Child and Family Studies


SUNY Oneonta’s Child and Family Studies program provides students with a lifespan human development focus for working with children and families. Coursework emphasizes the dynamics of interpersonal relationships within diverse families and other social contexts.

In addition to hands-on experience observing and working with children at the Child Development Center on campus and the Bugbee Children’s Center nearby, students get exposure to the day-to-day workings of a human service agency through required internships at a variety of sites. Child and Family Studies interns shadow employees, attend meetings and often transition into carrying their own caseloads at domestic violence shelters, drug and alcohol programs, social services offices, housing organizations and other agencies.

Special opportunities, such as a short-term, faculty-led service-learning course working with children in impoverished South American communities, are frequently available. Child and Family Studies majors are also eligible to receive provisional Family Life Educator certification by the National Council on Family Relations. 


Department of Human Ecology

Brandon Alba
With my major, I’ve learned so much about children, their families and cultures and what affects them. If you see yourself doing something like that, Child and Family Studies is the major for you. It’s very specific. You have to do an internship to graduate, and I think that’s good to get out into the field and see if you like it.
Jessie Reiff
Here, you have so many opportunities in the field before you even graduate to get hands-on experience, which I really like. I mentored at Riverside Elementary, which was perfect because I want to work with at-risk youth, and that’s exactly what I was doing. I’m getting the opportunity to go work with children early on.
Karin Jacobson
Everything I’ve learned in my courses I’ve been able to apply in real life, especially going into the community and mentoring for the local GED program. I worked with three underprivileged students for a year, helping them prepare. It was really rewarding to be able to help them navigate and get ready for the test.
Nicole DeRosa
I knew I wanted to work with kids, but I didn’t want to be a teacher. So I found the Child and Family Studies program and saw how you can make a difference with it. I want to help children as much as I can.
Sam Pelinger
When I came to Oneonta, I wasn’t sure what I wanted to major in. I knew I liked children and education but didn’t know if I wanted to teach. Someone here suggested Child and Family Studies. The first class I took, I fell in love with my professors and adviser and knew Child and Family Studies was the perfect fit for me.
Tatyana Reese
Compared to some schools, you really get to know your professors here, and they get to know you. I refer to this place as home even though it isn’t really, because it just gives that vibe.