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Buying and Merchandising


Buying and merchandising programs prepare people to work as professional buyers of products to be resold in stores. This program may also be called retail merchandising or apparel merchandising.

Buying and merchandising programs teach students about a variety of topics.

Buying and merchandising programs include topics such as:


In buying and merchandising programs, students may be able to specialize in:


Several community colleges offer associate degree programs in buying and merchandising. An associate degree program usually takes two years to complete.

A few colleges and universities offer bachelor’s degrees in buying and merchandising. A bachelor's degree usually takes four years of full-time study.

See schools that offer this program.

Related Educational Programs

Related Careers

Careers Directly Related to this Program of Study

Other Careers Related to this Program of Study

Program Admission

You can prepare for this program by taking courses in high school that prepare you for college. This typically includes four years of English, three years of math, three years of social studies, and two years of science. Some colleges also require two years of a second language.

Below is a list of high school courses that will help prepare you for this program of study:

Typical Course Work

Program Courses

This program typically includes courses in the following subjects:

You may also participate in an internship where you work with established buyers and merchandisers.

Things to Know

Buying and merchandising programs may be a concentration in a fashion design program.

In some cases, a graduate certificate is offered. You can get this while completing a master's degree in a related field (often business or fashion design).

Business courses in high school can be useful preparation for a career in buying and merchandising. However, your high school transcript needs to show that you are preparing for a demanding college-level program.

Good skills in writing, speaking, and critical thinking are needed for advancement in the business world.


East Side Area

Central Washington University

King-Snohomish Area

Bellevue College

Seattle Pacific University

Shoreline Community College