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Master of Science in Consumer Sciences

The Master of Science degree in Consumer Sciences is designed to provide you with the research skills required to be successful professionally at private companies, nonprofits and government agencies or to continue your studies at the doctorate level. You can focus in family resource management, fashion and retail studies or hospitality management as you learn how to enrich consumers' experiences locally and worldwide.


The master's program in Consumer Sciences concentrates on learning and conducting research about consumers, their consumption patterns and behavioral, economical and psychological decision-making processes.

Early on in your studies, you will work directly with expert faculty on research projects. This first-hand experience will deepen your knowledge of consumer sciences and help to improve consumer experiences in the marketplace.

As a student in this program, you will enter a core program that covers research methodology and theories and models in consumer sciences; or the behavior of individuals and families in the marketplace.

Additionally, you will focus in one of three areas leading to a Master of Science in Consumer Sciences:

  • Family Resource Management focuses on how consumers make decisions related to the use of limited resources, with a focus on time and money. You can build emphasis areas in consumer and family finance, consumer health, economics of aging, financial wellness, consumer policy, family economic policy, consumer behavior, or global consumer issues.
  • Fashion and Retail Studies focuses on the investigation of textiles and clothing products and their use by consumers from historical, behavioral and social-psychological perspectives. You will study body image, appearance management behaviors, or consumer responses to phenomena in the retail sector.
  • Hospitality Management focuses on the hospitality-tourism industry, the largest employer in the world. You will undertake a systematic examination of the various functional areas of hospitality firms and their contribution to the greater community. The professional master's program is designed to offer the management and leadership skills needed to advance your career in hospitality and service-oriented industries. An academic master's program provides rigorous research-oriented ciurriculum to prepare you for successful careers in academia.

Career Paths

The Consumer Sciences Graduate program has a proven track record of successful placement of graduates. Our graduates are employed in managerial and administrative positions in financial services, hospitality and retail industries. This includes: The Federal Reserve System, Hyatt Corporation, Morningstar, Target, The Limited Corporation and Under Armour.

See where more of our graduates have started their careers.


Deadline to Apply: 
December 1 – to be considered for funding. Applicants will be notified of admissions decisions beginning in late January and rolling admissions continue until the cohort is filled. Contact the program if you need to request review of a late application.
Program Start: 
Autumn semester (Contact program to inquire about spring start.)
Minimum Program Hours: 

Application Materials: Online application, Transcripts, Statement of Purpose, CV/resume, 3 Letters of Recommendation, Test of English scores (if applicable). GRE scores are required for Family Resource Management specialization, GRE scores not required for Fashion and Retail Studies and Hospitality Management specializations.
Time to Degree: Master’s students generally spend 1.5-2 years earning this degree.
Location: While a limited number of courses may be completed online, in-person learning on the Columbus campus is essential to degree completion.
Coursework: Introduction to research in consumer sciences, theories and models in consumer sciences, behavior of families and individuals in the marketplace, research methodologies
Course requirements: 3 department core courses (7 hours), 4 major and supporting courses (12 hours), 2 research methods and statistics (6 hours), thesis (5 hours) or non-thesis
Academic opportunities: Graduate associateships, Consumer Sciences Graduate Student Organization, scholarships, university fellowships, EHE Research Forum, Hayes Research

Download Consumer Sciences Handbook

View the Curriculum Sheet


Michael Betz, PhD, Associate Professor
Andrew S. Hanks, PhD, Associate Professor
Sherman D. Hanna, PhD, Professor
Lauren Eden Jones, PhD, Associate Professor
Jay Kandampully, PhD, Professor
Dean Lillard, PhD, Professor
Stephanie Liu, PhD, Associate Professor
Caezilia Loibl, PhD, Professor
Catherine Montalto, PhD, Associate Professor
Nancy Rudd, PhD, Faculty Emeritus
Robert Scharff, PhD, Professor
Tansel Yilmazer, PhD, Associate Professor

Affiliated Faculty
Sanja Ilic, PhD, Assistant Professor
Weidong Li, PhD, Associate Professor
Anastasia Snyder, PhD, Associate Professor
Brian A. Turner, PhD, Associate Professor
Jen D. Wong, PhD, Assistant Professor


Department of Human Sciences
PAES Building, 1st Floor
305 W. 17th Ave.
Columbus, Ohio 43210

Robert Scharff
Graduate Studies Chair/Associate Professor

Graduate Student Services