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Family, Community, & Human Development

The objective of the Family, Community, and Human Development (FCHD) major is to provide students with a broad and detailed understanding of the processes of personal development in the context of the family, and as impacted by community and societal forces beyond the family. More specifically, students with a FCHD major will acquire an understanding of:

  • The key features of development through each stage of life (infants, children, adolescents and adults);
  • How these key features of development are impacted by experience to account for the ways that each of us is unique;
  • How family members develop and maintain relationships within and across generations;
  • The decisions people make about managing resources such as time, money, and material assets;

  • The ways that individual and family well-being are impacted by community and societal forces;
  • The impact of local, national, and international policies and laws on individual, family and community well-being;
  • How research in these areas is conducted and evaluated, and how the findings from these works may be applied to enhance the well-being of individuals (at every age) and families

FCHD major requirements

In addition to the breadth and depth of our FCHD major as summarized above, our department offers students three opportunities for diving more deeply into specific areas of focus that are both relevant to the broader goals of our major and oriented toward specific career opportunities. These include:

  • Child Life If you plan to work with children in a medical setting this emphasis is for you! Learn how to meet the social and emotional needs of young children and their families in medical setting. This Emphasis is great for pre-med and pre-nursing students and fulfills all the educational requirements for those who want to become Child Life Specialists.
  • Early Childhood Education provides students with a foundation for a career working with young children (0-5) in early care, education, and other applied settings
  • Financial Planning This emphasis meets specific criteria set forward by the Certified Financial Planner Board of Standards for preparing students for a professional career as a financial planner.

While further certifications, exams, and/or work experiences may be necessary to eventually qualify for jobs in these areas, the FCHD degree combined with the relevant emphasis provides students the all-important educational experiences required for pursuing these, and many other careers (link to our jobs page). And that’s not all.  The FCHD major also provides our students with a strong foundation for continuing on to graduate school in multiple related fields (psychology, human development and family studies, sociology, social work, and public policy to name a few), medical school, and law school: Our graduates have had success in all of these areas.

Come explore the endless opportunities offered by our FCHD major, and welcome to the family!




Last Updated: 6/6/23