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Family and Consumer Sciences

Master of Arts (MA)

Program Details

Credits Required: 30
Location(s) Offered

Program Type(s)

Industry Highlights

  • The number of Master's degrees in health professions and related clinical sciences increased by 53.8% between 1999 and 2009.

National Center for Education Statistics

A degree of difference

The field of Family and Consumer Sciences is hard to define, but it's so wide-reaching that it's almost everywhere. State and local services, churches, education and health care all have aspects that are family-related.

The Master of Arts in Family & Consumers Sciences degree from Western Michigan University is designed to increase knowledge and advance the skills of students, preparing them for challenging careers in a variety of family-related fields. The program explores three core areas:

  • Practice – teaching, education, research/scholarship, program or curricula development
  • Administration – leadership or management, organizing, coordinating
  • Promotion – public policy, lobbying, advocating for system change and awareness

Why Family & Consumer Sciences at Western Michigan University

Family is the building block of society, and knowledgeable professionals in this area are always needed. This master's degree from WMU's Department of Family and Consumer Sciences provides students with skills and knowledge that are in-demand in various industries.

  • Knowledge about how families work
  • The inter-relationship of family and society
  • Human growth and development throughout the life span
  • The physiological and psychological aspects of human sexuality
  • The impact of resource management on daily life
  • The importance and value of education for parenting
  • The effects of policy and legislation on families
  • Ethical considerations in professional conduct
  • A solid understanding and knowledge of how to teach and/or develop curriculum for varied settings

Earn National Council on Family Relations (NCFR) credentials while you learn

This program has been approved by the National Council on Family Relations (NCFR) as a Certified Family Life Educator (CFLE) program. This program documents knowledge and competence, verifies professional credibility and enhances the reputation of professionals as family educators.

Who should apply

Anyone with a bachelor's degree in a program related to family and consumers sciences who had an undergraduate GPA of at least 3.0. Probationary acceptance status may be granted in special cases.

Career opportunities

Family Life Educators are qualified to work in a variety of areas upon graduation and with commensurate experience:

  • Community college or undergraduate college instructors
  • Parent involvement specialists or family service field associates for Head Start or Evenstart programs
  • Youth and family agents for county extension
  • Juvenile court workers
  • Directors of local social service agencies
  • Program directors in churches
  • Parent educators

"Best bang for the buck"

Washington Monthly placed WMU on a list of national universities that offer "the best bang for the buck." WMU came in at No. 46 based on the economic value students receive per dollar.