The well-being of individuals and families is a national and global concern, and the family as a focus for study in higher education has increased in significance. Family studies is an integrative field that synthesizes knowledge from liberal arts disciplines, particularly economics, political science, psychology, social work, and sociology.
The concentration in family studies is designed to enable students to learn about families in both theory and practice; it is a course of study that can enhance student learning in any major. The concentration is intended to help prepare students entering careers with families, including marriage, and family therapy, education, and ministry or family practice in law, medicine, nursing, social work or public policy. Students who intend to go directly to graduate school should also consider enrollment in a Statistics course, and a Research Methods course in Psychology, Social Work, or Sociology/Anthropology.
Planning a Family Studies concentration
Talk with a faculty member about course decisions and planning. Email, call, or stop by for an appointment. Some elective courses for family studies meet General Education requirements; We recommend introductory social science courses. FS 232: Introduction to Family Studies is the first course, and is available fall semester each year; this course is not open to first year students. A family studies concentration can complement most majors, including one in the center for Integrative Studies. Study abroad opportunities fit nicely with a family studies concentration.
Family Studies faculty
Mary Carlsen, MSW, LISW extension 3136
Jennifer Manner extension 3130
Susie Smalling, MSW, PhD extension 3350
Deb Clark AAA extension 3945