The family is the fundamental unit in contemporary society. Family science is a discipline grounded in research that enhances knowledge and understanding of the family. Healthy family functioning strengthens individuals, groups, and society.
Our undergraduate and graduate programs foster a multidisciplinary and multicultural understanding of families, communities, and service systems. Through coursework and experiential learning opportunities, our students study individual and family development, dynamics within families, action-oriented and policy-relevant research, and the interactions between families and society. We encourage civic responsibility and professional development through required community engagement opportunities that broaden our students' communication and critical thinking skills.
The department is affiliated with the National Council on Family Relations, the only national program to certify family life educators. After completing required coursework, family and human services undergraduate students may apply for provisional certification as family life educators. Full certification may be obtained as soon as students document sufficient work experience in family life education.
The Certified Child Life Specialist credential, issued by the Association of Child Life Professionals, is the exclusive certification for the profession. The Introduction to Child Life Track in the family and human services major prepares students for certification and careers as child life specialists.
Family and human services students are required to participate in service learning and internship courses. FMST 387 Community Services for Families offers group-based experiential learning in the area of program development. Students work in small groups in the community for 30 to 60 hours while learning new skills and theories in the classroom. Internships are individually based experiential learning courses that require a combination of classroom and field-based hours. Student internships include a minimum of 120 field-based hours. Specific sites are selected from over 75 approved sites.
Interested in earning an undergraduate and graduate degree in just five years? Learn more about our B.S./M.S. programs:
Learn more about our B.S./M.A. program:
The Department of Family Studies & Community Development hosts the Panel of Professionals event bi-annually. A diverse group of alumni with varying years of experience and careers discuss their exposure within the field and experiences with graduate school, and provide insightful advice for current junior and senior students embarking on their own journey into the field.
Click to learn more about workshops and conferences like the Panel of Professionals.
The Child Life Scholar program offers a selected
Child Life, Administration & Family Collaboration (M.S.) candidate an exclusive opportunity to work in the Child Life department at University of Maryland Children's Hospital for 20 hours a week in exchange for $5000 towards tuition.
Click to learn more about the current Child Life Scholar recipient's experience as well as more information on the Child Life, Administration & Family Collaboration (M.S.) program.