As a family studies major, you’ll apply the knowledge of theory and research to improve the quality of life for individuals and families. With a focus on positive outcomes and the holistic health of the family, you’ll develop expertise in advocacy, community programming and evaluation, family policy, and educational intervention. Upon completion of your major, you can apply for Certified Family Life Educator status from the National Council on Family Relations. CMU’s family studies graduates find jobs in community and government agencies, including those serving families and the aging.
Points of Pride
- CMU offers the only intergenerational partnership program, Bridges Together, in Michigan. This program works to enhance relationships and dispel stereotypes among children, adults over 55 and educators through an academic and social collaboration.
Put Your Degree to Work
U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics sample data
|Job||Median Pay||Job Growth through 2022|
|College instructor||$68,970 per year||19% (236,400 more jobs)|
|Social/community service manager||$59,970 per year||21% (27,700 more jobs)|
|Counselor||$53,610 per year||12% (31,200 more jobs)|
The course listings below are a representation of what this academic program requires. For a full review of this program in detail please see our official online academic bulletin AND consult with an academic advisor. This listing does not include the General Education courses required for all majors and may not include some program specific information, such as admissions, retention, and termination standards.
(Click on the course name or number for a complete course description.)
Family Studies Major
This major is designed for students who either plan to enter the human services field upon graduating from CMU, or attend graduate school for advanced education. The program prepares students for careers working in human service settings to help individuals and families build life skills using prevention- and intervention-based educational programs. With appropriate graduate education, potential career options include: marriage and family therapy, sexual therapy, family research and/or college instruction. The Family Studies program is accredited by the National Council on Family Relations and graduates are eligible to become Certified Family Life Educators (CFLE). Child Development Majors desiring the CFLE certification should consult with their advisor. Students who take the Family Studies major cannot minor in Family Studies or double major in Child Development. Students may only double count 9 credits when combining the Family Studies Major with the Child Development Minor.
Total: 39 Semester hours
Study of the basic principles of human development and their relation to family interactions throughout the lifespan. This course may be offered in an online format. May be offered as Writing Intensive. Recommended: Students who have taken EDU 280 or PSY 220 should seek departmental advice prior to enrollment. (University Program Group III-A: Behavioral Sciences)
Marriage and Close Relationships
This course examines the cultural and historical factors and processes that affect the development of marital, familial, and other close relationships across the life course.
The study of the parent-child relationship, and the impact of that relationship on the development of both children and parents. Prerequisite: one of: HDF 100, EDU 280, or PSY 220.
Required Courses I
HDF 213/WGS 213
Introduction to Human Sexuality
Human sexual development throughout the life cycle. Emphasis on understanding and acceptance of self as a sexually functioning person. Identical to WGS 213. Credit may not be earned in more than one of these courses. This course is approved for offering in a distance learning format.
Families in Social, Legal, & Political Contexts
This course examines how factors from social, legal, and political contexts influence family development and functioning over the life course. Prerequisites: HDF 211; senior standing.
Family Development in Late Life
This course examines individual development and aging within the context of the family: marriage, singlehood and widowhood; intergenerational relations and grandparenthood; sibling relations and friendships. This course may be offered in an online format. Prerequisites: One of the following: HDF 100, HDF 247, PSY 100, SOC 100.
Required Courses II
Family Studies Content
Select one of the following:
This course introduces financial and resource management skills using quantitative reasoning and mathematical calculations to enhance family financial well-being. This course may be offered in an online or hybrid format. Quantitative Reasoning.
Family Management Theory
Integrated nature of family management; values, goals as reflected in decision-making regarding family resources.
Required Courses III
Professional Skills and Methods
This course examines service learning and potential career paths for professionals in Human Development and Family Studies. Field placements required. Prerequisites: A signed major in Child Development or Family Studies; HDF 100 or HDF 211 or PSY 220.
Family Studies Skills and Methods
An introduction to the skills and methods essential for work with individuals and families in service fields. Prerequisites: HDF 219 with a grade of C+ or better; a signed major in Child Development or Family Studies.
Human Development and Family Studies Research Methods
This course is an introduction to research methods within human development and family studies. Prerequisites: 9 HDF or GRN credits.
A structured internship that provides students with an opportunity to work in a professional setting serving the needs of individuals and families. No more than 6 credits may be taken each semester. Prerequisites: HDF 317 or 319 or 506 with a grade of C+ or better; a signed major in Child Development or Family Studies.
Select additional hours from the following list:
Note: You may select only one of HSC 519 OR REL 334.
The study of verbal and nonverbal communication processes, patterns, and problems in the family. The uniqueness of the family system as a communication context is emphasized. Prerequisites: COM 251, 301 with grades of C or better.
Oppression: Roots and Impact on Human Development in the United States
A study of the roots and impact of different forms of oppression on the development of individuals within the family context. This course may be offered in an online or hybrid format. (University Program Group IV-C: Studies in Racism and Cultural Diversity in the United States)
Families in Cultural Perspective
The varieties of family forms and resulting patterns of interpersonal relations to be found throughout Western history and in selected Western and non-Western cultures. (University Program Group III-B: Studies in Social Structures)
Introduction to Gerontology
An interdisciplinary approach to the study of aging with a focus on the normal changes that occur as one ages physically, mentally and socially. May be offered as writing intensive. This course may be offered in an online format. (University Program Group III-A: Behavioral Sciences)
Infant and Toddler Development
The study of pregnancy, prenatal development, childbirth, and the development of infants and toddlers (to 3 years) within the family and the larger social system. This course may be offered in an online format. Prerequisites: HDF 100 or EDU 280 or PSY 220.
Study of adolescence and issues relating to the family of a teenager. Prerequisite: HDF 100 or EDU 280 or PSY 220.
HDFS International Service Learning
An international cultural immersion experience working on a service learning project under the supervision of a faculty member. Prerequisite: Permission of instructor; minimum of 2.5 GPA; minimum of 24 CMU credit hours; depending on the service project approved, prerequisites may include language credit or ability, completion of specialized courses, or demonstration of appropriate skills for the project. (University Program Group IV-B: Studies in Cultures Outside of the Anglo-American Tradition, Option 2)
Facilitating Discussion in Human Sexuality Groups
The purpose, rationale, professional issues, planning, techniques and methods, learning objectives, evaluation, and guided experience in facilitating discussion in human sexuality groups. Prerequisites: permission of instructor; HDF 213 or SOC 213 or WGS 213.
Seminar in Human Sexuality
Survey of professional literature pertaining to human sexuality. Prerequisites: HDF 213 or HSC 222.
Readings in the Family
Survey of professional literature related to the family. Prerequisites: HDF 211 or HDF 411 or SOC 411.
Readings in Marital Counseling and Divorce
Analysis of changing philosophical conceptualizations of marriage and family, as reflected by emerging issues in marriage counseling and divorce. Prerequisites: HDF 211.
Death Education and Suicide Prevention
A holistic study of the cultural, spiritual, legal, ethical, psychological and controversial aspects of death. Emphasis will also be placed on suicide prevention. Prerequisites: must have completed a minimum of 60 semester hours of coursework.
A concentrated study of Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome including the origin, prevalence, spread, disease process, psychosocial aspects and implications for society. This course may be offered in an online or hybrid format. Prerequisite: HSC 106 or teaching certificate.
Workshop on Health Fitness
Guidelines for fitness appraisals and exercise prescription for healthy and high risk adults.
Sexually Transmitted Disease Workshop
Concentrated study of sexually transmitted diseases, modes of transmission, and role of public health agencies and schools in coping with the problem.
Concentrated study of mental health and illness as related to home, school, and community. This course may be offered in an online or hybrid format.
Sex Education Workshop
Concentrated study of sex education and roles of home, school, and community. Not open to students with credit in HSC 222.
Smoking and Health Education Workshop
Concentrated study of physiological, psychological, sociological, and educational aspects of smoking. Not open to students with credit in HSC 235.
Alcohol Education Workshop
Concentrated study of physiological, psychological, and sociological aspects of alcohol education. Not open to students with credit in HSC 235. This course is approved for offering in a distance learning format.
Drug Abuse Workshop
Concentrated study of the effects of drugs and narcotics. Roles of home, school, and community in drug education. Not open to students with credit in HSC 235. This course is approved for offering in a distance learning format.
Death and Dying
Religious and cultural explanations of death and responses to dying, death and mourning; religious, ethical, biomedical ethical and legal issues, e.g., health care, suicide, abortion, euthanasia. This course may be offered in an online or hybrid delivery format. May be offered as Writing Intensive. (University Program Group I-A: Human Events and Ideas)
Introduction to Social Work
Principles and values of social work, community resources and social service agencies, helping methods, and the role of the professional social worker. This course may be offered in an online or hybrid format.