Retailing and Consumer Science Courses

You can download the latest checklist of courses required for the Retailing and Consumer Science major. Please note that this checklist may change according to the year that you are enrolled. This checklist will provide you with the information on what courses you need to take, and what requirements you need to meet, in order to obtain a Bachelor of Science (BS) Degree in Retailing and Consumer Science. Please note, however, that the Retailing and Consumer Science Academic Program does not offer a minor in RCSC and does not participate in the Interdisciplinary Studies concentration.

To can download previous year checklists or sample four year plans here.

General Catalog - For the most up-to-date listing of courses offered in Retailing and Consumer Science, and for course descriptions, please consult the UA General Catalog - please see the list of RCSC Courses including course descriptions (click on "R" for RCSC - Retailing & Consumer Sciences).

RCSC Undergraduate Course Descriptions

RCSC 150B1 Consumers, Environment and Sustainable Consumption
  This course is dedicated to the exploration of consumer attitudes and behavior related to the sustainable consumption of goods, services and natural resources, as well as the role of retailers, manufacturers, and regulators in promoting environmental sustainability. Students are expected to participate verbally in class discussions about assigned readings, videos, and online activities exploring how consumerism impacts individuals within societies around the world, as well as global climate change. Students will write reflective essays and take individual assessments about their own consumption practices, and have the opportunity to discuss their thoughts and questions on sustainable consumption with retail executives and other class presenters. Additionally, students will complete a service learning team project with a UA/Tucson community organization.

RCSC 150B2 Money, Consumers and the Family
  This course describes the prominent characteristics of consumption behavior, societal change that has influenced consumer-driven societies and pressures for change in the future. The course will examine the important economic variables that, on the one hand, have led to a rapidly growing worldwide consumer demand for goods and services and, on the other hand, have resulted in increased debt, overspending and an inability to achieve long term personal financial goals. An objective analysis of both personal and global consumption habits will provide the transition into sustainable strategies to increase personal financial solvency. The course will not provide you with the answers to achieving your personal financial goals, but rather will examine our consumer society and expose you to the major reasons why people spend and save. The aim of the course is to provide you with sufficient information to make judgments for yourself about your consumption patterns and long-term financial health.

RCSC 197A Retailing and Consumer Science Academic Culture
  The focus of this 1-unit colloquium is successful transition of students into the Retailing and Consumer Science (RCSC) pre-major. Students will learn about ethical and professional behavior within the RCSC division, academic requirements for successful progression into the RCSC major, and begin personal exploration of careers in retailing. This class combines class activities, writing assignments, and discussions with real life experiences.

RCSC 204 Fashion Consumers and the Economy
  A study of consumer behavior and fashion adoption processes in contemporary society, the nature of fashion theories, the life-cycle, social and cultural processes and evolution of fashion, and the role of fashion in the global economy in general and in the fashion business industry in particular.

RCSC 214 Introduction to Retailing and Consumer Science
  This course is designed to give a panoramic view of the many facets of the retailing industry through an exploration of all aspects of the  retail planning and management model, strategic planning, consumer behavior and career options.  We will focus on the changing nature of retailing today and the many complex issues facing retailers in the future.

RCSC 216 Retail Business Analysis and Decision Making
  This course is designed to introduce students to the fundamentals of business analysis in the context of developing and managing a company's strategic direction.  The core focus of the course is to understand and analyze the relationship between a company's business model and its strategic performance by employing various analytical tools used to guide strategy.  These business analytic tools include basic financial performance analysis, pro forma financial projections, business model simulation, and sensitivity analysis.  Particular attention will be given to the financial performance metrics and standards used within the retailing industry.

RCSC 216A MS Excel and Retail Business Analysis
  This course is designed to introduce students to the fundamentals of Microsoft Excel and its support of decision-making within the retailing industry. The course covers the key features of MS Excel including general formatting, use of basic mathematical operations, introduction to basic and advanced functions, and pivot tables and charts. The course is designed to support the learning objectives and related activities integrated in RCSC216 - Retail Business Analysis and Decision-making, which is a required course for admissions into the Retailing and Consumer Science (RCSC) program.

RCSC 293 Internship
  Specialized work on an individual basis, consisting of training and practice in actual service in a technical, business, or governmental establishment.

RCSC 295A RCSC Career Exploration
  Personal and professional development for RCSC students. This course prepares students to apply for internships and to enter the workforce by providing tools and resources for internship and career success. Topics include personal branding, professional dress, resumes, cover letters, interview success and internship success.

RCSC 304 Retail Mathematics
  Study of retail planning and control procedures with emphasis on retail mathematics and computer applications.

RCSC 305

    Advanced Retail Planning


In this class, students are exposed into the real world industry practices in retail planning. The students will apply the concepts of supply and demand to forecast the customer needs and maximize profit by utilizing the industry's data, analytics, and student's intuition. The class incorporates up-to-date retail planning software and data mining to develop retail planning, such as assortment planning, pricing, inventory, and allocation.


RCSC 315 Retail Promotion and Visual Merchandizing
  Study of promotion strategies and the concept of integrated marketing communications in the retailing environment incorporating the changing nature of promotion in a global marketplace.  Students will research, create, organize, and present a retail promotion concept and visual merchandising campaign.

RCSC 320 Product Development and Brand Strategies
Uses case studies to examine theories, applications, and scientific aspects of strategic brand management in retailing including building, measuring, and managing brand equity.  Students will research, create, organize, and present a new product development concept and its brand strategy.

RCSC 325 Retail Innovation and Entrepreneurship
  This course is designed to introduce students to the challenges and opportunities associated with a retail entrepreneurial venture. Through the development of a retail business plan, guest speakers, lectures and other in-class activities, the course will cover issues including the life and psychology of the retail entrepreneur, identification of potential retail opportunities, the risks and challenges of starting a retail venture, decisions about location including web-based retailing and development of a new venture business plan. In addition, this course will introduce students to issues related to the on-going management of the growing retail business enterprise. This course will be open to RCSC majors only when taught by RCSC faculty and to Eller majors only when taught by Eller faculty.

RCSC 330 Food Retailing Principles
Study of food retailing principles and promotional techniques unique to food retail establishments; inventory planning and control, buying, pricing, operation, human resources; current global issues affecting the food industry including production agriculture, manufacturing and wholesale distribution; strategic management and food consumption behavior.

RCSC 340 Consumer Behavior in Retailing
  Study of consumer behavior and the decision making processes involved when individuals or groups select, purchase, use or dispose of products and services to satisfy needs and desires; analysis of quantitative data using SPSS program.

RCSC 346 Fundamentals of Marketing
  This course reviews the basic concepts of marketing as well as the nature and scope of major marketing activities and decisions that occur throughout the marketing planning process. It also studies some of the major challenges and opportunities that exist in planning marketing strategy today. It examines the meaning of marketing as management of competitive advantage and marketing's role in delivering value to customers, corporations, and society at large.

RCSC 350 Supply Chain Management
  A study of the supply side of retailing, focusing on purchasing, inventory management, physical distribution and the retail and supplier institutions in the retail channel. There is also focus on the selection, design, and management of effective channels.

RCSC 360 Digital Retailing
  Survey of digital retailing methods and practices for marketing products and services in direct-to-consumer business models. The course will cover website and mobile design, digital authoring and publishing tools, e-commerce business models, electronic merchandising theory, terminology, resources, and practices. Students will learn about digital commerce via applied learning activities and development of a fully-functional digital store.
RCSC 384 Leadership, Ethics and Management Practices
  Theories and applications of leadership and communication applied to managerial decision-making, planning and control in the workplace. Examination of personal and professional qualities essential for successful internship and career planning. Roles, responsibilities, and ethical standards for professionals and businesses will be examined.

RCSC 393 Internship
  Specialized work on an individual basis, consisting of training and practice in actual service in a technical, business, or governmental establishment.

RCSC 393/493B Internship
  Specialized work on an individual basis, consisting of training and practice in actual service in a technical, business, or governmental establishment.

RCSC 394/494 Practicum
  The practical application, on an individual basis, of previously studied theory and the collection of data for future theoretical interpretation.

RCSC 299/399/499 Independent Study
  Qualified students working on an individual basis with professors who have agreed to supervise such work.

RCSC 400 Retailing and Marketing Strategies
  Development, organization, implementation, and control of retail strategies in the context of the retail mix of product, price, promotion, and distribution.  Case studies used to apply the concepts.

RCSC 415 Retail Store Design, Planning, and Display
  An advanced course studying, investigating and analyzing retail store design.  Students will become aware of inspired selling environments that attract consumers and build branding that have the potential to lead to increased sales volume.

RCSC 424 Services Retailing
  An in-depth exploration of the marketing of profit-centered services to consumers, highlighting the distinct characteristics of services as compared to physical goods, and the special challenges posed by those characteristics. Strategies employed by service firms to effectively address these special conditions will be studied.

RCSC 434 Omnichannel Retailing
  An examination of the organizing principles and strategies applied by retailers that market goods and or services using a multichannel retail business model.  Emphasis will be placed on retailers involved in integrating operations of two or more channels including store, online, and/or catalog retail channels.

RCSC 440 Customer Research and Insights
  Design, interpret, and apply primary and secondary research techniques used to generate customer insights and guide retailers' decision-making. The course combines textbook learning with real-world examples and applications so that students can engage in consumer research in practice.

RCSC 446 Global Retailing
  Analysis of international market environment and retailing structure, system, issues and trends in the global market, understanding global consumers and developing retail strategies.

RCSC 451 Marketing Strategy
  Marketing experience that examines the marketing mix in the context of the multidimensional external environment relying substantially on the case study approach.  The phases of analysis, planning, implementation, and control of the marketing function are covered.

RCSC 476 Retail Financial Services
  This course provides an introduction to the retail financial services industry. The primary focus will be on firms and markets that provide retail credit (e.g., consumer loans, auto loans, credit cards, mortgages) and other banking services, with some occasional examples from the insurance and investment/retirement products sectors. The early weeks will cover determinants of consumer demand and market supply, trends in new product development, new account acquisition strategies, target-market supply, trends in new product development, new account acquisition strategies, target-marketing tools and cross-selling. The second half of the course will focus on public policy issues related to improving consumer access to credit and banking services. The focus will be on regulatory constraints, reputation risk, and ethical challenges that profoundly affect marketing in the financial services industry.

RCSC 493B Internship
  Specialized work on an individual basis, consisting of training and practice in actual service in a technical, business, or governmental establishment.

RCSC 498 Senior Capstone
  A culminating experience for majors involving a substantive project that demonstrates a synthesis of learning accumulated in the major, including broadly comprehensive knowledge of the discipline and its methodologies.  Senior standing required.

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