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Family Studies or Child and Family Development

Bachelor of Science (BS)

Program Details

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Make a difference with a career helping children and families

Many private and public organizations are focused on the wellbeing of infants, children and families. The College of Education and Human Development at WMU offers Bachelor of Science degrees in Family Studies and Child and Family Development. These programs will prepare you to enter or advance your career within human service organizations or with jobs dedicated to children, families and individuals.

This is degree does not lead to teacher certification. If you’re seeking teacher certification please visit the B.S. Elementary Education (Early Childhood) program page.

Learn online while building your professional credentials

Both programs are offered online with two campus experiences on main campus in Kalamazoo. During your two campus visits, you’ll learn the skills essential for success in your program. You’ll be trained in Core Communication and will discover the campus support services available to you. You’ll meet your classmates, instructors and potential employers, and interact with senior-level students and graduates who have been successful in your degree program.

Both programs have built-in certification opportunities, meaning you can build your professional credentials without completing additional coursework (see below). Certification opens employment opportunities and adds credibility for professionals who work with families.

Earn certification without completing additional coursework

  • Upon graduation, both Family Studies and Child and Family Development students are automatically eligible for provisional status as a Certified Family Life Educator (CFLE) endorsed by the National Council on Family Relations (NCFR).

  • The Child and Family Development degree meets state requirements for child care center teachers and directors. Your advisor will help you determine specific requirements for your home state.

Transfer your college credits to WMU

We welcome those who:

  • Have previous college experience from WMU or another institution

  • Are currently earning or have already earned their associate degree in a related field

  • Have little or no college experience

Our degrees are designed for anyone who wants to take the next step in their career by acquiring the knowledge, skills and credentials to help serve children and families.

Many of our students transferred to WMU from other colleges and universities. They bring with them the credits they previously earned so they’re not starting their degree from scratch. If you have previous college experience, you’ll speak with an advisor about what courses will transfer and what you’ll need to complete your degree.

Unlock career opportunities helping children and families

Our graduates work as caseworkers, family life educators, child life specialists, youth development workers, volunteer coordinators and human service professionals in settings such as healthcare, government, nonprofit, education and child care.

The Family Studies program will prepare you to pursue positions in human service organizations and programs related to children, youth, seniors and families. The Child and Family Development program will prepare you to work with infants, toddlers, preschoolers, school-age children and their families in a variety of professional settings.

State Authorization

Both programs include an internship and field placement. Your advisor and internship coordinator will help you identify an approved site. If you want to do your field work outside the state of Michigan, email and indicate the state of your intended location. We’ll need to verify WMU’s ability to participate in such activities before you make your out-of-state internship arrangements.

Activity Request Form

WMU awarded for its service to transfer students

WMU has been recognized by Phi Theta Kappa as one of the 40 top colleges and universities in the nation for helping community college students complete a successful transfer and continue their path toward a bachelor's degree.

"Best bang for the buck"

Washington Monthly placed WMU on a list of national universities that offer "the best bang for the buck." WMU came in at No. 46 based on the economic value students receive per dollar.