2004-2006 University of Guelph Graduate Calendar

VIII. Graduate Programs

Consumer Studies

MSc Program

The MSc program draws on a variety of disciplines for theory, concepts, and research methods. Students are required to successfully complete four departmental core courses, one in consumption behaviour theory and three graduate courses in measurement and analysis. Two elective courses are selected by the student in conjunction with the graduate coordinator and/or his/her advisory committee and are normally chosen to provide theoretical, conceptual, and/or methodological background for the thesis. Each student is also required to attend the department’s graduate seminar for the duration of his or her program.

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. The program also provides excellent training toward the pursuit of a PhD in the marketing or consumer behaviour.

Students with a marketing orientation to their research complete theses in one of the following areas: consumer behaviour, advertising, pricing, services, or the management of marketing, frequently with respect to a specific industry (e.g., food, textiles & clothing, housing & real estate development, various services).

Departmental Core Courses

The departmental core is required of all graduate students in the Department of Marketing and Consumer Studies. It contains a minimum of 6 half credits (3.0 full credits) in total, and enrolment in the consumer studies seminar (COST6950) for each semester of full-time graduate study. The program consists of:

Fall Semester:
COST*6000 Consumption Behaviour Theory
COST*6050 Research in Consumer Studies
1 elective: If have not taken COST*3100 (Economic Behaviour of Households) or equivalent, take
COST*6370 Consumer Economics OR an alternative elective*
COST*6950** Department Seminar
Winter Semester:
COST*6080 Qualitative Methods
COST*6060 Multivariate Methods
(Or 2 suitable methods courses)
1 elective*
COST*6950** Department Seminar

*Chosen by the graduate student with the approval of the graduate coordinator and his/her advisory committee


**Taken during each semester of full-time graduate study

Admission Requirements

Admission information and application forms should be requested directly from the graduate secretary in the Department of Marketing and 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 Marketing and Consumer Studies web site for graduate faculty phone numbers and e-mail addresses).

All applicants should have 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, economics, marketing research, 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 requirements.

All applicants are required to submit GRE or GMAT scores. The deadline to apply for September admission to the masters of science program is April 1. The Department of Marketing and Consumer Studies admits students to the graduate program only in September.

Degree Requirements

The program normally consists of at least 6 half credit (3.0 full credits) graduate courses, enrolment 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.