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Undergraduate Student Resources: Family Science

From advising to career services, resources are available to make the student experience as productive, supportive and enjoyable as possible.

Learn more about our Bachelor of Science in Family Science degree or the Accelerated BS/MPH Program on their respective degree pages. 

Undergraduate advising for the Department of Family Science is currently conducted via Zoom. The app is available for downloand on Apple and Android devices and you can also join meetings by calling in.

When you schedule an appointment, you will receive a link to the Zoom meeting and all other instructions in your confirmation email.

Advising Contacts

Kendyl Oliver
Family Science Academic Advisor
Phone: 301-405-4003
​Room: 1142MM 

The goal of the Family Science undergraduate advising office is to provide transitional and ongoing support for students, so that they may make informed decisions concerning their academic plans and professional/personal goals.

You may also visit the SPH Undergraduate Center for Academic Success and Achievement.

What is Academic Advising?

Academic advising is a partnership between students and their advisor. The sole aim of this partnership is academic, professional and personal success. Ultimately, students are responsible for their success and experience here in the Department of Family Science. To facilitate your success, the advisor will:

  • Ensure students know and have access to all the available resources at the University of Maryland, the School of Public Health, and the Department of Family Science.
  • Encourage students to grow and develop as individuals.
  • Empower students to take full responsibility for their academic decisions and get the most out of their experiences in the Family Science Department.  

Why should you see your Academic Advisor?

  • To discuss any problems that affects your academic performance
  • To discuss your academic progress
  • To discuss your academic standing (probation, dismissal, etc.)
  • To discuss any unusual circumstances that requires special assistance
  • To confirm the completion of all degree requirements for graduation
  • * When required by your advisor.

What should you expect?

Your Advisor will:

  • Help define and develop realistic personal, social, academic, and career goals.
  • Make appropriate suggestions and referrals that address needs, interests, and concerns.
  • Educate with regards to Department’s policies, procedures, and requirements.
  • Provide transitional and ongoing support.
  • Provide options and resources when facing academic difficulties.

Students who wish to change or declare a major in Family Science must complete ALL STEPS in the School of Public Health (SPH) Change of Major Process.

The Change of Major Process includes attending a Change of Major Workshop with Family Science and then attending an Academic Plan Workshop. Note, it will take up to 10 business days after a student attends the Academic Plan Workshop for the plan to be reviewed and to have the major declared.

Register for a change of major workshop. You must be registered for a workshop in advance to attend.

The Family Science internship is a practical experience designed to integrate department and other coursework with a real-time work experience. In addition to a field placement, students are required to attend a weekly capstone seminar. 

Students in the seminar integrate classroom theory with their field placement and share work-related activities, broadening their exposure to work in the discipline of Family Science and their knowledge of specific career opportunities for FMSC graduates. 

The internship course is open to all FMSC majors who have completed FMSC330 and FMSC383 plus a minimum of six additional credits of FMSC coursework. All Family Science majors are required to complete an internship experience during their senior year.

Interns must work a minimum of 120 hours in the field and attend all seminars. The first meeting of the internship seminar will be held the first week of the semester during the day and time listed in the Schedule of Classes. Only university-approved excuses will be accepted for seminar absences. Please refer to the Schedule of Classes for the class meeting day and time.

Finding an Internship

Students are responsible for investigating, selecting, and securing their own internship placement. Your internship placement must be consistent with the FMSC major and your future career goals. Think about the kind of work you might like to try in preparation for your job after graduation, and consider the population(s) you would like to serve.

  • Have you completed the prerequisite courses? What do you want to learn more about?
  • How can you apply the knowledge you’ve learned in your classes to the internship you will be doing?
  • What is your target client population (i.e., children/youth, elderly, disadvantaged, immigrants, etc.)?
  • What fields of work seem the most interesting to you? (law, social services, counseling, family policies, etc.)

Your internship responsibilities must relate directly to family concerns or the promotion of family health. Feel free to use your own network of resources for ideas and contracts or you may search the Family Science Internships database for a listing of organizations that have worked with FMSC students in the past. You must be a currently enrolled student to access the Family Science Internships database. Please contact your advisor or program director if you need access.

Family Science Internships database

The Department of Family Science Honors Program offers academically talented students a more advanced and challenging educational experience related to the study of families. The program provides opportunities for involvement in scholarly independent study, intensive interaction with faculty, and examination of a range of family topics in greater depth than is possible in the normal program of study. Topics include, but are not limited to:

  • Child care
  • Fathering
  • Work and family issues
  • Family and community violence
  • Homeless families
  • Interracial marriages
  • Family financial education
  • AIDS education
  • Adolescent depression
  • Couple relationships
  • Marital standards in China

Students enroll in special honors courses, complete honors option work in regular courses and conduct independent research. The program culminates with the presentation of a senior honors thesis. Students are recognized at graduation for their academic achievement in family science.

Interested students must apply three semesters (not including summer) before their anticipated graduation; application deadlines are May 1 for Fall semester, and December 1 for Spring semester.

Apply for the Family Science honors program.

For more information, contact:

Dr. Mia Smith Bynum
Chair, Family Science Honors Program 
Room: 1142W School of Public Health
Phone: 301-405-0299


Phi Upsilon Omicron (Phi U) is a national honor society in the family and consumer science field known for traditions of promoting academic excellence, leadership skills, service opportunities, and ethical and scholastic excellence. Members are committed to a lifelong learning and advancement of family science. With over 95,000 members throughout the nation students and alumni benefit from professional networking, leadership development opportunities, and scholarships and awards.

Contact Info: 

Find out more about what you can do with a bachelor of science degree in family science by reading our Family Science Career Guide.

Visit the University Career Center @ SPH