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Field of Study: Family and Consumer Sciences, 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 science programs include topics such as:

  • Psychology
  • Human development
  • Consumers and the economy
  • Communication strategies
  • Legislative policies and management

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

  • Consumer services and advocacy
  • Consumer merchandising/retail management
  • Human sciences

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 this program. 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.