SoHE_RCBMajorChoice2

Retailing and consumer behavior (RCB) leverages technology and research to understand and improve the global customer experience. This bachelor of science degree blends business and analytics with creativity, trend tracking, and technology. Students develop the skills to work in an industry that powers economies and offers ample employment opportunities, including online retailing and social commerce professions. Our experienced faculty guide RCB students through an inspiring and flexible curriculum that prepares them for careers in a dynamic and globally-focused industry.

Explore the world of commerce and technology from a people-first perspective. As a RCB major you’ll learn to research, improve, and better understand the global customer experience with the support and guidance of SoHE faculty, a team of industry experts and researchers. Coursework integrates analytics and statistics with retailing, consumer science, and business courses.

SoHE’s RCB graduates work for diverse and rapidly growing retailing companies around the globe. Technology and management jobs have been in high demand for several years and are only expected to continue their rapid growth.

RCB majors complete a required internship before graduating, allowing them to pursue their own personal interests and to develop a strong portfolio of skills and references that will propel them to launch successful careers.  

PROSPECTIVE UW–MADISON STUDENTS

All prospective UW–Madison students must apply through the central Office of Admissions and Recruitment.

Students who indicate interest in the retailing and consumer behavior major on their UW–Madison application will be admitted to the retailing and consumer behavior major upon admittance to the university. In addition, students may indicate interest in retailing and consumer behavior when registering for Student Orientation, Advising, and Registration (SOAR).

CURRENT UW–MADISON STUDENTS

First-year students in good academic standing and first-semester transfer students may declare the retailing and consumer behavior major upon request. All other students must apply through a competitive application process.

The best way for interested students to receive advising or additional information is by attending a Becoming a SoHE Student Workshop.

Visit On-campus Student Application for application information and the October and February deadlines.

University General Education Requirements

All undergraduate students at the University of Wisconsin–Madison are required to fulfill a minimum set of common university general education requirements to ensure that every graduate acquires the essential core of an undergraduate education. This core establishes a foundation for living a productive life, being a citizen of the world, appreciating aesthetic values, and engaging in lifelong learning in a continually changing world. Various schools and colleges will have requirements in addition to the requirements listed below. Consult your advisor for assistance, as needed. For additional information, see the university Undergraduate General Education Requirements section of the Guide.

General Education
  • Breadth—Humanities/Literature/Arts: 6 credits
  • Breadth—Natural Science: 4 to 6 credits, consisting of one 4- or 5-credit course with a laboratory component; or two courses providing a total of 6 credits
  • Breadth—Social Studies: 3 credits
  • Communication Part A & Part B *
  • Ethnic Studies *
  • Quantitative Reasoning Part A & Part B *

* The mortarboard symbol appears before the title of any course that fulfills one of the Communication Part A or Part B, Ethnic Studies, or Quantitative Reasoning Part A or Part B requirements.

School of Human Ecology Requirements

Math
MATH 112 Algebra3
Or higher (not MATH 130 or 141) unless exempt through placement exam
Statistics3-4
Select one of the following:
Introduction to Statistical Methods
Statistics for Sociologists I
Introductory Applied Statistics for the Life Sciences
Basic Statistics for Psychology
Statistics: Measurement in Economics
Quantitative Methods in Geographical Analysis
Arts and Humanities
Literature3
Humanities6
Social Science
ECON 101 Principles of Microeconomics4
Select 6 credits designated Social Science breadth6
Physical, Biological and Natural Science9
Human Ecology Breadth3
Select one Human Ecology course from CSCS, DS, HDFS, or INTER-HE.
Total Credits37-38

Retailing & Consumer Behavior Requirements

A complete list of requirements is below. Students should follow the curriculum requirements in place at the time they entered the major. Curriculum checksheets from previous academic years are available online. This requirement list should be used in combination with a DARS report.

Consumer Science Courses
CNSR SCI 257 Introduction to Retailing2
CNSR SCI 201 Consumer Research & Analysis3
CNSR SCI 275 Consumer Finance3
CNSR SCI 657 Consumer Behavior3
CNSR SCI 564 Retail Financial Analysis3
CNSR SCI 555 Consumer Strategy & Evaluation3
Accounting Course
Select one course from the following:3
Accounting Principles
Introductory Financial Accounting
Fundamentals of Accounting and Finance for Non-Business Majors
Retailing and Consumer Behavior Depth
Select one course from the following:3
Retail Channel Strategy & Omni-Channel Retailing
The Global Consumer
Product Development Strategies in Retailing
Consumer Science Depth
Select 6 credits from the course list below. 6
(Not also used in the Retailing & Consumer Behavior Depth category)
Consuming Happiness
Consumer Financial Services Innovation
Finances & Families
Advanced Consumer Analytics
Building Financial Assets and Capability for Vulnerable Families
Sustainable and Socially Just Consumption
Families & Poverty
The Consumer and the Market
Consumer Spending and Saving Over the Lifecycle
The Global Consumer
Product Development Strategies in Retailing
Family Economics and Public Policy
Consumer Policy Analysis
Professional Development
CNSR SCI 250 Retail Leadership Symposium1
INTER-HE 202 SoHE Career & Leadership Development1
CNSR SCI 603 Retailing Internship3
Electives
Select electives to bring degree credit total to 120
Total Credits34

University Degree Requirements

Total Degree To receive a bachelor's degree from UW–Madison, students must earn a minimum of 120 degree credits. The requirements for some programs may exceed 120 degree credits. Students should consult with their college or department advisor for information on specific credit requirements.
Residency Degree candidates are required to earn a minimum of 30 credits in residence at UW–Madison. "In residence" means on the UW–Madison campus with an undergraduate degree classification. “In residence” credit also includes UW–Madison courses offered in distance or online formats and credits earned in UW–Madison Study Abroad/Study Away programs.
Quality of Work Undergraduate students must maintain the minimum grade point average specified by the school, college, or academic program to remain in good academic standing. Students whose academic performance drops below these minimum thresholds will be placed on academic probation.

1. Invoke interdisciplinary and collaborative approaches to understand the interactions between individuals and their social and environmental contexts.

2. Demonstrate the ability to harness, analyze and interpret relevant data for making real world decisions.

3. Acquire professional and life skills related to workplace communication, teamwork, active listening and adapting to technology.

4. Demonstrate an understanding of the global retail industry and how retailers can enhance consumer well-being.

Student Academic Affairs & Career Development

The Student Academic Affairs & Career Development Office (SAA) fosters undergraduate students' personal, academic, and professional development. Through advising, academic planning, and career education we support students as they navigate the college experience—from exploring our majors as prospective students to becoming SoHE alumni. 

Academic Advising

Each SoHE student is assigned to an academic advisor in the Student Academic Affairs & Career Development Office. SoHE academic advisors support academic and personal success by partnering with current and prospective SoHE students as they identify and clarify their educational goals, develop meaningful academic plans, and pursue their own Wisconsin Experience. 

To explore academic advising resources or schedule an appointment with a SoHE academic advisor, visit Advising in SoHE

Career Development

Active engagement in the career development process is a vital component of a student’s personal growth in college and future success as a life-long learner, professional, and global citizen. SoHE career advisors help prepare students for life post-graduation through individual and group advising and integration of career readiness throughout our curriculum.

To explore career development resources or schedule an appointment with a SoHE career advisor, visit Internship and Career Preparation.

Professors Bartfeld, Shim, Wong; Associate Professors Collins, Robb; Assistant Professors Addo, Ashton, Warmath; Faculty Associates Lepe, Murray, O'Brien, Olive, Whelan

For more information, visit the School of Human Ecology faculty and staff directory

Internships

Internships are a vital part of student career development and a highly valued component of the undergraduate curriculum in the School of Human Ecology. High-quality internships foster student development by bringing theories and classroom-based learning to life in real-world settings. In addition, internships give students the opportunity to explore careers related to their major, gain relevant experience in their field(s) of interest, and develop a better understanding of what is expected in a workplace by performing the tasks of a professional in that field.

For SoHE majors, internships are a requirement of our undergraduate curriculum. Students must have at least a junior standing (54+ credits) in order to pursue a 3-credit internship and must complete a minimum of 150 hours at the internship site. To be eligible, an internship must be educational in nature, directly relate to a student’s major and career goals, and be approved by the Student Academic Affairs & Career Development Office.

For more information, visit SoHE Internships

STUDENT ORGANIZATIONS

School of Human Ecology student organizations include:

American Society of Interior Designers—Student Chapter (IDO)
Apparel and Textile Association (ATA)
Association of Fundraising Professionals—UW–Madison Chapter
Community and Nonprofit Leaders (CNLUW)
Financial Occupations Club for University Students (FOCUS)
Phi Upsilon Omicron (National Honor Society in Family and Consumer Sciences)
Students for Families and Children (SFC)
Student Retail Association (SRA)

Student Academic Affairs & Career Development 

The Student Academic Affairs & Career Development Office (SAA) fosters undergraduate students' personal, academic, and professional development. Through advising, academic planning, and career education we support students as they navigate the college experience - from exploring our majors as prospective students to becoming SoHE alumni. 

Academic Advising

Each SoHE student is assigned to an academic advisor in the Student Academic Affairs & Career Development Office. SoHE academic advisors support academic and personal success by partnering with current and prospective SoHE students as they identify and clarify their educational goals, develop meaningful academic plans, and pursue their own Wisconsin Experience. 

To explore academic advising resources or schedule an appointment with a SoHE academic advisor, visit Advising in SoHE

CAREER DEVELOPMENT

Active engagement in the career development process is a vital component of a student’s personal growth in college and future success as a life-long learner, professional, and global citizen. SoHE career advisors help prepare students for life post-graduation through individual and group advising and integration of career readiness throughout our curriculum.

To explore career development resources or schedule an appointment with a SoHE career advisor, visit Internship and Career Preparation.

SCHOLARSHIPS AND OTHER FINANCIAL RESOURCES

The School of Human Ecology awards many merit and need-based scholarships each year. The deadline to apply for scholarships is typically late in the fall semester. To be eligible for these awards, scholarship recipients must be registered as full-time SoHE students.

Students who experience emergency financial situations may inquire about the availability of short-term loans through the SoHE Student Academic Affairs & Career Development Office. In addition, university scholarships, loans, and employment are available through the Office of Student Financial Aid (333 East Campus Mall; 608-262-3060).