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Child and Family Sciences

Availability: Online Options

Teaching Children, Serving Families, Leading Communities!

Students seeking a degree in Child and Family Sciences choose one of two emphasis areas, Child Development or Family Sciences.

The Child Development emphasis is ideal for those wanting a career in a field related to early childhood education (birth through 8 years, including Pre-K/K licensure) or program administration/evaluation. This program is designed to meet the professional competency standards for licensure in Mississippi. The University of 51 Mississippi cannot determine whether this program leads to licensure in any state other than Mississippi.  It is recommended that students who intend to seek licensure in another state, verify that this program of study meets the desired state's licensure requirements. For assistance with out-of-state licensure questions, please refer to the Professional Licensure Disclosures webpage.

The Family Sciences emphasis is ideal for those wanting a career in a field related to social services, parent education, or the operation of non-profit agencies.

The Child and Family Sciences B.S. to M.S. Accelerated Master’s Option (AMO) allows eligible students to complete the B.S. and M.S. degrees in CFS in as few as 5 years. Students choosing the AMO may complete up to 7 hours of 500-level coursework which will count toward both the B.S. and M.S. degree programs. 

The School of Child and Family Sciences has 13 school-specific scholarships available for students each year. All university scholarship opportunities can be found at: .

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2Formats: Face-to-Face and Online
2Emphases: Child Development, Family Sciences
1NAEYC-accredited Center for Child Development

What Will I Learn?

Child and Family Sciences majors learn how to examine the systemic relationships among individuals, families, and communities. All students take courses in individual and family development across the life cycle, interpersonal relationships and family dynamics, and parent-child interactions. Students then take courses specific to the chosen emphasis area.

Child Development emphasis:
• Childcare administration
• Curriculum development and creative activities
• Early literacy
• Developmentally appropriate methods and materials

Family Sciences emphasis:
• Public policy
• Human services
• Mental health
• Family life education

Our faculty represent several diverse fields

Faculty in Child and Family Sciences include experts in child development, certified family life educators, family scientists, licensed marriage and family therapists, and licensed professional counselors. This expertise, combined with their vast professional experiences and commitment to student success, lends authenticity to their courses and creates a supportive, yet challenging environment for students. Faculty routinely engage students in collaborative research projects, special problem investigations, experiential learning, and student leadership opportunities.

Faculty in Child and Family Sciences regularly collaborate with undergraduate students on research. Several of our students have received funding to help with the cost associated with conducting their own independent research, presenting at professional conferences, and publishing in peer-reviewed journals. Previous undergraduate research topics include: influences of social media, development of empathy in pre-k/ kindergarten, perceptions of breastfeeding in public, how family structure affects adolescent social/emotional development, juvenile diversion versus incarceration, father’s influence on adolescent behavior, and sexual health.

All students engage in experiential internships to enhance their professional skills. Child development students have a student teaching experience with children 6 weeks to 6 years old in childcare, pre-kindergarten or kindergarten settings. Family relations students may intern at a variety of agencies such as Boys and Girls Club, alcohol and drug recovery centers, non-profit agencies, faith-based settings, early intervention, juvenile delinquency centers, foster care, and adoption agencies.

The Child and Family Sciences Student Organization (CFSSO) provides students with leadership opportunities, learning experiences, and chances to network with fellow students, faculty, and professionals in the field. The CFSSO supports the enhancement of academic, professional, and service aspects of student life through involvement in planned activities and group projects. Participation allows students to become better leaders in their own families and communities as they develop skills to succeed in their own lives. Membership is open to undergraduate or graduate students majoring in Child and Family Sciences.


Degree Plan Availability
Online 100%
Online 100%

Contact Us

School of Child and Family Sciences

219 Joseph Greene Hall (JGH) 
Hattiesburg, MS 39406

Hattiesburg Campus

Campus Map




  • Licensed Pre-Kindergarten/Kindergarten Teacher
  • Mental Health/Human Service Agencies
  • Technical Assistant Specialist
  • Program Evaluator
  • Cooperative Extension Agencies
  • Faith-based and nonprofit organizations
  • Ainsley H., 2016
    Kindergarten Teacher, J. E. Johnson Elementary School, Prentiss, Mississippi
  • Shamerica J., 2014
    Teacher and Assistant Program Coordinator for Gifted Education, Kennedy Early Childhood Center, McComb, Mississippi
  • Shakerra M., 2017
    Family Protection Worker I, Child Protective Services, Jackson, Mississippi
  • Hillary G., 2014 
    Family Advocate, Kids Hub Child Advocacy Center, Hattiesburg, Mississippi
  • Tierra R., 2017
    Wraparound Facilitator/Care Coordinator, Canopy Children’s Solutions, Hattiesburg, Mississippi