FAMILY STUDIES (FAST)

College of Arts and Sciences, Interdisciplinary Program
Director: Dr. Tonia Bock (PSYC)
Advisory Committee: Buri, Jessee, Lemmons, Lundquist, Nuru, Zimmerman
Associated Faculty: Balke, Niskanen, Sorenson

Family Studies Department Web Site

Family studies is an interdisciplinary field of study in which the family is the primary unit of analysis. The purpose of this major and minor is to enable students to critically examine the family using a variety of theories and methods. Family studies scholars can develop understanding of business and communication dynamics, health and social concerns, and psychological and theological matters affecting families and their members. A major and minor in family studies are flexible and multidisciplinary, providing for both broad exposure and disciplinary integration. Both the major and minor provide preparation for advanced study in family studies and the allied fields, as well as professional work in organizations focusing on families.

Major in Family Studies

A student may take no more than three courses from a single discipline toward the major in Family Studies. The major in family studies does not provide a license for a student to do therapy or counseling; it does provide a foundation for employment in the human services field and/or for graduate studies in multiple areas where a license can be earned, if so desired. Students will select elective courses in careful consultation with the director of family studies and/or his or her advisor, choosing those that best support the student's future professional, graduate and/or personal goals and aspirations. The elective selections might also include strong recommendations for a double major in another discipline and/or courses in research methods taken in a constituent department - the latter especially recommended for students wishing to pursue graduate work in Family Social Science or Psychology, Social Work, or other related fields.

All students must take:

  • FAST 200 Foundations of Family Studies (4 credits)
  • FAST 400 Family Studies Capstone Seminar (4 credits)
All students must take 4 credits (1 course) in research methods, chosen in consultation with thestudent’s adviser from the following list:
  • PSYC 212: Research Methods in Psychology (4 credits)
  • SOCI 210: Research Methods in Sociology (4 credits)
  • SOWK 380: Social Work Research (4 credits)
All students must take 8 credits (2 courses) of the following:
  • COMM 374: Family and Couple Communication (4 credits) 
  • PSYC 288: Psychology of Marriage and the Family (4 credits)
  • SOCI 321 Marriages and Families (4 credits)
All students are required to take 20 credits (5 courses) of elective courses, chosen in consultation with the student's adviser from the following list:
  • CHDC 305: Chemical Dependency and the Family (4 credits)
  • COMM 220: Interpersonal Communication (4 credits)
  • COMM 374: Family and Couple Communication (4 credits)
  • EDUC 329: Diverse Learners and Families (4 credits)
  • ENTR 349: Family Business Management (4 credits)
  • FAST 243, 393, or 495: Individual Study (2 or 4 credits)
  • FAST 476 or 478: Experiential Learning/Internship (2 or 4 credits)
  • HIST 211: History of Women & Families in the Americas
  • HLTH 462: Human Sexuality Education (4 credits)
  • PHIL 234: Love, Sex, and Friendship (4 credits)
  • PSYC 200: Psychology of Infancy and Childhood (4 credits)
  • PSYC 202: Lifespan Development (4 credits)
  • PSYC 203: Psychology of Adolescence (4 credits)
  • PSYC 204: Psychology of Adulthood and Aging (4 credits)
  • PSYC 288: Psychology of Marriage and the Family (4 credits)
  • SOWK 181: Introduction to Social Work
  • SOWK 210T/2100C: Relationships, Intimacy and Sexuality (4 credits)
  • SOWK 240T: People and Environment: Theories of Behavior, Justice and Impact (4 credits)
  • SOWK 291: Anatomy of Violence (4 credits)
  • SOWK 401T: Generalist Practice I: Small Client Systems (available only to social work majors) (4 credits)
  • SOCI 298: Youth Culture & Education in Puerto Rico (4 credits)
  • SOCI 304: Adolescence in Society (4 credits)
  • SOCI 321: Marriages and Families (4 credits)
  • SOCI 354: Sex in Society (4 credits)
  • THEO 226: Spirituality: Christian Marriage (4 credits)

NOTE: Students may take no more than three courses from a single discipline (excluding the course taken to fulfill the methods requirement) toward the major in Family Studies.


Minor in Family Studies

A student may take no more than two courses from a single discipline toward the minor in Family Studies.  Students interested in a minor in family studies should meet with the director.

All students must take:

  • FAST 200 Foundations of Family Studies (4 credits)
All students must take 4 credits (1 course) from the following:
  • COMM 374: Family and Couple Communication (4 credits) 
  • PSYC 288 Psychology of Marriage and the Family (4 credits)
  • SOCI 321 Marriages and Families (4 credits)
All students are required to take 12 credits (3 courses) of elective courses, chosen in consultation with the student's adviser from the following list:
  • CHDC 305: Chemical Dependency and the Family (4 credits)
  • COMM 220: Interpersonal Communication (4 credits)
  • COMM 374: Family and Couple Communication (4 credits)
  • EDUC 329: Diverse Learners and Families (4 credits)
  • ENTR 349: Family Business Management (4 credits)
  • FAST 243, 393, or 495: Individual Study (2 or 4 credits)
  • FAST 476 or 478: Experiential Learning/Internship (2 or 4 credits)
  • HIST 211: History of Women & Families in the Americas
  • HLTH 462: Human Sexuality Education (4 credits)
  • PHIL 234: Love, Sex, and Friendship (4 credits)
  • PSYC 200: Psychology of Infancy and Childhood (4 credits)
  • PSYC 202: Lifespan Development (4 credits)
  • PSYC 203: Psychology of Adolescence (4 credits)
  • PSYC 204: Psychology of Adulthood and Aging (4 credits)
  • PSYC 288: Psychology of Marriage and the Family (4 credits)
  • SOWK 181: Introduction to Social Work
  • SOWK 210T/2100C: Relationships, Intimacy and Sexuality (4 credits)
  • SOWK 240T: People and Environment: Theories of Behavior, Justice and Impact (4 credits)
  • SOWK 291: Anatomy of Violence (4 credits)
  • SOWK 401T: Generalist Practice I: Small Client Systems (available only to social work majors) (4 credits)
  • SOCI 298: Youth Culture & Education in Puerto Rico (4 credits)
  • SOCI 304: Adolescence in Society (4 credits)
  • SOCI 321: Marriages and Families (4 credits)
  • SOCI 354: Sex in Society (4 credits)
  • THEO 226: Spirituality: Christian Marriage (4 credits)

NOTE: Minors may take no more than two courses from a single discipline toward the minor in Family Studies

Course Number Title Credits
FAST  200 Foundations of Family Studies 4
FAST  243 Individual Study 2 OR 4
FAST  269 Research 2 OR 4
FAST  297 Topics 4
FAST  389 Research 2 OR 4
FAST  393 Individual Study 2 OR 4
FAST  400 Family Studies Capstone Sem. 4
FAST  450 Intro to Marriage/Family Psych 4
FAST  476 Experiential Learning 1 TO 4
FAST  490 Special Topics 4
FAST  491 Research 2 OR 4
FAST  495 Individual Study 2 OR 4