Bachelor of Science in Family Studies | School of Education, Health, and Society
What is Family Studies?
This program explores diverse families (culturally and socioeconomically) throughout the life span. Students who major in this area should be interested in learning how individuals and families interact, want to help solve problems related to families, and have good communication skills.
What are the features of Miami's program?
In either your junior or senior year, you'll get professional experience in a real setting, such as a social service agency, a school's family resource center, a nursing home, a group home, or a summer camp.
Miami's program studies people and families throughout the life course from birth to death. You also develop insight into individual development within the context of family dynamics. This specialized knowledge is useful within a variety of professional careers.
Multicultural and international perspectives
The program offers opportunities for broadening your awareness and increasing your sensitivity to cross-cultural and multicultural issues related to children and families.
The National Council on Family Relations has recognized that Miami's undergraduate family studies program provides coursework meeting all standards and criteria needed for Provisional Certified Family Life Educator (CFLE) designation.
Are there special admission requirements?
There are no additional admission requirements for this program.
What courses would I take?
Areas studied include singlehood, divorce, remarriage, parenting, stress, intergenerational relationships, decision making in couple relationships, sexuality, marital satisfaction, family economics, family poverty, family policy, family violence, later-life families, and family life education. The program emphasizes your development of critical thinking skills, a family systems perspective, and family diversity, including issues of class, cross-cultural, multicultural, traditional, and non-traditional families. Courses combine theory and research to examine how individuals and families relate to each other and their environment as well as to analyze change and search for practical solutions to problems.
In your first two years, you will take a broad range of courses to fulfill the Global Miami Plan, foundation courses in your major, and either courses in family relationships, child development, or social welfare.
The major also allows for many electives and choices for bringing in other interests. You'll do a guided field experience, which many students complete in the summer between the junior and senior years. You'll integrate all your studies with the capstone experience in your senior year.
What can I do with this major?
Graduates are prepared for careers in social service agencies, business, child care, and other organizations in roles as administrators, consultants, and educators (in community, agency, and school settings). You are also prepared to pursue graduate work in various specializations.
Employment possibilities are increasing with growing demand for quality child care, parenting education, marriage enrichment, adjustment-to-divorce programs, communications training, and other related programs.
Human services encompasses a broad range of career possibilities. You could be a child care provider, family counselor or therapist, work with the YMCA/YWCA or other community organization, retirement home, youth organization, crisis center, or halfway house. You could also work as a stress management specialist, divorce adjustment workshop leader, recreation specialist, family wellness program coordinator, or family life educator
In business, you might work as a corporate child care director or consultant, in human resources or personnel management, or customer relations. Some graduates do research as a demographer, public opinion pollster, or policy evaluator for families with special needs.
You will need a graduate degree to become a licensed counselor or therapist or go into social service agency management and policy making. The faculty are helpful in providing information about your career options and graduate school. They can also help you decide which schools can best meet your needs and assist you in the application process.