4 Best Grad Schools with Online Master’s in Retail & Sales Management

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Updated: March 14, 2024, Reading time: 10 minutes

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Many businesses in the retail industry aim to minimize costs while maximizing profits. To achieve this, they need to leverage the expertise of a retail manager tasked to manage stores that sell goods to consumers.

Students who want to pursue a career in this dynamic field may want to earn an online Master’s in Retail and Sales Management.

Master’s in Retail Management online programs provide students with a broad understanding of the retail industry. Students learn all about contemporary retail management issues, ranging from merchandising, retail branding, supply chain management, and multi-channel retailing.


There are many colleges and universities that offer online master’s degree programs in retail and sales management, allowing students to juggle their professional and personal responsibilities along with their pursuit of advanced education.  

Quick audio summary:


For many industries, retail & sales is a make-or-break area that requires well-trained professionals who know how to create value and understand their market specifics. For professionals to thrive in this field, it is crucial that they go for the best education they can have that brushes up on their fundamentals and teaches them the required advanced skills.

 We can help you make this choice! We’ve put together a list of the best graduate schools that offer a master’s degree in retail and sales management based on the following features:

Read our Methodology page for a closer look at our master’s degree program selection process.

Grad School Center is an advertising-supported site. Featured or trusted partner programs and all school search, finder, or match results are for schools that compensate us. This compensation does not influence our school rankings, resource guides, or other editorially-independent information published on this site.

Best in Online Master’s in Retail Sales Management Programs

Drexel University

Drexel University - Online

Philadelphia, PA

Master’s Degree in Retail & Merchandising

Established in 1891, Drexel University is spread out across three Philadelphia campuses and other regional sites. On top of its on-campus offerings, it has been providing working professionals and busy students with an exceptional learning experience with its comprehensive academic programs.

Standout Features of Drexel University’s Online Master’s Degree in Retail & Merchandising Program:

Students who want to tailor their online learning experience to their career goals and needs may personalize their courses. This can be according to their interests and level of experience in retail, fashion, and merchandising.

Graduate students will also need to choose between a project or research thesis that they will present to a three-person committee.

Did You Know?

Innovation is running through the heart of Drexel. Being at the forefront of higher education, Drexel is the first university in the country to require students to adopt the use of microcomputers in their coursework.

In 1983, more than 1,800 students were provided with their own Macintosh 128ks. In 2000, Drexel became the first major university to operate a fully wireless campus.

University of North Carolina Greensboro

University of North Carolina Greensboro

Greensboro, NC

Master of Science in Retail Studies

The University of North Carolina at Greensboro is a public research university based in Greensboro, North Carolina and one of the members of the University of North Carolina system. It was first established in 1891 as a state women’s college and became UNC Greensboro in 1963 when it became co-educational. It is classified among “R2: Doctoral Universities – High research activity,” and has over 19,000 students.

Standout Features of the University of North Carolina Greensboro’s Master of Science in Retail Studies Program:

This degree program has a special focus on the fashion industry, and many graduates of the program have gone on to high-level careers at various fashion brands. UNC Greensboro is also a military-friendly school and offers a number of benefits to both veterans and active-duty military.

Did You Know?

UNC Greensboro also offers the following certificate programs that are aligned with the retail and fashion industries, available online and at affordable rates: Global Fashion Industry Management, Retail Consumer Data Analytics, and Retail Merchandising Management.

Franklin University

Franklin University

Columbus, OH

Master of Science in Professional Sales Leadership

Franklin University is a private, not-for-profit university based in Columbus, Ohio. It was originally established in 1902, with the original intention of providing education for students of non-traditional undergraduate age.

Franklin University offers traditional on-campus degree programs, but an overwhelming majority of its students are online. 

Standout Features of Franklin University’s Online Master of Science in Professional Sales Leadership Program:

On top of the multi-faceted curriculum design, Franklin University’s MS in Professional Sales Leadership program also makes use of varied instruction methods including role playing & simulation, which maximizes the practice and experience base of students that is crucial in developing sales skills.

Did You Know?

Franklin University outstrips most schools in terms of the number of community and technical college credits that are accepted, which translates to more opportunities for students to turn their associate degree into a bachelor’s degree.

Salem University

Salem University

Salem, WV

MBA in Sales Management

Salem University is a private, for-profit university in the city of Salem, West Virginia. It was first established back in 1888 as the Academy of Salem, founded by the Eastern Seventh Day Baptist Association.

It has made partnerships and changed hands a number of times in its most recent history, and became Salem University in 2017. At present, it offers both on-campus and online degrees at the undergraduate and graduate levels.

Standout Features of Salem University’s Online MBA in Sales Management Program:

One of the unique features of Salem University is its use of a one-course-per-month scheduling model. This way of using accelerated programs allows students to better balance their coursework and their career commitments, particularly important for working professionals.

With regard to this particular program, it is offered as an MBA, so students also cover fundamental principles of business, on top of leadership skills development. 

Did You Know?

This program is Accreditation Council for Business Schools and Programs- or ACBSP-accredited. For students who plan to pursue post-graduate education, Salem University also offers an online Doctor of Business Administration (DBA) degree.

Online Master's in Retail & Sales Management - fact

Frequently Asked Questions

What are the standard admission requirements for Retail Management programs?

Generally, interested students will need to make sure they have obtained a bachelor’s degree from a regionally accredited college or university to be eligible for program admission. Some universities require students to meet a particular GPA. Other requirements include official transcripts, letters of accommodation, personal statements, resumes, and more.

How long does it take to earn the online Master’s in Retail Sales Management?

This largely depends on the program requirements that differ from university to university. However, since many of the master’s in retail sales management programs require the completion of 36 credits or more, the program duration on average is between 18 months to two years.

What are the popular career paths for students who earned the Master’s program in Retail Sales Management?

For those who earned the master’s program in retail sales management, a wealth of opportunities awaits as they can boost their earning potential and grow professionally. The Bureau of Labor Statistics says sales managers have a median annual salary of $130,600. They can also explore other careers such as sales managers, store managers, manufacturing sales representatives, retail corporate executives, merchandise buyers, and more.

Key Takeaways

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