Overhead view of the 100-Woman Wall in SoHE

School of Human Ecology

The School of Human Ecology has a strong tradition of outreach and counts several faculty members with budgeted extension appointments among its ranks. But all faculty members devote time and resources to ensuring their work benefits others beyond the campus. These efforts reflect the Wisconsin Idea, the notion that the university’s boundaries are those of the state, nation, and beyond. Graduate education at SoHE encompasses this mission by stressing the integration of research with program design and implementation, administration, policy development, and evaluation.

Human ecology is the study of the complex relationships between human beings and their environments. SoHE offers the Human Ecology M.S. degree with two named options. The Human Ecology named option is the admitting terminal master's degrees. Students enrolled in one of the Human Ecology Ph.D. program named options have the opportunity to earn the Human Ecology MS: Human Ecology Research degree along the way to the Ph.D. upon successful completion of coursework and research.

Admitting Human Ecology M.S. option:

Non-admitting Human Ecology M.S. option (earned on the way to the Ph.D.)

Students apply to the Master of Science in Human Ecology through one of the named options:

Graduate School Resources

Resources to help you afford graduate study might include assistantships, fellowships, traineeships, and financial aid. Further funding information is available from the Graduate School. Be sure to check with your program for individual policies and restrictions related to funding.

Program Resources

Funding opportunities for Human Ecology graduate students are available and made possible, in large part, by generous donations to SoHE. Every year, these funds are used to fund teaching or project assistantships, award academic excellence scholarships, and provide students doing their masters or doctoral research or final MFA project with conference travel scholarships and graduate research scholarships. See the School of Human Ecology Enrollment Policy on Funding Eligibility and view current funding opportunities on our program website for more information.

Minimum Graduate School Requirements

Review the Graduate School minimum academic progress and degree requirements, in addition to the program requirements listed below.

Major Requirements


Minimum Credit Requirement 32 credits
Minimum Residence Credit Requirement 16 credits
Minimum Graduate Coursework Requirement 16 credits must be graduate-level coursework. Details can be found in the Graduate School’s Minimum Graduate Coursework (50%) policy (https://policy.wisc.edu/library/UW-1244).
Overall Graduate GPA Requirement 3.00 GPA required.
This program follows the Graduate School's GPA Requirement policy
Other Grade Requirements n/a
Assessments and Examinations No additional assessments and examinations.
Language Requirements No language requirements.

Required COURSES 

Select a Named Option for courses required.

Named Options

A named option is a formally documented sub-major within an academic major program. Named options appear on the transcript with degree conferral. Students pursuing the Master of Science in Human Ecology must select one of the following named options:

Students should refer to one of the named options for policy information:

Graduate School Resources

Take advantage of the Graduate School's professional development resources to build skills, thrive academically, and launch your career. 

Program Resources

The School of Human Ecology Graduate Program values the professional development of graduate students and provides financial awards to those who are invited to present at professional conferences/exhibits. The purpose of the support is to encourage participation in professional development, scholarly research, and/or creative endeavor and to help cover expenses not covered by other sources. Students may receive a maximum award of $650 for travel ($750 for international travel) to support conference participation in a single academic year. Students are encouraged to seek conference and travel funding from the Graduate School as a first step and apply for supplemental funds through SoHE as needed.

In addition, each academic department within the School of Human Ecology may offer additional professional development grant opportunities. See the program Events Calendar for the most up-to-date information on professional development opportunities.

  1. Articulate, critique, or elaborate the theories, research methods, and approaches to inquiry or schools of practice in one's area of study.
  2. Identify sources and assemble evidence pertaining to questions or challenges in the area of study.
  3. Understand the social, political, ethical, and economic contexts of research and creative scholarship.
  4. Compare and contrast multiple paradigms for describing reality (e.g., personal history, world view, philosophic tradition, discipline).
  5. Understand the Human Ecology perspective by examining and explaining the relations among humans and their natural, social, and build environments using an interdisciplinary and transdisciplinary lens.
  6. Select and/or utilize the most appropriate methodologies and practices.
  7. Recognize the nature and significance of diversity as related to one's area of study.
  8. Communicate clearly in ways appropriate to a variety of audiences.
  9. Recognize and apply principles of ethical conduct.


Civil Society and Community Studies (Civil Society and Community Research)

Carolee Dodge Francis, Jennifer Gaddis, Leah Horowitz, Cynthia Jasper, Kasey Keeler, Brian McInnes, Carolina Sarmiento

Consumer science (consumer behavior & family economics)

Lydia Ashton, Judi Bartfeld, Megan Doherty Bea, J. Michael Collins, Melody Harvey, Cynthia Jasper, Cliff Robb, Nancy Wong, Yiwei Zhang

Design Studies

Jennifer Angus, Sarah Anne Carter, Wei Dong, Marianne Fairbanks, Mary Hark, Carolyn Kallenborn, Marina Moskowitz, Kevin Ponto, Jung-hye Shin, Uchita Vaid

Human Development and Family Studies

Janean Dilworth-Bart, Larissa Duncan, Sarah Halpern-Meekin, Sigan Hartley, Margaret Kerr, Heather Kirkorian, Robert Nix, Lauren Papp, Julie Poehlmann-Tynan, Charles Raison, Alvin Thomas