PhD in Consumer, Apparel, and Retail Studies

On Campus Only

Earn your PhD

For those who imagine themselves as university professors sharing their passion for Consumer, Apparel, and Retail studies with future students, a PhD in the field is an outstanding course of study to pursue. By delving deep into exciting topics ranging from marketing to consumer behavior, you will gain an expert’s understanding of the industry and how to apply your knowledge for success in the field.

This program of study leading up to the doctor of philosophy degree requires a minimum of 60 hours (90 beyond the Bachelors) and the completion of a dissertation.

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Have you ever thought about teaching at the college level?

Do you think you could make a career out of mentoring others and helping them achieve their career goals? Do you want to research topics of interest to consumers and industry? If you already have a master’s degree, the CARS PhD will give you exactly the preparation you need to pursue a rewarding, lifelong career in academia. In fact, most accredited colleges and universities expect job applicants to have a PhD. Position yourself as a leading candidate for excellent positions in higher education.

An established and highly-regarded program, the CARS PhD is one of the oldest on the UNCG campus. Students from our program who want to get an academic job can — and do. Our graduates have gone on to secure competitive, tenure-track positions in apparel programs at schools like Iowa State University, Texas Tech University, Louisiana State University, and many other attractive universities.

Want to Learn MOre?


Our PhD program is innovative in its emphasis on preparing doctoral students to publish and evaluate research on a diverse array of topics. Built on a rigorous series of core courses in consumer, apparel, and retail studies, our curriculum includes both quantitative and qualitative research methodologies. As you develop your research skills, you will also engage in a mentored teaching experience — both with guidance from faculty who are top scholars in the field.

Sample courses:

CRS-712: Theory Development in Consumer, Apparel and Retail Studies

Examination of business-related marketing theories. Analysis of marketing theories, models, and conceptual frameworks. Includes business-to-business, consumer, customer relationship and economic theories.

CRS-713: Qualitative Methodology in Consumer, Apparel and Retail Studies

Exploration of development and use of qualitative research methodology. Focus on application of the qualitative methodology to diverse research problems, data collection procedures, and analysis approaches.

CRS-721: Consumer Behavior in Apparel and Retailing

Current theories and research in consumer behavior. Application of consumer behavior models to apparel, apparel-related products and retailing through individualized research projects.

Preparing You To Be both a teacher and a scholar

While the program is versatile and many avenues will be open to you, if you imagine yourself as a university professor sharing your passion with future students, a PhD from the CARS department is an outstanding course of study.

    Take part in one of the oldest, most established PhD programs in the field.
    Learn to conduct cutting-edge research alongside top scholars in the field.
    Our PhD program has a 100% placement rate. Graduates go on to secure tenure-track jobs at colleges and universities throughout the US and abroad.
    We are home to a diverse student body. At least 50% of our PhD students are international and a wide variety of student perspectives are reflected in engaging conversations inside and outside of class.
    Assistantships, fellowships, scholarships, and tuition waivers are available on a competitive basis. We are also known for our supportive, accessible faculty as well as numerous peer mentoring opportunities such as our active Graduate Student Association.

Admission Requirements

The required documents for the application process include:

  • Resume
  • 3 Letters of recommendation
  • GRE test scores
  • Personal Statement
  • Official Transcript

If you received your master’s at an accredited institution in the U.S., English scores are not required.

Application Deadline

All applications are due by February 1st.

Have Questions?

To learn more about the PhD in Consumer, Apparel, and Retail Studies program please contact Dr. Jin Su at

Jin Su
Dr. Jin Su

Associate Professor
Stone 214

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