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Online Courses and Classes in Family Studies

Online university courses in family studies are offered at the associate, bachelor's and master's degree level. These courses often include topics related to human services, such as family counseling or advocacy.

Online Family Studies Courses

Below are some examples of the family studies courses that are commonly offered online.

  • Introductory Family Studies and Human Development Course: This class explores the major theories and family development research in the field. Students investigate biological, psychological and historical factors that influence individual and family developmental patterns in social contexts. Lectures also cover prevention and intervention strategies for individuals and caregivers.
  • Development in Families Course: Students learn to look at the family as a social institution from a multidisciplinary perspective, with modules on sociological, ecological and cross-cultural research. Topics may include child or adolescent development, marriage, parenting, aging or family members with disabilities.
  • Family and Society Course: This course explores the American family within a sociological context, including multicultural and historical perspectives. Theoretical and creative literature helps to develop students' critical-thinking skills. Students practice differentiating their personal family experiences with social and scientific perspectives.
  • Advocacy for Families Course: Students in this class develop professional advocacy and leadership skills to support healthy family dynamics. They will also analyze the history of family-centered laws and public policy, as well as ethics for working with families in professional settings.
  • Parenting Across the Life Cycle Course: Lessons investigate parenting from several perspectives, with an emphasis on how parenting styles and contexts impact child development. Students will discuss major parenting theories and cultural research with the aim of locating optimal parenting platforms and techniques.
  • Families and Poverty Course: Within this class, students will investigate the causes and consequences of family poverty on a local and global scale. Historical and economic factors will also be explored, as well as regulatory policies that affect the poor. As poverty-reduction programs are a key topic in this course, community service is a part of the requirements.
  • Professional Skills Development Course: This course will address contemporary issues with regard to families and communities. The main focus will be on career planning and academic programs relevant to human development.
  • Applied Research Methods Course: In this course, students will examine the use of software to analyze data. The ethics of conducting research with various groups of people will also be covered.

Program Information

Degree-seeking students may complete certain family studies or human development programs entirely online on a full- or part-time basis. Program options include online bachelor's degrees, master's degrees and undergraduate certificates in fields such as family studies and family and human development. While enrolled in a program, students develop the skills needed to work in a variety of human service fields, and concentrations are available in areas such as adult development and youth services. Graduates of these programs may go on to practice in diverse settings, including mental health facilities, nursing homes, preschools, hospitals or family services agencies. At times, field experience in these settings may be required alongside online coursework.

Online courses in family studies are typically available through bachelor's and master's degree programs, as well as certificates. Topics include human development, family and society and parenting.

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