Family Science (FMSC)School of Public Health
1142 School of Public Health, Bldg. 255, 301-405-3672
Chair: E. Anderson (Prof & Chair)
Director: A. Arria (Center on Young Adult Health & Development)
Professors: B. Braun (Professor & Family Policy Specialist, Maryland Extension), N. Epstein, S. Hofferth, S. Koblinsky, S. Quinn (Professor, FMSC & Associate Dean, SPHL)
Associate Professors: M. Smith Bynum, J. Kim (Associate Professor & Family Finance Specialist, Maryland Extension), L. Leslie, M. Mokhtari, K. Roy, E. Shenassa, J. Wallen
Assistant Professors: M. Jones (Asst Prof)
Instructors: C. Werlinich (Instructor & Director, Center for Healthy Families)
Lecturers: S. Grutzmacher (Faculty Research Associate & Extension Family Specialist, Maryland Extension), L. Hoskins, W. Knight, E. Maring (Faculty Research Associate & Family Life Specialist, Maryland Extension), K.Van Putten-Gardner, C. Schull, K. Tripp, R. Zeiger
Adjunct Associate Professors: K. Schoendorf (Adjunct Assoc Prof)
Professors Emeriti: N. Gaylin (Professor Emeritus), N. Myricks (Professor Emeritus), S. Randolph (Assoc Prof Emerita), R. Rubin (Associate Professor Emeritus)
Visiting Faculty: F. Goldscheider (College Park Professor), S. Kessel (Professor of the Practice)
The Family Science major focuses on the study of families and the problems they face in contemporary society. The major offers excellent training in scientific methods to understand family development, behavior, strengths and challenges. Students learn to describe, explain, and improve the quality of family life through education, applied research, policy analysis, and human services program management. Majors acquire skills in writing, speaking, and computing across the Family Science curriculum and complete an empirical research project prior to graduation.
The Family Science major prepares students for careers in social work, human services, family therapy, family life education, public health, policy analysis, and family mediation. A wide variety of employment opportunities exist for Family Science graduates in direct service and management positions in government, non-profit, and private agencies. The major also provides excellent preparation for graduate study in family science, marriage and family therapy, social work, law, public health, psychology, human resource management, and other social science disciplines.
Courses offered by this department may be found under the following acronym: FMSC.
Program Learning Outcomes
Students will evaluate policy and programmatic interventions to address social and behavioral factors that influence family well-being.
Students will demonstrate the principles of cultural competence that shape the experiences and disparities of vulnerable families and populations.
Students will present a research project that addresses a significant issue of family well-being.
Student will demonstrate basic knowledge of family theories and apply the knowledge to diverse contexts.
Students will analyze and critique the range of social structures and systems such as health, legal, and economic that affect family well-being.
Academic Programs and Departmental Facilities
Our Department's excellent facilities create an ideal environment for the work of our students and faculty. Our classrooms are equipped with wireless internet and high tech equipment. All department facilities are accessible to persons with disabilities. The main office is located in 1142 School of Public Health Building. It is open year-round (except university holidays), Monday through Friday, from 8:30 am to 4:30 pm. Students are encouraged to come to the main office for information about the Family Science undergraduate programs, department courses, and ways to get involved in departmental research and student activities. All faculty offices are located in the 1142 School of Public Health office suite, facilitating faculty interaction and collaboration. Please come to the main office in 1142 School of Public Health if you are looking for a faculty member.
Admission to the Major
Students who wish to change or declare a major in Family Science can only do so through a 'Change of Major Workshop.'
To register for a workshop, visit www.sph.umd.edu/studentservices/advising/appointment.cfm. Change of Major workshops are held in the SPH building (room 1142). Students must register in advance in order to attend a 'Change of Major Workshop'.
Requirements for the Major
The Family Science Department provides a multi-tier advising system that will help you design and carry out a program of study best suited to your interests and needs. Several advisors are available, depending on your need: the Family Science Undergraduate Coordinator, Faculty Advisors, and the Director of Student Services in the School of Public Health.
For general questions and consultation about degree requirements, the Department Undergraduate Coordinator, Zainab Okolo, is available in the main office (1142KK School of Public Health) as a first point of contact. The Undergraduate Coordinator also conducts orientations for students in the major.
For more information, or to schedule an appointment with the the Undergraduate Coordinator, visit www.sph.umd.edu/fmsc/ugrad/advising.html.
Undergraduate Research Experiences
The Department has an active Undergraduate Research Assistant Program, which enables students to learn from and work with world-class scholars on family issues. Family Science undergraduates volunteer to assist Department faculty with their ongoing research projects on such topics as:
Undergraduate students who participate in Family Science research may also participate in the University's Undergraduate Research Assistance Program, which provides a transcript notation documenting their research experience. This notation particularly benefits those students who apply to graduate school. The Department also participates in several other undergraduate research programs, such as the Senior Summer Scholars Program and the Ronald E. McNair Post-Baccalaureate Achievement Program.
You may also set an appointment with Undergraduate Coordinator Zainab Okolo to answer questions and help connect you with current undergraduate research projects in Family Science.
Please visit our department website for more information about current undergraduate research opportunities.
All Family Science majors are required to complete an internship experience during their senior year. The internship program is designed to integrate department and other coursework with a real-time work experience. In addition to a 120-hour semester-long field placement, students are required to attend a weekly capstone seminar (FMSC 477). Students in the seminar integrate classroom theory with their field placement and share work-related activities, broadening their exposure to work in the discipline of Family Science and their knowledge of specific career opportunities for FMSC graduates. The internship course is open to all FMSC majors who have completed FMSC 330 and FMSC 383 plus a minimum of six additional credits of FMSC coursework.
Students who need help deciding on an internship have access to the FMSC Internship Database, which contains listings of organizations that have requested our students along with those where Family Science students have completed internships.
Students can pick up internship contracts in the main office, 1142 School of Public Health Building, or online at www.sph.umd.edu/fmsc/ugrad/internship.html.
There are strict deadlines for turning in completed contracts:
Spring Internship contract: Due December 1
Summer & Fall Internship contracts: Due the preceding May 1
The FMSC Honors Program is designed to provide academically talented students with a more advanced and enriching educational experience in Family Sciences. The Honors Program gives students an opportunity to participate in scholarly independent study, interact with FMSC faculty, and examine a range of intellectual topics in greater depth than is possible in the traditional Family Science program. Students enroll in special Honors courses, Honors option work in regular courses, and independent research. The program culminates with the presentation of a Senior Honors thesis. Students are recognized at graduation for their superior achievement in Family Science.
Any FMSC major who meets the following criteria is eligible for the Honors Program:
Students meeting the criteria and wishing to participate in the Honors Program must apply three semesters (not including summer) prior to graduation.
Students must maintain a 3.0 overall GPA and a 3.3 FMSC GPA to remain in the program. If a student falls below either of these standards, he of she will have one semester to meet the standard or be dropped from the program.
Completion of the FMSC Honors Program Requires:
Application forms are available on the FMSC web site or from the FMSC Honors Program Coordinator.
Student Societies and Professional Organizations
Maryland Council on Family Relations (MCFR) is a student chapter of the National Council on Family Relations, a professional organization for family researchers, educators, and practitioners. The organization provides an opportunity for students to explore family issues, meet fellow students, and prepare for careers in teaching, research, policy analysis, or direct service to families. MCFR is open to all undergraduate and graduate Family Science students. For more information, please contact the MCFR Faculty Advisor, Leigh Leslie.
Scholarships and Financial Assistance
Our Department’s goal is to provide an affordable education to the most talented undergraduate and graduate students who are pursuing degrees in family studies. Scholarships often make the difference in whether or not a student is able to remain at the University of Maryland.
For information about the current state and federal scholarship and financial aid opportunities, visit www.sph.umd.edu/fmsc/ugrad/money.html.
The Department of Family Science has several endowed scholarships that enable us to provide some assistance to the best and brightest students in our Family Science Program. Awards are announced early Spring semester and recipients are announced by April of each year. For more information visit www.sph.umd.edu/fmsc/aboutFS/give.html.
The Office of Student Financial Aid (OSFA) administers all types of federal, state and institutional financial assistance programs and, in cooperation with other university offices, participates in the awarding of scholarships to deserving students. For information, visit: www.financialaid.umd.edu
Awards and Recognition
Annually, the Department selects outstanding undergraduates based upon academic and service performance who are recognized at the annual Dean's Scholars Awards Banquet each spring.