Family Studies Concentration

Male teen looks troubled as two serious parental figures stand back-to-back in the background

Students in the family studies concentration focus on how families function, develop, and change in response to the challenges of modern life. Course work covers the latest research and theories about romantic relationships, parenthood, divorce, life in single-parent and step-families, gender, and how families can learn to manage conflicts. Positions taken by graduates of this concentration include family counselor, human resource specialist, caseworker, and family services coordinator; others have gone on to earn degrees in family law and marriage & family therapy using their family studies concentration as a strong foundation.

New! Working with their HDFS advisor and with a specialized internship, students graduating with the family studies concentration qualify for provisional certification as a family life educator through the National Council on Family Relations through their “abbreviated process”

Become Certified

Family Studies Concentration required courses

In addition to taking required hours in the categories of General Education, College of ACES, and Human Development & Family Studies core (e.g., HDFS 101 Issues & Careers in HDFS, HDFS 220 Families in Global Perspective, HDFS 290 Intro to Research Methods), students in this concentration enroll in:

  • HDFS 425 - Family Stress and Change

Three courses selected from:

  • HDFS 225 - Close Relationships
  • HDFS 420 - Inequality, Public Policy, and US Families
  • HDFS 426 - Family Conflict Management
  • HDFS 427 - Family Adaptation and Resilience

Human Development Elective (select one from)

  • HDFS 301 - Infancy and Early Childhood
  • HDFS 305 - Middle Childhood
  • HDFS 310 - Adult Development
  • HDFS 405 - Adolescent Development

* To help cover costs associated with these applied, experiential and research internship courses, all HDFS students pay a one-time HDFS Applied Experience Fee, assessed for the fall semester of the student's junior year. Junior and senior transfers will have the fee assessed for their first fall semester following admission to the HDFS major. The current Applied Experience Fee is $1,095.