In Child and Family Studies (CFS), you’ll explore cultural, economic, and social factors that shape children and families, and their relationships. The program brings together research, theory and field work with children and families to prepare you for a future in:

  • Early Child Development: Improve young children’s capacity to develop and learn
  • Youth and Family Development: Focus on youth and family needs, including social services, health, juvenile justice programs, counseling centers, and recreation and athletic programs
  • Early Childhood Education: Provide the foundation young children need to be successful
  • Child Life Specialist: Help children and their families overcome life’s most challenging events
  • Certified Family Life Educator (CFLE): Build skills to strengthen family experience

You can specialize in the fields listed above, or pursue a master’s degree track in early childhood education (four years undergraduate and a one-year master’s).

Sample Courses

Core coursework covers family development, interpersonal competence, human sexuality, and development of children in the family. Sample courses include:

  • Intro to Gerontology
  • Power, Conflict and Violence in Families
  • Work and Family in the 21st Century
  • Lust, Love and Relationships
  • Development across the Lifecycle
  • Human Development and Sport

Practical Experience

The Child and Family Studies program provides you in-class and field experiences so that you can practice working with children and families from various cultures and social settings.

  • Create activities for children at the Bernice M. Wright Child Development Laboratory School, an inclusive early childhood education program located on campus.
  • Participate in an internship focused on enriched early childhood programs and inclusive education.
  • Gain experience through a practicum in a community organization such as Head Start, Syracuse City School District, or SUNY Upstate Medical University.
  • Join faculty members as they research such areas as marriage, crises in families, and parenting.

Study Abroad

Broaden your perspective and enhance your resume with a study abroad experience during your college years. Consistently ranked among the top 25 in the U.S., SU Abroad has more than 100 programs in 60 countries. CFS students most often study abroad in South Africa, Italy, Chile, and China.

Explore Study Abroad opportunities for students in Falk College.

Life after Syracuse University

As a graduate with a degree in Child and Family Studies, you can explore such careers as:

  • Preschool Teacher
  • Juvenile Program Supervisor
  • Case Manager
  • Community Service Director

Or, pursue graduate training in such areas as psychology, social work, health, law, or education. Recent graduates of the program have attended some of the top graduate schools in the U.S.

Learn more about Child and Family Studies.