Child & Family Studies Major


SUNY Oneonta’s Child & 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 & 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 & family studies majors are also eligible to receive provisional Family Life Educator certification by the National Council on Family Relations. 

Department of Human Ecology

Sam Pelinger

Samantha “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."