School of Human Ecology
Professors Bartfeld, Shim, Wong (chair), Zepeda; Associate Professor Collins; Assistant Professors Addo, Samak, Warmath; Faculty Associates McCalla, Murray, Olive, Whelan
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 curriculum checksheets and program-specific information, see this link.
The Department of Consumer Science studies interactions among consumers, business, and government in order to advance the well-being of consumers, families, and communities. The department is multi-disciplinary, including study in economics, finance, sociology, psychology, marketing, and public affairs. Consumer Science is a professional degree program, providing student careers in marketing, finance, entrepreneurship, public policy and advocacy.
Prospective first-year students and transfer students who indicate an interest in a Consumer Science major on their UW-Madison application will be admitted to the major upon admittance to the university. In addition, students may indicate an interest in Consumer Science when registering for SOAR (Student Orientation, Advising, and Registration) upon admittance to the university. First-year students are also eligible to declare the major during their entire first year at UW-Madison and transfer students are eligible to declare the major during their first semester on campus.
Admission of all other on-campus applicants is competitive and occurs in fall and spring. The application deadlines are posted on the School of Human Ecology Student Academic Affairs website. A committee will review applications considering both academic and non-academic criteria to select highly qualified applicants. A significant part of the evaluation is based on the student’s cumulative UW-Madison GPA, as well as grades in courses reflective of the demands of the major. On-campus students interested in learning about Consumer Science program admissions are encouraged to contact the Student Academic Affairs & Career Development Office at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 608-262-2608 to register for a "Becoming a SoHE Student" session.
The Consumer Science department currently offers two majors: Personal Finance and Retailing. Both courses of study focus broadly on the economic well-being of consumers and society. Students take courses in the department as well as related courses in other areas. This program leads to a bachelor of science (B.S.) degree in retailing.
The personal finance major prepares students for careers in consumer and household finance, including retail financial services, financial planning, counseling, insurance, employee benefits, and banking. It also prepares students for graduate student in such professional schools as law, business, or public administration. This program leads to a bachelor of science (B.S.) degree in personal finance.
The retailing major prepares students for consumer-focused careers in the global retail sector. Career opportunities offer students rapid advancement with companies. 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 retail companies regularly recruit at UW–Madison, seeking candidates for executive training positions.
The personal finance major and the retailing major are both built upon a general studies background requiring an analytical statistical aptitude. Both majors provide students with a professional orientation that emphasizes consumer and family well-being. The majors incorporate a shared departmental core, which provides all students with a grounding in consumer behavior, economics, consumer decision making and society.
In addition to the shared core, both majors also include additional required and elective departmental courses that provide content and skills particular to the major, as well as selected courses in the business school and other campus departments.In addition to the shared core, both majors also include additional required and elective department courses that provide content and skills particular to the major, as well as selected courses in the business school and other campus departments.
A supervised field experience or competitive placement internship program provides an opportunity to earn degree credit for experiential learning. Students in both majors are strongly encouraged to take advantage of opportunities to gain practical knowledge through the consumer science internship program.
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 (Not Math 130 or 141) (unless exempt), 0–3 cr
Speech Communication (Com Arts 100, 105, 181 or L Sc Com 100), 2–3 cr
SoHE Breadth Requirements, 6 credits
6 credits of Human Ecology courses outside major department (HDFS, L Sc Com, CSCS, Inter-HE, DS, Nutri Sci, Food Sci)
Statistics, 3–4 credits
Choose from Econ 310, Gen Bus 303, Psych 210, Poli Sci 551, Soc 360, Stat 301
Arts & Humanities, 9 credits
Literature (choose any literature course designated "L" in the Course Guide), 3 cr
Additional Humanities (choose from courses designated "H", "L", or "Z" in the Course Guide, or foreign language, music or art to bring total credits to 9)
Social Science, 16–17 credits
Econ 101 (Micro), 4 cr
Econ 102 (Macro), 3 cr
Poli Sci 101, 103, 104, 106, 205, 219, or 404, 3–4 cr
Psych 202, 3 cr
Sociology (any Soc course), 3 cr
Physical, Biological, and Natural Science, 12 credits minimum
Choose at least one course from each category.
Choose any physical science course designated "P" in the Course Guide.
Choose any biological science course designated "B" in the Course Guide.
Stat 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 Course Guide to bring total science credits to 12.
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 non-business students the opportunity to earn a concentration in a clearly defined academic program in business. Additional information is available at the CIB website.