Jun 13, 2024  
2021-2022 Undergraduate Catalog 
2021-2022 Undergraduate Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Family Studies Minor

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Dr. Terrence Fernsler, Minor Adviser
: (540) 568-6980
Email: fernslts@jmu.edu
Website: http://www.jmu.edu/socwork/familystudies.html

The minor in family studies is designed for undergraduates seeking enhancement of their major, desiring to increase understanding of self and relationships, and seeking to make a positive contribution to society. The minor offers two focuses: Family ecology (FECO) and gerontology (GERO). Both focuses explore a range of family-related issues, family processes, policies, laws, services and the interrelationship of families and society. The minor will enhance majors in many fields including anthropology, early and middle education, health sciences, management, nursing, psychology, social work and sociology. The minor capstone requires students to make connections between their major field and family studies.

The family studies minor requires a minimum of 18 credit hours with no more than six credit hours in the student’s major. Note that some courses have prerequisites that must be completed before enrollment. Some courses may be restricted to students enrolled in particular majors.

One introductory course is required: either FAM 133  or SOCI 374 .

For FECO focus students, 12 other credit hours are required and must be selected from each of these areas: Families in society, family and intimate relationships, and human development in the family. An additional course must be selected from any of the three areas or from family studies electives.

A capstone course, FAM 400 , is also required. At least four courses in the minor, including the introductory course, must be completed prior to enrolling in FAM 400 .

Required Courses

Core Courses

Introductory Course: 3 Credit Hours

Frameworks and Focus Capstone Courses: 3 Credit Hours

Family Ecology Focus

Families in Society

Family and Intimate Relationships

Human Development in the Family

Additional Elective

Choose three credits from one of the three topic areas above or one of the following: 3 Credit Hours

Gerontology Focus

Foundation Courses: 9 Credit Hours

Total: 18 Credit Hours


1 Some courses in the minor have substantive overlap in focus and content. To ensure students gain a broad exposure to family functions and dynamics, some restrictions apply for overlapping courses. For the family ecology focus, students may take either:

2 SCOM  majors and minors only.

3 Special education non-teaching and chronic illness  concentration students only.

4 Access may be limited.

5 Course has one or more prerequisites.

6 GERN 495  may be substitute as a capstone course with special permission from the minor adviser.

7 Capstone course for the FECO focus.

8 Capstone course for the GERO focus.

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