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Minor in Family Studies

College of Arts and Sciences

Mr. Samuel Weber, Minor Coordinator
Hall Memorial Building, Room S333B

The minor in Family Studies offers students the opportunity to expand their professional preparation or to satisfy a personal interest.

There are many career paths and job possibilities for students with a Child Development specialization, depending on whether they choose to move directly into a work setting or attend graduate school. Required courses provide the foundation for understanding how children develop, learn, and behave and develop the competence needed to effectively guide children and work with their families. Field experiences permit students to apply this knowledge base and develop their professional skills.


Required courses 15 hours

Choose 15 hours:

COM 470Family Communication3
FCS 306Contemporary Families3
FCS 309Marriages and Families: Diversity and Change3
FCS 333Child, Family, and Community3
FCS 334Parent-Child Interactions3
PSY 313Development II: The Psychology of Adolescence3
PSY 315Development III: Adulthood and Aging3
PSY 457Psychology of Human Sexuality3
SOC 210Sociology of Death and Dying3
SWK 307Human Behavior and the Social Environment I3

COM 470 - Family Communication (3)

Examination of the communication concepts that are fundamental to understanding interaction in the family. Exploration of how communication affects the development, maintenance, and enhancement of family relations.

  • Prerequisite: COM 150 or permission of the instructor

FCS 306 - Contemporary Families (3)

This course focuses on present-day American families, comparing them to families throughout history and exploring implications for the future. Special attention is given to the racial and ethnic diversity of contemporary families and strengths and challenges these families confront. The impact families have on society along with the impact public policies have on families are examined throughout the course.

FCS 309 - Marriages and Families: Diversity and Change (3)

Covering basic concepts and research in the areas of marriages, families, and intimate relationships, students address the challenges and opportunities individuals have in these areas as they move through the lifespan. Topics include family structures and functions, sex/gender roles, courtship and dating, cohabitation, unions and marriages, parenting, divorce, remarriage, and stepfamilies, with an emphasis on the diversity of today's relationships today and how they have changed from the past.

FCS 333 - Child, Family, and Community (3)

This course uses an ecological approach to understanding the interactions of the child in the family and the community. Special emphasis is given to the ways that the family, community, and society can work together to provide the best environment for the development of children.

FCS 334 - Parent-Child Interactions (3)

This course explores the influence of parents on children and children on parents. Special attention is given to how their roles and relationships change. Important issues confronting parents and children today are addressed and students learn a variety of positive discipline techniques.

  • Prerequisite: Permission of the instructor

PSY 313 - Development II: The Psychology of Adolescence (3)

A study of developmental processes in adolescence. Included is the study of puberty and the intellectual, social, moral, emotional, religious, sexual, personality, and family transitions occurring during this period. Emphasis is given to the influence of the above changes on personal identity and current problems of the adolescent in American society. Also included is a discussion of levels of aspiration and vocational choice.

  • Prerequisite: "C" or better in PSY 210

PSY 315 - Development III: Adulthood and Aging (3)

A study of the developmental process from adulthood until death. Includes the establishment of identity, vocational choices, marriage and the family, crisis of middle adulthood, problems of the aged, death, and bereavement.

  • Prerequisite: "C" or better in PSY 210

PSY 457 - Psychology of Human Sexuality (3)

A course on the developmental aspects of human sexuality in the context of human relationships. The course will include the social and learned influences on the development of gender identity and sexual orientation, a review of the anatomy and physiology of the reproductive system, human sexual response, modes of sexual expression, values clarification, sexual responsibility, human sexual dysfunction, and sexual adjustment during pregnancy, illness, and aging.

  • Prerequisites: PSY 101 and one of the following: PSY 210, PSY311, PSY313, or PSY315.

SOC 210 - Sociology of Death and Dying (3)

While our responses to death and dying would seem to be very personal and therefore individually determined, they are, in fact, greatly influenced by the beliefs of society. Therefore, this course will not only examine the physiology of death and dying, but will primarily emphasize the sociology of death and dying. Focus will be on social factors related to causes of death and routines and rituals related to dying, death, funeral and burial practices, and grieving.

SWK 307 - Human Behavior and the Social Environment I (3)

The course examines human behavior from conception through very old age. Throughout the course, the physical, intellectual, social, and emotional growth of individuals and families (micro systems) are studied. Each aspect of development is examined in the context of the environment's influence upon optimal growth. Additionally, attention is given to the interplay among culture, socioeconomic status, and ethnicity upon human behavior through the life course.

  • Prerequisite: Junior standing or permission of the department
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