Skip to main content Skip to footer
A university student works with children in a clinic setting.

Child and Family Studies

The Bachelor of Science Degree in Child and Family Studies prepares students for exciting and challenging careers in educational, institutional, and human service organizations, in public, private, and nonprofit sectors.

What is Child and Family Studies?

Students seeking a degree in Child and Family Studies will choose one of two emphasis areas, Child Development or Family Relations. Both emphasis areas earn a Bachelor of Science in Child and Family Studies, so students will take many of the same CD and FAM courses before taking classes specific to their chosen emphasis.

The main difference between the two emphases is the students intended career goal. Students choosing to emphasize in Child Development take literacy courses and more experiential lab courses than their FAM peers and complete a 9 credit hour practicum their final semester. Students choosing to emphasize in Family Relations take more Psychology or Public Health courses than their CD peers and complete a 3 credit hour practicum their final semester.


CFS students will take courses in social and professional development, interpersonal communication, child development, marital and family relationships, families and adolescents, behavior and guidance, personal and family financial management, sexuality in the family, infant development, parenthood, the family in later life, and developmental disabilities.

Those emphasizing in CD will take courses in administration of child and family programs, child development methods and materials, curriculum activities for young children, and literacy. Those emphasizing in FAM will take courses in case management, abnormal psychology, drug use, and their choice of 9 hours of directed electives.

Degree Options

There are two Bachelor of Science (BS) degrees available with this major.

More about this Major


Graduates with a degree in child and family studies with an emphasis in child development are employed as licensed pre-school and kindergarten teachers, program evaluators, and technical assistant specialists.

Those with an emphasis in family relations are employed in human service agencies, mental health agencies, cooperative extension agencies, and faith based and non-profit organizations. Jobs in these areas are growing as fast as or faster than the average for all occupations.

• 87% of our graduates from the 2015-2016 school year were either employed or in graduate school six months after graduation
• Average salary of sample jobs: $27,130 - $54,550 per year in the U.S.

Courses You Might Take

CD 350: Child Development

Designed to present theory, research, and evidence-based practice concerning the physical, cognitive, emotional, and social development of children

CD 452/L: Child Development Methods and Materials

Evaluation and selection of methods and curriculum materials used to promote the optimal development of young children in all developmental domains. Includes an experiential lab component at the Center for Child Development, to implement methods and curriculum materials used to promote the optimal development of young children.

FAM 151: Personal Development and Interpersonal Relationships

A study of human development through awareness and understanding of peer and family relationships

FAM 351: Marital and Family Relationships

A study of relationship changes over the family life cycle with an emphasis on the systemic nature of interactions

Meet Some of Your Professors

Ms. Melinda Bowens


Favorite Course: FAM 351: Marital and Family Relationships

Expertise: Service learning, community involvement, mental health and the family, and systemic family practices

Ms. Krystin Flowers

Instructor, Advisement Center Coordinator

Favorite Course: FAM 401: Family Life Education

Expertise: Student success at the collegiate level, with a focus on first generation college students, minority students, the impact of goal setting, and motivation

Dr. Angel Herring

Assistant Professor, Undergraduate Program Director

Favorite Course: CD 350: Child Development

Expertise: Student supports and engagement, Common Core and pre-k/k DAP implications, social media and perception of self, parent-child relations, embedding social studies through DAP

Dr. Claire Kimberly

Assistant Professor

Favorite Course: FAM 450: Administration of Child and Family Programs

Expertise: Family communication, marital satisfaction, sexual health

Dr. Lindsay Wright

Assistant Professor

Favorite Course: CD 351: Advanced Child Development

Expertise: Infant development, breastfeeding, parent education, child development, child care

Take the Next Steps

Let's Connect

Get in touch so we can share the information you need to learn more about your future at Southern Miss.

Come See Us

Visit our beautiful Hattiesburg or Gulf Park campuses. Seeing for yourself is a great way to get to know us better.

Apply to Southern Miss

Be aware of our deadlines, $40 application fee and other items on our checklist. Admission requirements vary for freshmen, transfers, prospective Honors College students and others.

Southern Miss undergraduate degrees are available online, at the Hattiesburg campus, at the Gulf Park campus, and/or through a hybrid delivery that includes both online and on-campus courses.