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Graduate School



Department Head

Dr. Holly Bastow-Shoop

Graduate Coordinator

Dr. Linda Manikowske

Department Location

Evelyn Morrow Lebedeff Hall, EML 178

Telephone Number

(701) 231-8604

Degrees Offered

M.S., Certificate

Application Deadline

Applicants should apply at least two months prior to the start of classes each semester.

English Proficiency Requirements

TOEFL ibT 71

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 Distance Education Alliance (GP-IDEA).   The Master’s degree in Merchandising is on 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. This program provides students with a global perspective of the interaction of cultural, economic, political, social, and environmental systems as they relate to the industry. In the ever- changing global environment, the ability to merchandise products to the consumer is a strategic advantage, and will distinguish graduates of this program from their peers in the industry. The fully online program allows students to complete coursework while maintaining their professional lives.   

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  are available at: .

Courses are as follows:

  • ADHM 710 - Consumer Behavior
  • ADHM 720 - Professional Advancement
  • ADHM 730 - Product Design, Development and Evaluation
  • ADHM 740 - Promotional Strategies in Merchandising
  • ADHM 750 - Retail Theory and Current Practice
  • ADHM 760 - Historical and Contemporary Issues in Trade
  • ADHM 770 - International Retail Expansion
  • ADHM 775 - Research Methods in Merchandising
  • ADHM 780 - Financial Merchandising Implications
  • ADHM 785 - Strategic Planning

Graduate Certificate Requirements

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

  • Consumer Behavior
  • Professional Advancement
  • Retail Theory and Current Practice
  • Product Design, Development and Evaluation OR Promotional Strategies

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, 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 on-line 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 helpful.  NDSU currently uses Blackboard but 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 on-line 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.

Click here for course descriptions.


Holly E. Bastow-Shoop, Ph.D.
Oklahoma State University, 1981
Research Interests: Global Retailing and Expansion 

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

Student Focused. Land Grant. Research University.

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NDSU Graduate School
Phone: +1 (701) 231-7033
Campus address:  106 Putnam Hall
Physical/delivery address:  NDSU Graduate School/106 Putnam Hall/1349 12th Avenue Northwest/Fargo, ND 58102
Mailing address:  NDSU Dept. 2820/PO Box 6050/Fargo, ND 58108
Page manager: NDSU Graduate School

Last Updated: Tuesday, January 28, 2014 8:14:48 PM