Children playing and hugging teacher.

Our family and child major will prepare you to make a lasting difference in the lives of families and children. As a student, you will pick from three closely related concentrations in child development, family studies, and child life. You'll graduate equipped to work in a variety of settings-from child care centers to hospitals to family service agencies-or primed to pursue graduate or doctoral studies.

Program Benefits

Our instructors have real-world experience in family and child.

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Our coursework includes hands-on experience in the Child Study Center.

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Our programs offer real-world applications and immersive learning projects that make finding a job after graduation much easier.

Major Requirements

The bachelor's degree program in family and child consists of 120 credits, including the University Core Curriculum, specialized family and child coursework dependent on your concentration, and general electives to round out your degree.

Credits Required

120

Concentrations

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National Accreditation

The Teachers College is accredited by the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education. Learn more.

Child Development

The child development concentration prepares you to work with infants, toddlers, young children, and their families. You'll graduate equipped to work as a teacher, administrator, home visitor, departmental therapist, or coach in early care settings, education programs, child care centers, Head Start locations, or family child care homes.

Student Objectives

  • Understand the major theories in child development and appropriately apply to practice.
  • Understand and critically evaluate the research process and key content knowledge in child development and translate research findings and content knowledge into practice.
  • Understand and demonstrate professional and ethical behavior.
  • Demonstrate effective oral and written communication skills for child development, 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 coursework aligned with the 6 core NAEYC Standards for Early Childhood Professional Preparation:
    • promoting child development and learning
    • building family and community relationships
    • observing, documenting, and assessing to support young children and families
    • using developmentally effective approaches to connect with children and families
    • using content knowledge to build meaningful curriculum
    • becoming a professional

Courses

For a complete list of all the classes you will take and their descriptions, consult our Course Catalog.

Our concentration in child life prepares you to pursue a career assisting pediatric patients and their families in health care settings. Child life students learn to apply child development and family practices to meet the needs of their target audience. Our coursework aligns with the curricular emphases of the Child Life Council, the certifying organization for the profession.

Student Objectives

  • Understand theories in family and child and be able to apply them in practice.
  • Understand and critically evaluate the research process and key content knowledge in child life and translate research findings and key content knowledge into practice.
  • Understand and demonstrate professional behavior.
  • Demonstrate effective oral and written communication skills for child life, 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 these to practice in the child life field.

Courses

For a complete list of all the classes you will take and their descriptions, consult our Course Catalog.

This concentration prepares you for professions that promote the well-being of individuals and families across the lifespan, in both professional and personal contexts. The program coursework is approved by the National Council on Family Relations (NCFR) for certification as a Family Life Educator. Family life education incorporates a preventive and educational approach to addressing numerous family issues, including communication and relationship skills, effective parenting, couples and marriage enrichment, family engagement, youth work, eldercare, and more. Family studies also provides ideal preparation for students interested in pursuing advanced degrees in marriage and family counseling, family law, or social research.

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 certification as a family life educator.

Courses

For a complete list of all the classes you will take and their descriptions, consult our Course Catalog.

Paying for Your Education

Department Scholarships

On top of the dozens of scholarships the university offers its students, our department gives awards every year to its own students to recognize them for their achievements. Learn more.

Ready to Apply?

Are you interested in pursuing a bachelor's degree in family and consumer sciences? The first step is to apply as an undergraduate student to Ball State University.

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More Information

Place matters, and that is particularly true on our beautiful campus—our size, our people, our culture, and our amenities. Come see it for yourself by scheduling a visit through hour Office of Undergraduate Admissions. Of if you’d rather speak directly to someone in our department, feel free to call or email us.