (enrolled for six credits or more) may apply for financial aid.

Master’s Degree Requirements

The 36-credit master’s degree program consists of ten required 3-credit courses, listed below, as well as a 6-credit comprehensive project required by North Dakota State University.  Course descriptions and tentative schedules are available at

Courses are as follows:

ADHM 710Consumer Behavior in Merchandising3
ADHM 720Professional Advancement3
ADHM 730Product Design, Develeopment and Evaluation3
ADHM 740Promotional Strategies in Merchandising3
ADHM 750Retail Theory and Current Practice3
ADHM 760Historical and Contemporary Issues in Trade3
ADHM 770International Retail Expansion3
ADHM 775Research Methods in Merchandising3
ADHM 780Financial Merchandising Implications3
ADHM 785Strategic Merchandise Planning3
ADHM 797SComprehensive Project (or ADHM 798 or Electives )6
Total Credits36

Graduate Certificate Requirements

The 12 credit graduate certificate program consists of three required 3-credit courses and one elective 3-credit course, listed below.

  • ADHM 710Consumer Behavior in Merchandising3
    ADHM 720Professional Advancement3
    ADHM 730Product Design, Develeopment and Evaluation3
    or ADHM 740 Promotional Strategies in Merchandising
    ADHM 750Retail Theory and Current Practice3
    Total Credits12

Ann W. Braaten, Ph.D.
University of Minnesota, 2005
Research Interests: Historical Apparel/Textiles, Clothing Design, Product Development, Women-Based Business

Jaeha Lee, Ph.D.
University of Minnesota, 2008
Research Interests: Consumer Behavior, Social Responsibility

Linda Manikowske, Ph.D.
Iowa State University, 1993
Research Interests: Retail Merchandising, Consumer Behavior, Experiential Education