University of Maryland

Department of Family Science
Last Updated

The Department of Family Science provides an interdisciplinary approach to studying families and the problems they face in today's society. Students obtain broad knowledge of family theory, programs, and structures; family/health policy; ethnic families; and research methodology. Students learn to design, implement, and evaluate culturally-sensitive programs addressing family needs and analyze the consequences of public and private policies on family well-being. The Department is proud of the rich diversity of its faculty and students and has a commitment to researching strengths and challenges of culturally diverse families. The Department has four times been named Outstanding Academic Unit by the UMCP President's Commission on Ethnic Minority Issues because of its sensitivity to gender, class, race, religious and cultural issues. Our close proximity to Washington, D.C., Baltimore, and the state capital offers unparalleled opportunities for internships in government agencies, research laboratories, think tanks, corporate offices, military services, and national child/family organizations.

Program Overview
Program Administrator
Dr. Elaine Anderson (Chair)
Department Emphasis
  • 90% Family Science (undergraduate)
  • 5% Couple & Family Therapy
  • 2% Maternal & Child Health
  • 2%Family Science (Ph.D.)
Campus Enrollment
Program Options
  • Undergraduate
  • Master’s
  • Doctoral
Areas of Study
  • Family Science/Studies - Undergraduate
  • Therapy (Couples, Marriage, or Family) - Master's
  • Family Science/Studies - Doctoral
Department Address

1142 School of Public Health Building
College Park, MD 20742
United States

Phone Number
Undergraduate Program
Undergrad Program Options
  • Family Science
Undergrad Courses Offered
  • Families and Global Health
  • Credit Cards and College Students
  • Individuals in Families
  • Future of Families: Issues and Controversies
  • Couple Relationships
  • Global, Child and Family Health: Getting There Via e-Communications
  • Family Economics
  • Research Methods in Family Science
  • Family Theories and Patterns
  • Children in Families
  • Personal and Family Finance
  • Interpersonal Communication Processes
  • Cultural Competence in Family and Health Services
  • Poverty, Affluence, and Families
  • Delivery of Human Services to Families
  • Maternal, Child and Family Health
  • African American Families
  • Military and Veteran Family Services
  • Gender Issues in Families
  • Family Crises and Intervention
  • Adult Development and Aging in Families
  • Death and Loss in Family Life
  • Family Services and Human Service Organizations
  • Sexuality: Issues in Family Therapy and Service Delivery
  • Family Policy Analysis
  • Violence in Families
  • Internship and Analysis in Family Science
  • Work and Family Issues and Programs
  • Introduction to Family Therapy
  • Legal Aspects of Family Problems
  • Addiction and Recovery in the Context of the Family
  • The Child and the Law
  • The Role of Men in Gender Equitable Communities
  • Family Mediation
  • Community Violence Research
Undergrad Comments

The undergraduate program emphasizes the family as a dynamic social unit and addresses the social, cultural, historical, and economic trends that affect family functioning and development. Students study a wide range of family issues, including changing family forms and lifestyles, family economics, intergenerational relations, family crises, legal problems, work and family issues, poverty, domestic and community violence, and human service delivery. The program emphasizes writing, speaking, and computing across the curriculum. All students participate in a 120-hour internship in a community agency working on family issues.

Graduate Program
Graduate Director
Dr. Kevin Roy
Graduate Courses Offered
  • Family Theories
  • Ethnic Families and Health Disparities
  • Research Methods in Family Science
  • Theory and Research in Human Sexuality
  • Family Therapy: Theory and Techniques
  • Couples Therapy: Theory and Techniques
  • Normal and Abnormal Individual and Family Development
  • Issues in Family Therapy and Service Delivery
  • Sex Therapy: Theory, Skills and Practice
  • Theory and Techniques of Family Mediation
  • Ethical, Legal, and Professional Principles in Couple and Family Therapy
  • Psychopathology in the Family Context
  • Diagnosis and Treatment of Mental and Emotional Disorders in Family Systems
  • Advanced Application of Couple and Family Therapy Models and Techniques
  • Clinical Marriage and Family Therapy Practice
  • Supervised Clinical Practice of Couple and Family Therapy
  • Program Planning and Evaluation
  • Research Internship
  • Family-Community Consultation
  • Trauma and Addictions in the Context of Family
  • Methods for Policy Research on Families
  • Analysis of Family Systems and Dysfunction
  • Independent Study
  • Applications of Advances Quantitative Methods to Family Research
  • Maternal and Child Health from a Life Course Perspective
  • Perinatal, Child, and Adolescent Health
  • Key Topics in Maternal and Child Health
  • Gender and Ethnicity in Family Therapy and Service Delivery
  • Family and Health Policy
  • Supervision of Couple and Family Therapy Supervision
  • Legal Issues & Families
  • Qualitative Methods in Family and Health Research
  • Non-thesis Research
  • Couple and Family Therapy Supervision
  • Master's Thesis Research
  • Theory in Family Systems in Family Health
  • Maternal and Child Health Epidemiology
  • Preparing Future Faculty and Professionals
  • Doctoral Dissertation Research
Master's Level
Masters Program Options
  • Couple & Family Therapy
Masters Comments

The M.S. in Couple & Family Therapy (CFT) provides students with the required coursework and supervised clinical training for Marriage and Family Therapy licensure. An accredited program by the Commission on Accreditation for Marriage and Family Therapy Education of AAMFT, we seek to train professionals demonstrating superior therapeutic skills, ethical integrity, intellectual curiosity, and a sincere commitment to working with families from diverse populations. Students completing the CFT M.S. have obtained positions such as marriage and family therapist, adoptions/foster care caseworker, substance abuse/addiction counselor, director of counseling services, school therapist, director of university resident life program, and employee assistance counselor.

Doctoral Level
Doctoral Program Options
  • Family Science
  • Maternal & Child Health
Doctoral Comments

The Family Science Ph.D. adopts an ecological/systems approach, examining family theory, research methodology, family policy, family programs, ethnic families, and contemporary family issues. Students learn to design, implement, and evaluate culturally-sensitive interventions and analyze consequences of public/private policies for family well-being. The Maternal and Child Health Ph.D. provides interdisciplinary training in research, practice, and policy relevant to health problems/services for women, infants, children, and families, with an emphasis on low-income and minority populations. Graduates of both programs are prepared for careers in college/university teaching, research, policy analysis, and health/human services administration. The Department offers the national Preparing Future Faculty program.

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.