Department of Family Studies & Community Development

The family is the fundamental unit in contemporary society. Family science is a discipline
grounded in research that enhances knowledge and understanding of the family. Healthy
family functioning strengthens individuals, groups, and society.

Our undergraduate and graduate programs foster a multidisciplinary and multicultural understanding of families, communities, and service systems. Through coursework and experiential learning opportunities, our students study individual and family development, dynamics within families, action-oriented and policy-relevant research, and the interactions between families and society. We encourage civic responsibility and professional development through required community engagement opportunities that broaden our students' communication and critical thinking skills.

Professional Certifications

The department is affiliated with the National Council on Family Relations, the only national program to certify family life educators. After completing required coursework, family and human services undergraduate students may apply for provisional certification as family life educators. Full certification may be obtained as soon as students document sufficient work experience in family life education.

The Certified Child Life Specialist credential, issued by the Association of Child Life Professionals, is the exclusive certification for the profession. The Introduction to Child Life Track in the family and human services major prepares students for certification and careers as child life specialists.

Beyond the Classroom

Family and human services students are required to participate in service learning and internship courses. FMST 387 Community Services for Families offers group-based experiential learning in the area of program development. Students work in small groups in the community for 30 to 60 hours while learning new skills and theories in the classroom. Internships are individually based experiential learning courses that require a combination of classroom and field-based hours. Student internships include a minimum of 120 field-based hours. Specific sites are selected from over 75 approved sites.

Five Year Programs

Earn a Combined Bachelor's and Master's Degree

Interested in earning an undergraduate and graduate degree in just five years? Learn more about our B.S./M.S. programs:

Learn more about our B.S./M.A. program:

About Our People

By the Numbers


Approximate annual number of family and human services students we place in the field. About half of the fieldwork experiences are in the Community Services for Families course and the other half are in the Internship and Advanced Internships courses.


Number of students who completed either the family and human services or family science capstone course in the past year


Number of students who have attended our annual Disability Awareness Workshop since its inception in 2007

News & Events

Family Studies Graduate Receives Award from Mid-Atlantic Council on Family Relations

Staci Kohen, who graduated in spring 2015 with a family science degree, won the undergraduate student poster award at the council's annual conference. Staci created her poster as part of a family studies undergraduate research opportunity in which she participated. Congratulations, Staci!

Department of Family Studies Receives President's Diversity Award

The Department of Family Studies and Community Development was the 2015 Recipient of the Towson University Academic Department President's Diversity Award. Read more about the department's commitment to diversity (PDF).