School of Human Ecology
General Education Requirements
Requirements for the Consumer Affairs Major
Requirements for the Personal Finance Major
Requirements for the Retailing Major
Professors Bartfeld, Douthitt, Holden, Hoyt, Jasper, Riportella (chair), Zepeda; Associate Professor Wong; Assistant Professors Cash, Collins
The Consumer Science Department is in the midst of a program review, which may result in changes that affect one or more of the majors described in this catalog. For the most current application forms, curriculum checksheets, and program specific information, see Student Academic Affairs Office Forms.
The Department of Consumer Science develops and disseminates information on the ways in which the interactions among consumers, business, and government can enhance the interests and well-being of consumers, families, and communities. The department focuses on various dimensions of well-being including economic/financial security, consumer empowerment, health, food security, housing security, sustainability, and the public policy that affects those dimensions of well-being. Consumer Science programs are interdisciplinary in nature and prepare students for a variety of careers in government, business, the media, and/or education. Research and teaching emphasize both information about the consumer as well as for the consumer.
Admission of on-campus transfers occurs at least once per year (spring or fall). Students must have a minimum cumulative grade point average of 2.6 to be eligible to apply. A 2.6 cumulative grade point average does not guarantee admission, as the program is competitive. The application deadlines are posted on the School of Human Ecology Student Academic Affairs website. The Student Academic Affairs office has information on application procedures. On-campus students interested in learning about Consumer Science program admissions are encouraged to contact the Student Academic Affairs Office at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 608-262-2608 to register for a "Becoming a SoHE Student" session.
For application deadlines and procedures for SoHE programs, see Prospective/Transfer Students.
The Consumer Science Department offers three majors: Consumer Affairs, Personal Finance, and Retailing. All three courses of study are interdisciplinary and integrative, and focus broadly on the economic well-being of consumers and families. Students take courses in the department as well as related courses in areas such as business, economics, and communication.
The Consumer Affairs major prepares students for positions in business and in local, state, and federal government which require a knowledge of consumer interests, consumer policy, creation and dissemination of consumer information, educational programming, consumer protection, and consumer products marketing.
The Personal Finance major prepares students for careers such as consumer credit counseling, personal banking, insurance, financial planning, investment analysis, and employee benefits analysis.
These majors also prepare students for graduate study in such fields as law, business, public administration, banking, consumer behavior and family economics. Graduate study is necessary for positions as extension specialists in family and consumer economics and for teaching or research positions at the university level.
Students are strongly encouraged to take advantage of opportunities to gain practical knowledge through the consumer science internship program.
The Retailing major prepares students for managerial and merchandising careers in a dynamic, technologically advanced, and globally focused industry. Career opportunities, particularly in retail management, offer students rapid advancement with companies experiencing growth via new store formats, category specific concepts, or global expansion. Professional career options include store management, merchandising (buying), information systems, distribution and inventory management, public relations and advertising, consumer credit, personnel management, and direct marketing. Leading department store, discount, and specialty retail companies regularly recruit at UW-Madison, seeking candidates for executive training positions.
The Retailing major is built upon a general studies background requiring an analytical statistical aptitude. Degree requirements integrate retailing, consumer science, and business courses. Through elective credits, students can gain an additional product/skills focus per career interests. A supervised field experience or competitive placement internship program provides an opportunity to earn degree credit for experiential learning.
General education requirements must be met by all students whose first college matriculation date is May 20, 1996, or thereafter.
Math & Communication
Math 112 or higher (unless exempt), 0-3 cr
Speech Communication (Com Arts 100, 105, 181 or L Sc Com 100), 2-3 cr
Statistics, 3-4 credits
Stat 301, Poli Sci 551, Gen Bus 303, Psych 210, Econ 310, Soc 360, 3-4 cr
Arts & Humanities, 9 credits
Literature, 3 cr
Additional humanities, 6 cr
Social Science, 16-17 credits
Econ 101 and 102, 7 cr
Poli Sci 101, 103, 104, 106, 205, 219, or 404, 3-4 cr
Psych 202, 3 cr
Soc, 3 cr
Biological, Physical, and Natural Science, 12 credits
Choose at least one course from each category.
Choose any Physical Science course designated "P" in the Schedule of Classes.
Choose any Biological Science course designated "B" in the Schedule of Classes.
Stat 302, 333, 349, 411, 3 cr
Math 210, 211 or 221, 3-5 cr
Marketing 310 or Gen Bus 303, 3 cr
Soc 361, 3 cr
Choose from courses designated "P", "B", or "N" in the Schedule of Classes to bring total science credits to 12.
SOHE Breadth Requirements, 6 credits
6 credits of Human Ecology courses outside major department (HDFS, L Sc Com, Inter-HE, DS, Nutri Sci, Food Sci).
Certificate programs are optional and are not required for graduation. The Certificate in Business (CIB) program is a UW-Madison-sponsored program that may be relevant to consumer science students. The CIB provides nonbusiness students the opportunity to earn a concentration in a clearly defined academic program in business. Additional information is available at the CIB Web site.