Consumer Behavior, MS Degree

MS Plan of Study

The plan of study should be developed during the first part of the your second semester and submitted to the graduate coordinator before the eighth week of that semester. Failure to do so will result in encumbrance of registration for the following semester and the possibility of delaying your commencement date. All plans of study are submitted electronically.

Undergraduate courses taken during the graduate program in order to establish subject competency will not be listed in the plan of study. In addition, these courses will not count toward the credit hours required for the graduate degree.

Recommended Core Courses

CSR 60000 Introduction to Research in Consumer Sciences and Retailing
CSR 63100 Consumer Behavior Theories
CSR 69800 Thesis Hours (6 Credits)
STAT 50100 Experimental Statistics I
STAT 50200 Experimental Statistics II
STAT 51100 Statistical Methods
STAT 51200 Applied Regression Analysis


Suggested courses for primary or related areas of the plan of study.

See all course descriptions and information on the Schedule of Classes website.

Circumstances Necessitating a Change in Plan of Study

It is sometimes necessary to change the courses listed on an approved plan of study. Examples of circumstances that necessitate a change include:

  • a listed course is not offered
  • the focus or the prerequisites of a course change in such a way that it is not appropriate for the student to take the course
  • the focus of the student's research changes

Process to change a Plan of Study

A change in plan of study may be submitted electronically (see graduate coordinator). The sequence for approval is 1) major professor/graduate coordinator, 2) department head, and 3) a representative from the Graduate School.

MS Degree Requirements

  • Thesis
  • Proposal defense
  • Oral presentation and final examination
  • All requirements of the Graduate School must be fulfilled.

Minimum requirements: 36 credits

  • 12 credits core courses
  • 12 credits electives
  • 6 credits statistics
  • 6 thesis hours (CSR 698)
  • Primary area: minimum of 12 credits plus 6 credits thesis research. A minimum of 9 credits in the primary area must be taken on the West Lafayette campus.
  • Related area: no more than 2 related areas with at least 6 hours in any area.

Master's Thesis Committee

The MS plan of study requires a minimum of three committee members. The members of the MS committee may all be CSR faculty, although students are encouraged to include faculty from other departments on the committee. The major professor must be a CSR faculty member.

Thesis Defense

Each master's candidate must pass a final oral examination after completion of his/her thesis. (Forms must be filed three weeks prior to the examination date). The thesis must be distributed to members of the committee at least two weeks prior to the exam. Upon completion, the student is expected to provide one bound copy of the dissertation for the department.

All master's candidates must submit their thesis via Electronic Thesis Deposit (ETD) at least 24 hours prior (48 hours strongly recommended) to their scheduled appointment. All required forms must be deposited at their mandatory, scheduled, final deposit appointment in the Thesis/Dissertation Office, room B-80, Young Hall (YONG). 


The non-thesis Master of Science (MS) option is called to respond to the increasing market demand for professionals who are able to solve practical issues in the field in addition to mere epistemological pursuits. This course is designed for the MS students who take the non-thesis option and will not continue on for the PhD program.

  • Course Attributes is Pass/Not Pass Only
  • Registration and Course Requirements

Minimum requirements: 31-33 credits

  • 12 credits core courses
  • 12 credits electives
  • 6 credits statistics
  • 1-3 credits final non-thesis paper
  • Primary area: minimum of 12 credits. A minimum of 9 credits in the primary area must be taken on the West Lafayette campus.
  • Related area: no more than 2 related areas with at least 6 hours in any area.


Clark, Jason.  Associate Professor. Ph.D. from Purdue University

Sun, Jiong. Assistant Professor. Ph.D. Carnegie Mellon University

Feinberg, Richard A. Professor, Ph.D. from University of Oklahoma

  • Antecedents and consequences of credit card use, consumer behavior in the mall, role of consumption in the formation of a personal identity, retail management and personnel issues, leadership.

Liu, Sandra S. Professor. Ph.D. from University of London

  • Strategic marketing issues in the area of learning organization, corporate entrepreneurship, sales management, customer relationship management, and knowledge management.

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