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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. 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 be 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 Illness4


SOCI 303. Sociology of Death and Dying1

SOCI/WGS 337. Sociology of Gender

SOWK 338. Issues and Policies in Family Services

SOWK 342. Child Welfare Services


Family and Intimate Relationships (choose three credits from):


HTH 372. Human Sexuality 

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


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 Neglect1

SCOM 440. Family Communication2


SOWK 340. Violence in Families1


Human Development in the Family (choose three credits from):


EXED 306. Lifespan Issues for Individuals with Disabilities3

FAM 300. Child Development1


FAM 335. Parent-Child Relationships Across the Lifespan 

PSYC 304. Death and Dying: Thanatology1

PSYC 365. Developmental Psychology1

PSYC 475. Psychology of Adulthood 

SOWK 387. Working with Teenagers



FAM 400. Issues and Applications 

Additional family studies course


(choose three credits 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: Thanatology
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.