A closeup of 'Threshold' a green, tile mosaic created by Lynn Basa, located in the main entrance to Nancy Nicholas Hall.

AcademicsSummer Courses

2023 summer course offerings at the School of Human Ecology.
For more information on these courses, visit UW–Madison Course Search and Enroll.

Civil Society & Community Studies

CSCS 125 – Community and Social Change
This course examines contemporary issues with an emphasis on the role that individuals and communities play in achieving positive social change. Through active learning, students will develop the mindsets and communication skills necessary to work in diverse community contexts. Specific themes may shift based on current events, but often include education reform, racial justice, health equity, alternative economies, food systems, and sustainability.

CSCS 130 – Community Newswriting
Newswriting of interest to individuals, families, and communities.

CSCS 601 – Internship
Enables students with supervised internships to earn academic credit while engaged in a professional experience in community and nonprofit leadership related fields. Course intended for juniors and seniors in Community and Nonprofit Leadership.

Consumer Science

CNSR SCI 111 – Financial Life Skills for Undergraduates
Applied personal finance course to provide undergraduates in their first two years of college (freshman and sophomores) the knowledge and tools needed to successfully manage personal finances during their college years. Topics include financial values and behaviors, credit and student loans, housing, transportation, financial services, and spending and saving plans.

CNSR SCI 173 – Consuming Happiness
As the saying goes, money can’t buy happiness — but in modern America, we certainly try. This course will provide an overview of the study of happiness and well-being, examine how consumers engage in consumption in pursuit of happiness, as well as explore the emergence of the experience economy, and the intersection of money and well-being. Students will read academic and popular pieces on positive psychology, prosocial spending and explore the psychology of persuasion in the promises associated with this industry. In addition to integrating visual media, students will have the opportunity to experience first-hand whether the advice works in their own lives.

CNSR SCI 201 – Consumer Insights
Provides basic training in quantitative data analysis, with an emphasis on descriptive and inferential statistics with consumer research applications.

CNSR SCI 257 – Introduction to Retail
Foundational knowledge of the retail industry including the retail process, the evolution of the industry, key drivers and trends to provide a framework and set of concepts that will support the remainder of the core retail courses.

CNSR SCI 275 – Consumer Finance
An introduction to concepts and methods used in personal and family financial planning. Methods for planning and allocating resources to attain specific financial objectives are discussed. Topics include investments in real and financial assets, consumer credit issues, and insurance, pension, tax, and estate planning.

CNSR SCI 564 – Retail Financial Analysis
Provides tools for planning and analyzing retail financial performance. Includes elements of retail financial statements, pricing, purchasing terms and conditions, merchandise planning, inventory control, and economic factors that impact retail businesses.

CNSR SCI 601 – Consumer Science Internship
Enables students with supervised internships to earn academic credit while engaged in a professional experience in consumer science related fields. Course intended for juniors and seniors in Consumer Science.

CNSR SCI 603 – Retailing Internship
Enables students with supervised internships to earn academic credit while engaged in a professional experience in retailing related fields. Course intended for juniors and seniors in Retailing and Consumer Behavior.

CNSR SCI 657 – Consumer Behavior
Analyses from social and psychological perspectives. Motivation, perception, learning and attitude formation. Effects of social class, family structure, cultural backgrounds and reference groups.

Design Studies

DS 579 – Virtual Reality
Introduces students to the field of virtual reality and focuses on creating immersive, interactive virtual experiences. Survey topics include historical perspectives on virtual reality technology, computer graphics and 3D modeling, human perception and psychology, human computer interaction and user interface design. This course is designed for students with backgrounds in Computer Science, Engineering, Art, Architecture and Design. Students will work in interdisciplinary teams on projects, culminating in a final event that will be showcased to the public. While not an official uisite, the class will be technologically motivated; therefore students should be comfortable learning new software. The class will utilize publicly available game design software which provides tools and services for the creation of interactive content. While not necessary, students may find it helpful to have taken classes in programming and computer graphics (such COMP SCI 559: Computer Graphics) or in 3D mod.

DS 601 – Internship
Enables students with supervised internships to earn academic credit while engaged in a professional experience in design studies related fields. Course intended for juniors and seniors in Design Studies.

DS 626 – Interior Design V
Provides the opportunity to explore and refine interior design skills while responding to current events and the ever changing world around us. Follow the design process from research, programming, conceptual and schematic design, full design development and presentation. All aspects of designing an interiors project in detail will be addressed, including space planning, interior architectural articulation, furniture selection, finish selection, detailing of custom elements, rendering, website development for client presentation, and more.

Human Development & Family Studies

HDFS 174 – Cultural Diversity of Families
An introduction to racially and culturally diverse families with application to personal life. Focuses on structural factors impacting all families, such as demographic, economic, and historic trends, which illuminate the similarities and distinctions among and within racial and ethnic groups.

HDFS 262 – Development of Young Child
A basic foundation for understanding development from conception through middle childhood. Theoretical foundations, research findings, and practical applications.

HDFS 263 – Development from Adolescence to Old Age
A basic foundation for understanding development from adolescence through old age. Theoretical foundations, research findings, and practical applications.

HDFS 517 – Couple Relationships
Romantic relationships are universally desired, and individuals around the globe agree about what successful intimacy entails: we all want to be loved, supported, and cared for by partners we hold in high esteem. Nevertheless, intimate relationships can be difficult to form and maintain. This course covers a range of theoretical perspectives and methodologies to understand how it is that intimate relationships develop, thrive, or deteriorate over time. The course will also connect intimate relationship science to real life experiences.

HDFS 601 – Internship
Enables students with supervised internships to earn academic credit while engaged in a professional experience in human development and family studies related fields. Course intended for juniors and seniors in Human Development and Family Studies

Interdisciplinary Courses

INTER-HE 201 – Ecology of Human Happiness
This course explores the art and science of purposeful living by integrating academic knowledge with issues real and relevant to students’ lives including: identity and belonging; happiness, purpose and meaning; self-awareness and self-presentation; romantic, peer and family relationships; material culture, consumer behavior and financial well-being; and connections to community, culture, and society. From the microbes that inhabit our guts to political revolutions sparked by a tweet, human lives are embedded in an ecology of complex, interdependent systems. Using the lens of Human Ecology, you will address “big questions” like: How am I connected to others and to larger systems? What brings happiness and works for the “greater good” in human lives? An overarching goal of the course is to help you understand yourself as embedded in the web of ever-evolving interconnected networks, an “EcoYou.” Human Ecology is a systems approach to studying and understanding relationships between human.

INTER-HE 202 – SoHE Career & Leadership Development
Provides an introduction to leadership development, career development and career readiness competencies for students in the School of Human Ecology.

INTER-HE 770 – Community Opportunity Justice
Critical examination of school-community engagement and collaboration. Examines theory and practice of mutually beneficial collaboration in diverse education settings, including leadership issues in collaborative settings, and facilitators and inhibitors to effective collaboration.

INTER-HE 940 – Collaborative Capstone I
Begin the collaborative design thinking process by exploring current state, empathizing with users, and defining opportunity areas for design. Specifically – find and frame a challenge, break it down to get started, conduct ethnographic and inspiration research, synthesize research findings into themes, insights and opportunities, visualize opportunities with frameworks and concepts, and compile evidence for desirability, feasibility and viability. Practice behaviors of design thinking – ethics, critique, and storytelling.