Youth and Community Development

This program is offered in-person, online, and hybrid.

The family science and human development: youth and community development major prepares change agents to transform communities through an intentional investment in youth via interdisciplinary coursework and community-based experiences. It is based on theoretical perspectives in childhood, adolescent, and family development, best pedagogical practices, and grounded in an ethic of family engagement and social action.  

The major in youth and community development is situated at the intersection of developmental theory, social ecology, community psychology, prevention science, and youth advocacy.  This major invites students to critically examine youth within the context of families and communities and how individuals and organizations can address social inequalities, organize effective learning environments, and develop skills, competencies, and practices that promote human flourishing.

There is no minor required with the FSHD: youth and community development major. Students must successfully complete the WMU Essential Studies requirements.

Why youth and community development at Western Michigan University?


A semester-long internship, along with ongoing professional exploration and development, will enhance your understanding of current issues and practices, help you gain valuable work experience, and grow your professional network and resume.

90% of 2020-21 WMU family science and human development graduates were employed in their field within three months of graduation.

All required FSHD core courses are available online. Students can also take the majority of FSHD classes for any concentration in-person. (FCS 1030, FCS 2190, and FCS 4295 are only offered online.) 

    Accelerated Graduate Degree Program

Qualifying students can accumulate up to 12 credit hours toward the Master of Arts in Family and Consumer Sciences while enrolled as undergraduates in the Family Science and Human Development concentrations. Designated 5000- and 6000-level courses are counted in both the bachelor’s degree and the master’s degree. Learn more

Hear it from us

"Everyone at WMU is so amazing! The faculty provide motivation and leave an impact on you."

- Marcell, current student

Read more from Marcell

Additional Information

  • Study Abroad

    Students are encouraged to pursue additional educational opportunities through one of our many excellent study abroad programs.

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  • WMU Signature

    All WMU students have the option to stand out with an integrative learning project in one of several pathways including: Health & Wellbeing, Sustainability, Diversity, and more!

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  • Visit Campus

    There's simply no substitute for seeing WMU for yourself and experiencing a little slice of what makes WMU so unique and beloved. In-person and virtual tours are available.

    Schedule and visit

Want to hear more?


Chair, Department of Family and Consumer Sciences