Admission Requirements

Admission requirements conform to the general regulations of The Graduate School and regional and national accreditation standards. Applicants must submit to The Graduate School an application form, and a nonrefundable application fee, one official transcript from each post-secondary institution attended (mailed to The Graduate School) showing their complete academic record, two letters of recommendation, records of immunization, and reports of examination scores on the GRE or GMAT unless waived.

Applicants for admission to the Master of Retail Innovation program will be evaluated using a combination of academic and professional factors. They normally are expected to have an undergraduate GPA of at least 3.00 for all undergraduate coursework and either a combined GRE score of 300 on the verbal and quantitative components or a total of 500 on the GMAT. Applicants may request GRE/GMAT requirement to be waived under certain conditions (see GRE/GMAT Waiver Information below).

Admission decisions may also take into consideration other criteria, such as professional experience, in the retailing industry, involvement in professional and/or student organizations, and strength of recommendations from professional and academic sources.

International applicants are required to submit with their application a certified transcript indicating the nature and scope of their academic training. An applicant whose native language is not English is required to submit a minimum TOEFL score of 570 (Paper-based Test, PBT), 230 (Computer-based Test, CBT), or 88 (Internet-based Test, iBT) on the TOEFL or 6.5 on the IELTS. Prior to enrollment in the Master of Retailing program, international students whose native language is not English are required to take an English diagnostic test administered by the English Program for Internationals. Students with deficiencies are provided opportunities for further study in reading, writing, and speaking English.

GRE/GMAT Waiver Information

Policy to Request GRE/GMAT Requirement Be Waived

We understand every student is unique and students with different backgrounds can bring various experiences and perspectives to our classrooms. 

Although our admissions criteria include GRE or GMAT score, the Department of Retailing at the University of South Carolina also values other important factors than the standardized test scores in determining a student’s potential to succeed in our Master’s program.

A student may petition for a GRE/GMAT requirement waiver when he or she meets at least ONE of the following criteria:

  • Four or more years of professional (managerial) experience in a retailing or service-oriented organization.
  • A completed baccalaureate degree from The University of South Carolina, or from an *accredited institution, with a cumulative GPA of 3.40/4.00. 
  • A completed Master’s degree, with a 3.0 (or better) GPA from the University of South Carolina, or from an accredited institution1.

To check if your school is accredited, visit

You may submit a GRE/GMAT Waiver Request Form demonstrating that you have satisfied the above criteria prior to submitting your application. It is recommended that applicants requesting to have the test requirement waived submit their Request Form, along with supporting documentation as soon as possible. This will allow the applicant time to take the exam in the event that the request is denied.


RETL 525  - Legal Aspects of Entrepreneurship and E-Commerce  (3 Credits)  
Examination of domestic and international laws affecting retail entrepreneurship and online commerce, such as data privacy and breach response, intellectual property protection, sales tax, advertising and unfair trade practices, consumer protection laws, employment laws, and legal obligations involving physical locations.
Prerequisites: SPTE 240 or equivalent.
RETL 530  - Fashion and the Law  (3 Credits)  
Examination of domestic and international laws which affect the fashion industry, such as intellectual property protection, licensing agreements, operational and marketing issues, and international trade.
Prerequisites: SPTE 240 or equivalent.
RETL 535  - Retail Logistics  (3 Credits)  
Examination of the flow of retail inventory from initial production to final purchase. Meets the needs of individuals in retail organizations from entry-level sales floor personnel to buyers. Students must be qualified to enroll in a 500 level course at The University of South Carolina.
RETL 551  - Retail and Fashion Business Planning  (3 Credits)  
Essential skills for building a new or expanding an existing retail or fashion business in both brick-and-mortar and online venues by developing a marketing plan and corresponding e-Commerce website for a business or fashion organization.
Prerequisites: RETL 351.
RETL 562  - Advanced Merchandising Management Strategies  (3 Credits)  
The analysis of assortment planning and inventory management of apparel products utilizing merchandising principles and industry software.
RETL 569  - Advanced Retail Promotion and Social Media Analytics  (3 Credits)  
Essential principles and analytical tools used in retail promotion; appraisal of methods and outcomes via field experiences, visuals, and simulations.
RETL 590  - Special Topics in Retail Management  (3 Credits)  
Course content varies. May be repeated once under a different title.
RETL 592  - Retailing/Fashion Merchandising Field Study  (3 Credits)  
Study of international/domestic fashion manufacturers, retailers, ancillary businesses, and selected resident buying offices. May be repeated once for credit. Must be in good standing with a 2.0 GPA or better; No pending or past judicial council infractions.
RETL 600  - Fundamentals of Omni-Channel Retailing  (3 Credits)  
Exploration of the fundamentals of Omni-Channel Retailing.
RETL 640  - Personnel Development & Relations Management  (3 Credits)  
Advanced examination of human resource management within retail organizations.
RETL 662  - Customer Relationship Management for the Retail Industry  (3 Credits)  
The analysis of customer relationship management for retailers utilizing merchandising principles and industry software.
RETL 700  - Advanced Omni-Channel Retailing  (3 Credits)  
Advanced examination of Omni-channel retailing.
RETL 710  - Retailing E-Commerce  (3 Credits)  
Examination of e-commerce elements and retailer implications.
RETL 725  - Customer Experience Optimization in the Retail Environment  (3 Credits)  
Study of customers’ needs, activities, and trends to aid retail strategy formulation for enhancing customer experiences in retail environments.
RETL 730  - Retail Loss Prevention  (3 Credits)  
The analysis of current retail loss prevention issues from the perspective of the business and customer. Meets the needs of individuals in retail organizations from entry level sales floor personnel to senior management.
RETL 735  - Leadership for Retailers  (3 Credits)  
The course addresses both leadership theory and practice in the evolving domain of retail and fashion merchandising businesses, utilizing a combined theoretical and practical case-based approach to problem solving.
RETL 740  - Omni-Channel Workforce Management  (3 Credits)  
Advanced examination of workforce management for Omni-channel retailers.
RETL 745  - International Retailing  (3 Credits)  
Broad overview of retail marketing theories, principles, and methods for international operations focusing on the cultural, economic, and regulatory environments.
RETL 747  - Competitive Strategies in Retailing  (3 Credits)  
Fundamentals of strategic decision-making and performance measurement within the retail organization.
RETL 748  - Advanced Retail Space Management  (3 Credits)  
Advanced examination of retail space allocation and management of merchandise via retail analytics and JDA software.
RETL 749  - Advanced Category Management  (3 Credits)  
Advanced examination of category management strategies.
RETL 750  - Advanced Sales Strategies for Retail  (3 Credits)  
Advanced strategic decision-making theories, principles, and techniques used in different buyer-seller situations by a retail organization.
RETL 790  - Special Topics in Marketing Education  (3 Credits)  
Contemporary topics, trends, and issues in marketing education. Individual topics may be announced by titles.
RETL 795  - Financial Management for Retailers  (3 Credits)  
This course examines financial information management necessary to perform the usual duties and responsibilities associated with the retail industry.
RETL 798  - Directed Study in Retailing  (3 Credits)  
Independent study for advanced students under faculty supervision.
RETL 799  - Thesis Preparation  (1-6 Credits)  
CL: 2020.