Family Science Degree

Online, In-Class
or Blended?
Online, In-Class or Blended?

Offered Online?
Classes meet entirely online.

Offered In-Class?
Classes meet face-to-face at our St. Paul campus or other off-campus location.

Offered Blended?
Course work is completed through a combination of in-class and online class meetings.

Bachelor of Arts in Family Science

Course Length: 7 Weeks
Total Credit Hours: 39
Cost Per Credit Hour: $420


best online programs 2013A family science degree gives you insights into family dynamics and behaviors and provides you with a foundation to plan, implement and evaluate strategies designed to promote positive growth and development in individuals and families. You will learn how to facilitate healthy interactions within families to foster positive communication and connections. You will also study individuals’ stages of development – from birth to death – and examine how these stages can affect family dynamics. Professionals in the family education field aim to create positive family environments where everyone benefits from supportive communication.

Students complete coursework to prepare for counseling and research roles that focus on maintaining healthy families. The family science degree includes courses on parenting, family systems, child growth and development, family communication and relationships.

Concordia University’s online family science degree program is approved by the National Council on Family Relations (NCFR). Graduates earn the designation of Certified Family Life Educator.

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Intro to Family Life Ed

This course is an introduction to the field of family life education.  Students will explore primary theoretical principles using the Life Span Family Life Education framework and professional issues influencing the practice of family life education.  Emphasizing key content areas, the students will be introduced to:  content area definitions and objectives; examples highlighting the integration of theory and practice in family life education; key resources; and future Issues and challenges for family life educators.


Overview of Contemp Families

This overview course is intended to provide the student with an understanding of families and their relationships to other institutions and an introduction to the family as a dynamic system. Specific attention will be given to family forms and composition; ethnicity and cultural variations; dating, courtship, and marital choice; gender roles; demographic trends among families; institutional effects on families and vice versa; and family structures and functions.


Family Systems

This course is an analysis of the family. It investigates the family as a system of relationships which interacts across the family life cycle. It includes a survey of current developments in the study of the family and an analysis of changes in American society and their influence on family life. Also included is a focus on marriage and family therapy from a systems framework.


Family Decision

This course familiarizes the student with an understanding of the decisions individuals make about developing and allocating resources to meet their goals. The focus of the course is on internal dynamics of family decision-making processes and on the goal-directed behaviors of families in improving their quality of life.


Family Comm & Relationships

This course familiarizes the student with an understanding of the psychological, spiritual and social aspects of developing and maintaining healthy interpersonal relationships. An emphasis will be placed on the physiological, psychological, social and sexual development of relationships across the life span.


Intimate Relationships

This course examines the intimacy of human sexuality and relationships. Specific attention will focus on the emotional and psychological aspects of sexual involvement, sexual values and decision-making, the physiological and pyschological components of the sexual response, and the influence of sexual involvement on interpersonal relationships.


Methodology in Fam Life Ed

This course provides the student with a conceptual framework for programming family life education.  Students will apply the methodology of adult learning to the broad principles of family life education.  Attention is directed at developing the ability to plan, implement, and evaluate family life education programming.  Through the lens of reflective practice, an emphasis is placed on educational methodology and leadership.  In addition, networking with community agencies and the resources and challenges of technology in delivering family life education is explored.


Growth & Dev in Children

This course will familiarize the student with child and adolescent developmental theories. Attention will focus on the physical, emotional, cognitive, social, moral, sexual and spiritual development of the child and adolescent. Application of developmental concepts to family life education will be emphasized. The course will emphasize the child’s position in the family life cycle.


Adolescent Development

This course examines developmental characteristics of adolescence from a family systems perspective; covering physiological, emotional, cognitive, parent-child, social, vocational and religious dimensions with application to family life education and ministry.


Development in Adulthood

This course familiarizes the student with adult develomental and gerontological theory. Attention will focus on the physical, emotional, cognitive, social, moral, sexual and spiritual development of the adult. Developmental concepts across the life span related to family life education will be emphasized.


Parent Education

This course explores how parents teach, guide, and influence their children and adolescents. The course will emphasize parenting as a process, a responsibility and a role that changes across the life span. Variations in parenting practices will be discussed in the context of building on strengths, empowering parents, and remaining sensitive to individual and community needs.


Family Law Public Policy

This course explores historical development of laws and public policy affecting families.  Ethics and ethical implications of social change will be explored.  Students will understand the legal definition of the family and laws that affect the status of the family.  The course will focus on the role of the family life educator as an advocate for the well being of the family.  The formation of social values, respect for the diversity of values, and the social consequences of value choices are discussed within a family life education framework.


Portfolio and Synthesis

The final course is designed to help learners reflect on all they have done in the program. Through guest speakers, research study and reflection on practice, students will synthesize all they have learned. Preparation of a professional portfolio will cap the learning experience.


1. Apply Online

2. Final and official transcripts from all previous institutions attended
* If you have attended a MNSCU college or university we also ask that you provide an official accompanying DARS or MnTC goal area worksheet.  Concordia accepts completed goal areas.
* If you have less than 20 college credits completed, you will need to submit your official high school transcript as well as any college level courses you have taken.

3. Submit a typed personal statement that answers the questions listed below.  Completed statements should be labeled with your name, academic program, and your contact information and submitted via mail, email or fax. Each question should be answered in a minimum of 300 words (1 page).

What has led you to pursue your undergraduate degree?
What are your long term personal and professional goals?

4. Applicants of the BA-Family Science must be a practitioner in their field through work or volunteerism and should demonstrate this involvement on their resume.

Technology Requirements
Students enrolling in an adult undergraduate program must have access to a computer that meets Concordia University's technology requirements. Contact Concordia's Help Desk at or 651-641-8866 with any questions regarding these requirements.

Concordia University Technology Requirements (PDF)

Start Dates

Spring 2015 Term

Start Date: Monday, January 12, 2015
Delivery: Online
Class Day: Monday
Chat Time: 7-7:45 p.m. CST

*128 credits need to be completed to earn bachelor's degree