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Graduate Study

The Department of Consumer Science offers graduate students opportunities to become expert social scientists in areas that interface psychology, communication, management, health economics, and financial planning. The dynamic and integrative discipline of consumer science studies consumer decision-making from a behavioral/attitudinal/economic perspective. Consumer Science's current areas of signature research center on patient centered healthcare delivery, disease prevention, healthy lifestyle, sustainable consumption behaviors, maternal health, and microfinance, as well as other emerging topics. Graduate students in the department learn to conduct and apply theoretically grounded, cutting-edge research in one of two programs: Consumer Behavior or Family and Consumer Economics, Students' coursework will emphasize integration, insight, and critical thinking while they will conduct research in one-on-one mentor relationships.

As a graduate student, you will thrive in our research-oriented environment as you work alongside faculty who are well known for their contributions in the field. The Department of Consumer Science offers a MS and PhD program in:

There are two essential parts to your graduate career: coursework and research. At the graduate level, coursework will immerse you in issues requiring integration, insight, and critical thinking. While undergraduate education focuses on transmitting knowledge, the goal of graduate education is teaching you how to create knowledge. The focus is not so much on content but on how present knowledge can be used to illuminate and create new knowledge.

Research is the second part to your graduate education and is as important as your coursework. Since graduate education is so special, accomplishing it requires a more one-on-one relationship with a research mentor. Get involved in research from the start and build expertise in an area by immersing yourself in that field of knowledge.

The workload to successfully complete a graduate program is intense and immense. Graduate students must balance classes, assistantship responsibilities, thesis/dissertation requirements, and research with personal/family responsibilities. It requires motivation and commitment, but it can be done and the department will provide the resources, support, and encouragement to help you.