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College of Education and Human Development

Family Social Science

Bachelor's in Family Social Science

The science of helping families

The Bachelor of Science in Family Social Science degree will prepare you to understand families from an interdisciplinary and multicultural perspective. Coursework is enhanced with community-based and career-focused experiential learning that gives you the opportunity to apply new knowledge and practice new skills in a supportive environment. You can choose from two concentrations:

  • Family & Community Engagement to work directly with families in community settings.
  • Family Therapy that will prepare you for entry level clinical work, advanced study in marriage and family therapy, or a practitioner certificate such as the parent education teaching license.

Why major in Family Social Science?

  • A broad and nuanced understanding of human development, couples/families, and cultures, as well as societies
  • Research knowledge and experience
  • Professional and academic writing skills
  • Polished public speaking skills
  • 180+ hours of relevant work experience
  • Career-focused connections in your community
  • Excellent references for jobs or graduate school
  • A competitive resume for the job market and/or graduate school applications

Our faculty are renowned researchers, committed teachers, and mentors who are focused on your success. Learn more about them in our Faculty Profile Book.

Career options

A Bachelor's in Family Social Science will prepare you for a career as a researcher, trainer, or program provider in family studies, family community engagement, and family therapy. In addition, you can also complete coursework that will prepare you for a career in family financial counseling as an Accredited Financial Counselor.

Visit our Alumni & Friends page to read some of their stories, or visit the College of Education and Human Development's Career Services page to view a list of potential employers, internship sites, and job titles. Half of our graduates pursue advanced degrees in family social science, couple and family therapy, or related programs such as social work, public health, or nursing.


Number of undergraduate students who complete an internship or other career-focused community work and learning experience.
College of Education + Human Development research
Students of color in the Department of Family Social Science undergraduate program.
Family Social Science 2016 Self-Study

Program requirements

Graduating with a Bachelor of Science (B.S.) in Family Social Science degree requires the completion of 55-58 credits in the major as well as Liberal Education requirements and electives, totaling 120 University credits. Foundational courses include economics, communications, and statistics, and the program capstone is a four-credit internship in a research or field study, totaling 180 hours.

View all program requirements in the University Catalogs, or download requirements (PDF).

View current departmental course offerings.

Declaring a major in FSOS

If you are a current UMN undergraduate or an incoming first year student and are interested in declaring your major in Family Social Science, visit CEHD Student Services for complete directions.

Interested in transferring into Family Social Science? FSOS is among the U of M's top programs transfer students choose. Learn more and get started at CEHD Transfer Admissions (a GPA of 2.80 in college coursework is preferred).

For more information about attending the University of Minnesota, visit the Office of Admissions.

International opportunities

You have the option of fulfilling coursework or internship requirements on campus, in the Twin Cities, or during sponsored learning abroad programs, as well as national student exchange programs, including those offered by the Higher Education Consortium on Urban Affairs.

Questions?

Please e-mail Chingla Thao, undergraduate academic advisor, at fsos-undergrad@umn.edu.