Retailing and Consumer Science Undergraduate Program

The RCSC program focuses on consumer-oriented business practices in the fields of retailing, e-commerce, technology, entrepreneurship, marketing, and public relations. Consumer orientation is the key to meeting customer demand that drives business success. This program goes beyond teaching theory to practical applications. The RCSC curriculum is designed to develop professionals who can integrate knowledge of consumers and merchandising processes, and apply that knowledge to technology-based, consumer practices in merchandising, marketing, technology, entrepreneurship, management, and training and development.

What do RCSC undergraduates learn? 

The RCSC courses (both core and elective) cover a vast array of retailing and consumer behavior topics.  These courses emphasize various principles employed to manage the retail supply chain in order to satisfy consumers’ needs.  RCSC majors examine retail merchandising, marketing and management concepts that are applied across a broad spectrum of U.S. and global retail businesses including store, omnichannel, digital, and services firms and other businesses that support these diverse retailers.

Dream Jobs: From Arizona to E-Commerce

Now working with Wal-Mart's E-commerce division, Shelley Huff first found her calling in retail as a Retail and Consumer Sciences student at the Norton School of Family & Consumer Sciences. At Arizona, she learned the essential skills to help her succeed in the fast-paced, technology-driven retail world. Hear about her experience as an Arizona student, and how what she learned on campus helped to propel her career in retail.

What are the career prospects for RCSC undergraduates?

The $25 trillion global retailing industry generates over 30% of the world’s GDP and 12% of U.S. employment. This translates into high-quality career opportunities, whether in a corporate setting, in the field or in a related industry – highly qualified RCSC students are in demand.


Many graduates from the Retailing and Consumer Science program are recruited for executive development programs with major retailers across the U.S. These are structured training programs that lead to careers in management, buying, planning, product development, human resources, event management, and visual merchandising, just to name a few. Other students are interested in pursuing the supply side of the industry and will find placement with vendors and manufacturers where they will be trained in category management and product sales. Still others will use their undergraduate degree to obtain placement in graduate programs to continue their education.

With a professional undergraduate degree in retailing and consumer sciences from the Norton School of Family and Consumer Sciences, our graduates move forward into the business world equipped to become leaders in a global marketplace.

For more information, stop by the Norton School Student Services Center, located in Room 203 of McClelland Park to speak with a RCSC advisor.

What should interested students do first?

High School Students
Prepare yourself for this degree by taking courses in math, science, and subjects that provide exposure to business-oriented topics such as marketing, accounting, economics, and vocational education.

Current UA Students
Due to the large numbers of students who want to obtain a major in Retailing and Consumer Science (RCSC) and our department's commitment to give consistent information to each applicant, we ask that all students complete a Pre-RCSC Major Information Session online or in person.  For more information, please go to: How to Declare RCSC Major/Minor

Pima Community College Transfers
RCSC participates in the Two Plus Two Program with PCC. PCC students are highly encouraged to take STU 210 at Pima the semester prior to transferring. NOTE: You MUST go through the University of Arizona Admissions program and be accepted to the UA before being able to take classes and declare a major in Retailing and Consumer Science. See the University of Arizona Admissions website for more information on how to apply to the UA. Once admitted, students must attend a mandatory RCSC Major/Information session administered by the RCSC Undergraduate Coordinator.  Sign-up sheets are in the Norton School Student Services Center, located in Room 203 of McClelland Park.

All Others
Apply to the University of Arizona for acceptance. NOTE: You MUST go through the University of Arizona admissions program and be accepted to the UA before being able to take classes and declare a major in Retailing and Consumer Science. See the University of Arizona Admissions website for more information on how to apply and UA polices on transferring. Once admitted, students must complete a mandatory Pre-RCSC Major Information session online or in person.

What scholarships to apply for?

RCSC students are eligible for merit and need based scholarships awarded through the Lundgren Center for Retailing and the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences. All students must apply online through the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences. For a list of descriptions of the scholarships available, see:
For more information on how to apply, see:

What are the RCSC B.S. degree requirements?

See our listing of courses and degree requirements, as well as the RCSC Suggested Four Year Plan of Study for both the RCSC pre-major and major.

What is the difference between an RCSC pre-major and major?

All students admitted into RCSC are first admiited as pre-majors.  The pre-majors are eligible to take only lower division RCSC courses such as RCSC 214 and 216.  The majors are eligible to take upper division RCSC courses (300 and 400 level).

How does a RCSC pre-major become a RCSC major?

RCSC pre-major students must complete the application for progression available for download below:

Go to Application for Progression

Is academic credit available for an internship or research project?

We encourage all RCSC students to complete two internships. We structure these 10-12 week internships so students can earn academic credit. Internship experience is an important balance to the classroom. Students hoping for placement in a top executive development program with a retailer when they graduate must demonstrate some level of real world knowledge about the industry. The internship provides this exposure and builds knowledge of the company. Students who graduate with a RCSC degree and internship experience are in high demand by the retailing industry.

RCSC students find their own internships by attending career fairs and company information sessions. Career Fairs are held every Fall and Spring to give students the opportunity to network with company recruiters. A robust campus interview program is coordinated by Career Services and additional networking events are offered by the Terry J. Lundgren Center for Retailing. Join the TJLC student listserv.

Once students have secured an internship position, they contact the RCSC Internship Coordinator who approves and oversees the academic component of their experience .For more information, please contact Felicia Frontain, RCSC Internship Coordinator, or visit the Retailing and Consumer Science Internship Program page to learn more about internship opportunities.

Independent Study and Directed Research:
An Independent Study or Directed Research project provides RCSC students with an opportunity to pursue a specific area of interest or research study. Independent Studies and Directed Research projects are developed by the RCSC student working with an RCSC faculty member. After meeting with the student, the faculty member will decide how many units (if any) the experience will be worth. Then an agreement is drawn up and signed by both the student and the faculty member. The faculty member will ensure that the student is registered for the units. Note: Pre-majors are only eligible for lower division Independent Study units.  Majors are eligible for upper division units.

Institutes and Centers

The University of Arizona