Skip to Main Content
Weather Notification  Weather Alert : JMU closed Wednesday, Feb. 20 due to weather Read More >


Catalog Banner 2014-2015
You are in the main content

Family Studies

The minor in family studies is designed for undergraduates seeking enhancement of their major, desiring to increase understanding of self and relationships, and seeking to make a positive contribution to society. A substantial knowledge of family-related issues, family processes, policies, laws, services and the interrelationship of families and societies will enhance majors in many fields including anthropology, early and middle education, health sciences, management, nursing, psychology, social work and sociology. The minor encourages students to make connections between their major field and family studies.

The family studies minor requires a minimum of 18 credit hours with no more than six credit hours in the student’s major.  At least four courses in the minor, including the introductory course, must have been completed prior to enrolling in FAM 400.  Note that some courses have prerequisites that must be completed before enrollment.  Some courses may be restricted to students enrolled in particular majors.

One introductory course is required: either FAM 133 or SOCI 276. One course must be selected from each of these areas: Families in society, family and intimate relationships, and human development in the family. An additional course must be selected from any of the three areas or from family studies electives. A capstone course, FAM 400, is also required. At least four courses in the minor, including the introductory course, must have been completed prior to enrolling in FAM 400.

Required Courses                                                                       

Credit Hours

Introductory course (choose one of the following):


FAM 133. The Contemporary Family


SOCI 276. Sociology of Families


Families in Society (choose one of the following):


ECON 306. Economics of Women and the Family 


GERN/SOCI 280. Social Gerontology


HIST 320. Women in U.S. History


HIST 379. Family and Gender in East Asia


HIST 466. The Family, 1400-1800 


NSG 390. Impact of Chronic Illness 4


SOCI 303. Sociology of Death and Dying 1


SOCI/WGS 337. Sociology of Gender


SOWK 338. Issues and Policies in Family Services


SOWK 342. Child Welfare Services


Family and Intimate Relationships (choose one of the following):


HTH 372. Human Sexuality 


NSG 313. Issues and Application of Family Caregiving (service-learning) (1-2 credits)


NSG 319. Infants, Children and Adolescents


NSG 326. Care and Consideration for Children with Special Needs (service-learning) (1-2 credits)


PSYC 275. Psychology of Human Intimacy


PSYC 450. Psychology of Child Abuse and Neglect 1


SCOM 440. Family Communication 2


SOWK 340. Violence in Families 1


Human Development in the Family (choose one of the following):


EXED 306. Lifespan Issues for Individuals with Disabilities 3


FAM 300. Child Development 1


FAM 335. Parent-Child Relationships Across the Lifespan 


PSYC 304. Death and Dying: Thanatology 1


PSYC 365. Developmental Psychology 1


PSYC 475. Psychology of Adulthood 


SOWK 387. Working with Teenagers




FAM 400. Issues and Applications 


Additional family studies course


(choose additional course from one of the three topic areas above or one of the following):


FAM 375. Grant Writing for Agencies


FAM 386. Youth Empowerment Strategies


FAM 487. Special Topics in Family Issues


FAM 490. Special Studies in Family Issues


IPE 220. Adult Health and Development Program


FAM Elective




1 Some courses in the minor have substantive overlap in focus and content. To ensure students gain a broad exposure to family functions and dynamics, some restrictions apply for overlapping courses. For the family studies minor, students may take either:

SOCI 303 Sociology of Death and Dying OR PSYC 304 Death and Dying: Thanalogy

PSYC 450. Psychology of Child Abuse and Neglect OR SOWK 340. Violence in Families

PSYC 365 Developmental Psychology OR FAM 300. Child Development

2 SCOM majors and minors only.

3 Special education non-teaching and chronic illness concentration students only.

4 Access may be limited.