Family Studies Major

Program description

The family studies major is an interdisciplinary program for students who desire positions in public or private human service organizations or programs related to children, families and individuals. Recent graduates hold positions with Healthy Families, Planned Parenthood, Big Brothers/Big Sisters and Senior Services; in state government; and as family court workers, substance abuse assessment specialists, preschool staff, and volunteer and activity directors.

This is not a teachable major. Information for students seeking a teaching certification as an Early Childhood Specialist with a ZA endorsement should see the B.S. Elementary Education (Early Childhood) program page.

Learning Pathways

There are three ways to complete classes in this major:

  1. Face-to-face
    Classes at the main campus or regional site
  2. Online/hybrid
    Classes online with periodic, required, on-campus sessions
  3. Online with Campus Experiences (OCE)
    Classes online with a 2 ½ day on-campus experience required at the start of your program, and again at the completion of your degree. Students selecting this option will only be required to come to campus these two times.

To learn more about this option, please visit this website

Transfer students interested in online/hybrid or face-to-face:

For more information or to schedule an advising appointment contact Linda Dove.

Transfer students interested in Family Studies and all students interested in Online with Campus Experiences (OCE):

For more information about OCE or to schedule an advising appointment contact Kimberly Doudna, Ph.D.. Skype appointments available upon request.

Non-transfer students interested in online/hybrid or face-to-face:

To schedule an advising appointment, contact Advising.


Recent graduates have found work in positions as:

  • Activities Directors—Senior Residential Communities
  • Extension Children, Youth and Family Agents
  • Family Educators
  • Family Service Field Associates
  • Family Specialists, Even Start
  • Juvenile Court Workers
  • Parent Involvement Specialists
  • Scout/Youth Organization Executives
  • Residential Services Coordinator


This program has been approved by the National Council on Family Relations and graduates may choose to become Certified Family Life Educators (CFLE). This certification enhances employment opportunities and verifies professional credibility for educators who work with families.


For class listings, program guides and other resources, visit the advising page for the family studies major.


Internship/field experience

The Professional Experience Program allows students to extend their academic work with on-the-job training in child care, human service and nonprofit organizations. The program is supervised by WMU faculty in cooperation with management personnel in the field. Students independently locate sites that fit with their long-term career goals.