Northern Illinois University

School of Family and Consumer Sciences
CFLE Approved
Last Updated

Program Overview

The School of Family and Consumer Sciences (FACS) prepares professionals who support families and individuals in meeting their human needs in the context of lifespan development. Approximately 600 undergraduate and 60 graduate students are enrolled in FACS degree programs in the areas of Human Development and Family Sciences, Hospitality and Tourism Management, and Fashion Merchandising. The programs are based on an interdisciplinary approach, drawing upon the behavioral sciences, natura sciences, and the humanities. Students learn theories and their application to professions in nonprofit organizations, private practice, government, education, and business. All out-of-state students attending Northern Illinois University are able to enroll in all courses at in-state tuition rates.

Undergraduate Program in Human Development and Family Sciences (B.S.)

Students in the Human Development and Family Sciences (B.S.) program are prepared for a variety of family and child serving careers and/or future graduate study. Students may choose from three emphases including Family and Individual Development, Family Social Services or Child Development and may complete NCFR approved coursework needed for becoming a Certified Family Life Educator (CFLE). Students in the Family Social Services emphasis may pursue coursework in preparation for taking the Illinois Child Welfare Licensing (CWEL) exam through a partnership with the Illinois Department of Child and Family Services. Each emphasis provides students with real world experience through both practicums, internships and undergraduate research activities. Students enrolled in the Human Development and Family Sciences program may participate in both the local student NCFR and NAEYC affiliates.

Graduate Program in Human Development and Family Sciences (M.S.)

Master's graduates are prepared for advanced practice and professional leadership as well as pursuit of doctoral work. The M.S. in Applied Human Development and Family Sciences (AHDFS) provides professional career enhancement for programming and administration in family social services and child development settings in for-profit, community and governmental agencies as well as the foundation needed for graduate work at the doctoral level. Career settings include youth work, gerontology, child life programs in hospitals, infant and child care programs, family support services, family life, and parenting education programs. Students that enroll in AHDFS's COAMFTE accredited Specialization in Marriage and Family Therapy are trained to become professional marriage and family therapists. Students that enroll in AHDFS's Specialization in Leadership in Aging Studies are trained for employment in applied settings including becoming licensed nursing home administrators. Many students in the AHDFS program receive financial support in the form of Graduate Assistantships.

Program Overview
Program Administrator
Dr. Thomas W. Pavkov (Chair)
Department Emphasis
  • 60% Human Development and Family Sciences
  • ― 25% Child Development emphasis
  • ― 25% Family Social Services emphasis
  • ― 10% Family and Individual Development emphasis
  • 10% Fashion Merchandising
  • 20% Hospitality and Tourism Management
  • 10% Applied Human Development and Family Sciences/Marriage and Family Therapy/Leadership in Aging Studies
Campus Enrollment
21,000
Program Options
  • Undergraduate
  • Master’s
Areas of Study
  • Child or Adolescent Science/Studies - Undergraduate
  • Development (Child, Human, or Family) - Master's
  • Early Childhood - Undergraduate
  • Family Science/Studies - Master's
  • Family Science/Studies - Undergraduate
  • Therapy (Couples, Marriage, or Family) - Master's
Department Address

118 Wirtz Hall
Dekalb, IL 60115-2854
United States

Phone Number
815-753-1543
Undergraduate Program
Undergrad Program Options
  • Human Development and Family Sciences
  • ― Child Development emphasis
  • ― Family Social Service emphasis
  • ― Family and Individual Development emphasis
  • Fashion Merchandising
  • Hospitality and Tourism Management
Undergrad Courses Offered
  • Personal Development and the Family
  • Human Nutrition
  • Child Development
  • An Observational Approach to the Study of Young Children
  • Human Development, the Family, and Society
  • Introduction to Family Relationships
  • Principles of Guiding Young Children
  • Inclusive Program Planning for Infants, Toddlers and their Parents
  • Inclusive Program Planning for Children aged 3 to 8 and their Parents
  • Family Financial Planning
  • Group Processes and Personal and Family Functioning
  • Clinical Applications in Family Social Services
  • Asian American Families
  • Child Health and Nutrition
  • Child Welfare Foundations
  • Domestic Violence and Trauma
  • Internship: Family Services
  • Theories of Human Development
  • Administration and Supervision of Programs for Young Children
  • Parent-Child Interaction from Birth to 8 Years
  • Parent Education
  • Play Therapy
  • Infant Development in the Family
  • Management of Human and Family Resources
  • Professional Practices in Family Social Services
  • Family Theories
  • Aging and the Family
  • Introduction to Child Life Theory and Practice
  • Working with Ethnically Diverse Children and Families
  • Social Policies, Children and Families
  • Child Abuse and Neglect
  • Practicum: Child Development
Undergrad Accreditations/Approval
CFLE, CWEL (Child Welfare Licensure)
Undergrad Comments

B.S. in Human Development and Family Sciences provides 3 emphases: Family and Individual Development, which provides career enhancement for students with prior relevant work experience; Family Social Services, intended for students seeking entry-level employment in family service, family life education, mental health, child welfare or community welfare agencies serving older children, adolescents, adults, couples, and/or the elderly; Child Development, which provides preparation for professionals serving infants, toddlers, young children and their parents in child-life, early intervention, and early childhood programs. The program participates as an “entitled” program as approved by the Illinois Gateways credentialing program and the Illinois Department of Child and Family Services University Partnership.

Graduate Program
Graduate Director
Dr. Scott Sibley
Graduate Courses Offered
  • Theories of Child Development
  • Administration and Supervision of Programs for Young Children
  • Parent-Child Interaction from Birth to 8 Years
  • Parent Education
  • Infant Development in the Family
  • Management of Human and Family Resources
  • Family Theories
  • Aging and the Family
  • Child Abuse and Neglect
  • The Family and Divorce
  • Working with Ethnically Diverse Children and Families
  • Seminar in Human Development and Family Studies
  • Research Methods
  • Internship in Community Programs: (1) Child Development (2) Family Services (3) Marriage and Family Therapy (4) Parent Education.
  • Behavioral Assessment of the Infant and Young Child
  • The Child in the Family
  • Practicum, Family Therapy
  • The Family with Adolescents
  • Readings in Family and Child Studies
  • Assessment in Marriage and Family Therapy
  • Profesional Issues in Family Therapy
  • Addiction and Substance Abuse in Family Therapy
  • Marriage and Family Therapy Strategies: (1) Treatment of Children and Adolescents (2) Treatment of Couples
  • Approaches to Marriage and Family Therapy
  • Thesis
  • Teaching College-Level Family and Consumer Sciences
Master's Level
Masters Program Options
  • Applied Family & Child Studies
  • Marriage & Family Therapy (COAMFTE accredited)
  • Leadership in Aging Studies
Masters Comments

The M.S. in Applied Family and Child Studies provides professional career enhancement for advanced graduate work and research, secondary and college teaching, and programming and administration in family social services and child development settings in community and government agencies, including youth work, gerontology programming, child life programs in hospitals, infant and child care programs, family support services, and family life and parenting education. The program also offers the option of the Specialization in Marriage and Family Therapy, COAMFTE accredited, which emphasizes the practical application of systemic family therapy principles to the diagnosis and treatment of problems in human relationships. The Leadership in Aging Studies specialization prepares students for becoming licensed nursing home administrators.

CFLE Information

NCFR recognizes schools offering undergraduate and graduate degree programs with course work that follows the Standards and Criteria required for approval as a Provisional Certified Family Life Educator (CFLE). NCFR approval allows the school to offer their graduates the opportunity to apply for Provisional Certification using the Abbreviated Application process. The CFLE Checklist represents the courses that meet the CFLE criteria at that school. Students must complete all the courses on a checklist in order to qualify to apply for the CFLE designation through the Abbreviated Application process.

Program Approved Since
6/1/2006
CFLE Contact
Jane Rose Njue, Ph.D., CFLE
CFLE Contact Email