Consumer Studies Major
Graduates are prepared to analyze issues and problems from the perspective of consumers, business, and government. You’ll learn to advocate for consumer interests, track economic, social, and political changes, and help consumers improve their personal and financial well-being.
AVERAGE UPPER-LEVEL CLASS SIZE
OF STUDENTS COMPLETE INTERNSHIPS
1 of 4
AMERICA SAVES COLLEGE CAMPUS PROGRAMS
Total Credit Hours: 120
AHRM Core Requirements (24 hours)
General Education (up to 45 hours)
Free Electives (9-11 hours)
Approved Electives (15 hours)
What You'll Study
- 120 credit hours for a bachelor of science degree, including Virginia Tech's Pathways or Curriculum for Liberal Education (CLE)
- 24 credits of AHRM courses, including:
- Economic Well-Being
- Product Analysis
- Business Fundamentals
- 15 credits of approved electives, including:
- Consumer Product and Promotion
- Consumer Financial Services and Counseling
- 3 credits of action learning via study abroad, field study, independent study, or undergraduate research
What Is a Degree in Consumer Studies?
Graduates are prepared to analyze issues and problems from the perspective of consumers, business, and government. You'll learn to advocate for consumer interests, track economic, social, and political changes, and help consumers improve their personal and financial well-being.
Why Learn Consumer Studies Here?
You might like this major if you're interested in fields like advertising, market research, public relations, management, or government. A consumer studies degree provides a core professional curriculum of business and consumer courses and opportunities for hands-on learning.
Beyond the Classroom
Talk to a professor about designing your own research project or investigating a topic that interests you. You'll work closely with a faculty mentor to plan a course of action, discuss your findings, and write a report. You can also participate in a collaborative project, where you assist a faculty member with their research.
By working in the field, you'll earn job experience and learn more about the industry. Students have recently interned with local businesses, national corporations, and market research firms.
The Consumer Education Lab is a flexible space where you can research, plan, and develop consumer education materials and strategies. It facilitates one-on-one and small group consumer education. Activities include group meetings, participating in webinars, peer budget counseling, and editing videos.
Our faculty has a mix of industry professionals and teaching and research scholars. Whether your interests are in a career as a market researcher, financial planning, or going on to get a Ph.D., there's a mentor for you here.
What Our Students Are Saying
Careers and Further Study
What do I do with a consumer studies major?
Consumer studies majors are passionate about educating the public or working on behalf of consumers to ensure safety and greater well-being. Having the skills to think critically, analyze problems, innovate solutions, and work collaboratively prepares our graduates for jobs. With internship experience and lots of opportunities to study independently or abroad, our students have a headstart on the competition when they graduate.
Some organizations hiring recent graduates include:
- American Red Cross
- Consumer Federation of America
- Consumer Product Safety Commission
- Consumers Union
- Cooperative Extension
- Society of Consumer Affairs Professionals International
- Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services
- Enterprise Cars
- Ryan Homes
- Sherwin Williams