Mission Statement

The mission of the Department of Child and Family Studies is to educate and inspire students to improve the lives of children, families and communities.

The department emphasizes a systemic approach in preparing students to become child and family human service and education professionals.

Faculty members strive to promote a standard of professionalism that reflects scholarship, integrity, diversity, collaboration, dedication, service and lifelong learning.



The Child and Family Studies Bachelor of Science degree program is accredited by the American Association of Family and Consumer Sciences (AAFCS).  This degree offers students a choice in emphasis: Child Development or Family Relations. The Family Relations emphasis is approved by the National Council on Family Relations as meeting the standards required for approval as a Provisional Certified Family Life Educator (CFLE).

The Marriage and Family Therapy Master of Science degree program is accredited by the Commission on Accreditation for Marriage and Family Therapy Education (COAMFTE).  Graduates meet the Mississippi educational requirements for licensure.  The Child and Family Studies Master of Science degree program is offered fully online and can be completed by part-time students in two calendar years.

The Child and Family Studies faculty is a dedicated group of professionals committed to:

  • Student mentoring and advising

  • Excellence in teaching

  • Meaningful research

  • Community outreach and engagement

  • Improving the quality of life for children, families and communities

  • Service to the profession, university, department and students

Our faculty includes Certified Child Life Specialists, Licensed Marriage and Family Therapists, and experts in child development.


Research Centers

Center for Child Development

The University of Southern Mississippi Center for Child Development serves as an academic teaching and research center for faculty and students across the university. The center provides interactive experiences for students majoring in Child and Family Studies through access to children ages 8 weeks to 5 years. The Center for Child Development has successfully fulfilled the requirements to achieve the highest possible rating, 5-Star, in the Mississippi Quality Rating and Improvement System by the Mississippi Department of Human Services Division of Early Childhood Care and Development. The Center is also accredited by the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC).

The University Clinic for Family Therapy

The University Clinic for Family Therapy is an academic teaching and research center for clinical faculty, marriage and family therapy graduate students and family relations undergraduate students.  The clinic serves individuals, couples and families experiencing a wide range of personal or relationship problems allowing students to develop clinical skills in a closely supervised environment.