Retail Innovation, M.R.

The Master of Retail Innovation provides students with the skills necessary to become impactful and transformative retail business leaders through dynamic innovation, data-based decision-making, and effectively using technologies to enhance the consumer experience Candidates will have the chance to expand their knowledge and skillset in retailing through a carefully crafted curriculum based on three pillars: Strategic Leadership, Retail Technology, and Retail Analytics.   

Learning Outcomes

  1. Demonstrate dynamic leadership and communication skills within the retail industry to positively impact the environment, society, and governance;
  2. Apply strategic critical thinking to develop innovative solutions for current operational issues in an ever-evolving retail industry;
  3. Analyze consumer and marketplace metrics to drive data-based decision making within the retail industry; and
  4. Efficiently use key retail technologies to enhance consumer experience, maximize productivity, and foster innovation.

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.

Applicants for admission to the Master of Retailing 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).

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 background 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.
  • 1
  • 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.

Degree Requirements (30 - 33 Hours)

The Master of Retail Innovation provides current and future industry leaders with innovative curriculum to enhance their skills and encourage lifelong professional developmentAs the retailing industry continues to evolve and expand, its impact is felt by every business and consumerdemonstrating the need for leaders who can nimbly apply advanced business skills in leadership, analytics, and technology as well as specialized expertise in new and creative waysAccordingly, the 30 - 33 credit hour curriculum prepares students for jobs within today’s marketplace and tools them with skills to lead in an ever-changing field. 

According to academic regulations of The Graduate School, at least half of the credit hours in a Program of Study, exclusive of thesis preparation (RETL 799), must be earned in courses numbered 700 and above.

Professional Track (30 Hours)
8-week Course for Retailing Courses

Course Title Credits
HRSM 788Business Research and Analytics in Hospitality, Retail and Sports Management3
STAT 515Statistical Methods I3
or HRSM 700 Quantitative Methods in HRSM
RETL 525Legal Aspects of Entrepreneurship and E-Commerce3
RETL 535Retail Logistics3
RETL 569Advanced Retail Promotion and Social Media Analytics3
RETL 725Customer Experience Optimization in the Retail Environment3
RETL 735Leadership for Retailers3
RETL 747Competitive Strategies in Retailing3
RETL 748Advanced Retail Space Management3
or RETL 749 Advanced Category Management
RETL 795Financial Management for Retailers3
Total Credit Hours30

Professional Track with Directed Study Option (30 - 33 Hours)
8-week Course for Retailing Courses

Thesis Track (33 Hours)
8-week Course for Retailing Courses