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Department Overview

Family and Consumer Studies (FCS) is an interdisciplinary department where faculty and students examine how the social, economic, political and physical environments affect families, individuals, and consumers. The teaching, research, and service done in the Department focuses on expanding our understanding of how the welfare of individuals, and the families in which they live, are affected by external forces and internal forces. As such, the Department emphasizes applied social science research and teaching with a strong public policy orientation.

The FCS faculty includes individuals trained in business education, demography, education, family economics, gerontology, human development and family studies, psychology, and sociology. This mix of backgrounds has helped the Department to cultivate an inter-disciplinary environment that influences faculty research and faculty service as well as our undergraduate and graduate programs.

Undergraduate Program

The Department offers two undergraduate majors:

  1. Human Development and Family Studies
  2. Consumer & Community Studies

The two undergraduate majors emphasize interdisciplinary training within the social sciences and both provide excellent pre-professional background for graduate work in the fields of business, education, public policy, health, law, social work, social services, and architecture/planning.

Courses in our undergraduate majors also support a number of other programs on campus including Behavioral Science and Health, Child Life Specialist, Early Childhood Education, Financial Planning and Environmental Studies. Many of our classes have a Service Learning component. Minors are also available in each areas of study.

Graduate Program

The Department offers a two-year, thesis-based graduate program that leads to a masters degree in Human Development and Social Policy. Graduate training emphasizes the acquisition of principles fundamental to theory, empirical investigation, and application to public policy planning, service delivery and program evaluation. The program prepares students for potential employment with both public and private agencies as well as for doctoral work in related programs. Financial support is available for graduate students participating in the program. Out-of-state residents may also qualify for in-state tuition through the Western Interstate Commission for Higher Education program.

Additional Resouces & Information

There are several special resources within the FCS department. The Child and Family Development Center consists of several preschool laboratories that provide learning opportunities for children, students, and parents. The center also provides research facilities and opportunities for University faculty and graduate students. The Computer Laboratory provides undergraduate and graduate students with access to PC's that are linked to the University computing community. The lab is located in 330 AEB and is open from 8:00am to 8:00pm Monday through Friday while school is in session during fall and spring semesters.

The Marriott Library has provided a resource for library research in consumer studies and family economics, human development and family studies, environment and behavior, and family ecology at http://campusguides.lib.utah.edu/fcs