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BS in Family Life: Family Studies Emphasis
(43 hours*)

The Discipline

Family studies designates a curriculum for those who wish to become skilled in a discipline of inquiry (theory, research, and practice) regarding all aspects of family life, including the temporal welfare of families, the interactions within a family, and the family's central role in community and culture.

Students will study the theories, contexts, and processes used to understand the dynamics of family interaction within and outside of the home. Students can study the practical skills required to meet human needs such as feeding, housing, clothing, and financing the family. The family studies major seeks to promote religious and community involvement that maintains and strengthens home and family as the fundamental unit of society.

This curriculum offers a foundation to understand the conduct and value of human social science. It also offers the student a specific focus, an identity and expertise, and freedom to create a program that best meets their professional and life goals. Specific goals for students include how to: (a) conduct and evaluate research efforts—reported both in journals and in the press, (b) use interpretive frameworks to offer coherent renditions of the meaning of human experience, (c) evaluate contexts of family interaction, and (d) apply family science knowledge to real-life issues that emerge in practice and daily family life.


Many possible careers are open to family studies majors. Because of the variety of options, SFL 101 has been created to help students create a course of study that will best fit their goals. The family studies faculty can provide individual consultation as students demand. An internship as a capstone experience is also an excellent way to integrate theory, research, and practice.

Research Opportunities

Students are encouraged to work with professors on research projects that help them experience the "how to" of being a family scientist. Students may contact faculty individually, seek mentoring grants from the university, register for internships (the capstone course) that help them integrate classroom learning with real-world experience, and create projects of their own.

Preparation for Graduate Studies

Students who plan to attend graduate school should take SFL 336 and 460. In addition, SFL 330 and Psych 342 will help students explore options for graduate study in marriage and family therapy. Other 300- and 400-level courses that emphasize human development or family studies will prepare students for the marriage, family, and human development graduate program.


Contact the Family and Social Services Internship Office, 945 SWKT, (801) 422-2168, for information.


School of Family Life Student Association (SFLSA)
Cougar FACS

Program Requirements    |    View MAP   |    View Program Outcomes

  1. The School of Family Life requires a minimum of 18 hours of SFL upper-division course work to be taken in residency at BYU. These hours count toward BYU's 30-hour residency requirement for graduation.
  2. Complete the following School of Family Life core courses:
  3. Complete the following family studies core courses:
      SFL 336 : Theories in Family Perspective. (3:3:0)(Credit Hours:Lecture Hours:Lab Hours)
      SFL 336 : Theories in Family Perspective. (3:3:0)(Credit Hours:Lecture Hours:Lab Hours)
      WHEN TAUGHT:Fall; Winter
      PREREQUISITE: SFL 101 & STAT 121 & SFL 290; SFL 160 or concurrent enrollment.
      DESCRIPTION: Introduction of major theoretical perspectives and of philosophical issues. Readings include representative papers applying theoretical and philosophic tenets.

      Course Outcomes

      SFL 460 : Advanced Family Processes. (3:3:0)(Credit Hours:Lecture Hours:Lab Hours)
      SFL 460 : Advanced Family Processes. (3:3:0)(Credit Hours:Lecture Hours:Lab Hours)
      WHEN TAUGHT:Fall; Winter; Spring; Summer
      PREREQUISITE: SFL 101 & STAT 121 & SFL 290; SFL 160 or concurrent enrollment.
      DESCRIPTION: Integrating theory, research, and application of ideas introduced in SFL 160, focusing on key theoretical points, how research is conducted and applied, communication patterns, ritualization, conflict, distance regulation, crises, stress, and building family strengths.

      Course Outcomes

  4. Complete 12 hours from any SFL upper-division (300-level and above) courses based on personal interests/professional goals. SFL 101 will provide guidance.
  5. Complete 6 hours from any SFL courses not already taken above.
  6. Complete three hours from one of the following capstone courses:
  7. Note: Students who take a full-time semester internship may earn up to 6 additional credit hours for SFL 399R. These additional hours will count toward graduation but not toward emphasis requirements. (A student in the Family Studies Emphasis may petition for 3 of the additional internship hours to count toward an upper-division elective.) For exceptions for capstone courses, contact department.

*Hours include courses that may fulfill university core requirements.

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