Master of Science (M.S.), Major in Merchandising and Consumer Studies

Major Program

The master of science (M.S.) major in merchandising and consumer studies will educate the next generation of product developers, retail and merchandising managers, as well as consumer studies professionals, who will make pivotal and transformative decisions vital to intelligent economic, social, and environmental resource management. Our goal is to prepare students with competencies that address current and future consumer-related employment needs of Texas. Building on the undergraduate foundation, the master’s level curriculum engages students in the analysis, critical thinking, and holistic problem solving needed to respond to the complexity and growth of consumer-centric systems.

Admission Policy

For information regarding admission application requirements and deadlines, please visit The Graduate College website at http://www.gradcollege.txstate.edu/mcs.html.

Course Work Requirements

Thesis Option

Core Course Work
MCS 5301Research Methods in Merchandising and Consumer Studies3
MCS 5330Merchandising and Consumer Theory and Research3
MCS 5341Ethics in Merchandising and Consumption3
MCS 5342Sustainable Consumer Economy3
MCS 5391Seminar in Merchandising and Consumer Studies3
PSY 5320Principles of Measurement and Statistics3
Prescribed Electives
Choose 9 hours from the following:9
Merchandising in the Experience Economy
Merchandising Strategies in Domestic and International Markets
Strategic Merchandise Planning
Innovation in the Global Market
Global Sourcing and Distribution
Culture, Society, and Dress
Merchandising and Consumer Studies Practicum
Free Electives
Choose 6 hours in consultation with graduate advisor6
Thesis Course Work
Choose a minimum 6 hours6
Thesis
Thesis
Thesis
Thesis
Thesis
Thesis
Total Hours39

Non-thesis Option

Core Course Work
MCS 5301Research Methods in Merchandising and Consumer Studies3
MCS 5330Merchandising and Consumer Theory and Research3
MCS 5341Ethics in Merchandising and Consumption3
MCS 5342Sustainable Consumer Economy3
MCS 5391Seminar in Merchandising and Consumer Studies3
MCS 5398Directed Study in Merchandising and Consumer Studies3
PSY 5320Principles of Measurement and Statistics3
Prescribed Electives
Choose 9 hours from the following:9
Merchandising in the Experience Economy
Merchandising Strategies in Domestic and International Markets
Strategic Merchandise Planning
Innovation in the Global Market
Global Sourcing and Distribution
Culture, Society, and Dress
Merchandising and Consumer Studies Practicum
Free Electives
Choose 6 hours in consultation with graduate advisor6
Total Hours36

If a student elects to follow the thesis option for the degree, a committee to direct the written thesis will be established. The thesis must demonstrate the student’s capability for research and independent thought. Preparation of the thesis must be in conformity with the Graduate College Guide to Preparing and Submitting a Thesis or Dissertation. The thesis handbook may be accessed at http://www.gradcollege.txstate.edu/docs/Thesis_Diss_Guide.pdf.

Thesis Proposal

The student must submit an official Master's Thesis Proposal form and proposal to his or her thesis committee. Thesis proposals vary by department and discipline. Please see your department for proposal guidelines and requirements. The required thesis proposal form may be obtained from The Graduate College at http://www.gradcollege.txstate.edu/gcforms.html. After signing the form and obtaining committee members’ signatures, graduate advisor’s signature (if required by the program), and the department chair’s signature, the student must submit the thesis proposal form with one copy of the proposal attached to the dean of The Graduate College for approval before proceeding with research on the thesis. If the thesis research involves human subjects, the student must obtain exemption or approval from the Texas State Institutional Review Board prior to submitting the proposal form to The Graduate College. If the thesis research involves vertebrate animals, the proposal form must include the Texas State IACUC approval code. It is recommended the thesis proposal form be submitted to the dean of The Graduate College by the end of the student’s enrollment in 5399A.

Thesis Committee

The thesis committee must be composed of a minimum of three approved graduate faculty members.

Thesis Enrollment and Credit

The completion of a minimum of six hours of thesis enrollment is required. Enrollment for the thesis will be in course number 5399A for a student’s initial thesis enrollment and a thesis B course for each subsequent thesis enrollment in the field in which the subject matter of the thesis falls, e.g., PS 5399A and PS 5399B. Preliminary discussions regarding the selection of a topic and assignment to a research supervisor will not require enrollment for the thesis course.

A student will be required to enroll in and pay the fee for at least one hour of the thesis course during any term in which the student will receive thesis supervision or guidance and/or in which the student is using university resources. Failure to register for the thesis course during a term in which supervision is received may result in postponement of graduation. After initial enrollment in 5399A, the student will continue to enroll in a thesis B course as long as it takes to complete the thesis. In the rare case when a student has not previously enrolled in thesis and plans to work on and complete the thesis in one term, the student will enroll in both 5399A and 5399B. The only grades assigned for thesis courses are PR (progress), CR (credit), W (withdrew), and F (failing). If acceptable progress is not being made in a thesis course, the instructor may issue a grade of F. If the student is making acceptable progress, a grade of PR is assigned until the thesis is completed. The minimum number of hours of thesis credit (“CR”) will be awarded only after the thesis is filed in the Alkek Library and the librarian has electronically returned the thesis card to the office of The Graduate College.

A student who has selected the thesis option must be registered for the thesis course during the term or Summer I (during summer the thesis course runs ten weeks for both sessions) in which the degree will be conferred.

Fee Reduction

A master’s degree candidate for graduation may be eligible for a one-time fee reduction under V.T.C.A. Education Code, Section 54.054. Please refer to the section titled Fee Reduction in the Additional Fees and Expenses chapter of this catalog for more information.

Thesis Deadlines and Approval Process

Thesis deadlines are posted at the following web page: http://www.gradcollege.txstate.edu/Thes-Diss_Info/T-D_Deadlines.html. The completed thesis must be submitted to the chair of the thesis committee no later than 41 days before the date of the commencement at which the degree is to be conferred.

The following must be submitted to the office of The Graduate College no later than 24 days, not counting weekends or holidays, before the date of commencement at which the degree is to be conferred (see The Graduate College webpage for specific deadlines):

  1. The Thesis/Dissertation Committee Approval form bearing original signatures of the student and all committee members.
  2. One (1) copy of the thesis in final form, approved by all committee members, on standard paper (Hard-copy Submission Option) or PDF of the thesis in final form, approved by all committee members, uploaded in the on-line Vireo submission system (Vireo On-line Submission Option).

After the dean of The Graduate College approves the thesis, the process is as follows:

  1. For the Vireo On-line Submission Option:
    1. No copies are required to be submitted to the Alkek Library. However, Alkek will bind copies submitted that the student wants bound for personal use. Personal copies are not required to be printed on archival quality paper. The student will take the personal copies to the Alkek Library and pay the binding fee for personal copies.

Master's level courses in Family and Consumer Sciences: FCS

FCS 5101. Graduate Assistant Development.

This course is required as a condition of employment for graduate teaching and instructional assistants. This course provides regular in-service and planned periodic evaluations of instructional responsibilities. This course does not earn graduate degree credit. Repeatable up to 3 times.
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1 Credit Hour. 1 Lecture Contact Hour. 0 Lab Contact Hours.
Course Attribute(s): Graduate Assistantship|Exclude from Graduate GPA
Grade Mode: Leveling/Assistantships

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FCS 5302H. Sustainable Consumer Economy.

This course is a in-depth study of the role of consumption in the development of sustainable systems including the family, natural resources and economics.
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3 Credit Hours. 3 Lecture Contact Hours. 0 Lab Contact Hours.
Course Attribute(s): Topics
Grade Mode: Standard Letter

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FCS 5302J. Statistics and Data Analysis for Family and Consumer Sciences.

This is a graduate level course covering statistical techniques commonly used in the field of family and consumer sciences. Topics include descriptive statistics, Chi-Square analysis, analysis of variance and covariance, simple and multiple linear regression, logistic regression, and use of statistical software. Data analysis to support decision-making is emphasized. Restricted to students in one of the graduate FCS programs.
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3 Credit Hours. 3 Lecture Contact Hours. 0 Lab Contact Hours.
Course Attribute(s): Exclude from 3-peat Processing|Topics
Grade Mode: Standard Letter

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FCS 5302S. Sustainable Textiles.

This course is an in-depth study of the relationship of fibers, fabrics, finishes and textile products end-uses with a particular focus on their impact on sustainability.
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3 Credit Hours. 3 Lecture Contact Hours. 0 Lab Contact Hours.
Course Attribute(s): Topics
Grade Mode: Standard Letter

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FCS 5302X. Policy in Family/Child Studies.

An examination of the policy making process and the significance of national, state, and local policies as they affect the family. Frameworks for analyzing social policy will be used to examine existing government efforts and legislation. Implications for bringing about change in policies will be examined.
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3 Credit Hours. 3 Lecture Contact Hours. 0 Lab Contact Hours.
Course Attribute(s): Topics
Grade Mode: Standard Letter

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FCS 5305. Sustainable Housing.

This course is an in-depth study of the relationship between housing and sustainability with a particular focus on the role of materials, technology, policy and human factors in fostering healthy social, economic and natural systems.
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3 Credit Hours. 3 Lecture Contact Hours. 0 Lab Contact Hours.
Grade Mode: Standard Letter

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FCS 5307. Sustainable Lighting.

This course focuses on understanding the elements and principles of sustainable lighting and explains how it meets the qualitative needs of the visual environment with the least impact on the natural environment.
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3 Credit Hours. 3 Lecture Contact Hours. 0 Lab Contact Hours.
Grade Mode: Standard Letter

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FCS 5310. Research Methods in FCS.

This course will cover the evaluation of concepts, methods, and strategies for research in the disciplines of family and consumer sciences. The course will focus on the nature and ethics of scientific research, including design, sampling, measurement, and data collection. Restricted to graduate level majors in the School of Family and Consumer Sciences.
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3 Credit Hours. 3 Lecture Contact Hours. 0 Lab Contact Hours.
Grade Mode: Standard Letter

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FCS 5311. Statistics and Data Analysis for Family and Consumer Sciences.

This is a graduate level course covering statistical techniques commonly used in the field of family and consumer sciences. Topics include descriptive statistics, Chi-Square analysis, analysis of variance and covariance, simple and multiple linear regression, logistic regression, and use of statistical software. Data analysis to support decision-making is emphasized. Prerequisite: FCS 5310. Restricted to graduate students in FCS.
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3 Credit Hours. 3 Lecture Contact Hours. 0 Lab Contact Hours.
Grade Mode: Standard Letter

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FCS 5340. International Study in Family and Consumer Sciences.

Study of Family and Consumer Sciences topics in international settings. Emphasis will be placed on an analysis of cultural differences and similarities and their application within FCS professions. Repeatable for credit.
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3 Credit Hours. 3 Lecture Contact Hours. 0 Lab Contact Hours.
Course Attribute(s): Multicultural Content
Grade Mode: Standard Letter

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