Undergraduate Overview

The Bachelor of Science Degree in Child and Family Studies prepares students to work with children and their families in educational, institutional, and human service settings. Three program formats are available: Hattiesburg campus (does include some online courses), Gulf Coast campus (does include some online courses), or fully Online. Students also select one of two emphasis areas within this major – Child Development or Family Relations. In addition to the general education and college core, course work in Child and Family Studies emphasizes a family systems perspective and focuses on developmental observations. Ultimately, Child and Family professionals are dedicated to promoting a better quality of life for all families. Graduates of our program are employed in a wide range of careers and settings. The Bachelor of Science degree program in Child and Family Studies is accredited by the American Association of Family and Consumer Sciences.


Child Development Emphasis


 Child listeningThe Bachelor of Science Degree in Child and Family Studies with an emphasis in Child Development prepares students for  many exciting career choices. In the area of teaching and administration, individuals can pursue the Mississippi educator special licensure to teach in the pre-k/kindergarten classroom and/or an alternate route licensure to teach Family and Consumer Sciences on the secondary level. In addition, graduates are qualified to work in other early care and education settings, including privately owned centers and government-funded entities such as Head Start.  Career choices are also available in the areas of early education program evaluation, non-profit agencies, parent education, and community service through community centers, YMCA/YWCA, consumer protection agencies, summer camp programs and programs servicing children with special needs. Child development expertise can also be applied in the business world through employment in retail stores, manufacturing companies of children’s products and financial institutions. There are additional career opportunities in the field of mass media such as print and audio/video.  Child development career opportunities are also available through government agencies such as health, education, welfare, cooperative extension, military childcare programs and overseas childcare and education programs.


Family Relations Emphasis

A family sits around a tree.


The Bachelor of Science Degree in Child and Family Studies with an Emphasis in Family Relations prepares students for exciting and challenging careers in educational, institutional, and human service organizations. As human service professionals, our graduates provide effective prevention and intervention services to diverse peoples. Graduates of the Family Relations Program may choose careers that provide them opportunities to assist at-risk teens, administer substance abuse outreach and prevention services, provide child protective services, serve as mental health case managers and effectively evaluate community needs.

In addition to the general education and college core, coursework in child and family studies emphasizes understanding the importance of families as systems of interconnected individuals and the relationship between family dynamics, resiliency, community, wellness and quality of life. Laboratory, field experiences, and experiential learning are central to students’ preparation, with the goal of providing the best academic foundation within a real-life context. The Family Relations emphasis enables students to integrate formal academic learning with personal and professional experiences so that learning is focused, authentic and meaningful.

The Family Relations Emphasis is approved by The National Council on Family Relations as meeting the standards and criteria required for approval as a Provisional Certified Family Life Educator (CFLE).