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Frequently Asked Questions

Interested in Family Science and Human Development?

What can I do with a Family Science and Human Development(FSHD) degree?
Students who graduate with a BA in Family Science and Human Development 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 Science and Human Development right for me? Which concentration should I choose?
There are so many options! We recommend you see an FSHD faculty advisor to review them. If you haven’t taken FSHD 200, Introduction to Family Studies, it’s a good course to start exploring the Family Science and Human Development area. Also, keep an eye out for Family Science and Human Development information sessions in Family Services and Gerontology. They are typically run in the spring semester and are open to all Montclair students.
I want to be certified as an elementary school teacher. What should I major in? Is Family Science and Human Development the right major for me?
There are 10+ majors at Montclair State University that have the Elementary school certification (grades K-6) attached. Family Science and Human Development (with a concentration in Families, Children, and School Settings) 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 would like to change my major to Family Science and Human Development or a concentration within the Family Science and Human Development 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 Science and Human Development 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 Science and Human Development area. Call 973-655-4171 to find out this week’s walk-in hours.

Already an FSHD student?

I’m an accepted transfer student in the Family Science and Human Development major. Who should I see to help me get started at Montclair State University?
You should get in touch with a University College advisor. They are your next stop after being admitted. Please visit the University College website for more information. Make sure you attend a Transfer Day orientation session. A Family Science and Human Development representative will meet you then and answer any further question you may have about the major.
How do I find out who my Family Science and Human Development advisor is?
Please check NEST. If no faculty advisor is assigned to you, please drop by the department office, University Hall Room 4144, call 973-655-4171 or email
What can my Family Science and Human Development advisor assist me with?
Your Family Science and Human Development 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.
How do I switch concentrations within the FSHD major?
Print, complete, and attach the Change of Major Form to this checklist:
– Have a minimum of 3.0 GPA overall and in FSHD major* (*this includes FSHD courses and PSYC 101)
– Have completed FSHD 200 with a grade of B or higher
– Have no more than 60 credit hours completed
Attach a copy of your Degree Audit to this document.
Submit the Change of Major form, this checklist, and a copy of your Degree Audit to the Department of FSHD, Suit 4144 in University Hall.
Important: This is a competitive process. Completion of these steps and meeting the minimum criteria in the Checklist does not guarantee a student’s acceptance into the concentration. Students will be notified via email; there is no need to call the department.
I have credits from another college or university I think may count towards Family Science and Human Development 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 one to two weeks for course review to be conducted.
What if NEST indicates that I need to have certain prerequisite course/s?
You will need to first complete those prerequisites before you take the course. Your FSHD faculty advisor can help you plan in advance so that you get prerequisites out of the way early.
In rare instances, students have completed the prerequisites elsewhere. In these cases, email your override request to
What do I do if the Family Science and Human Development (FSHD) 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, email Also, continue to check NEST in the event seats become available in the course you want or if new sections of the course are opened.
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 these 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
What happens with the overload/override email once I send it?
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.
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 Science and Human Development department pursue minors in different areas based on passion or interests not covered in the Family Science and Human Development area. For example, students interested in pursuing Speech Pathology/Audiology in graduate study might minor in that area. Or a student interested in owning a business or beginning an NGO may minor in Entrepreneurship. 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 I have questions about courses either in the elementary (K-6) or preschool through third grade (P-3) teacher education sequence, student teaching or teacher certification requirements?
Please visit the Center of Pedagogy website 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 the Center of Pedagogy (973-655-4262).
What do I do if I have additional questions about the various Family Science and Human Development concentrations in the Family Science and Human Development undergraduate programs?
See your faculty advisor or contact Mr. Christopher Cottle, the Department Advisor, 973-655-4171 or
For Graduate advisement, please see our Student Advisement page.