Our graduate degrees in the Consumer and Design Sciences (CADS) department are built upon the Science of Design framework, emphasizing the understanding and fulfillment of consumer needs relative to their near environment. CADS graduate study integrates theory and applied knowledge from diverse fields, including art and design, business and economics, psychology and sociology, history and anthropology, statistics, engineering, and the sciences.

Scientific and creative approaches are applied and integrated to enhance the quality of life of individuals and families and foster responsible, successful businesses, preparing graduates to develop competency and confidence in their chosen area and advance within their chosen profession. Through this consumer-centered philosophy focused on the Science of Design prepares students for careers in the fields of interior design, apparel design and product development, design technology, apparel merchandising, retailing, global sourcing, consumer research, retail management, retail technology and data science, higher education, and countless others.

Our specialization areas include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • • analytics to enhance consumer experiences and demand forecasting accuracy for fashion-driven soft goods
  • • consumer behavior
  • • corporate social responsibility and sustainability
  • • design of interiors and apparel
  • • functional and adaptive apparel
  • • global sourcing and global retailing
  • • marketing and retail management
  • • multi-dimensional perspectives on sustainable products, processes, and environments
  • • omnichannel distribution for apparel and related consumer products
  • • product development
  • • social media marketing and digital retailing
  • • technological development and application for retail, design, product development, and production management

Focusing on the intersection of consumer sciences, technology, and design & creativity, the M.S. and Ph.D. degrees in CADS will unlock your potential through:

  • • Highly individualized plans of study;
  • • Mentoring by the student-centered and highly qualified CADS faculty;
  • • Experience gained through teaching, research, and/or outreach graduate assistantships;
  • • Opportunities to showcase student work through design competitions, professional meetings, and publications;
  • • Networking through industry advisory boards, guest speakers, career fairs, and professional meetings; and
  • • Interaction with enthusiastic alumni.