Marjorie J. Wall (205 Family and Consumer Studies, Ext. 6129/6126)
Karen Finlay (201C Family and Consumer Studies, Ext. 3347)
Fran Keen (205 FACS, Ext. 8760)
Department fax (519) 823-1964
John W. Auld
BA Brock, MA Guelph - Associate Professor
BComm, MComm (Burma), PhD York - Assistant Professor
Karen A. Finlay
BA Western Ontario, MBA, PhD Toronto - Associate Professor
William R. Frisbee
BA, MS Union College, PhD Cornell - Associate Professor
Thomas F. Funk
BS, MS, PhD Purdue - Professor
BArch Indian Inst. of Tech, MArch, MSc, PhD British Columbia - Associate
John P. Liefeld
BComm Saskatchewan, MBA, DBA Oregon - Professor
MBA Harvard - Lecturer
John L. Pratschke
BComm, MEconSc, PhD N.U.I. - Professor
Marjorie J. Wall
BHSc, MSc Guelph, PhD Ohio State - Professor
BASc Guelph, MSc, PhD Purdue - Associate Professor
BEng, MSc Tianjin (China), PhD Concordia - Assistant Professor
Associated Graduate Faculty
Robert R. Kerton
BComm, MA, PhD Duke - Professor, University of Waterloo
Richard E. Vosburgh
BS Miami, MBA, DBA Indiana - Professor Emeritus
Trevor A. Watts
BSc, MSc Manitoba, PhD McGill - Professor Emeritus
Faculty and graduate students in the Department of Consumer Studies share a focus on the
multi-disciplinary examination of consumer behaviour and marketplace phenomena. Central to the department's research and graduate teaching program is the application of consumer
behaviour and marketplace knowledge to marketing, housing and real estate management,
quality management, and policy issues of concern to a wide variety of private and public sector organizations. The department's graduate program leads to the master of science degree in consumer studies.
The MSc program draws on a variety of disciplines for theory, concepts, and research
methods. Students are required to successfully complete the departmental core of three courses, a minimum of two additional graduate courses in measurement and analysis, one
elective graduate course, two graduate seminar courses, and the thesis. The two measurement and analysis courses and the elective course are selected by the student in conjunction with
his/her advisory committee and are normally chosen to provide theoretical, conceptual, and/or methodological background for the thesis.
A significant number of graduate students in consumer studies direct their course work and
thesis research toward applications related to marketing within private and public sector organizations. This particular focus is especially appropriate for students with undergraduate preparation in business administration, commerce, economics, or marketing who have career interests in research and analysis in marketing management.
Students with a marketing orientation to their research typically organize their theses by subject matter content (e.g.,consumer behaviour, advertising, distribution, the management of marketing) and/or by industry (e.g., food, textiles & clothing, housing & real estate development, various services).
Other students, through course selection and thesis research, direct their academic efforts
toward consumer research, quality assurance, applications of consumer economics, and
private/public sector policy analysis related to housing and other sectors of the economy.
Students pursuing graduate study in these areas come from a wide variety of undergraduate
backgrounds in the social sciences, business, and home economics. As a consequence, each
student's program of graduate study (beyond the department core) is unique and often requires a course load that differs from those of other students.
Departmental Core Courses
Departmental core courses are required of all graduate students in the Department of Consumer Studies.
The core contains a minimum of 6 half credits (3.0 full credits) and enrollment in the consumer studies seminar (COST*6950) for each semester of full-time graduate study.
The programme consists of:
COST*6000 Consumption Behaviour Theory
COST*6370 Consumer Economics
COST*6050 Research in Consumer Studies
COST*6950 Consumer Studies Seminar**
Two additional graduate courses in measurement and analysis*
One additional graduate course*
*Chosen by the graduate student with the approval of his/her advisory committee
**Taken during each semester of full-time graduate study
Admission information and application forms should be requested directly from the graduate secretary in the Department of Consumer Studies. Offers of admission are granted on a competitive basis and, in part, on the ability of graduate faculty to supervise the student's intended research. Potential applicants are urged to visit the department to discuss their research objectives with graduate faculty prior to applying. Visits should be arranged directly with members of graduate faculty (see Department of Consumer Studies web site for graduate faculty phone numbers and e-mail addresses).
All applicants are strongly urged to have successfully completed a minimum of one course in statistics as well as intermediate microeconomics as part of their undergraduate program.
Applicants are also encouraged to have completed courses in areas such as marketing,
consumer behaviour, consumer/business policy, consumer/business law, and related subjects.
Students may be admitted to the graduate program despite deficiencies in certain academic
areas. Students admitted with deficiencies will likely be required to address academic
weaknesses by enrolling in one or more undergraduate courses at the University of Guelph.
Undergraduate courses do not count toward fulfillment of master of science graduation
All applicants are required to submit GRE or GMAT scores. No admission decision will be
made prior to receipt of GRE or GMAT scores. The deadline to apply for September admission to the master of science program is April 1. The Department of Consumer Studies admits students to the graduate program only in September.
The program normally consists of at least 6 half credit (3.0 full credits) graduate courses, enrollment in the consumer studies seminar (COST*6950) for each semester of full-time graduate study, and a successfully defended thesis. Additional course credits may be required by the student's advisory committee depending upon the student's background preparation for his/her intended area of study and thesis research.
| Course/(Credit Value)
|For courses without a semester designation the student should consult the graduate co-ordinator.
Consumption Behaviour Theory (0.5)
||A review of the nature and scope of consumption behaviour and the approaches to studying the role of human consumption using the major theoretical perspectives.
Product Development and Management Systems (0.5)
||The development of organizational technology and innovation strategy; product/market-strategy formulation; issues
associated with product development, product management and consumer affairs.
Marketing Strategy & Decision Support Systems (0.5)
||The application of knowledge about consumer behaviour, markets, research, problem-solving approaches, and
concepts and principles of marketing to the analysis of marketing situations and problems, and the formulation of
marketing strategy and policy. Includes the use of marketing-decision support systems, simulations and models for
strategy formulation and decision making for product development, test marketing, and marketing-mix decisions.
Research in Consumer Studies (0.5)
||A comprehensive review of measurement theory, including issues such as construct definition, scale development,
validity and reliability. Applicants of measurement principles will be demonstrated, particularly as they relate to
experimental and survey research design.
Multivariate Research Methods (0.5)
||A review of selected multivariate analysis techniques as applied to marketing and consumer research. Topics
include regression, anova, principal components, factor and discriminant analysis, nonmetric scaling and trade-off
analysis. The course uses a hands-on approach with small sample databases available for required
Qualitative Methods for Consumer Research (0.5)
||A review of the nature, importance and validity issues associated with qualitative research. Topics include theory
and tactics in design, interpersonal dynamics, analysis of interaction and transcripts.
Special Topics in Consumer Research and Analysis (0.5)
Marketing Management (0.5)
||A study of marketing decision-making with emphasis on the formulation of strategic marketing plans.
Quality Assurance Management (0.5)
||Examination and review of principles and concept of quality assurance and their application to consumer products
and services. Topics include applied aspects of total-quality management principles.
Special Topics in Food Marketing (0.5)
Special Topics in Marketing and Consumer Behaviour (0.5)
Retail Systems and Strategy (0.25)
||The analysis and evaluation of evolving retailing systems. Topics include retail structure and strategy, environmental
change and retail adaptation, location analysis and operation management.
Promotion Management (0.25)
||A review of the concepts, principles and theory of promotion and promotion management. Topics include the
structure of the promotion and advertising industry, consumer decision-making, information processing, response
to promotion, copy development, media selection, and evaluation.
Consumer, Business and Government Relations (0.5)
||The development of an original and critical perspective to major issue development and macro-level-policy
formation processes concerned with business and government interfaces, business and consumer interfaces, and
Canadian and international product/service standards, which provide structure for issue management and policy
Consumer Economics (0.5)
||An applied economics course focusing on aggregate consumption at the domestic/international level; financial and
time allocation at the individual/household level; theoretical, mathematical and econometric analysis of
consumption; applications to contemporary consumption issues and problems.
Special Topics in Textiles (0.5)
Special Topics in Fashion and Distribution (0.5)
Research Project (0.5)
||See graduate co-ordinator.
Consumer Studies Seminar (0.0)
The Office of Graduate Studies has attempted to ensure the accuracy of this
on-line Graduate Calendar. However, the publication of information in this document does not
bind the university to the provision of courses, programs, schedules of studies, fees, or facilities as
listed herein. Other limitations apply.