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Family and Consumer Sciences, General


General family and consumer sciences programs teach people how individuals develop and behave in family, work, and community settings.

Students learn ways that people respond and relate to their family, work, or community. They may learn to use this knowledge to protect and support consumers, or to sell them goods and services.

Family and consumer sciences programs include topics such as:


In family and consumer sciences programs students may be able to focus in one of the following areas:


Most community colleges offer certificate and associate degree programs in family and consumer sciences. A certificate program usually takes a year of full-time study. An associate degree program usually takes two years to complete.

Many colleges and universities also offer a bachelor's degree in family and consumer sciences. A bachelor's degree usually takes four years of full-time study. Some schools offer a post-bachelor's certificate program that usually requires one year of full-time study after getting a bachelor's degree.

Many universities offer graduate degrees in family and consumer sciences. A master's degree typically requires two years of study beyond a bachelor's degree. Doctoral (PhD) degree programs usually require two or more years of study beyond the master's degree.

See schools that offer this program.

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Related Careers

Careers to Consider

Program Admission

You can prepare for this program by taking courses in high school that prepare you for college. This typically includes four years of English, three years of math, three years of social studies, and two years of science. Some colleges also require two years of a second language.

You also need to submit scores from one of the following exams:

Below is a list of high school courses that will help prepare you for this program of study:

Graduate Admissions

Admission to graduate programs is competitive. You need a bachelor's degree, good grades, and good scores on the Graduate Record Exam (GRE) General.

Some schools require you to have a bachelor's degree in family and consumer sciences. Where that is not possible, you need to be able to show course work in closely related subjects such as the following:

You also need to submit letters of recommendation and a statement of purpose.

Typical Course Work

Program Courses

This undergraduate program typically includes courses in the following subjects:

Graduate Program Courses

Course work in graduate programs that lead to a master's or doctoral degree varies. However, the outline of a typical graduate curriculum looks like the following:

In addition, depending on your particular interests in the field, you can often participate in an internship or practicum. Under the supervision of someone experienced in family and consumer sciences, you could work in a legislative office, advocating policies for family and consumer rights. Or you might work in a crisis intervention center for children who have run away. Because this program of study is so broad, you can choose to apply your studies in many different ways.

Things to Know

Graduating from an accredited bachelor's degree program in family and consumer sciences qualifies you to take a national certification exam.


East Side Area

Central Washington University

Washington State University - Pullman

King-Snohomish Area

Seattle Pacific University