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Department of Family Science

Our Department's Mission

Families are the foundation of society and the public’s health. The vision of the Department of Family Science is to promote the physical, mental, and social wellbeing of all families in order to eliminate the burden of disease and health disparities, and to foster resilience and social justice.

We aim to be a recognized leader in family health, defined as  the physical, mental, and social wellbeing of all families. Our faculty members are committed to high impact scholarship on family health which can inform public policy and human services delivery. Our students are the next generation of investigators, practitioners, and policy leaders who can tackle the complex health challenges facing families. 

First established at the University of Maryland, College Park in 1968 (previously called the Department of Family Studies), we are proud to be one of the only departments of family science in a school of public health in the US. We bring the synergies of our multiple disciplines from family science, couple and family therapy, maternal and child health, psychology, epidemiology, behavioral sciences, and economics among others to enhance family health and well-being.

Our Degree Programs

Father and mother smiling and holding their baby

BS, Family Science

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Staff therapist participating in a counseling session of the School of Public Health at the University of Maryland

MS, Couple and Family Therapy

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Family of three laughing

PhD, Family Science

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Mother smiling holding her child's hand.

PhD, Maternal and Child Health

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Connect With Us

Get in Touch With Our Program Directors

Kendyl Oliver
Academic Advisor
koliver3@umd.edu
(301) 405-4003

Dr. Mia Smith Bynum
Director, Family Science Honors Program 
msbynum@umd.edu 
301-405-0299

Colton (Tanner) Kilpatrick, PhD
Assistant Clinical Professor and Director of Graduate Studies, Family Science
tkilpat@umd.edu
(301) 405-3500

Colton (Tanner) Kilpatrick, PhD
Assistant Clinical Professor and Director of Graduate Studies, Family Science
tkilpat@umd.edu
(301) 405-3500

Recent FMSC News

Illustration of pregnant Black woman with long hair holding her belly and wearing a mask with coronavirus cells in background.
Maternal Mortality Jumped During COVID-19 Pandemic
View Article Maternal Mortality Jumped During COVID-19 Pandemic
WalletHub Voter List Logo and Dr. Mona Mittal Headshot
Dr. Mia Smith-Bynum’s Wallethub Discussion on Communities of Color and Civic Participation
View Article Dr. Mia Smith-Bynum’s Wallethub Discussion on Communities of Color and Civic Participation
TraumaTies Podcast Cover Art and Mittal Headshot
Dr. Mona Mittal Discusses Trauma-Informed Classrooms on the Podcast TraumaTies
View Article Dr. Mona Mittal Discusses Trauma-Informed Classrooms on the Podcast TraumaTies

FMSC News in Maryland Today

Gray couch with rainbow pillow

A New ‘Script’ for LGTBQ+ Patient Caregivers

Training Program Aims to Improve Mental Health Treatment
View Article A New ‘Script’ for LGTBQ+ Patient Caregivers
Global Classrooms group shot

Putting a Full Stop on Period Shame

Global Classrooms Course Connects Students in U.S., India to Explore Menstrual Taboos
View Article Putting a Full Stop on Period Shame
Family study room

4 New Resources for UMD’s Working and Studying Parents

Child Care Center, Lactation Rooms, Family Study Space and Restrooms Boost Work-Life Balance
View Article 4 New Resources for UMD’s Working and Studying Parents

Family science offers you this very deep lens into who somebody is and helps you understand them in a way that no other fields of study can really help you do.

Gabrielle Frohlich, student of the School of Public Health at the University of Maryland