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Consumer and Family Financial Services

Degree: BS

Campus: Columbus

College: Education and Human Ecology

A bachelor’s degree in consumer and family financial services prepares you for a career helping people, businesses and organizations make sense of complex financial concepts, data and policies. You’ll learn the analytical and people skills necessary to help clients or employers make better decisions in the real world.

This program offers two specializations: the Certified Financial Planner™ (CFP®) track and the consumer behavior track. The opportunity also exists to sit for the Accredited Financial Counselor certification exam.

Upon admission to the university, students enroll directly into consumer and family financial planning program as a pre-major.

After completion of the following major admission requirements, students are placed in the major. 

  • complete 15 semester hours at Ohio State
  • earn at least a 2.0 cumulative GPA
  • complete economics and statistics with a grade of C- or higher

The first two years of the program are devoted primarily to meeting the General Education (GE) requirements and concentrating on the basic sciences and arts. Several introductory major courses are open to students during the freshman and sophomore years.

Students are required to take course work that focuses on the consumer, their problems and solutions to them, their decision-making processes in relation to their finances, and their interaction with the marketplace. In addition, students can broaden their understandings with course choices from the business college, communications and economic departments, and from other programs within this college.

Emphasis is placed on understanding consumer behaviors and decision making, marketplace complexities, and resolution of consumer problems. In addition, students can focus on helping families and individuals reach financial goals through effective management of financial resources. Much emphasis is placed on developing communication and analytical skills related to consumer/ market concepts and management of resources.

A minimum of 120 semester hours is required to complete the consumer and family financial services program. Required major courses include family financial management, accounting and communications. In addition, students take a core of consumer science classes on consumer problems and perspective, consumer service and satisfaction, the multicultural consumer, consumer decision making, and professional development.

Students may choose 30 credits from the following two groups with at least 15 hours from group A: 

  • Group A is designed to broaden a student’s knowledge in the major. Students can choose from courses such as Solutions to Consumer Problems, Quantitative Methods in Consumer Sciences, Family Financial Management Theory and Practice, Families in Business Family Tax Planning, and Retirement Planning and Employee Benefits.  
  • Group B is designed to build knowledge in sales/retail management and human resources and includes several courses from business dealing with finance, management, marketing, entrepreneurship, and courses from communications and economics.

The Global Option in Education and Human Ecology is an option for students in good academic standing on any Ohio State campus. In this program, students develop their ability to communicate with and work alongside individuals from other cultures through education abroad programs and globally themed course work.

Students can choose to complete an internship for course credit in banks, financial planning firms, insurance companies and sales/marketing positions.  

The College of Education and Human Ecology Honors Program offers students rigorous course work and opportunities to work closely with faculty to design and complete a research project. Students in this program also have access to smaller classes, priority scheduling and unique housing opportunities.

The Ohio State Scholars programs feature close-knit, residential communities for students who share common interests. Consumer and family financial services students may find the BusinessInternational Affairs, Mount Leadership Society and Law and Society Scholars programs to be a good fit with their interests.

The Student Financial Planning Association at The Ohio State University is a professional development student organization that helps students enhance the skills necessary for a career as a financial planner. The organization also connects students with financial service professionals and financial planning firms.

Scarlet and Gray Financial provides opportunities for students to become peer financial coaches through its Leadership Development Program.

Consumer and family financial services graduates are employed in a wide range of careers. Graduates find employment in business and industry, financial establishments, nonprofit organizations, state agencies, social service agencies, trade associations, public utilities, and the state legislature.

Positions in the area of consumer services include public relations representative, customer service representative, market research analyst, sales representative or manager, educational specialist, marketing specialist, and legislative advocate.

Family financial services graduates may find employment as financial planners or counselors; life insurance, credit or benefits counselors; loan officers; or financial analysts.

Beginning salaries for graduates of the consumer and family financial services major range from $30,000 to $50,000, depending on candidates’ skills, previous work experiences and other factors determined by various employers.

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Students who are interested in becoming certified in financial planning can choose to take classes that satisfy the Certified Financial Planner Board of Standards educational requirement, allowing students to sit for the CFP© Exam. These courses are registered with the Certified Financial Planner Board of Standard, Inc.

Interested in a business career?

Check out the Business Pathway to discover the many majors Ohio State offers that can lead to a career in business.