Family & Consumer Sciences

Undergraduate Programs

The Department of Family and Consumer Sciences offers the B.S. degree in nine areas. For more detailed information about the academic programs of FCS, see the Harding University Catalog .

Apparel Merchandising

The apparel and textile industry is one of the largest employers in the world. Fashion merchandising includes a study of product planning, development, marketing, and fashion merchandising consumer targeted goods for profit in a competitive market. The field seeks people who have knowledge of the fast-paced fashion world, and who also possess keen business skills. Graduates are in high demand and have excellent advancement opportunities. For detailed degree information, see the Harding University Catalog.

Child Development

The Child Development degree prepares you for a variety of careers that target the health and development of children birth through early childhood.  It focuses on developmentally appropriate practices for children in a variety of settings that align with the standards from national accreditation associations in child development. The comprehensive nature of this degree prepares the graduate for a variety of jobs that are in demand nationwide. For detailed degree information, see the Harding University Catalog.

Child Life

This degree plan offers a strong background in child development and family systems. The course content for this program aims to promote effective coping through play, preparation, education, and self-expression activities appropriate for children.  Many of the courses include applications not only for clinical hospital settings, but for other facets of the field such as court and foster care systems, trauma teams, bereavement support services, and others. This degree plan also involves an intense study of family-centered care in a variety of settings.  A practicum experience where students choose a healthcare program for which to gain first hand exposure to the field is required. For detailed degree information, see the Harding University Catalog.

This is the logo for the ACLP endorsement for FCS.The Child Life Major is endorsed by the Association of Child Life Professionals. This recognition assures that the program meets the requirements set forth in the ACLP’s Standards for Academic and Clinical Preparation Programs, confirming that the program’s structure, curriculum, resources, support system, and sustainability are of the highest quality. Students can be confident that coursework meets ACLP certification requirements, enabling them to apply for and take the exam to become a Certified Child Life Specialist (CCLS).

Community Engagement

This Bachelor of Science program of study will prepare students to become agents of positive change in their community with a foundation based on theory, prevention, and skill development to better meet the needs and challenges of today’s society. This degree plan incorporates service learning opportunities from the local community and includes courses from the College of Business Administration and Social Work department. For detailed degree information, see the Harding University Catalog.

Event Management

This Bachelor of Science degree prepares students for successful careers in event planning, management and production. This program of study also includes courses from the College of Business Administration and communication department. For detailed degree information, see the Harding University Catalog.

Nutrition and Dietetics

The demand for dietitians is increasing rapidly in response to the expanding needs of health care facilities, corporate wellness programs, influence of the media, and environmental concerns. To respond to this increasing need, Harding University’s Nutrition and Dietetics graduates work in a variety of settings including clinical practice, research, management of food service systems, communications, sales, and teaching. The Nutrition and Dietetics major is comprised of the Didactic Program in Dietetics and Harding University’s liberal arts course requirements. For more information, please visit the Didactic Program in Dietetics page.

Nutrition and Food Management

This degree prepares students for a variety of careers in the food service industry. This major includes an embedded project management minor.

More information on this new major will be available in July 2021.

Family and Consumer Sciences

The Family and Consumer Sciences Degree prepares professionals for generalist careers in a diversity of settings.  Graduates are well trained in the holistic approach to empowering individuals, families and communities in the context of the basic human needs of food, clothing, shelter and relationships.  Included in the degree are courses in all subject matter specialties:  food and nutrition, child development and family services, apparel and textiles, housing and interiors,  consumer education and resource management.  Electives in the degree allow the student to readily choose a supporting minor or greater depth in one or more areas of family and consumer sciences.  The FCS Degree prepares students to provide informed leadership for the world around them to make a difference in the quality of life for all.  Students who have a desire to pursue a non-traditional career will find this degree versatile and conducive to charting their own unique professional path.  For detailed degree information, see the Harding University Catalog.

Family and Consumer Sciences Education

In addition to ongoing teacher shortages in certain geographical areas, career opportunities in business, industry and the public sector exist for the graduate with an education degree in family and consumer sciences. For detailed degree information, see the Harding University Catalog.

Family Life Education

Family life education focuses on healthy family functioning within a family systems perspective and provides a primarily preventive approach. The skills and knowledge needed for healthy functioning are widely known: strong communication skills, knowledge of typical human development, good decision-making skills, positive self-esteem, and healthy interpersonal relationships. The goal of family life education is to teach and foster this knowledge and these skills to enable individuals and families to function optimally. Family life education professionals consider societal issues including economics, education, work-family issues, parenting, sexuality, gender and more within the context of the family. They believe that societal problems such as substance abuse, domestic violence, unemployment, debt, and child abuse can be more effectively addressed from a perspective that considers the individual and family as part of larger systems. Knowledge about healthy family functioning can be applied to prevent or minimize many of these problems. Family life education provides this information through an educational approach, often in a classroom-type setting or through educational materials. (NCFR, 2010)

Harding's program is an Approved Program by the National Council on Family Relations (NCFR). Graduates of our program can thus have an abbreviated application process and a reduced fee to become a provisional certified family life educator.  For detailed degree information, see the Harding University Catalog.