The Department of Retailing and Tourism Management offers a Master of Science in two areas:

Merchandising, Apparel, and Textiles

A combination of course work, 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 choose a thesis or non-thesis track to complete their degree.  The non-thesis option is for students who wish to complete a creative project focusing on the application of new or existing knowledge.  This student’s research culminates into an actual project such as a mini clothing line, business plan, or curating a costume collection.  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 course work, 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 are given the option to choose a thesis or non-thesis track to complete their degree.  A non-thesis project is an alternative option for students who wish to complete a creative project focusing on the application of new or existing knowledge.  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.

 

Internship Pathway

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.

Assistantships

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.

Travel Opportunities

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 ITAA Student Presentations

  • Sengupta, A., Lee, Min-Young, Spillman, K. & Jackson, V. (2004). Usage of clothing care-labels among college youth: Analysis of length of information, awareness, risk perception and confidence. International Textiles and Apparel Association, Charlotte, NC, November 12-16, Available online at www.itaaonline.org (Presented by Aniket Sengupta)
  • Ferrell, E., Lee, Min-Young, Spillman, K. Jackson, V. & Kimbrel, C. (2014). Consumers’ motivation for purchasing fair-trade clothing. International Textiles and Apparel Association, Charlotte, NC, November 12-16, Available online at www.itaaonline.org (Presented by Catherin Bond)

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.

Faculty Expertise

The graduate faculty members in RTM cover a wide range of research expertise. Potential graduate students can review the chart linked here to identify possible thesis committee chairs and members.