University of Southern Mississippi

Department of Child & Family Studies
CFLE Approved
Last Updated

The mission of the Department of Child and Family Studies is to educate and inspire students to improve the lives of children, families, and communities. The department emphasizes a systemic approach that prepares students to become child and family human service and education professionals.

Program Overview
Program Administrator
Dr. Pat Sims
Department Emphasis
  • 100% Child and Family Studies
Campus Enrollment
Program Options
  • Undergraduate
  • Master’s
Areas of Study
  • Child or Adolescent Science/Studies - Master's
  • Development (Child, Human, or Family) - Undergraduate
  • Family Science/Studies - Master's
  • Family Science/Studies - Undergraduate
  • Therapy (Couples, Marriage, or Family) - Master's
Department Address

118 College Dr., # 5035
Hattiesburg, MS 39406
United States

Phone Number
Undergraduate Program
Undergrad Program Options
  • Child Development
  • Family Relations
Undergrad Courses Offered
  • Administration of Child and Family Programs
  • Behavior and Guidance of the Young Child
  • Child Development Methods and Materials
  • Contemporary Issues Affecting the Quality of Life
  • Curriculum Activities for Young Children
  • Advanced Child Development
  • Developmental Disabilities in Early Childhood
  • The Family in Later Life
  • Family Theories
  • Infant Development
  • Marital and Family Relationships
  • Parenthood
  • Personal and Family Financial Management
  • Social and Professional Development
  • Personal Development and Interpersonal Relationships
  • Sexuality in the Family
  • Special Problems in Child Development
  • Special Problems in Child and Family Studies
  • Supervised Practicum
Undergrad Accreditations/Approval
Undergrad Comments

The Bachelor of Science degree in child and family studies prepares students for positions of leadership in the public, private, and non-profit sectors.  The program is offered face-to-face and fully online.As professionals serving children and families, our graduates are equipped to design, implement and assess developmentally effective and inclusive programs for culturally diverse populations. Graduates with a child development emphasis choose careers as state-licensed pre-K and kindergarten educators, early childhood practitioners and consultants, administrators of early childhood programs, and advocates for children and families. Graduates with a family relations emphasis choose careers that provide opportunities to assist at-risk teens, administer substance abuse outreach, provide child protective services, serve as mental health case managers, and effectively evaluate community needs. The Bachelor of Science Degree program is accredited by the American Association of Family and Consumer Sciences (AAFCS) and meets the criteria required for approval as a Provisional Certified Family Life Educator (CFLE).

Graduate Program
Graduate Director
Marriage and Family Therapy M.S. Program: Dr. Heath Grames; Child and Family Studies M.S. Online Program: Dr. Amanda Williams
Graduate Courses Offered
  • Individual and Family Life Cycle Development
  • Theories of MFT: Survey Major Models
  • Theories of MFT: Evidence-Based
  • Special Problems in Family Relations
  • Pre-Practicum
  • Assessment in Marriage and Family Therapy
  • Practice of Research in Child and Family Studies
  • Supervised Practicum
  • Gender and Culture
  • Ethics
  • Couples Therapy
  • Parents and Children: Problem Resolution
  • Sex Therapy
  • Theories in Child and Family Studies
  • Advanced Child Development
  • Program Evaluation and Assessment
  • Family Life Education
  • Parenting Across the Lifespan
  • Family Advocacy
  • Individual and Life Cycle Development
  • Adolescence and the Family System
  • Marriage Education
  • Adulthood and Aging in the Family System
  • Practicum in Child and Family Studies
Master's Level
Masters Program Options
  • Marriage and Family Therapy
  • Child and Family Studies
Masters Comments

Marriage and Family Therapy Program:

The University of Southern Mississippi Master of Science in Marriage and Family Therapy program is accredited by the Commission on Accreditation for Marriage and Family Therapy Education. The program currently offers both a full-time track and a part-time track. Both tracks combine academic course work and supervised clinical experiences with individuals, couples and families. They are designed to focus on the integration of theory, research, and clinical practice throughout the family life span. Full-time students normally complete their degree requirements in two full academic years while part-time students complete degree requirements in three or four years.

Child and Family Studies Online Program:

The Master of Science in Child and Family Studies is a fully online program that emphasizes the integration of theory, research, and experiential learning. It builds on a foundation in family systems theory and emphasizes leadership, critical thinking skills, and the connection between research and practice. Students are equipped with knowledge and skills necessary to promote quality of life and to serve as an effective advocate for families across the lifespan. Graduates from this program are prepared for leadership positions in organizations, agencies, and educational settings that serve children and families. Program graduates are also prepared to pursue advanced graduate work at specialist and doctoral levels.

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
CFLE Contact
Pat Sims, Ed.D.
CFLE Contact Email