Family Studies


Family and Child Major

Students in child life typically have room to declare two concentrations (like a double major) within the Family and Child Major:

This concentration prepares you for professions that promote the well-being of children and families across the lifespan, in both professional and personal contexts. The program coursework is approved by the National Council on Family Relations for certification as a Family Life Educator. Family life educators work to prevent serious family problems through skills education related to interpersonal communication and problem solving, effective parenting, couples and marriage enrichment, family stress and crisis management, family caregiving, and more. The program includes a strong foundation of child development and well-being. Family studies also provides ideal preparation for students interested in pursuing advanced degrees in marriage and family counseling, family law, or social research. Family studies is sometimes referred to as Family Science.

The family studies curriculum can also be tailored to meet the educational requirements for the national Child & Youth Care Certification to open up doors as a youth worker, which includes working with older children and adolescents in a variety of settings (e.g., after school programs, juvenile delinquent services, Big Brother/Big Sister and YMCA type community organizations, youth camps, etc.) to promote positive youth development and supportive family environments.

Program Benefits

  • Quality Faculty: Our instructors have real-world experience in family and child. Read their bios.
  • Hands-on Experience: Our coursework includes hands-on experience in the Mitchell Early Childhood and Family Center.
  • Real-World Applications: Our programs offer real-world applications and immersive learning projects that make finding a job after graduation much easier.
  • Living Learning Community: As a freshman, you’ll live in North West Hall with other Early Childhood, Youth, and Family Studies students. Our Living-Learning Community will allow you to get to know your classmates and connect with our campus through team-building activities that promote higher academic achievement. Learn more.

Student Objectives

  • Understand the major theories in family studies and appropriately apply to practice.
  • Understand and critically evaluate the research process and key content knowledge in family studies and translate research findings and content knowledge into practice.
  • Understand and demonstrate professional and ethical behavior.
  • Demonstrate effective oral and written communication skills for Family Studies, including the use of technology when appropriate.
  • Understand the influence of the broader social, cultural, and historical context on children, families, and relationships and apply to practice.
  • Successfully complete the criteria for provisional Family Life Education certification (and Child & Youth Care Certification, when interested).

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Take the Next Step

If you’d like to learn more about our Family Studies concentration, complete our online form. Or one of the best ways to get a true feel for Ball State is to see it for yourself, so schedule a visit today! And if you’re ready to apply, review our admission requirements and complete our online application.

Have Questions?

Contact the Department of Early Childhood, Youth, and Family Studies so we can help.


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