Family Studies Option

Our family studies degree option will prepare you to help families and/or individual family members in a variety of settings. With a broad-based education related to working with families at all stages of the family life cycle, you are prepared for employment in social service, private and industrial organizations. Coursework also provides a great foundation if you are interested in therapy, law and public policy, education, the ministry, social work or other graduate programs


What is an emphasis in Family Studies?

The family studies courses emphasize development over the life span, interpersonal relationships and the practical application of human development theories to children, families and community. The primary focus is to prepare students to work with people, particularly children, youth and families, in the areas of human service.

What type of careers does the Family Studies Option prepare me for?

Graduates are prepared to work in a wide range of settings which might include (but not limited to): working as coordinators in homeless shelters, children-family violence centers and/or residential treatment centers; working as case workers, managers, and/or public relations communicators with organizations such as YMCA, Big Brothers/Big Sisters, Boy/Girl Scouts, or Caring Communities; or working as parent educators. 

Graduates might also work in governmental agencies as case workers for Division of Family Services or Juvenile Court, or as an advocate for the rights of children and families.   The program of study provides a solid foundation for

future graduate programs focused on children and families such as Counseling, Psychology, Social Work, Communications and others.

Within this option students have the opportunity to receive one or both of the below certifications.

Optional Career Credentialing

CFLE -Certified Family Life Educator

“Family life education (FLE) is the educational effort to strengthen individual and family life through a family perspective. The objective of family life education is to enrich and improve the quality of individual and family life. FLE emphasizes processes to enable people to develop into healthy adults and to realize their potential”. (NCFR publication)  Family life educators operate from a family systems perspective utilizing a preventive educational model to address individual and family issues to enhance personal and family functioning. 


Undergraduate Certificate in Conflict and Dispute Resolution

The Undergraduate Certificate in Conflict and Dispute Resolution is offered through the Department of Communication and the Center for Dispute Resolution.  This 16-hour program is designed to prepare students to analyze, address, and manage conflict effectively. The management and resolution of conflict is relevant across professions.  Understanding how conflict

works and how to manage conflict effectively is a relevant and desirable skill for students working with children and families in all the possible employment settings.

Specific Missouri State Family Studies Option Coursework:

CFD 250: Parenting *

CFD 361: Family Development *

CFD 365: Families in Later Life

CFD 506: Family Communication

CFD 532: Family Advocacy *

CFD 533: Principles of Family Life Education*

CFD 534: Applied Interpersonal                             Communication Skills

CFD 560: Family Involvement *

FCS 373: Personal Finance

*Suggested for Family Life Education Certification