About the Graduate Programs
The Department of Retailing and Tourism Management offers a Master of Science (M.S.) in two areas:
Merchandising, Apparel, and Textiles
A combination of coursework, independent study, and research experience compile the Merchandising, Apparel, and Textiles graduate curriculum to provide students with a program of study designed around future career goals. Students have the option to complete a professional internship or to conduct an industry research project. In this way, the MS in Merchandising, Apparel, and Textiles offers students unique and imaginative options for completing their graduate degrees. Applicants are expected to have an undergraduate degree in merchandising, apparel, and textiles or a closely related field.
Hospitality Management and Tourism
A combination of coursework, independent study, and research experience compile the Hospitality Management and Tourism graduate curriculum to provide students with a program of study designed around future career goals. Students have the option to complete a professional internship or to conduct an industry research project. Applicants are expected to have an undergraduate degree in hospitality management and tourism or a closely related field.
The Graduate Handbook will provide you with additional information regarding curriculum and logistics while you are a RTM graduate student.
If you are interested in learning more about the Merchandising, Apparel, and Textiles or the Hospitality Management and Tourism Master's programs, please contact:
Dr. Scarlett Wesley
Director of Graduate Studies
315B Erikson Hall
Master's students can now choose to complete their program through three different pathways: thesis, non-thesis, or an internship project. The internship project allows students to get real hands-on experience in the retailing/merchandising industry. The graduate program internship holds students to more rigorous standards than an undergraduate internship, as students are expected to work at a managerial or corporate level to conduct their studies. The semester long internship culminates with the students presenting their findings and suggestions for the business in their internship defense. This pathway provides a unique and beneficial way for students to tailor their Master's degree to match future career goals.
Graduate assistantships and scholarship opportunities are available on a competitive basis through teaching (TA) or research (RA) assistantship positions. These position selections are based on academic potential for future students or academic standing for current students. Additional information on assistantships can be found here.
Each year RTM graduate students participate in Graduate Consortiums with other students from such institutions as: University of North Carolina at Greensboro, University of Tennessee, Florida State University, Auburn University, and University of Georgia. These consortiums are designed to provide masters students experience in presenting their research to a regional group of peers. Each student gives a 20-minute presentation before a panel of their peers highlighting their current research.
Our students also submit articles for presentations at the International Textile and Apparel Association yearly conference.
Past Student Presentations
Cavender, R., Thompson, K., & Wesley, S. (October 2022). Exploring knowledge gaps in merchandising curriculums: Perceptions of recent retail internship participants. International Textiles and Apparel Association 2022 Annual Conference, Denver, CO.
Chen, J.*, & LU, Y. (2021). Attitude Change towards Virtual Event Websites: Comparing Customer Reviews before and during the COVID-19 Pandemic. The 40th Annual Conference of ISTTE, October 4th – 6th. [*Graduate Student]. [Best Paper Award].
Chen, J.*, Zhang, P., & LU, Y. (2021). Co-created values of Human Robot Interaction in
mega event and the mediating role of front-line employees. The 26th Annual Graduate
Education & Graduate Student Research Conference in Hospitality and Tourism, January
8th – 9th, Houston, TX. [*Graduate Student].
Past Student Publications
Sengupta, A., Wesley, S., Cavender, R. and Lee, M-Y. (2021). Global vs local: analysis of the consumer-brand relationships in India, International Journal of Retail & Distribution Management, 50(3), 361-376. https://doi.org/10.1108/IJRDM-08-2020-0306
University Scholars Program
Students currently enrolled at the University of Kentucky pursuing a Bachelor of Science in Merchandising, Apparel, and Textiles have the option to begin their graduate school education while still an undergraduate student! The University Scholars Program will provide motivated students an opportunity to acquire a Master’s degree on a fast track. Students in the program will begin taking graduate level courses their senior year, up to 12 credit hours can be shared between undergraduate and graduate curriculum, allowing the student to complete their Master’s degree in three semesters. To read more about this opportunity click here.