The overarching vision of the Margaret Ritchie School of Family and Consumer Sciences is to educate and support people so they can live their best lives. Our mission is inspired by the principle that happy, healthy, empowered individuals and families are the foundation of a strong society. Through applied learning, scientific discovery and community programs, we weave together food and nutrition, apparel and design, early childhood education, human development, family studies and personal finance to help people live their best lives.
The Margaret Ritchie School of Family and Consumer Sciences has a long and rich history at the University of Idaho. The school was founded in 1902 as the Department of Domestic Sciences and later became known as the Department of Home Economics. The department officially changed to the Margaret Ritchie School of Family and Consumer Sciences in 1993.
Margaret Ritchie, a beloved professor and head of the former Department of Home Economics from 1938-1959, continued to teach until 1965.
Since 1952, the Niccolls Building on the Moscow campus has been home to our programs. We also offer programming at the University of Idaho Coeur d’Alene and Boise centers.
FCS faculty and staff are committed to the three-pronged mission of land-grant universities: teaching, research and extension. We meet the educational needs of students, Idaho citizens and the region through our research and outreach programs.
Our holistic and interdisciplinary programs address issues facing individuals and families by seeking solutions to improve the quality of their lives in their near environment. Financial illiteracy, childhood obesity, issues of fast fashion and social responsibility, family violence, parent/child relationships and aging population are but a few of the issues addressed by FCS professionals.
We offer four undergraduate majors, each with its own areas of emphasis. Within our majors we have three accredited programs: Consumer counseling, dietetics and early childhood development education.
We also offer a master’s degree in family and consumer sciences, which provides students the opportunity to focus in one or more disciplines within FCS.