Welcome to the Department of Family Science.  In 2018, our families are more diverse than ever and face challenges, new and old. Focusing on the study of families, the Department of Family Science examines how families influence our life course and our health. We are united in our shared commitment to make a positive difference in the research, programs and policies that impact our families every day.

As a unique department in our School of Public Health, 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 enhancing 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 partnerships enable our students from undergraduate through doctoral programs to participate in program delivery and evaluation, interact with local youth and families and conduct research with community organizations dedicated to improving the health and well-being of local families. 

Our faculty is committed to excellent teaching and mentoring. 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, nursing, 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.  Many of our students are also first generation students who are building toward a better future for their families.  We live within a racially and ethnically diverse area that provides exciting opportunities for new cultural experiences.  Moreover, 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. Our department’s ongoing focus on family and health policy enables our students to work with local, state and federal representatives to foster policies that strengthen families. 

This fall ushers in some exciting changes in our department.  We welcome Dr. Jessica Fish, our newest Assistant Professor who joins us from her post-doctoral fellowship at the University of Texas, Austin.  Dr. Fish’s research focuses on the sociocultural, familial, and interpersonal experiences that shape the development and health of sexual minority lesbian/gay and bisexual youth and young adults over the lifespan.  Dr. Leigh Leslie, Associate Professor, takes the helm as Director of the Couple and Family Therapy Program.  Dr. Marian Moser Jones, Associate Professor, is excited about her new role as the Director of our Graduate Programs.  Dr. Kerry Tripp will assume leadership as the Faculty Director of our Undergraduate Program, and work with faculty, staff and the Undergraduate Student Advisory Committee to enhance our curriculum and outside of the classroom opportunities for our diverse undergraduate student body.

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