Online Consumer Science Degree Programs

Both undergraduate and graduate degree programs in family and consumer science may offer concentrations in related areas, such as consumer science education, nutrition or family studies. Read on for more information about this field of study, what you'll learn about and what your career options are. See also how online programs are conducted. Schools offering Fashion Design & Merchandising degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

What Is Consumer Science?

In a consumer science degree program, you'll learn about the various elements that go into a consumer's decision to purchase an item. Depending on the program you select and its concentration area, you may explore this from the standpoint of either the consumer or the retailer. Consumer science degree programs may educate you in the consumption needs of children and families, or teach you how to create and market merchandise that fits consumer needs and desires.

You can earn a Bachelor of Science (B.S.) or Master of Science (M.S.) degree; most programs are awarded in family and consumer sciences.

Degree Levels Bachelor's and master's degree
Key Topics Discussed Child development, nutrition, retail merchandising, family life, curriculum planning
Online Learning Environment Course materials accessed and submitted through a virtual learning platform
Possible Work Environments Visual merchandising, counseling, retail, education

What Topics Will I Study?

Online bachelor's degree programs based in family and consumer science often emphasize children's consumption needs and teach methods for parents to determine those needs and ensure they are met. Programs with a merchandising focus may more heavily on teaching entrepreneurial or retail merchandising skills. Most programs also require completion of a consumer science internship. Courses commonly required in consumer science bachelor's degree programs may include:

  • Nutrition
  • Family communication
  • Child development
  • Family financial management
  • Apparel analysis
  • Visual merchandising
  • Consumer technology

Online master's degree programs tend to emphasize specific areas of consumer science, such as education. In programs that focus on education, a large percentage of your required courses will be in family and consumer science teaching strategies. Courses teach general educational skills in the context of key consumer science topics, including family life and nutrition. Most programs have multiple applied studies requirements, including a consumer science internship and either a research thesis or capstone project. Topics commonly covered in consumer science master's degree programs may include:

  • Child development education
  • Student assessment
  • Family health education
  • Food science
  • Curriculum planning and development
  • Family and consumer science research methods

How Do Online Programs Work?

Online degree programs in family and consumer sciences offer required courses virtually through Web-based teaching and learning platforms. These interactive course delivery systems allow you to access lectures and readings, complete and submit assignments, take exams and participate in online class discussions. The only graduation requirements that cannot be completed online are internships and applied projects; however, you can complete these from your location or nearby without having to report to campus.

What Are My Career Options After Graduation?

For many graduates of consumer science degree programs, career choices are largely dependent on their concentration areas. Degrees that concentrate in consumer affairs may lead to careers in retail or visual merchandising, while graduates of family financial planning and counseling programs may go into home economics education or nutrition counseling. Master's degree programs that include an education concentration will satisfy many states' certification requirements.

To continue researching, browse degree options below for course curriculum, prerequisites and financial aid information. Or, learn more about the subject by reading the related articles below:

  • 1. Degree Options:
The schools in the listing below are not free and may include sponsored content but are popular choices among our users. Tuition and costs will vary across programs and locations. Be sure to always request tuition information before starting a program.

Popular Schools

  • Purdue University Global

    Purdue University Global responds quickly to information requests through this website.

    Popular programs at Purdue University Global:

    • Bachelor Degrees
    • Associate Programs

    Online Programs Available

  • Ashford University

    Ashford University responds quickly to information requests through this website.

    Popular programs at Ashford University:

    Online Programs Available

  • Strayer University

    Strayer University responds quickly to information requests through this website.

    Popular programs at Strayer University:

    • Master
    • Bachelor Degrees

    Online Programs Available

  • Brenau University

    Brenau University responds quickly to information requests through this website.

    Popular programs at Brenau University:

    • Bachelor Degrees

    Online Programs Available

  • Southern New Hampshire University

    Southern New Hampshire University responds quickly to information requests through this website.

    Popular programs at Southern New Hampshire University:

    • Bachelor Degrees
    • Associate Programs

    Online Programs Available

  • Capella University

    Capella University responds quickly to information requests through this website.

    Popular programs at Capella University:

    • Doctoral

    Online Programs Available

  • Regent University

    Regent University responds quickly to information requests through this website.

    Popular programs at Regent University:

    • Bachelor Degrees

    Online Programs Available

  • Penn Foster High School

    Penn Foster High School responds quickly to information requests through this website.

    Popular programs at Penn Foster High School:

    Online Programs Available

  • University of Georgia

    Campus Locations:

    • Georgia: Athens
  • Indiana Wesleyan University

    Indiana Wesleyan University responds quickly to information requests through this website.

    Popular programs at Indiana Wesleyan University:

    • Certificates

    Online Programs Available