RCSC Course Listing

RCSC 114 Introduction to Retailing

Gain insight into the dynamic world of retailing and many facets of the business of retailing from a consumer-centric perspective. Explore how a retail business works, the issues and challenges involved in retailing, and the future of retailing. Topics include retail management and business practices, consumer behavior, and career options in this exciting industry.

Offered: Spring 2024, Summer 2024, Fall 2024
RCSC 150B1 Consumers, Environment and Sustainability

Explore consumption and sustainability from personal, household, community, and global perspectives and examine the role of shoppers, retailers, manufacturers and producers, regulators, and environmental organizations in promoting environmentally sustainable consumption. Use individual assessments and personal reflections to understand how your own consumption choices impact the Earth, natural resources, other cultures, and global climate change. The course includes diverse perspectives, discussions, interactive and group activities, and a service learning team project with a community organization.

Offered: Fall 2024
RCSC 195 Introduction to the Retailing & Consumer Science Program

Successfully transition into the Retailing and Consumer Science (RCSC) major. Explore ethical and professional behavior within the RCSC program, content and sequencing of courses, and careers in retailing and fashion through discussions, in-class activities, and writing assignments.

Offered: Fall 2024
RCSC 197A RCSC Academic Culture

Successfully transition into the Retailing and Consumer Sciences (RCSC) major. Explore ethical and professional behavior within the RCSC program, content and sequencing of courses, and careers in retailing through discussions, in-class activities, and writing assignments.

Offered: Fall 2023, Spring 2024
RCSC 205 Merchandise Planning and Control

This course is essential for anyone seeking a career in the retailing industry in fields such as merchandising, buying, planning, retail marketing, operations, sales, and brand management. Topics include retail planning and control procedures, computing prices and markups, inventory control, sales reporting, productivity metrics, and retail calendar impact. It includes discussions on current industry developments and students learn about practical business decisions that increase profitability.

Offered: Spring 2024, Summer 2024, Fall 2024
RCSC 205A Merchandise Planning and Control/Buying Lab

This introduction to Microsoft Excel for merchandising and retail buying decision making includes the use of basic mathematical operations, formulas and functions, formatting, and creating charts and graphs. This lab is designed to support the learning objectives and related activities in RCSC 205: Merchandise Planning and Control.

Offered: Spring 2024, Summer 2024, Fall 2024
RCSC 220 Markets, Finance and Retailing

Survey of financial concepts and principles in the context of the consumer marketplace and retailing business. Students will use economic theory and financial analysis to relate consumer actions, business decisions, and financial performance. Topics include demand and supply, price elasticity, consumer choice, and profit maximization, along with accounting principles, financial statement analysis, and business opportunity evaluation.

Offered: Spring 2024, Fall 2024
RCSC 240 Consumer Behavior

Explore consumer behavior and the decision-making processes involved when individuals or groups, select, purchase, use or dispose of products and services to satisfy needs and desires. Discuss consumer behavior theories and practical applications of the concepts to real-world consumption activities.

Offered: Spring 2024, Summer 2024, Fall 2024
RCSC 294 Practicum

The practical application, on an individual basis, of previously studied theory and the collection of data for future theoretical interpretation.

RCSC 295A Career Exploration

Personal and professional development for RCSC students. This course prepares students to apply for internships and to enter the workforce by providing tools and resources for internship and career success. Topics include personal branding, professional dress, resumes, cover letters, and success factors in interviews and internships.

Offered: Fall 2024
RCSC 305 Advanced Retail Planning

Real-world industry practices in retail buying, planning, allocation, and control. Forecast customer needs and determine how to maximize profit by utilizing the industry data, analytics, and intuition. This course also covers pricing, inventory planning, negotiation, merchandise promotions, and vendor management.

Offered: Fall 2024
RCSC 310 Retail Management and Operations

Contemporary concepts, principles, and practices of retail operations management. Real-world cases and perspectives for store, digital, and omnichannel retailing. Topics include operations strategy, process design, capacity planning, inventory control, loss prevention, and project management. The topics are integrated using the retail profit model and a systems model of the operations of a retail organization.

Offered: Summer 2024, Fall 2024
RCSC 315 Retail Communications Strategy

Apply integrated marketing communications (IMC) in the retail environment. Explore the IMC planning process to effectively use advertising, public relations, direct marketing, sales promotion, personal selling, visual merchandising, and digital/social media. Research, create, organize, and present marketing communication campaigns.

Offered: Spring 2024, Fall 2024
RCSC 316 Retail Business Analysis

Develop competencies essential in retail business analysis. Explore the fundamentals of business analysis and apply analysis techniques in retail situations, including basic financial performance analysis, pro-forma financial projections, business model simulation, sensitivity analysis, and return on investment (ROI) analysis. Particular attention will be given to practical techniques used by business analysts in the retailing industry.

Offered: Spring 2024, Fall 2024
RCSC 316A Retail Business Analysis Lab

Intermediate retail business analysis using Microsoft Excel and other computer applications. Identify, define, assess, and apply business analysis techniques and practice competencies important to retail business analysis, including forecasting, sensitivity analysis, data management, and data visualization. This lab is designed to support the learning objectives and related activities in RCSC 316 Retail Business Analysis.

Offered: Spring 2024, Fall 2024
RCSC 320 Retail Brand Strategy

Brand management within the retailing industry incorporates retailer brand management, owned and private label brands, vertically-integrated brands, and marketing of branded merchandise and services. Explore brand positioning, brand identity, the planning and implementing of brand marketing programs, growing and sustaining brand equity, and the brand issues and challenges commonly faced by retail brand managers and merchants.

Offered: Fall 2024
RCSC 324 Customer Experience Management

Understanding customers and delivering optimized, personalized experiences can increase customer satisfaction, engagement, and loyalty. This course will cover customer experience (CX) design, testing and evaluation, and management for real-world, digital, and omnichannel shopping environments. Students will use CX consumer research tools including ethnography, video analysis, emotion detection, and digital usability testing (UX) incorporating professional UX applications, eye movement tracking and biometrics. Students will also explore CX management processes including service quality evaluation and management, service blueprinting, customer journey mapping, customer lifecycle model analysis, and customer lifetime value. In this hands-on course, students will learn how to use prototype, develop, and test websites, mobile apps, and store experience concepts for testing and build a CX/UX portfolio.

Offered: Fall 2024
RCSC 325 Retail Innovation and Entrepreneurship

Creating a new, innovative retailing venture can be both challenging and rewarding. Explore theories and practices of innovation and entrepreneurship in the retailing industry. Learn about what it takes to be an entrepreneur, how to identify new opportunities, the role of innovation, and how to launch and manage the growth of a new retail venture. Students will create and develop an innovative, new retailing concept.

Offered: Fall 2024
RCSC 326 Product Development

The development and successful launch of new products (goods or services) is essential in contemporary retailing. An overview of innovation process management, concept evaluation, principles and practices for the development, design, marketing and introduction of new products and services. Students research, create, organize, and present a new product development concept and its new product launch strategy.

RCSC 330 Food Retailing

Examine food retailing principles, food consumption behavior, and strategic management of food retailing establishments. Learn about merchandising planning and control, food product development, pricing and promotion, operations, supply chain, and human resources in food retailing. Explore current global issues affecting the food industry including production agriculture, sustainability and environmental impact, and waste reduction.

RCSC 346 Fundamentals of Marketing

Marketing principles and practices for the retailing and services sectors. Learn how to manage the marketing mix (product, price, promotion, distribution) to create competitive advantage and deliver value to consumers, firms, and society at large in a semester-long marketing planning project. Discuss some of the opportunities and major challenges marketing managers face.

Offered: Spring 2024
RCSC 350 Supply Chain Management

Supply chain management is the design and management of seamless, value-added processes across organizational boundaries to meet the real needs of the end customer. With increasing competition around the globe, supply chain management is both a challenge and an opportunity for retailers. Investigate supply chain challenges, including how to cope with demand and supply uncertainty, how to build and optimize the supply chain organization, global perspectives, and optimization of logistics, inventory, and international trade-related costs.

Offered: Spring 2024
RCSC 360 Digital Retailing

Survey of digital retailing methods and practices for marketing products and services in direct-to-consumer business models. The course will cover website and mobile design, digital authoring and publishing tools, e-commerce business models, electronic merchandising theory, terminology, resources, and practices. Students will learn about digital commerce via applied learning activities and development of a fully functional digital store.

Offered: Fall 2024
RCSC 361 Social Media, Influencers and Consumers

Social media and digital influencers have a direct effect on consumer decisions, attitudes, and satisfaction. Learn about the role of social media and digital influencers in consumer decision making, brand awareness and associations, and the theory and practices of digital word-of-mouth (WOM). In this hands-on workshop course, students will engage in applied learning activities and digital experiments including developing a socially-native brand, creating a content marketing campaign, building an influencer persona, and designing a social commerce site. Students will use professional authoring tools to create videos and other multimedia content.

Offered: Spring 2024
RCSC 380 Sustainable Consumption

Examine consumer behavior in the context of global environmental and social challenges. Sustainability requires a critical shift in consumers' mindset to effectively respond to these challenges. We will discuss adaptation and mitigation strategies for consumers with special emphasis on overconsumption as the main driver of climate change, the reduction of individual and collective ecological footprints, the boundaries in effectively adapting materialist lifestyles, and the intersection of economic, ecological and social inequity. The course provides an introduction into environmental and social sustainability, including the science, theoretical concepts, and practical approaches used to analyze and reduce negative impacts of consumer behavior. 

Offered: Fall 2024
RCSC 384 Leadership, Management and Ethics

Explore leadership and management concepts and practices that lead to more effective, ethical and socially-responsible organizations. Build your professional leadership capabilities in organizational planning, business decision making, negotiation and influence, teamwork, employee motivation and training, organizational goal setting, and business communications. Develop skills for managing the challenges and opportunities of diversity and cultural differences within organizations and the global marketplace. Evaluate and reflect on your career path and career development.

Offered: Spring 2024, Fall 2024
RCSC 393 Internship

Specialized work on an individual basis, consisting of training and practice in actual service in a technical, business, or governmental establishment.

RCSC 399 Independent Study

Qualified students working on an individual basis with professors who have agreed to supervise such work.

RCSC 405 Merchandising Systems

Offering the right mix of products at the right time and place is one of the best ways for retailers to drive sales and build customer loyalty. Learn about advanced merchandise management systems and processes within the context of omnichannel retail enterprises. Students will apply and utilize a retail software system which provides businesses with a quicker and more efficient process for creating and executing retail enterprise plans. By translating customer knowledge, software allows students to practice to develop better corporate merchandising, thereby increasing profitability.

RCSC 415 Retail Store Design, Planning and Display

Explore visual merchandising as retail communication strategy. Learn about concepts, tools, and techniques for retail store design and merchandise display. By participating in creative activities and practical projects, you will practice the visual merchandising process to determine effective visual strategies that improve shopping convenience and customer experiences in sophisticated retail environments.

Offered: Fall 2023
RCSC 440 Customer Research and Insights

Design, interpret, and apply primary and secondary research techniques used to generate customer insights and guide retailers' decision-making. The course combines textbook learning with real-world examples and applications so that students can engage in consumer research in practice.

Offered: Spring 2024
RCSC 480 Sustainable Retailing

Examine and develop retailer strategies in response to global environmental and social challenges. Sustainability requires a critical shift in how retail businesses operate, in particular with respect to climate change mitigation and adaptation. The course provides an introduction into the business perspective on environmental and social sustainability, the concept of the circular economy, industry standards, integration of sustainability across the supply chain and customer management, and best practice cases.

Offered: Spring 2024
RCSC 491 Preceptorship

Specialized work on an individual basis, consisting of instruction and practice in actual service in a department, program, or discipline. Teaching formats may include seminars, in-depth studies, laboratory work and patient study.

Offered: Spring 2024
RCSC 492 Directed Research

Design and conduct research projects as part of a research team. Gain applied experience in essential components of research work, including for example the theoretical basis of research work, identifying suitable research methods, conducting literature and data base reviews, devising sampling techniques, applying survey or experimental research techniques, transcribing and coding qualitative data, coding quantitative data, data management and basic analysis, developing and presenting research reports, among other activities.

Offered: Spring 2024, Fall 2024
RCSC 493B Retailing and Consumer Science Internship

Specialized work on an individual basis, consisting of training and practice in actual service in a technical, business, or governmental establishment.

Offered: Spring 2024, Summer 2024, Fall 2024
RCSC 496A Topics in Retailing and Consumer Science

The development and exchange of scholarly information, usually in a small group setting. The scope of work shall consist of research by course registrants, with the exchange of the results of such research through discussion, reports, and/or papers.

Offered: Winter 2023, Summer 2024
RCSC 498 RCSC Senior Capstone

A culminating experience for majors involving a substantive project that demonstrates a synthesis of learning accumulated in the major, including broadly comprehensive knowledge of the discipline and its methodologies. Senior standing required.

Offered: Spring 2024, Fall 2024
RCSC 498H Honors Thesis

An honors thesis is required of all the students graduating with honors. Students ordinarily sign up for this course as a two-semester sequence. The first semester the student performs research under the supervision of a faculty member; the second semester the student writes an honors thesis.

Offered: Spring 2024, Fall 2024
RCSC 499 Independent Study

Qualified students working on an individual basis with professors who have agreed to supervise such work.

Offered: Spring 2024