Family Life BS Family Studies

Program Purpose

The mission of the Marriage and Family Studies (MFS) emphasis is to teach undergraduate students theories, research, and practices related to marriage and family life. Scholarship in this area provides a life-course perspective by which human development and marital and family behavior is understood and improved. MFS helps students learn how children, youth, adults, and families develop, change, interact, and face challenges throughout the life course (infancy, childhood, adolescence, adulthood). The approach of the MFS emphasis is to provide students with critical and current information about marriage and family disciplines.

Additionally, our teaching strategy reflects a strong commitment to better critical thinking and problem solving skills as students become involved in mentored learning research and outreach experience. This is done in the context of faith and faculty/student endeavors that result in consequential scholarship and subsequent outreach. Graduates are encouraged to reach out to professional and other audiences, when appropriate, in support of BYU's stated institutional objectives to extend the blessings of learning to members of the Church in all parts of the world,and develop friends for the University and the Church.

In doing this, MFS aims to contribute toward the mission of BYU, which is to assist individuals in their quest for perfection and eternal life and in the balanced development of the total person (BYU Mission Statement). Additionally, the program seeks to support the AIMS of a BYU Education by preparing undergraduate students with an educational experience that is "spiritually strengthening, intellectually enlarging, and character building, leading to lifelong learning and service."

Curricular Structure

Catalog Information

Major Academic Plan

Students can participate in the School of Family Life internship program where they gain work experience in agencies, schools, hospitals, and other employment and outreach settings.

Learning Outcomes

Marriage and Family Content and Theory

Demonstrate understanding of major concepts, theories, and research findings in substantive areas related to marriage, family, and home.


Courses that Contribute: SFL 315 SFL 100 SFL 101 SFL 160 SFL 325 SFL 330 SFL 335 SFL 336 SFL 345 SFL 354 SFL 370 SFL 395R SFL 399R SFL 400 SFL 403R SFL 461 SFL 465 SFL 489 SFL 498
Linked to BYU Aims: Human knowledge, Competence
Research and Evaluation Methodologies

Critically evaluate and/or use the various methodologies used in marriage and family studies research.

Courses that Contribute: SFL 315 SFL 160 SFL 290 SFL 336 SFL 345 SFL 360 SFL 395R SFL 403R SFL 465 SFL 489 SFL 498
Linked to BYU Aims: Human knowledge, Competence
Effective Writing and Analysis

Write professional research papers on marriage and family studies questions that demonstrate an ability to synthesize and critically evaluate research related to specific theories and/or substantive areas.

Courses that Contribute: SFL 315 SFL 100 SFL 290 SFL 335 SFL 336 SFL 395R SFL 399R SFL 403R SFL 465 SFL 489 SFL 498
Linked to BYU Aims: Communicate effectively, Human knowledge

Evidence of Learning

Direct Measures

  1. Course level quizzes and examinations.
  2. Course level papers, projects, and other assignments.
  3. ORCA grants and other student presentations and awards.  

Indirect Measures


  1. Alumni surveys.
  2. Senior surveys.
  3. NSSE survey
  4. Employment or admission to graduate school.

Learning and Teaching Assessment and Improvement

The School of Family Life curriculum committee provides leadership for reviewing and instituting change. The committee reports data as needed to the faculty. The process of curriculum change and renewal culminates in September when we follow standard university procedures for submitting curriculum changes: Faculty come to consensus about needed changes, then change forms are submitted to the school, college, and the university curriculum committee for approval.