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.
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.
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.
Interested in earning an undergraduate and graduate degree in just five years? Learn more about our accelerated programs:
Undergraduate Sydney Cohee was honored with the National Council on Family Relations Wesley Burr Award for excellence in undergraduate student research in November. Her work with Dr. Bethany Willis Hepp focuses on trauma-informed classroom practices. The award was based on achievement of highest marks from a panel of scholars' review of student submissions presented at the annual NCFR conference. Congratulations Sydney!
In April, the Department of Family Studies and Community Development partnered with the University Child Care Center to run an interactive and educational activity called the “Animal Clinic” that aims to help children understand healthcare at their developmental level.
Two graduate students in the Child Life, Administration and Family Collaboration (M.S.) program were featured as columnists in the Winter 2018 issue of the Association of Child Life Professionals (ACLP) bulletin.