The Norton School of Human Ecology

At the Norton School, our mission is to ensure that every person thrives.

The John and Doris Norton School of Human Ecology provides instructional, research, extension and outreach programs that enable families, individuals, communities, and consumers to achieve an optimum quality of life throughout the life span.

The Norton School
of Human Ecology

The John and Doris Norton School of Human Ecology has been an integral part of the University of Arizona since 1900, offering a place where science and social responsibility converge for the betterment of individuals, families and communities.

With four academic areas of study and three research institutes and centers, the Norton School offers programs that improve the lives of families and their communities. 

Academic Programs

  • Human Development and Family Science students focus on basic and applied research to better understand human development and family relations across the life span. 
  • In Fashion Industry’s Science & Technology students accumulate a panoramic view of the fashion industry through science and technical skills that propel them into a robust career in fashion. During the program students choose their own areas of specialization to enhance their professional opportunities. 
  • In Personal & Family Financial Planning students acquire skills to assist individuals and families attain their financial goals and enter careers in financial services, financial advising, wealth management and financial planning. 
  • In Retailing & Consumer Science students prepare for management careers in retail merchandising, buying, marketing, operations and new product development. 

Research Institutes & Centers

  • Terry J. Lundgren Center for Retailing
  • Take Charge America Institute for Consumer Financial Education and Research
  • Frances McClelland Institute for Children, Youth and Families

Our Mission

The overall focus of the school is to arm students with knowledge and scholarship, hone their professional growth and leadership skills, and instill integrity and a service-oriented approach.  

We are proud of our accomplishments and the national reputation our programs have earned. We also take pride in our alumni who represent the school with distinction in their chosen careers, which span education, business and industry, social services, technology and public service. 

While our strategy may have changed over the years, our goal remains the same: To be the hub to which business and community leaders look for research, education and well-prepared graduates.


Norton School of Human Ecology, History of Home Economics


The Norton School started in a refurbished horticulture cottage. From 1900 to 1908, the school’s classes took place there, in what was known as the Domestic Science Cottage. Learn more about our rich history from the introduction of computer labs to the opening of McClelland Park.

2021 Alumni Luncheon_3

Advisory Board

Founded in 2008, the Norton Advisory Board counts more than 20 members, each of whom represent a uniquely diverse and dedicated group of university supporters. The board includes alumni, parents of current and alumni students, family members, community leaders and partners from business and industry.

A group of people commenting on the presentation posters with data displayed on a table.

Strategic Plan

An important tenet of the Norton School’s mission is to develop future leaders who will work to find viable solutions to the social problems facing families and consumers. But that’s just one part of our strategic plan.


Philanthropy Fuels Education

We rely on the financial support of our loyal alumni and friends to fulfill our mission. Generous financial contributions from our supporters allow us to continue to grow the leaders of tomorrow.

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