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Family and Consumer Sciences

College of Education and Professional Studies

Family Science Specialization

Major or Minor in Family Science


What is Family Science?

Family Science is the interdisciplinary study of what makes families successful. We focus on understanding the dynamics of families in a changing society, as well as the impact that family interaction has on individual development and success. Family Science emphasizes a systems perspective in helping families stay together and build strong and happy relationships.

Family Science Program Requirements

Family Science Minor

Interested in the Major?  Contact Information

Majors with a Family Science Specialization will:

  1. Understand relationships and family life from a Family Systems perspective.
  2. Develop excellent relationship and interpersonal skills.
  3. Experience teamwork and learn collaborative skills.
  4. Demonstrate effective oral and written communication and skills.
  5. Develop strong critical thinking and problem solving skills.
  6. Learn to analyze and present scientific information.
What is Unique about the Family Science specialization?

Students enrolled in the program are required to complete a multi-term practicum or internship in an agency suited to their particular professional goals and interests.  They may work in a family service agency, a mental health clinic, a program for youth and their families, or any of a variety of programs throughout Washington that serve the needs of couples and families.

Family Science students learn to apply the scientific process to understand current scientific knowledge. Each student will complete a research project which can be presented at the University, Regional, or National level.

Students who complete a specialization in Family Science at CWU qualify to apply for the Certified Family Life Educator (CFLE) credential through the National Council on Family Relations. CWU has the only CFLE approved Family Science program in Washington State.

Family Science Required Courses

Course #TitleCredits
FCL 101Skills for Marriage and Intimate Relationships4
FCL 234Contemporary Families4
FCL 235Relationships and Personal Development3
FCL 336Parent Education and Guidance4
FCL 344Foundations of Marriage and Family Therapy4
FCL 405*Professional Obligations and Responsibilities4
FCL 419*Research in Family and Child Life5
FCL 434Diversity and Families4
FCL 492*Family and Child Life Practicum12
FCL 495*Undergraduate Research1
FCL 320*Theories in Family Dynamics4
FCL 337Human Sexuality4
FCL 433* Family Life Education 4
FCL 439Families and Public Policy4
FCS 371Real World Finance3
PSY 313Developmental Psychology4
 Approved Specialization Electives13
 Total Credits81

















*For Family and Child Life Majors Only

Family Science Elective Courses:

FCL 232  |  Child Development  (3)
FCL 310  |  Family Issues in the 21st Century (4)
FCL 333  |  Culture and Marriage  (4)
FCL 334  |  Family Problems and Mediation  (4)
FCL 335  |  Divorce and Remarriage  (3)
FCL 339  |  Adolescence and Emerging Adulthood (4)
FCL 403  |  Family Communication  (4)
FCL 414  |  Coping with Grief and Loss  (4)
FCL 415  |  Therapeutic Play  (4)
FCL 416  |  Child Life I: Child Life Scope of Practice  (4)
FCL 417  |  Childhood Diseases and Disorders  (4)
FCL 432  |  Theories in Child Development  (3)
FCL 435  |  Family Gerontology  (4)
FCL 438  |  Attachment Theory and Practice  (4)
FCL 440  |  Teaching for Family and Child Life  (2-6)

Family Science Two Year Graduation Plan

CWU Catalog Program of Study

Admission and Graduation Requirements

Students wishing to declare a major in family and child life must be incoming first-year or transfer students or have a cumulative CWU GPA of 2.8. Family and child life majors must maintain a cumulative GPA of 2.7 or higher to remain in the major and must earn a “C” or higher in all courses used to satisfy the family and child life major.

Application Process

To apply for the major, complete the major application form and contact Dr. Amy Claridge to enroll in the major and be assigned an advisor.

Family Science Minor

Students in the Family Science minor will learn about Family Systems Theory and family dynamics, will develop skills for healthy romantic and familial relationships, and will gain practical skills to work with families. Completing the minor will enhance students’ competitiveness for jobs involving interaction with families in a variety of disciplines.

Family Science Minor Required Courses

Course #TitleCredits
FCL 101Skills for Marriage and Intimate Relationships4
FCL 234Contemporary Families4
FCL 235Relationships and Personal Development3
FCL 336 Parent Education and Guidance4
 Family Science Electives (any FCL course)10
 Total Credits for Family Science Minor25

Pre-Admission Requirements

Students wishing to declare a minor in  Family Science must be incoming freshmen, transfer students, or have a cumulative GPA of 2.5.  Family Science minors must maintain a cumulative GPA of 2.5 or higher to remain in the minor.

Application Process

To apply for the minor, please complete the minor application form, indicating whether you are applying for the in-person or online Family Science minor. Send the completed form to Dr. Amy Claridge or set up a time to meet with her in person.

Online Course Offerings

All courses required for the Family Science minor are offered online during Summer terms.  Some of the online courses are offered during the academic year, however, students who wish to complete the minor online will need two Summer terms to do so. 
FCL Minor Courses Offered OnlineAcademic YearSummer
Required Courses  
FCL 101 Skills for Marriage and Intimate Relationships (4)XX
FCL 234 Contemporary Families (4)XX
FCL 235 Relationships and Personal Development (3)XX
FCL 336 Parent Education and Guidance (4)XX
FCL 232 Child Development (3)XX
FCL 333 Culture and Marriage (4)X 
FCL 335 Divorce and Remarriage (3) X
FCL 337 Human Sexuality (4)X 
FCL 403 Family Communication (4) X
FCL 432 Theories in Child Development (3)X 
FCL 435 Family Gerontology (4) X

The Family and Child Life major has three specializations: Child Life, Child Development, and Family Science.

For information about the Family Science Major or Minor, please contact:

Dr. Amy Claridge
Family & Child Life Program Director
Michaelsen Hall 327

Family and Child Life Faculty

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