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


We offer more than 75 approved internship sites for our students.


First and only graduate child life program in the mid-Atlantic area.


Two dual-degree programs. You can complete both a bachelor's and master's in 5 years.

News & Events

Panel of Professionals 

On Friday October 6, 2017, the Department of Family Studies & Community Development hosted their annual Panel of Professionals where a diverse group of alumni with varying years of experience and careers discussed their exposure within the field and experiences with graduate school, as well as provided insightful advice for current junior and senior students embarking on their own journey into the field. 


Click to learn more about workshops and conferences like the Panel of Professionals. 

"Forget-Me-Not: What Children's Stories Can Teach Us about the Holocaust"

 All Family Studies and Community Development students are invited to an exhibition that which tells the story of the fates of 14 Jewish children living in three German towns during the Holocaust. Dr. Fred Katz, who is one of the children featured in the exhibit, will share his story and how the panels came to be.


Join us on Monday, November 13, 2017 from 5:30 pm - 7:00 pm at the South Campus Pavillion behind Auburn House. Refreshments will be provided.


RSVP by Monday, November 6th to Joyce Garczynski at 410-704-5168 or