FAQ

What can I do with a Family and Child Studies (FCST) degree?
Students who graduate with a BA in Family and Child Studies can find jobs in social service agencies, therapeutic or hospital settings, government and public policy, or in community-based organizations. Many of our students pursue a certification in elementary education or early childhood education. Some of our alumni decide to pursue graduate studies in their own specific area of interest.

I want to work with children, families, and/or adults. Is Family and Child Studies right for me? Which concentration should I choose?
There are so many options! We recommend you see a FCST faculty advisor to review them. If you haven't taken FCST 200, Introduction to Family Studies, it's a good course to start exploring the Family and Child Studies area. Also, keep an eye out for Family and Child Studies information sessions in Family Services, and Gerontology. They are typically run in the Spring semester and are open to all Montclair students.

How do I find out who my Family and Child Studies advisor is?
Please check the Web Enrollment Services for Students' (WESS) website If no advisor is assigned to you, please see our Departmental Undergraduate Advisor, Mr. Christopher Cottle. Call (973) 655-4171 to set up an appointment or to find out this week's walk-in hours.

What can my Family and Child Studies advisor assist me with?
Your Family and Child Studies advisor can assist you with selecting courses in your major, your specific concentration, and your general education requirements. In most cases, your advisor can talk with you about your pre-professional collegiate experiences, as well as, your post-college goals.

I want to be certified as an elementary school teacher. What should I major in? Is Family and Child Studies the right major for me?
There are 10 majors at Montclair State University that have the Elementary school certification (grades K-5) attached. Family and Child Studies is just one of them! Only you can answer which major is the correct choice for you. Which area would you like to study? Please visit The Center of Pedagogy website for more information on the teacher education program.

I am interested in pursuing a certification as a Child Life Specialist. Is this the right major for me? Which concentration should I choose?

Yes! The Family and Child Studies major is well suited for the area of Child Life. The Family Services concentration is the best fit. Please review the information and recommendations sheet. Child Life Specialist Information Sheet

I would like to change my major to Family and Child Studies or a concentration within the Family and Child Studies major. What do I do?
Fill out a "change of major" form available from any Departmental office on campus. Drop off the signed form in the Family and Child Studies office, in University Hall, room 4144. It is suggested you meet with the department advisor, Mr. Christopher Cottle, to review your choice. Mr. Cottle can assist you in exploring options that are right for you in the Family and Child Studies area. Call (973) 655-4171 to set up an appointment or find out this week's walk-in hours.

*Please review all of the specific Requirements for internal transfer students interested in Families, Children, and School Settings, including GPA, academic standing, and procedures.

I am interested in other subject areas and would like to pursue a minor. How do I choose a minor and what do I need to do to complete one?
It is not necessary to have a minor, but often students in the Family and Child Studies department pursue minors in different areas based on passion or interests not covered in the Family and Child Studies area. Contact the department that offers the minor to learn what the current requirements are and submit a change of major/minor form to that department for approval and signature.

What do I do if the Family and Child Studies (FCST) courses I want to register for are closed?
We suggest you meet with your faculty advisor to review other options. Only a small amount of overloads are granted each semester, and there are some courses where it isn't possible to overload at all.

If you and your advisor have determined there aren't any other courses you can take, stop by the FCST Department office, UN #4144 to fill out an overload/override form. Also, continue to check WESS in the event seats become available in the course you want or if new sections of the course are opened.

I'm an accepted transfer student in the Family and Child Studies major. Who should I see to help me get started at Montclair State University?
You should be get in touch with a CAST advisor. They are your next stop after being admitted. Please visit the CAST website for more information. Make sure you attend a Transfer Day orientation session. A Family and Child Studies representative will meet you then and answer any further question you may have about the major.

I have credits from another college or university I think may count towards Family and Child Studies classes. What do I do to get them counted?
Bring a course description or syllabus from your former college to the department office, UN # 4144. Fill out the "Undergraduate Credit Adjustment" form and leave both the form and the course description or syllabus with the Department Administrator, Ms. Shannon Bellum. Allow 1-2 weeks for course review to be conducted.

What if WESS indicates that I need to have certain prerequisite course/s?
You will need to first complete those pre-requisites before you take the course. Your FCST faculty advisor can help you plan in advance so that you get pre-requisites out of the way early.

In rare instances, students have completed the pre-requisites elsewhere. In these cases, come to the Department office, UN #4144 to fill out an override form and bring a copy of the course description from the other institution to be evaluated.

What about courses which indicate "Departmental permission" is needed?
Courses which indicate "Departmental permission" are usually being run for a select group of students. If you are one of theses students, you will have been contacted by our Departmental Administrator, Ms. Shannon Bellum regarding instructions for registration. If you believe you should have been contacted by her regarding course permission, but were not, email bellums@mail.montclair.edu.

What happens with the overload/override form once I turn it in to the Department office?
Your request is thoroughly reviewed. Your academic progress is examined, and any personal issues that have a bearing on your schedule are also considered. Realize only a very small amount of overloads are granted each semester, and there are some courses where it isn't possible to overload at all.

What do I do if I have questions about courses either in the elementary (K-5) or preschool through third grade (P-3) teacher education sequence, student teaching, or teacher certification requirements?
Please visit the Teacher Education web site for more information or contact the Department of Early Childhood, Elementary and Literacy Education ((973) 655-5407 or (973) 655-7360). In some cases you may be referred to the Office of Teacher Education (973 655-7976) or the Center of Pedagogy ((973) 655-4262).

Who can help me with questions I have about the Praxis exam?
Contact Ruth Zerwitz at (973) 655-7799 or zerwitzr@mail.montclair.edu.

My FCST program requirements include an internship. Where can I find out more information about internships?
Please visit the FCST Internship Site (username and password required). Also, see your faculty advisor or the Department office for additional information.

What do I do if I have additional questions about the various Family and Child Studies concentrations in the Family and Child Studies undergraduate programs?
See your advisor and if you still have questions contact Mr. Christopher Cottle, the department advisor, (973) 655-4171 or cottlec@mail.montclair.edu.

For Graduate advisement, please see our student advisement page.