The Department of Apparel, Design and Hospitality Management offers graduate study leading to the Master of Science degree or a Graduate Certificate in Merchandising in collaboration with the Great Plains Interactive Distance Education Alliance (GP-IDEA). The Master’s degree in Merchandising is an online program offered through Distance and Continuing Education at NDSU. Participating faculty members from the GP-IDEA have jointly developed the merchandising curriculum. Course are taught by faculty within the Alliance from Kansas State University, North Dakota State University, Oklahoma State University, South Dakota State University, and the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. The master’s degree in Merchandising is designed for professionals in a variety of merchandising fields. This program provides students with a global perspective of the interaction of cultural, economic, political, social, and environmental systems as they relate to the industry. In the ever-changing global environment, the ability to merchandise products to the consumer is a strategic advantage, and will distinguish graduates of this program from their peers in the industry. The fully online program allows students to complete course work while maintaining their professional lives. Admission decisions are based upon the predicted success of the applicant as a student and professional in the chosen field and are made only after considering all available data. A student must meet all requirements for full admission. The following criteria act as guidelines for full acceptance: a cumulative baccalaureate GPA of 3.0 or better on a 4.0 scale, and a GPA of at least 3.25 during the final 30 semester credits of graded undergraduate course work, or a minimum GPA of 3.0 on 10 semester credits of graduate course work. In completing the application, you are asked to write a statement (500 words or less) identifying and discussing your reasons for applying to this program. Within this statement you are to discuss how learning about diverse perspectives, critical thinking, and effective leadership will enhance your understanding of merchandising. Adequate technical skills and access is essential to be successful in an online program. Unlimited web access at high speeds is helpful. Word processing programs that are up-to-date are important, as is knowledge of writing and publishing programs. Familiarity with diverse learning management systems is also helpful. NDSU currently uses Blackboard; other institutions have similar but different programs. An ability to self-motivate and learn independently is necessary for programs where face-to-face interactions are not available. Graduate assistantships are not available since this program is online and facilitated through the Great Plains Interactive Distance Education Alliance and Distance and Continuing Education at NDSU. Students who are full-time (enrolled for six credits or more) may apply for financial aid. The 36-credit master’s degree program consists of ten required 3-credit courses, listed below, as well as a 6-credit comprehensive project required by North Dakota State University.