In today’s society, our families are more diverse than ever. Focusing on the study of families, the Department of Family Science examines how families influence our life course and our health. In our Department of Family Science, we come from multiple disciplines and unite in our shared commitment to make a positive difference in the research, programs and policies that impact our families every day.

This year, we have been celebrating the 10th anniversary of our School of Public Health (SPH), founded in 2007. In 2007, our Department of Family Science joined forces, with then new colleagues, to create our flourishing SPH, ushering in new opportunities to imagine how we would work collaboratively on issues that impact the health of families and communities. Over the last ten years, we have become increasing excited about the synergy between our Family Science, Maternal and Child Health, and Couple and Family Therapy programs, and nurture our shared commitment to family health and well-being. 

We believe that the public health challenges of today, from chronic diseases, aging and care-giving, mental health, violence, financial instability, disasters, healthy physical and emotional development, and health equity require our inter-disciplinary strengths. In recent years, we have grown our faculty, incorporating exciting areas of research in reproductive and sexual health, intimate partner violence, immigrant families, and LBGT families. We continue our focus on critically important areas, such as the role of non-resident fathers in the family, military and veterans’ families, adolescence, maternal and child health, immunization, and HIV. Making a difference for families means that we partner with diverse communities and organizations across Maryland and the national capital region of Washington DC and its surrounding communities. 

Our faculty believes that excellent teaching and mentoring are central to the success of our students. Our undergraduate program prepares our students for careers in human service and health organizations, as well as enables them to move forward with graduate programs in social work, Couple and Family Therapy, and other disciplines. The Department’s Couple and Family Therapy program is ranked among the very best in the nation, and our students provide therapeutic services to over 400 families a year in our Center for Healthy Families. Our doctoral programs in family science and maternal and child health provide a rich, interdisciplinary environment for our doctoral students to learn, conduct research, and develop their teaching skills. We seek to foster a supportive living and learning environment to assist our students as they contribute to the creation of new knowledge that can keep families healthy across the life course. 

Our department is proud of the rich racial, ethnic and gender diversity of our faculty, staff, and students, and our leadership on diversity has earned the department countless awards. Moreover, we live within a racially and ethnically diverse area that provides exciting opportunities for new cultural experiences. Further, with a Metro stop just moments from campus, our proximity to Washington, D.C., enables our students to seize opportunities for internships, research experiences, and engagement with policy makers at the federal level. With our department’s ongoing focus on family and health policy, students can work with local, state and federal representatives to foster policies that strengthen families. 

The Department of Family Science is passionate about our shared commitment to health equity, diversity and inclusion, and social justice. Come join us in making a difference through education, research and policies that foster health, well-being and quality of life for all families.

Dr. Sandra C. Quinn
Professor & Chair
Department of Family Science