About the Retailing and Consumer Sciences major
One of only a few of its kind in the nation, UA’s four-year retailing and consumer sciences (RCSC) program offers a broad selection of courses emphasizing retail supply chain management principles. Admission into the RCSC major is competitive. Students apply during their sophomore year. Acceptance signifies mastery of basic competencies from accounting, economics and business math, in preparation for upper-division courses.
Course work covers retail and consumer behavior theory coupled with operations and strategies employed by different types of retailers in both domestic and global markets. To ensure that students build a foundation in business basics, the pre-RCSC program develops quantitative and financial analytical abilities. Students must complete a variety of required courses in business mathematics, statistics, accounting, economics, retail analysis and decision making before applying to the RCSC major. Those interested in the integration of technology with retail theory may choose a concentration in retail technology.
Upper-division courses include:
Product Development and Brand Strategy
Retail Promotions and Visual Merchandising
Consumer Concepts and Theory
Non-store and Interactive Retailing
Leadership, Ethics and Management Practice
Supply Chain Management
Terry J. Lundgren Center for Retailing Certificate Supporting Tracks within the Retailing and Consumer Sciences Curriculum
Applications are due January 30 for May/August graduates and September 30 for December graduates.
In order to help students focus their RCSC elective coursework and internship and provide a useful way to market the retailing major, the Lundgren Center will award Certificates of Completion to those students pursing one of the tracks below. To qualify for the certificate the RCSC student must complete the following required 12 units within a specific track, with no grade lower than a “B”. A maximum of 3 units will be allowed from an independent study, practicum or internship related to the track, with no grade lower than an S/P.
Students will apply to the Lundgren Center for the certificate, completing an application and submitting an unofficial transcript. The application will not be accepted until student is in the final year of required coursework, relevant Internship, independent study or practicum. The applied experience (internship, independent study or practicum) must have as its focus the track the student is pursuing. The applied experience can be used for only ONE certificate. To earn additional certificates, additional applied experiences are necessary. For example, to complete the Ecommerce and Retail Technology Certificate, students should complete an internship with an ecommerce, software or technology company.
All questions regarding the eligibility of the applied portion of the certificate should be directed to Martha Van Gelder, TJL Center Director or Felicia Frontain, RCSC Undergraduate Coordinator.
The certificate will be awarded to the students during the Norton School graduation ceremony.
Career Opportunities for Undergraduates
Human Resource Manger
Graduate programs bring scholarship and research benefits
The University of Arizona offers a nationally recognized doctoral program in retailing and consumer sciences. The doctoral program provides graduate students an opportunity to work under the guidance of research faculty. Through graduate-level courses and research opportunities, the program provides an in-depth understanding of consumer behavior and retailing issues. Other benefits include career placement, opportunities to participate in professional research and trade conferences, and publication opportunities with research faculty. Funding for student research projects and graduate assistantships is also available from sources within the division, faculty research grants, and the Terry J. Lundgren Center.
Students earning a doctorate aspire to faculty positions in higher education or research positions in government and private industry. The Ph.D. program is designed to provide a foundation in research theory, research methods, and advanced statistical procedures in retailing and consumer sciences. To broaden their theoretical perspective and strengthen their competitiveness in the job market, doctoral students also earn a minor in another discipline, such as marketing, sociology, gerontology, psychology, or communications.
Graduate and faculty research explore consumer behavior issues
Faculty in RCSC work with graduate students and other colleagues to conduct research focusing on a variety of consumer behavior issues affecting the retail industry. Research projects seek answers to questions of interest to retailers, retail consultants, consumer groups, and product developers. Questions addressed by faculty and student research include:
Who shops on-line?
Does the quality and decorative style of a retail environment affect consumer satisfaction?
Do elderly consumers have unique shopping behaviors?
How do international perceptions of products affect U.S. exports?
Does being able to physically touch merchandise affect buyer behavior?
How do consumers’ emotions affect shopping decisions?
What factors influence the consumer-retailer relationship?