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.

Application Requirements

The items listed below are required for admission consideration for applicable semesters of entry during the 2017-2018 academic year. Submission instructions, additional details, and changes to admission requirements for semesters other than the 2017-2018 academic year can be found on the program’s web page. International students should review the International Admission Documents section of the catalog for additional requirements.

  • completed online ApplyTexas application
  • $40 nonrefundable application fee
  • $50 nonrefundable international evaluation fee (if applicable)
  • baccalaureate degree from a regionally accredited university
  • official transcripts required from each institution where course credit was granted
  • minimum 3.0 GPA in your last 60 hours of undergraduate course work (plus any completed graduate courses)
  • official GRE scores required with a preferred minimum of 300 (verbal and quantitative sections combined) or official GMAT scores with a preferred minimum of 500
  • resume/CV
  • statement of purpose 
  • two letters of recommendation

TOEFL or IELTS Scores

Non-native English speakers who do not qualify for an English proficiency waiver:

  • official TOEFL iBT scores required with a 78 overall
  • official IELTS (academic) scores required with a 6.5 overall and
    • minimum individual module scores of 6.0

If you do not meet the scores above, you may qualify for English-based conditional admission if you meet the minimum scores below:

  • official TOEFL iBT scores required with a 59 overall
  • official IELTS (academic) scores required with a 5.5 overall and
    • minimum individual module scores of 5.5

Course Requirements

Thesis Option

Core
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
Choose a minimum 6 hours6
Thesis
Thesis
Thesis
Thesis
Thesis
Thesis
Total Hours39

Non-thesis Option

Core
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.

Thesis Proposal

The student must submit an official 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. After signing the form and obtaining committee members’ signatures, the 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 that the thesis proposal form be submitted to the dean of The Graduate College by the end of the student’s enrollment in 5399A. Failure to submit the thesis proposal in a timely fashion may result in delayed graduation.

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. For a student's initial thesis course enrollment, the student will need to register for thesis course number 5399A.  After that, the student will enroll in thesis B courses in their field, e.g., ENG 5399AENG 5199BENG 5299BENG 5399BENG 5599B, and ENG 5999B, in each subsequent semester until the thesis is defended with the department and approved by The Graduate College. 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 has been both approved by The Graduate College and released to Alkek Library.

A student who has selected the thesis option must be registered for the thesis course during the term or Summer I (during the 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 on The Graduate College website under "Current Students." The completed thesis must be submitted to the chair of the thesis committee on or before the deadlines listed on The Graduate College website.

The following must be submitted to The Graduate College by the thesis deadline listed on The Graduate College website:

  1. The Thesis Submission Approval Form bearing original (wet) and/or electronic signatures of the student and all committee members.
  2. One (1) PDF of the thesis in final form, approved by all committee members, uploaded in the online Vireo submission system.  

After the dean of The Graduate College approves the thesis, Alkek Library will harvest the document from the Vireo submission system for publishing in the Digital Collections database (according to the student's embargo selection). NOTE: MFA theses will have a permanent embargo and will never be published to Digital Collections. 

While original (wet) signatures are preferred, there may be situations as determined by the chair of the committee in which obtaining original signatures is inefficient or has the potential to delay the student's progress. In those situations, the following methods of signing are acceptable:

  • signing and faxing the form
  • signing, scaning, and emailing the form
  • notifying the department in an email from their university's or institution's email account that the committee chair can sign the form on their behalf
  • electronically signing the form using the university's licensed signature platform.

Scanned, faxed, or email communications must be submitted to The Graduate College together with the form containing original signatures.

No copies are required to be submitted to Alkek Library. However, the library 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 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 5301. Graduate Assistant Development.

This course is required as a condition of employment for graduate teaching and instructional assistants. It provides information about the educational needs of Texas State University's diverse student body. It also identifies educational strategies and campus resources that support the learning of undergraduate students. This course does not count toward graduate degree credit.
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3 Credit Hours. 3 Lecture Contact Hours. 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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