Copyright

Home EC College Program Overviews

Read about college programs that are related to home economics. Learn about educational prerequisites for these programs, potential coursework and employment outlook information for graduates.

View 9 Popular Schools »

Essential Information

Most schools refer to home economics (or 'home ec') as family and consumer sciences. Those interested in a comprehensive education that links household management with art, humanities and science should consider earning degrees in the family and consumer sciences discipline. Degree programs are available at the associate's, bachelor's and master's degree levels. These programs can lead to a range of careers in areas as diverse as nutrition and interior design.


Associate's Degree in Family and Consumer Sciences

An associate's degree program in family and consumer sciences provides an introduction to hygiene and health, consumer education, home furnishing, child care and fashion. Other topics related to homemaking and family wellness may be addressed, depending on the program's focus. Students practice domestic skills such as sewing, cleaning and cooking, as well as basic academic skills such as research and writing. Most programs encourage students to choose electives that will prepare them for a specialty if they plan to seek a 4-year degree from an advanced college or university.

Education Prerequisites

Students must finish high school or earn a GED to enroll in a 'home ec' degree program. Some schools limit enrollment to applicants who sustained a 2.0 grade point average or better in their high school courses.

Program Coursework

General education courses balance core courses within the curriculum of an associate's degree programs in family and consumer sciences. Specialized topics may include:

  • Marriage and family dynamics
  • Child development
  • Nutrition
  • Money management
  • Interior design

Bachelor's Degree in Family and Consumer Sciences

A bachelor's degree program in family and consumer sciences typically provides options for student specialization in fields such as teaching, interior design, nutrition, culinary services and general wellness. Depending on the chosen specialty, students gain skills in pedagogy, design, food preparation, child care or health. Many programs include internships opportunities. A Bachelor of Science is the most common degree conferred.

Education Prerequisites

A high school diploma or GED is the minimal requirement to enter a baccalaureate program in family and consumer sciences. Colleges and universities may also require high school transcripts and materials such as personal statements or recommendations.

Program Coursework

Courses offered in the first two years of a bachelor's degree program in family and consumer sciences are similar to those found in an associate's degree program, and may address the following topics:

  • Food science
  • Diet and nutrition
  • Textiles and apparel
  • Child and human development
  • Parenting

Continuing Education Information

Students who earn a bachelor's degree in family and consumer sciences may apply to master's degree or doctoral degree programs in a related subject. Degree-holders interested in teaching at a junior high or high school may require additional training prior to earning a teaching certificate; specifics for teacher licensure vary by state.

Master's Degree in Family and Consumer Sciences

Master's degree programs in family and consumer sciences guide students into a 'home ec' specialization such as interior and fashion design, dietetics and nutrition, consumer studies, family studies or teaching. Many programs have a thesis option; students who choose to research and write a thesis have a correspondingly lighter course load. However, all students are expected to demonstrate research and analysis skills. Students may complete programs in as few as 2-3 years and receive a Master of Science or Master of Arts in Family and Consumer Sciences.

Education Prerequisites

All master's degree programs in family and consumer sciences require applicants to possess an undergraduate degree. Most also require a minimum 3.0 grade point average, although some may accept lower if a student's GRE scores are sufficient. Some programs may require the completion of prerequisite undergraduate courses relevant to the prospective specialty area of the master's degree program.

Program Coursework

The exact courses in a master's degree program in family and consumer sciences depend on school and specialty. However, common course titles include:

  • Consumer behavior
  • Clothing and costume design
  • Fashion merchandising
  • Textiles
  • Family development
  • Learning approaches
  • Nutrition education

Employment Outlook and Salary Info

Three popular career titles pursued by those with 'home ec' skills are fashion designer, dietician and interior designer. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the growth rate for each field from 2010-2020 is zero percent, 20% and 19%, in order. The median annual wages in 2012 for these fields were $62,860, $55,240 and $47,600, respectively. Those with training in this field (and the requisite instructor certification) may also wish to teach the subject. Consumer sciences teachers typically work at middle or high schools. Career and technical education teachers in middle schools earned a median annual wage of $54,220, and in high schools they earned a median annual salary of $55,160 in 2012.

Show me popular schools

Related to Home Ec College

  • Related
  • Recently Updated
  • Popular
Diploma in Home Ec: Program Overview

Learn about formal educational programs in family and consumer sciences, formally known as home economics. Research the types...

Student Earns Three College Credits and Saves $700 Over Winter Break

Alex Stenner is an Education Portal $1000 CLEP Award winner for the month of January. He won because he used Education-Portal...

Tips for Working on College Group Projects

Some people look forward to group projects, but others absolutely dread teaming up with their fellow students. If you're in the...

Further Proof That a College Education Isn't a Waste

Skeptics who look at facts and figures on rising tuition and astronomical student loan debt might conclude that a college...

Why New College Students Should Stick to a Routine During Vacations

Popular Schools

  • Minimum eligibility requirements:
    • Must complete an application online and submit transcripts for their highest degree earned.
    School locations:
    • Online Learning

    What is your highest level of education?

  • Minimum eligibility requirements:
    • Must be a high school graduate or have completed GED
    • Eligibility and relevancy of sample programs below will vary by article and program
    School locations:
    • Online Learning
    • Arizona (3 campuses)
    • California (14)
    • Colorado (3)
    • Florida (5)
    • Georgia (5)
    • Illinois (7)
    • Indiana (2)
    • Michigan (1)
    • Minnesota (1)
    • Missouri (2)
    • North Carolina (2)
    • New Jersey (2)
    • Nevada (1)
    • New York (2)
    • Ohio (4)
    • Oklahoma (1)
    • Oregon (1)
    • Pennsylvania (4)
    • Tennessee (2)
    • Texas (5)
    • Utah (1)
    • Virginia (3)
    • Washington (2)
    • Wisconsin (1)

    Online and Classroom-Based Programs

    What is your classroom preference?

  • Minimum eligibility requirements:
    • Must be 21 years of age or older and have completed some college or 24 years of age or older and a high school graduate for a Bachelor's degree
    • Masters degree applicants must have a Bachelors degree
    • Doctorate degree applicants must have a Masters degree
    School locations:
    • Online Learning

    What is your highest level of education?

  • Minimum eligibility requirements:
    • Must be a high school graduate or have completed GED
    School locations:
    • Online Learning

    What is your highest level of education completed?

  • Minimum eligibility requirements:
    • Must be a high school graduate or have completed GED
    School locations:
    • Online Learning

    Online Programs

    What is your highest level of education?

  • Minimum eligibility requirements:
    • Must be a high school graduate or have completed GED
    School locations:
    • Online Learning
    • Alabama (1 campus)
    • Arkansas (1)
    • Arizona (2)
    • California (5)
    • Colorado (2)
    • Columbia (D.C.) (1)
    • Florida (4)
    • Georgia (4)
    • Hawaii (1)
    • Iowa (1)
    • Idaho (1)
    • Illinois (1)
    • Indiana (1)
    • Kentucky (1)
    • Louisiana (2)
    • Massachusetts (1)
    • Maryland (1)
    • Michigan (1)
    • Minnesota (1)
    • Missouri (2)
    • Mississippi (1)
    • North Carolina (1)
    • New Mexico (1)
    • Nevada (1)
    • Ohio (1)
    • Oklahoma (2)
    • Oregon (1)
    • Pennsylvania (1)
    • Puerto Rico (1)
    • South Carolina (1)
    • Tennessee (3)
    • Texas (5)
    • Utah (1)
    • Virginia (3)
    • Washington (1)
    • Wisconsin (1)

    Online and Classroom-Based Programs

    Do you prefer online or campus based learning?

  • Minimum eligibility requirements:
    • Must be a high school graduate or have completed GED
    School locations:
    • Online Learning

    Online Programs

    What is your highest level of education?

  • Minimum eligibility requirements:
    • Must be a high school graduate or have completed GED
    School locations:
    • Online Learning

    Online Programs

    Which degree level do you plan to pursue?

  • Minimum eligibility requirements:
    • Must live within close proximity to school locations
    • Must be graduated from high school by 2011
    School locations:
    • Online Learning
    • Texas (1 campus)
    • Washington (1)

    Online and Classroom-Based Programs

    • Bachelor
        • Bachelor of Fine Arts - Fashion Design and Merchandising
        • Bachelor of Fine Arts - Fashion Merchandising
        • Bachelor - Fashion Merchandising
    • Associate

    What is your highest level of education?

Other Schools:

  • School locations:
    • Georgia (1 campus)
    Areas of study you may find at University of Georgia include:
      • Graduate: Doctorate, First Professional Degree, Master
      • Undergraduate: Bachelor
    • Liberal Arts and Humanities
      • Cultural Studies
      • Ethnic and Gender Studies
      • Geography and Cartography
      • Human and Consumer Sciences
        • Consumer Economics
        • Family Resource Management Studies
        • Human Sciences Communication
      • Human and Social Services
      • Liberal Arts, Humanities, and General Studies
      • Philosophy
      • Political Science
      • Public Administration
      • Religious Studies
      • Social Science and Studies
      • Social Studies and History

Popular Schools

Avg. Wages For Related Jobs

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics