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​Retail Management

Combine your passion for retail with best management practices in the workplace, positioning yourself to become a leader in the field.

The strong theoretical business base of the major ensures students earn a rigorous education and are ready to pursue such areas as:

  • Product development: Create products needed in the retail marketplace.
  • Retail marketing: Develop strategies to ensure sales.
  • Store management: Maintain and grow a brick-and-mortar or digital retail marketplace.
  • Fashion merchandising: Work with designers and distributors to bring fashion to the consumer.

About Whitman

The Whitman School develops entrepreneurial managers who will become leaders in an era of global competitiveness. Programs are built around the major driving forces in business today: entrepreneurial management, globalization, use of technology and leadership.


Core coursework covers sales principles, finance, and management. Sample courses include:

  • Retail Buying and Planning
  • Sales and Strategic Partnerships
  • Product Development for Retail Management
  • Visual Merchandising and Store Planning
  • Electronic Retailing and Marketing
  • Retailing Fundamentals

View official major requirements.

Dual Enrollment

The Whitman School of Management offers dual major programs with the  S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications, the  College of Arts and Sciences / Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs and the  School of Information Studies (iSchool).

  • The new Arts and Sciences/Maxwell dual program  allows students to select one of seven majors in the sciences, preparing them to work in fields such as pharmaceuticals.
  • Select the iSchool to develop a working knowledge of business along with technical training in information systems, setting yourself apart from traditional management students.
  • Gain an edge in a competitive job market by selecting Newhouse, where you’ll prepare to become an effective business leader and communicator.
  • Complete your B.S. and J.D. in six years through the Whitman School and College of Law 3+3 Joint Degree Program .

Practical Experience

As a retail management major, you will participate in a variety of learning opportunities outside the classroom that bring the curriculum to life.

  • Join Enactus, a global non-profit organization that helps develop leadership skills through learning, practicing, and teaching the principles of free enterprise on campus and in the community. The Syracuse chapter opened 3fifteen, a thrift shop near campus that benefits Syracuse’s Rescue Mission.
  • Consider a concentration in digital retail strategies in conjunction with Syracuse University’s School of Information Studies .
  • Intern at top corporations such as Macy’s, Saks Fifth Avenue and Under Armour.
  • Network and receive mentoring from the Retail Advisory Board that includes members from Macy’s, Hermes of Paris, Ross Stores and London Jewelers.
  • Attend the Martin and Phyllis Berman Lecture Series, which brings prominent CEOs and top-level executives to campus to meet and address the student body.
  • Gain an edge through your IMPRESS score, which measures achievement in the areas of professional development and emotional intelligence, major/industry exploration, certifications, global context, and community engagement.

Study Abroad

Broaden your perspective and enhance your resume with a study abroad experience during your college years. Consistently ranked among the top 25 international education providers in the U.S.,  Syracuse Abroad  has more than 100 programs in 60 countries. 

Retail Management majors often go abroad to Syracuse University centers in Florence, London, and Madrid, and to World Partner programs with DIS Copenhagen, DIS Stockholm, Tel Aviv University, and Yonsei University (Seoul).

Summer programs of interest may include Made in Italy and Business Excellence: Food, Fashion, and Design (Florence), and Managing in a Spanish Setting (Madrid).

Life After Syracuse University

As a graduate with a degree in retail management, you can explore such careers as:

  • Retail buying/planning
  • Retail store management
  • Fashion merchandiser
  • Visual merchandiser
  • Product development

Visit the Whitman School

For more information or to visit the Whitman School, please contact  Rachel DuBois , director of undergraduate recruitment, at 315.443.9222.