Family Science - Bachelor of Science in Family Science

This program prepares students for careers in the fields of Family Life Education, Child Life Specialist, and related family and human services. At its core, this program explores the diverse cultural and socioeconomic contexts of interpersonal relationships, family systems, and their members across the life span. Core courses focus on developing 1) understanding of interpersonal and familial relationships across the life span, 2) basic research skills used in applied settings (e.g. needs assessment, basic research, program evaluation), and 3) hands-on experiences through an internship and Service-Learning coursework. Students may choose between two concentrations: Family Life Education and Child Life Specialist. The Family Life Education concentration builds on the Family Science core courses in that students take additional coursework in order to be eligible to become a Certified Family Life Educator ( Some of the topics addressed are diverse couple relationships throughout the life span, family and relationship violence, family policy, family life education methods, human sexuality education and human development. The Child Life Specialist concentration also builds on the Family Science core such that students take additional coursework in order to be eligible to take the Child Life Professional Certification Exam (

A graduate degree is needed to become a licensed counselor or therapist, or go into social service agency management and policy-making.

STUDENTS PURSUING CHILD LIFE SPECIALIST CERTIFICATION: The field of Child Life is highly competitive. Therefore, students declaring this concentration must apply for and be admitted to the concentration. Miami University does guarantee successful acceptance to the highly-competitive child life clinical experiences required for certification.

Application/Admission Process to Child Life Specialist Concentration:

  1. Meet with the Child Life Specialist Academic Advisor (Contact the FSW office for this information).
  2. Complete concentration admission application (rolling deadline).

Program Requirements

Required Core Courses
FSW 245Children and Families: Ages Conception - 123
FSW 261Diverse Family Systems Across the Life Cycle3
FSW 295Research and Evaluation Methods3
FSW 475Family Theories3
FSW 481Adolescent Development in Diverse Families: Ages 13-253
FSW 494Internship with Families and Children2-6
Concentration Area
Select either the Family Life Education or Child Life Specialist concentration24-26
Total Credit Hours41-47


Family Life Education

Take all of the following:
FSW 361Couple Relationships: Diversity and Change3
FSW 365Family Life Sexuality Education Across Cultures3
FSW 418/518The Family Life Education Process MPC3
FSW 442Family Resource Management Education and Advocacy3
FSW 451/551Family Violence MPC3
FSW 466/566Interpersonal Perspectives on Adulthood and Aging3
FSW 490/590Professional Issues in Family Science3
Family Policy
Select one of the following:3-4
Social Welfare: Impact on Diverse Groups
Family Policy and Law (MPC)
Total Credit Hours24-25

Child Life Specialist

Select all of the following:
FSW 318Child Life Theory and Practice3
BIO 161Principles of Human Physiology4
STC 136Introduction to Interpersonal Communication3
STC 231Small Group Communication3
EDP 256Psychology of the Exceptional Learner3
KNH 209Medical Terminology for Health Professionals3
PHL 375Medical Ethics4
Select one of the following:3
Grief and Mourning: A Global Perspective
Death Studies
Total Credit Hours26