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Consumer Science Major: Degree Overview

Degree programs in consumer science are available at the bachelor's, master's or doctoral levels. These programs teach a variety of subjects including apparel design, hospitality management and merchandising.

Essential Information

A bachelor's degree program in consumer science gives students a broad overview of the subject, but they may be allowed to choose elective courses that help them meet their career goals. In a master's degree program, students explore topics of interest such as apparel design, marketing and textile manufacturing. Programs vary according to the student's interests, but most include courses in consumer spending, retailing theory and consumer finance. At the doctoral level, students of consumer science prepare for careers in college teaching or research.

Prerequisites for a four-year bachelor's degree program include a high school diploma or its equivalent. Online courses and programs are available.


Bachelor's Degrees in Consumer Science

Classes in consumer science degree programs include topics in sociology, market research, consumer behavior, accounting and human resources management. Students will study:

  • Evolving fashion trends
  • Personnel management
  • Entrepreneurial accounting
  • Services marketing
  • Urban sociology

Master's Degrees in Consumer Science

A master's degree provides students with advanced education in consumer science and related topics like finance, statistics and apparel design. Consumer science graduate degree programs usually have candidates participate in research projects that result in a thesis or dissertation.

Master's degree programs in consumer science require students to take courses in research techniques, education and textile manufacturing. Common classes include:

  • Consumers and markets
  • Retail management
  • Consumer spending
  • Consumer finance
  • Retailing theories

Doctoral Degrees in Consumer Science

A consumer science doctorate degree gives students the chance to concentrate on specific areas like communications, business organizations and family economics. Most programs awarding consumer science doctoral degrees require candidates teach courses to undergraduate students and may include a dissertation.

Doctoral degree programs in consumer science can incorporate topics in family sciences and consumer behavior. Classes in these programs will generally include:

  • Household economic organization
  • Leisure studies
  • Economic decision theory
  • Consumer research
  • Household survey methodology

Popular Career Options

Graduates of undergraduate programs in consumer science can look for employment in business and marketing. Many find work in the following careers:

  • Buyer
  • Supply chain manager
  • Store manager
  • Manufacturer representative
  • Personal shopper

Students graduating with a master's degree might find employment in a variety of industries in positions including:

  • Public relations manager
  • Manufacturing director
  • Product development coordinator
  • Visual merchandising supervisor
  • Human resources administrator

Doctoral degree holders can find jobs in academics, marketing research and public relations. Common positions for graduates include:

  • Sales representative
  • Textile marketer
  • College professor
  • Consumer behavior consultant

Graduates of a bachelor's program in consumer science are eligible for employment in positions such as personal shoppers, store managers and buyers. More advanced positions are available for graduates at the master's and doctoral degree levels, including public relations managers, visual merchandising supervisors, college professors and consumer behavior consultants.


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