All people. All programs—Working as One to Solve 21st Century Needs

Throughout its 115-year history, the School of Human Ecology has pioneered work that improves the lives of children, families, consumers, and communities. Today, we consistently achieve top-5 rankings among peer schools for our innovative, human-centered approach to education, research, and public service.

As educators, we train students to solve problems creatively and compassionately, understanding the value and process of cross-discipline collaboration. In preparing them to make a difference in family sciences, design, retailing, personal finance, nonprofit work and community development, we ensure that a human ecology perspective informs a life of professional integrity and civic responsibility.

As scholars, we tackle big challenges and important questions. Our research translates into real-world impact, advancing teaching and parenting, social services, consumer choice and economic development. We shape legislation and public policy, and our outreach, often in partnership with Wisconsin Cooperative Extension, enhances the lives of women and children, families and individuals of all ages, not only across our state’s 72 counties and 12 tribal nations, but all around the world.


Our Mission: The UW-Madison School of Human Ecology mission is to understand the complex relationships and interdependence among individuals, groups, and families and to focus on quality-of-life issues through research, creative innovation, education, and outreach.

Our Vision: To rise in local and global prominence, always keeping the Wisconsin Idea front and center as we prepare students for the 21st century and conduct cutting-edge research and outreach that improves lives and drives economic growth in Wisconsin and across the U.S.

Our Values & Operating Principles

  • We diligently pursue our mission by setting goals, creating action plans, and tracking our progress.
  • We act with transparency and do what we say with the highest integrity, follow-through, and follow-up.
  • We are committed to creating a supportive working and learning environment and value inclusion and co-existence of different groups and worldviews.
  • We believe that teaching, research, creative innovation, and outreach are enhanced when they are integrated.
  • We honor our long history and land grant mission as part of University of Wisconsin – Madison.
  • We are committed to creating a high-performing organization through excellence, innovation, entrepreneurship, and teamwork.

It’s all in our 5-Year Strategic Plan; 2018-2023

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