College of Education and Human Development

Family Social Science

Undergraduate programs

Bachelor of science in family social science

If you have a passion for helping people, the bachelor of science in family social science undergraduate major will develop your counseling skills and prepare you to understand human relationships across the lifespan. Your multi-disciplinary coursework will be complemented with directed research or fieldwork.

Undergraduate minor

For students pursuing studies outside of FSoS, you can enhance your major with an undergraduate minor. A FSoS minor will give you a fundamental understanding of parents, children, and couples from multiple social science perspectives. You have a choice of four options, including coursework that will prepare you for a career in family financial counseling.

Undergraduate research opportunities in Family Social Science

In family social science, we explore how people grow and change throughout their lives. We study individuals within a systemic framework of their relationships and families, studying everyone from kids to adults. Our professors delve into how different generations and cultures interact, and we're all about making sure everyone's voice is heard and respected in our research, classes, and community work. By participating in research, you will acquire valuable skills that will serve you well beyond academic settings; you will learn how to build evidence-based arguments, justify decisions, and critically evaluate findings. 

Why research?

  1. Hands-on Learning: Engaging in research as an undergraduate provides invaluable hands-on learning experiences. Rather than just absorbing information from textbooks, this experiential learning fosters critical thinking, problem-solving, and analytical skills, which are highly transferable to various career paths. 
  2. Contribution to Knowledge: Undergraduate research in family social science gives you the opportunity to contribute to the body of knowledge in the field. By conducting research, you will examine gaps in existing literature, explore novel research questions, or apply theoretical concepts to real-world issues. The knowledge you help generate will make a meaningful impact on a broader goal – a larger purpose – and you will be a part of that. 
  3. Professional Development: Engaging in research as an undergraduate enhances professional development. You will learn how to collaborate with peers and faculty members, communicate your findings effectively, and present your work at conferences or in academic publications. These experiences will help you build confidence, improve your presentation skills, and establish professional networks that will support your future academic pursuits or a career in research, academia, or related fields.  
  4. Preparation for Graduate Studies or Career: Participation in research as an undergraduate will enhance your graduate school applications and can lead to opportunities for advanced study or research assistantships. Additionally, employers in fields such as social work, counseling, public policy, or human services value candidates with research experience, as it demonstrates analytical skills, attention to detail, and the ability to apply evidence-based practices in professional settings. 

Visit the FSOS Research page to read about the variety of subjects and issues our research addresses.  

Faculty and department support

Our faculty are mentors, renowned researchers, and committed teachers who are focused on your success.

The family social science department is a collaborative and supportive community devoted to family research, theory, therapy, and education. We partner and consult with families, communities, and organizations to address psychological, cultural, social, and economic issues affecting families locally, nationally, and globally.

Program contacts

Margaret Kelly
Director of undergraduate studies

Kirsten Collins
Senior undergraduate advisor