Consumer and Design Sciences - MS, PhD

Degree Program:

Graduate study in the Department of Consumer and Design Sciences, College of Human Sciences, leads to the master of science and the doctor of philosophy. Major focus areas are apparel design or merchandising, interior design, and consumer behavior. The department emphasizes integration of basic and applied knowledge from multiple fields to enhance professional skills for careers in textile and apparel product development and design; production management; retail management; merchandising in textile and apparel retail or design firms; design of residential and commercial interiors; and college teaching and research. A foreign language is not required. Entrants with limited undergraduate backgrounds in their chosen area may need to complete some undergraduate courses. Graduate teaching and research assistantships are available on a competitive basis.

Applicants for the M.S. must have a bachelor’s degree or its equivalent from an accredited college or university. The General Test of the Graduate Record Examination is required. The admissions committee will evaluate the undergraduate record, GRE scores, letter of intent, resume, and three letters of recommendation. International applicants must submit the Test of English as a Foreign Language and meet the Graduate School admission requirements for this test.

The M.S. degree offers a Thesis Option and a Non-Thesis Option. The Thesis and Non-Thesis Options require 30 semester hours. Individually designed focus areas incorporate courses in Consumer and Design Sciences and other departments. 

Requirements common to both options include:


CodeTitleHours
CADS 7040Protocol for Graduate Study1
CADS 7060Consumer and Design Sciences3
Total Hours30

The Thesis Option requires an Oral Examination and Defense of the completed Thesis, to be administered by the Graduate Advisory Committee.

An Accelerated BS/MS degree program is available in both Apparel Merchandising, Design and Production Management and in Interior Design. Please contact the Department of Consumer and Design Sciences for more information about these accelerated programs.

Applicants for the PhD must have a master’s degree or its equivalent from an accredited college or university. The General Test of the Graduate Record Examination is required. The admissions committee will evaluate the undergraduate and graduate record, GRE scores, letter of intent, resume, and three letters of recommendation. International applicants must submit the Test of English as a Foreign Language and meet the Graduate School admission requirements for this test.

The PhD focuses on the integration of the science of design and consumer behavior within a research-based product or services management approach for application in the global economy. A minimum of 60 semester hours of graduate level course work is required. At least 30 of these hours must be graded graduate level course work; at least 20 of these hours must be completed at Auburn University.

Individually designed focus areas incorporate courses in Consumer and Design Sciences and other departments. At least 20-25 graduate credit hours, excluding thesis and dissertation hours, must be in Department of Consumer and Design Sciences courses (or the equivalent).

Requirements include:

CodeTitleHours
CADS 7040Protocol for Graduate Study1
CADS 7050Research Methods3
CADS 7060Consumer and Design Sciences3
At least 2 CADS graduate level theory courses6
At least two Graduate level Statistics courses6-8
Electives to support dissertation topic and/or to meet career goals27-31
Research & Thesis 1,24
Research & Dissertation10
Total Hours60-66

PhD students must pass a General Doctoral Examination after completion of the course work and prior to proceeding to the dissertation.  The General Doctoral Examination has written and oral parts to evaluate comprehension of existing knowledge in the student's area of study.  Upon successful completion of the Examination, the student enters the candidacy for the Doctor of Philosophy degree and proceeds with the dissertation research. The Final Oral Examination is the defense of the dissertation, which must receive unanimous approval by the Graduate Advisory Committee and the Outside Reader before the PhD can be conferred.