School of Human Ecology
The School of Human Ecology (SoHE), which consistently ranks among the top institutions with similar programs, has an established record of excellence based on an interdisciplinary approach to teaching, research and outreach. Throughout its 100-year history, the school has provided leadership in interdependent areas that directly affect people of all ages within their increasingly complex social, psychological, economic, designed, and cultural environments. The mission of the school is to understand these complex relationships and interdependence among individuals, groups and families and to improve the quality of life through research, creative innovation, teaching, learning, and outreach.
The school provides a small-school setting in a world-class university. Faculty and staff are committed to enhancing the development of students by nurturing the complementary relationship between professional and liberal arts education. This approach prepares graduates to assume leadership positions in their personal, civic, and professional lives. In addition to providing instruction, the school's faculty engage in extensive research and creative scholarship. Faculty members are also active in disseminating the latest research findings throughout the state, nation, and world.
Generations of students dedicated to fulfilling this mission have found an academic home in one of the school's eight majors, which are offered through the following departments: Consumer Science, Design Studies, Human Development and Family Studies, and Interdisciplinary Studies. Each major is based on a background of course work in the arts and humanities, the social sciences, and the biological, physical, and natural sciences. The focus of undergraduate professional programs may be in scientific, aesthetic, and/or business areas.
History of the School
In response to repeated requests of citizen groups, the school was authorized by the Wisconsin legislature in 1903. Originally under the auspices of the College of Letters and Science, the department was transferred to the College of Agriculture in 1908. In 1951 the department became the School of Home Economics.
In May 1968, a new name, School of Family Resources and Consumer Sciences, was adopted with the approval of the university faculty. The school was organized into four program areas: Home Economics Education and Extension, Home Management and Family Living, Related Art, and Textiles and Clothing.
On July 1, 1973, the school became an autonomous unit at UW-Madison, administered by a dean and an assistant dean. With autonomy and internal restructuring the school evolved, resulting in the formation of the departments that exist today. In July 1996, the school became the School of Human Ecology, which throughout its history, has continued to gain distinction through the achievements of its graduates and the research and professional contributions of its faculty. In 2003, the School of Human Ecology at the University of Wisconsin-Madison marked its 100th anniversary.
Facilities and Academic Resources
The School of Human Ecology Building is currently undergoing renovations. All SoHE faculty, staff, administration, and affiliated projects have been temporarily relocated. School of Human Ecology Administration (the Dean's office, the Business Office, and the Office of Sponsored Projects Administration are located at 1513 University Avenue.) For additional information about the expansion and renovation, please visit the SoHE website.
The Helen Louise Allen Collections and Ruth Ketterer Harris Library include textiles, costumes, and book collections, and also features an interactive videodisc system for collection management and research.
The Gallery of Design features design exhibitions throughout the academic year.
The Center for Financial Security focuses on applied research that promotes individual and family financial security and informs public policy about financial issues on a local, state, and national level.
The Center for Nonprofits provides students, scholars and community practitioners a platform to collaborate on issues of critical importance to civil society and the nonprofit sector.
The Kohl's Department Stores Center for Retailing Excellence advances research and collaboration in retailing and consumer science between the retail industry and the school. It provides the Retailing Leadership Symposium and faculty, students and retailers, support for scholarships and offers student activities, such as the Student Retail Association.
The Morgridge Center for Public Service is UW-Madison's center for public service—connecting students, faculty and academic staff with nonprofits and the community through volunteerism, service-learning and community-based research.
The School of Human Ecology Preschool Laboratory and the Mineral Point Road Preschool are equipped for instruction and research in child development and early childhood education.
Steenbock Memorial Library serves the students of the School of Human Ecology. The building is a living memorial to biochemist Harry Steenbock for his outstanding contribution to Wisconsin and to the health of humanity.
Computing services are available through the Division of Information Technology (DoIT), UW-Madison's central facility for computing.