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Earn your undergraduate Child and Family Studies degree from Online at Southern Miss!

Child & Family Studies BS
Program Overview

Are you passionate about having a career that promotes a better quality of life for all families? The fully online Child and Family Studies BS emphasizing child development prepares students to work with children and their families in educational, institutional, and human service settings. Our graduates are qualified to obtain a license to teach Pre-K and Kindergarten. Course work focuses on a family systems perspective and highlights developmental observations.

With this Bachelor of Science online degree, students have the opportunity to earn a degree, which is accredited by the American Association of Family and Consumer Sciences without stepping foot on campus. Let The University of Southern Mississippi (USM) help you get the degree you need to become a Child and Family professional. This is your life, plus college.

Interested?

Qualifications

Any student who satisfies admission requirements to the University through the Office of Admissions is eligible for admission to the College of Education and Psychology.

After being admitted to the University, all students majoring in Child and family studies must have their child development degree plan approved by the director of the program.

Degree Requirements


  • ENG 101 – Composition One 3 hrs.
  • ENG 102 – Composition Two 3 hrs.


Science Requirement (8 hours minimum)

Select 2 courses with labs:

  • AST 111 – General Astronomy I 3 hrs. AND
  • AST 111L – General Astronomy I Laboratory 1 hr.
  • AST 112 – General Astronomy II 3 hrs. AND
  • AST 112L – General Astronomy II Laboratory 1 hr.
  • BSC 103 – Biology and Society 3 hrs. ◊ AND
  • BSC 103L – Biology and Society Laboratory 1 hr ◊
  • BSC 110 – Principles of Biological Science I 3 hrs. AND
  • BSC 110L – Principles of Biological Science I Laboratory 1 hr.
  • BSC 111 – Principles of Biological Science II 3 hrs. AND
  • BSC 111L – Principles of Biological Science II Laboratory 1 hr.
  • BSC 250 – Human Anatomy and Physiology I 3 hrs. AND
  • BSC 250L – Human Anatomy and Physiology I Laboratory 1 hr.
  • BSC 251 – Human Anatomy and Physiology II 3 hrs. AND
  • BSC 251L – Human Anatomy and Physiology II Laboratory 1 hr.
  • CHE 104 – Chemistry and Our Environment 3 hrs. AND
  • CHE 104L – Chemistry and Our Environment Laboratory 1 hr.
  • CHE 106 – General Chemistry I 3 hrs. AND
  • CHE 106L – General Chemistry I Laboratory 1 hr.
  • CHE 107 – General Chemistry II 3 hrs. AND
  • CHE 107L – General Chemistry II Laboratory 1 hr.
  • GHY 104 – Weather and Climate 3 hrs. AND
  • GHY 104L – Weather and Climate Laboratory 1 hr.
  • GHY 105 – Landforms, Hydrology and Biogeography 3 hrs. AND
  • GHY 105L – Landforms, Hydrology and Biogeography Laboratory 1 hr.
  • GLY 101 – Physical Geology 3 hrs. AND
  • GLY 101L – Physical Geology Laboratory 1 hr.
  • GLY 103 – Historical Geology 3 hrs. AND
  • GLY 103L – Historical Geology Laboratory 1 hr.
  • MAR 151 – Introduction to Ocean Science 3 hrs. AND
  • MAR 151L – Introduction to Ocean Science Laboratory 1 hr.
  • PHY 111 – General Physics I 3 hrs. AND
  • PHY 111L – General Physics I Laboratory 1 hr.
  • PHY 112 – General Physics II 3 hrs. AND
  • PHY 112L – General Physics II Laboratory 1 hr.
  • PHY 201 – General Physics I with Calculus 4 hrs. AND
  • PHY 201L – General Physics I with Calculus Laboratory 1 hr.
  • PHY 202 – General Physics II with Calculus 4 hrs. AND
  • PHY 202L – General Physics II with Calculus Laboratory 1 hr.
  • PSC 190 – Living in a Material World 3 hrs. AND
  • PSC 190L – Lab for Living in a Material World 1 hr.


  • ENG 203 – World Literature 3 hrs.
Select 2 courses, 1 History required:

  • HIS 101 – World Civilizations: Beginnings to 1500 C.E. 3 hrs.
  • HIS 102 – World Civilizations: 1500 to the present 3 hrs.
  • PHI 151 – Introduction to Philosophy 3 hrs.
  • PHI 171 – Ethics and Good Living 3 hrs.
  • REL 131 – Comparative Religion 3 hrs.


Select 1 course:

  • ART 130 – Art Appreciation 3 hrs.
  • DAN 130 – Dance Appreciation 3 hrs.
  • MUS 165 – The Enjoyment of Music 3 hrs.
  • THE 100 – Theatrical Expressions 3 hrs.


Select 2 courses:

  • ANT 101 – The Human Experience: A Global Perspective on Human Diversity 3 hrs.
  • COH 100 – Concepts of Wellness 3 hrs.
  • ECO 101 – Basic Economics 3 hrs.
  • GHY 101 – World Geography: Dynamics of a Changing Earth 3 hrs.
  • PS 101 – American Government 3 hrs.
  • PSY 110 – General Psychology 3 hrs. *
  • SOC 101 – Understanding Society: Principles of Sociology 3 hrs. **


  • CSC 100 – Introduction to Computing 3 hrs.
  • IT 361 – Computer Applications in Business Technology I 3 hrs.
  • IT 363 – Computer Applications in Business Technology II 3 hrs.
  • LIS 201 – Introduction to Information Literacy 3 hrs.


  • FAM 401 – Family Life Education 3 hrs. (WI)ENG 101 & ENG 102 prerequisites


Select 1 course:

  • CMS 111 – Oral Communication 3 hrs. (SI)
  • CMS 330 – Small-Group Communication 3 hrs. (SI) (Recommended)


  • FAM 475 – Contemporary Issues Affecting the Quality of Life 3 hrs. (Capstone)Must be taken Senior Year; ENG 101 & ENG 102 prerequisites


Minimum grade of “C” required in all Major Area of Study courses.

  • CD 350 – Child Development 3 hrs.
  • CD 351 – Advanced Child Development 3 hrs.
  • CD 352 – Behavior and Guidance of the Young Child 2 hrs. AND
  • CD 352L – Behavior and Guidance of the Young Child Laboratory 1 hr.
  • CD 450 – Administration of Child and Family Programs 3 hrs.
  • CD 451 – Infant Development 2 hrs. AND
  • CD 451L – Infant Development Laboratory 1 hr.
  • CD 452 – Child Development Methods and Materials 2 hrs. AND
  • CD 452L – Child Development Methods and Materials Laboratory 1 hr.
  • CD 453 – Curriculum Activities for Young Children 2 hrs. AND
  • CD 453L – Curriculum Activities for Young Children Laboratory 1 hr.
  • CD 455 – Supervised Participation 9 hrs.
  • CD 477 – Developmental Disabilities in Early Childhood 3 hrs.
  • FAM 150 – Social and Professional Development 3 hrs.
  • FAM 151 – Personal Development and Interpersonal Relationships 3 hrs.
  • FAM 333 – Children, Families, and Technology 3 hrs.
  • FAM 351 – Marital and Family Relationships 3 hrs.
  • FAM 352 – Families and Adolescents 3 hrs.
  • FAM 401 – Family Life Education 3 hrs. (WI)
  • FAM 442 – Personal and Family Financial Management 3 hrs.
  • FAM 450 – Sexuality in the Family System 3 hrs.
  • FAM 452 – Parenthood 3 hrs.
  • FAM 453 – The Family in Later Life 3 hrs.
  • FAM 455 – Family Theories 3 hrs.
  • FAM 475 – Contemporary Issues Affecting the Quality of Life 3 hrs. (Capstone)


  • LIS 417 – Literature and Related Media for Children 3 hrs.
  • PSY 110 – General Psychology 3 hrs. *
  • PSY 374 – Educational Psychology 3 hrs.
  • CIR 308 – Early Literacy Instruction I K-6 3 hours.
  • CIR 408 – Early Literacy Instruction II K-6 3 hrs.


Choose electives as needed with adviser’s approval. (See Hours to Degree below.)

Hours to Degree


124 hours are needed to graduate with a BS in Child and Family Studies with an emphasis in ChildDevelopment. At least 50 percent of the hours applied to a degree at The University of Southern Mississippi must be earned from a senior college, and 45 of these hours must be in courses numbered 300 or above. The student must earn at least 21 of the last 30 hours of course work and at least 12 hours in the major area of study from Southern Miss. See Residence Hour Requirements for more information.


Frequently Asked Questions


All CFS courses are offered online and other courses, if not offered online by USM, can be taken through the Mississippi Virtual Community College while enrolled at USM for USM credit. You will not need to come to the Southern Miss campus.



The Office of Admissions will provide information for the steps you’ll need to complete in order to be admitted to Southern Mississippi.



124 hours are needed to graduate with a BS in Child and Family Studies with an emphasis in Child Development. AT least 50 percent of the hours applied to a degree at The University of Southern Mississippi must be earned from a senior college, and 45 of these hours must be in courses numbered 300 or above. The student must earn at least 21 of the last 30 hours of course work and at least 12 hours in the major area of study from Southern Miss. See Residence Hour Requirements for more information.



For pricing information, click here. For financial aid information, click here. For detailed tuition information, click here.



Follow this link and choose the term that applies to view the costs associated with part-time enrollment.



Are there any additional fees?

Yes, there are fees around $75.


I need some financial assistance. Where do I start?

Visit the site for more information: http://www.usm.edu/financialaid


Will other classes besides the ones listed in degree requirements count towards my degree?

Other classes that are not listed may count towards your degree once your transcript has been evaluated and posted.


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