The Consumer Affairs program focuses on development of abilities in management, planning, organization and problem solving for students who will assist individuals and families to improve their economic well-being. The curriculum focuses on the interaction between consumers and the marketplace, the family financial planning process, the management of resources, public policy affecting individuals and families and consumer behavior.
The Consumer Affairs curriculum prepares students to qualify for employment or graduate study in family financial planning, consumer behavior, consumer product marketing, consumer economics and consumer education and policy development. Career opportunities also exist in non-profit organizations and government.
An 8-week (320 hour) full time summer internship compatible with career goals is a program requirement.
Students in the program graduate with a Bachelor of Science Degree in Consumer Affairs and may choose between two specializations:
The Family Financial Management (FFM) Specialization is for students interested in the financial services industry and focuses on principles and practice related to family financial planning including insurance planning, investment strategies, income tax planning, retirement preparation, estate planning and case studies to assist individuals and families with individualized family financial planning goals.
The Consumer Services Management (CSM) Specialization focuses on the application of resource management concepts for families of varying structures and conditions and implementation strategies for working with diverse adult audiences.
Meet Our Faculty
The South Dakota State University Consumer Affairs Club visited the Buffalo Wild Wings Careers office to discuss internship opportunities and different positions throughout the company suitable for Consumer Affairs students.
Meet Elliot Ward, our Consumer Affairs Student Spotlight!
Graduate: May 2019
Majors: French Studies and Consumer Affairs with a specialization in Consumer Services Management.
Hometown: London, England
Why this major was chosen: "I chose Consumer Affairs because of the different aspects and the diversity of the program. You get to learn about different aspects of business and economics which is something I believe is really important. The course in general is really interesting and I strongly believe that is is a great stepping stone for any student."
What has had the most impact as a CA major: "The course has taught me to work in groups on specific problems, team work but also given me confidence to speak in front of an audience which is what will happen in the world of work after college."
Elliot's advice for students looking to major in Consumer Affairs: "Any student that is interested in both business and economics but want to learn about different components of a business and how businesses run would love this course. In addition, anyone who wants a major which can lead to many different career paths. Consumer Affairs is for you!"
Meet our Consumer Affairs Student Spotlight, Matt White.
Graduation: December 2019.
Major: Consumer Affairs, specializations in both Family Financial Management and Consumer Services Management
Hometown: Sioux Falls, SD
Why this major was chosen: "I had just transferred to SDSU and was searching for what major I wanted to pursue. I came across the consumer affair program and was instantly interested in the program. The idea of being able to analyze how people use resources and how to help businesses and individuals grow by helping plan for the future really intrigued me. I had also always been interested in financial advising."
Most influential learning opportunity at SDSU: "I would say the internship program requirement for the Consumer Affairs Program. It allowed me the opportunity to do a seven month internship with Daktronics and gave me a wide variety of professional experience, while being able to put what I had learned in school into action. The internship and seminar class were also very important to me. It allowed me to take advantage of my internship and make the most of it. With the seminar class, our final portfolio just showed how much growth I had throughout the Consumer Affairs Program. It was a great feeling to see the work I completed and the time and effort put into those classes paid off."
What advice would you give to others: "I would say try to see how you can apply to your whole life in general. I have taken what I have learned and applied it to my personal life, my work life and my other coursework. It has allowed me to see the importance of resource management and consumer decision making and has helped me grow in a positive way. I would also say try to get outside of your comfort zone. I would have never imagined having consumer decision making and financial planning courses in my plan when I started college, but this program has pushed outside of my comfort zone and I am so glad that I have pursed this major."