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Family and Consumer Sciences

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  • B.S., Family and Consumer Sciences with Options in:
    • Apparel Design and Merchandising
    • Consumer Affairs
    • Family and Consumer Sciences Education
    • Family Studies
    • Interior Design
    • Nutrition, Dietetics and Food Science
  • Minors in Apparel Merchandising, Child-Care Administration, Family and Consumer Sciences, Family Studies and Food Science
  • Family and Consumer Sciences/Home Economics Subject Matter Program for the Single Subject Credential


  • M.S., Family and Consumer Sciences

Accreditation and Approved Programs

The Department is accredited by the American Association of Family and Consumer Sciences. The Didactic Program in Dietetics and the Dietetic Internship are accredited by the Commission on Accreditation for Dietetics Education (CADE) of the American Dietetics Association (ADA). The Child and Family Studies Center is accredited by the National Academy of Early Childhood Education Programs. The Interior Design Program is accredited by the Council for Interior Design Accreditation.

The Major

Family and Consumer Sciences encompasses the study of the relationships among people and their personal environments. The Department focuses on the impact of the physical, biological, social and economic environments on human behavior and development. Students who major in Family and Consumer Sciences learn to improve the quality of life for individuals, families and communities by providing practical solutions to problems involving food science and nutrition,
apparel and interior design, child rearing and family relations, and family and consumer economics.

Students select from 6 areas of study: Apparel Design and Merchandising; Consumer Affairs; Family and Consumer Sciences Education; Family Studies; Interior Design; and Nutrition, Dietetics and Food Science. All Family and Consumer Sciences majors take 5 Core courses that include concepts common to all Specializations, as well as courses in their Options. The Department offers experiential learning opportunities through its lab and studio courses and the Child and Family Studies Laboratory, the Consumer Resource Center and the Marilyn Magaram Center for Food Science, Nutrition and Dietetics. All Family and Consumer Sciences majors gain practical experience through internships in professional settings. Students gain leadership skills through the Student Association of Family and Consumer Sciences and the Kappa Omicron Nu national honor society.

Credential Information

The department has an approved subject matter program that demonstrates subject matter competency for the Single Subject teaching credential in Family and Consumer Sciences/Home Economics. For details on the Single Subject Credential program, see the Credentials and Department of Secondary Education sections in this Catalog.

Academic Advisement

All undergraduate and graduate students are assigned faculty advisors. Students are required to plan their academic program in consultation with the advisor prior to registration each semester.


Professionals in Family and Consumer Sciences are concerned with the well-being of individuals and families and the products, services and practices that affect them. Graduates find many and varied career opportunities in business, industry, health and human services, and educational settings. (See Option descriptions for specific information.) Apparel Design and Merchandising: The Apparel Design, Merchandising and Textiles Program offers an analytical study of concepts and their application related to the design, production and merchandising of textiles and apparel. Basic knowledge from the physical and social sciences, technology, aesthetics and business is applied to the principles of the design, production, manufacturing and merchandising of textiles,
apparel and accessories. Graduates enter a wide spectrum of careers in such positions as apparel designer, apparel buyer, department buyer, quality control, apparel technical design, production manager, textile designer, textile scientist, showroom manager, retail manager/owner, fashion journalist, sales representative/executive, museum curator of textiles and costumes and costume designer. Students may participate in the apparel student organization Trends, as well as in a wide range of internship sites in the apparel industry.

Consumer Affairs: The Consumer Affairs program focuses on theories and principles from consumer behavior and education, government and public policy, management, finance, law and communication as they apply to consumers. Graduates find careers in government agencies, combating fraud or monitoring consumer trends; in corporations, improving the quality of customer service; in public relations and advertising agencies; in product marketing; and in financial institutions. The Department provides leadership opportunities through the student chapter of the Society of Consumer Affairs Professionals and internships at the Consumer Resource Center, which provides services to the University and the San Fernando Valley, as well as internships in a variety of business and non-profit agencies.

Family and Consumer Sciences Education: The Family and Consumer Science Education Program satisfies the requirements for the subject matter program in Family and Consumer Sciences/Home Economics for the single subject credential (Ryan Act) in the State of California. The program includes a comprehensive background in child development and guidance; family living and parenting education; consumer education; housing and interior design; food and nutrition; textiles and apparel design and merchandising; individual and family health; and leadership. After completion of the Credential Program, graduates are prepared for careers in K-12 teaching, adult education, program administration, youth service administration, vocational education and home economics extension education and administration. Opportunities to work with middle-school and highschool students are available through internships and special projects. Students develop competence in the 8 career paths relevant to the teaching of Family and Consumer Sciences.

Family Studies: The Family Studies Program provides the student with an extensive background in family and developmental theory and its practical application to human and family development across the lifespan. Students apply theory through their activities at the Child and Family Studies Laboratory, which provides services to infants, toddlers, preschoolers, kindergartners and families, and is accredited by the National Academy of Early Childhood Education Programs. Internship opportunities for participating in parent education and working with children, adolescents, adults and the elderly are available. Graduates are prepared for careers across a broad spectrum of organizations that provide services to children and families. Potential positions include children’s program administrator, childcare provider and administrator, family services coordinator, family resource and referral counselor, foster parent trainer and administrator, child development specialist, family advocate, family life educator, adoption services director, corporate child-care consultant and parent educator. Family Studies is an appropriate undergraduate preparation for graduate programs in marriage, family and child therapy.

Interior Design: The Interior Design Program is accredited by the Council for Interior Design Accreditation (CIDA) and prepares students to analyze, design and implement living/working environments that are functionally efficient and aesthetically satisfying to diverse populations. The program embraces an environment and behavior perspective that acknowledges the relationship between people at various ages and developmental stages and the interior environments they occupy. This perspective emphasizes the integration of function and aesthetics in the design of residential, commercial, retail, hospitality, institutional, educational and health care environments. Knowledge of human development; aesthetics; the history of architecture and interiors; building systems, codes and technology; and business procedures in professional practice, together with the development of skills in graphic communications, are among the areas of study within the major. The program prepares the students to enter professional practice in interior design, as well as such positions as showroom managers, product representatives, private entrepreneurs and furniture designers. Students have opportunities to intern with interior design, manufacturing, wholesale and retail firms, and non-profit community agencies. They learn leadership through membership in student organization of the American Society of Interior Designers.

Nutrition, Dietetics and Food Science: The Nutrition, Dietetics and Food Science Programs emphasize the application of physical, biological and social sciences to the study of foods and nutrition. The Nutrition and Dietetics Area (Pattern A) educates students in the knowledge of food and nutrition as they relate to health issues. The Didactic Program in Dietetics (Pattern A only) at CSUN is currently granted accreditation by the Commission On Accreditation for Dietetics Education of the American Dietetic Association, (312) 899-0400, ext. 5400. The Program prepares graduates in the field of nutritional science as registered dietitians and nutritionists for private businesses, hospitals and nursing homes, pharmaceutical companies, public health agencies and government agencies. The Food Science Area (Pattern B) applies the study of biology and chemistry to understand the nature of foods, the causes of their deterioration and the principles underlying food processing. Students in the Program also study institutional food management. Food scientists may develop ways to process, preserve, package or store food according to industry and government specifications and regulations. Graduates work as food scientists and food technologists in quality assurance, and research and development for food companies. Other career options include working for government agencies, as well as in restaurant and food service management. A student desiring to enter both of these Programs should have a strong background in the physical and biological sciences as the scientific disciplines are emphasized. A variety of research, internship and leadership experiences are available through the Marilyn Magaram Center for Food Science, Nutrition and Dietetics, and the Student Dietetics and Food Science Association.


Sheila Brown, Wendy Brown-Danks, Shauna Mund and Lynn Tatum