Closeup of three, gray, felt pinwheel lamps in the Dorothy O'Brien Innovation Lab.

AcademicsGraduate Programs

Human Ecology PhD

Students sitting at tables talking to each other. One person is in focus, smiling with their hand up as they speak.

Civil Society & Community Research

This program focuses on theoretical foundations of grassroots organizations, nonprofits, voluntary associations, and social networks that strive to benefit the common good. With an emphasis on mixed-method inquiries that integrate participatory approaches with advanced quantitative and qualitative analysis, this program prepares students to use the processes of research and outreach to strengthen and make a positive impact on civil society.

Learn more about Civil Society & Community Research (CSCR)

Meet CSCR faculty & students

UW–Madison crest and School of Human Ecology sign on the outside of Nancy Nicholas Hall

Consumer Behavior & Family Economics

The PhD program in Human Ecology: Consumer Behavior and Family Economics develops scholars able to apply social science theories to understanding household and consumer interactions within the marketplace and the public sector. Students undertake research on consumer decision-making affecting the social and economic well-being of individuals and families. This is a multi-disciplinary degree program.

Learn more about Consumer Behavior & Family Economics (CBFE)

Meet CBFE faculty & students

Student pins fabric onto a mannequin, photos of people and fabric samples hang in the background.

Design Studies

Our degree options are for students interested in design and its relationship with human environments, the human body, textiles and other material objects. It is highly flexible, as each student works closely with their advisor and graduate committee to design a custom-fit curriculum, preparing students for professional design careers, art careers, specialized research, teaching in higher education, museum or archival work, community engagement, and entrepreneurial endeavors.

Learn more about Design Studies (DS)

Meet DS faculty & students

A student takes note as they watch a small child point to a red circle as part of an activity.

Human Development & Family Studies

Among the top of its kind nationally, the graduate program in Human Development and Family Studies at the University of Wisconsin–Madison provides challenging opportunities for advanced study, research, and outreach. HDFS offers an interdisciplinary approach to development across the lifespan leading to the Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) degree. Students who enter the PhD program without a master’s degree complete their master’s degree along the way.

Learn more about Human Development & Family Studies (HDFS)

Meet HDFS faculty & students

Master of Fine Arts in Human Ecology

Four wooden shelves filled with of red and brown spools of thread

Design Studies

The focus of the MFA degree is on creative performance in design. Its goals are to promote strong and creative conceptual thinking, exploration, interpretation, innovation, and overall excellence in design execution.

Learn more about the MFA Program

Meet MFA faculty & students

Master of Science in Human Ecology

Group of students around a table all looking at the person talking.

Human Ecology

SoHE’s professional Master of Science in Human Ecology is an applied program aimed at preparing professionals who want to solve real societal problems and take on leadership roles within organizations that promote the well-being of individuals, families and communities.

Learn more about the MS Program

Meet MS students

4 students in a workshop area on computers and building models.

Design + Innovation

The Master of Science in Design + Innovation is an interdisciplinary and collaborative program created to teach students to understand multiple perspectives of design to find new and creative solutions to real-life issues. Our specialized learning tracks provide students with depth in areas of application such as product design, UI/UX design, communication design, and design strategy. Students will graduate with cross-disciplinary skills applicable to a range of creative design career opportunities.

Learn more about the Design + Innovation Program

Certificates & Minors

Three panelists sit in a row, behind microphones. Person on the far right is speaking.

Community & Nonprofit Leadership (Capstone Certificate)

Learn more about the Community & Nonprofit Leadership Capstone

Instructor leans over a table of students smiling and talking.

Community-Engaged Scholarship (Graduate/Professional Certificate and Doctoral Minor)

Learn more about Community-Engaged Scholarship

An adult holds a small child. The child is looking over their shoulder and the adult is looking at them. There is a toy wagon in the background.

Human Ecology (Doctoral Minor)

Learn more about the Human Ecology Doctoral Minor