Master's Degree in Human Ecology: Program Overview

A master's program in human ecology teaches students how to help individuals and families improve their lives due to changing technological, economic, biological, social and physical conditions. Explore coursework and job opportunities.

Essential Information

Human ecology graduate programs allow students to choose a concentration such as textiles and apparel design, nutrition, consumer science and family studies. Students applying to the master's degree program can have a bachelor's degree in any major, although courses in calculus and microeconomics are recommended. During the application process, students are also asked to submit letters of reference, transcripts of previously completed coursework, a resume detailing any applicable professional experience and scores for the Graduate Record Examination (GRE). Some schools require a thesis before graduation. Most programs take one to two years to complete.

Master's in Human Ecology

The master's degree program allows for focused study solely in human ecology. Students examine the modern concept, definition and operation of family. Additional topics include financial issues, relationship studies, principles of smart consumerism and other topics related to good household management. The program consists of independent research, coursework and lectures. Students may attend lectures in the following:

  • Household economics
  • Research methods
  • Advanced concepts of nutrition
  • The parent-child relationship
  • Concepts in early childhood education
  • Textiles and fabrics

Popular Career Options

A master's degree in human ecology prepares students for careers in the fields of human services, business, education, hospitality management and dietetics. Possible careers may include:

  • Nutrition expert
  • Textile and fabric salesperson
  • Marketing associate
  • Research assistant
  • Retail manager
  • Kindergarten teacher

Employment Outlook and Salary Information

To look at only a few of the possible careers with this degree: the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) projected job growth of 16%, which is faster than the average for all occupations, for dietitians and nutritionists from 2014 to 2024. Their median annual salary was $57,910 as of May 2015. The BLS projected 7%, or about average, growth for wholesale and manufacturing sales representatives in general. A median annual salary figure for these salespersons was $59,080 as reported by the BLS in May 2015.

Continuing Education

Only a few select programs offer a doctoral degree specifically in human ecology. Because a master's degree program in human ecology encompasses a diverse and wide variety of subjects, students are able to pursue a doctoral degree in a range of fields, such as psychology, education, business or health science.

Students interested in research and family dynamics and concepts can pursue a master's in human ecology. Graduates can go on to earn a doctorate, or work a variety of jobs, such as nutritionists, teachers and salespersons.

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