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Family & Consumer Sciences - General

  • Overview
  • Careers
  • New Freshmen
  • New Transfer
  • Illinois State Students

Students in the General sequence in the Family and Consumer Sciences program receive a broad education which prepares them for generalist careers in a variety of settings that enhance the lives of individuals, their families, communities and organizations. Those who study family and consumer sciences at a professional level acquire the knowledge and skills to help people make informed decisions to safeguard their health and optimize their quality of life. Students are provided opportunities to develop the knowledge, skills, attributes, and behaviors needed in a diverse and global society. Students will find this degree beneficial to developing their own unique professional career path.

Students are encouraged to consider completing a minor.

Why Study Family & Consumer Sciences - General?

Five distinct programs prepare students to work in their specific area of interest:

  • Fashion Design and Merchandising (FDM)
  • Food, Nutrition and Dietetics (FND)
  • Human Development and Family Science (HDFS)
  • Interior Design (ID)
  • Family and Consumer Sciences - Teacher Education (TE)

Each is an area of study that focuses on the well-being of individuals, family and communities, and graduates are prepared to work in specialized fields related to each area of study. Whether focused on sustainable clothing, healthy diets, rewarding relationships, pleasing environments or teaching the next generation, graduates are prepared to meet the challenges of today’s global environment.

Related Majors

Related Skills

  • If pursuing teaching one must obtain certification by the State of Illinois for teaching Family and Consumer Sciences coursed grades 9-12

Being Successful in the Field

  • Candidates should possess empathy for others, an appreciation for diversity, and an interest in social change
  • Gain experience with a diverse range of clients and client systems including individuals, families, groups, communities, and minorities
  • Complete practicum experiences and internships to determine suitability for the helping professions and to gain exposure to various practice settings and clients
  • A master's degree in counseling, social work, occupational therapy, or related field, in addition to appropriate professional licensure, is usually necessary to provide therapy and for advancement to supervisory or administrative positions

Related Fields

Social Services / Nonprofit

  • Administration and Planning
  • Case Management
  • Advocacy
  • Program Evaluation
  • Policy Development
  • Volunteer Coordination


  • Public welfare agencies
  • Federal, state, and local government
  • Private social service agencies
  • Group homes
  • Religiously affiliated organizations
  • Drug and alcohol rehabilitation centers


Social services are designed toprovide support for clients who are poor, disabled, ill, elderly, or juveniles.

Volunteer at homeless shelters, soup kitchens, battered women homes, literacy programs, or other social service agencies to gain relevant experience and demonstrate interest.

Child Welfare

  • Case Management
  • Advocacy
  • Service Coordination


  • Public or private child welfare agencies
  • Adoption agencies
  • Foster care organizations
  • Day care centers and nursery schools
  • Recreational facilities (i.e., YMCA or YWCA)
  • Head Start programs


Child welfare workers strive to ensure the safety and well-being of children through interventions and programming.

Volunteer at day care centers, children's shelters, camps, YMCA/YWCA, Scouts, or other agencies that aid youth and children. Take additional courses in child development or early childhood education.

Business and Industry

  • Human Resources
  • Management
  • Sales
  • Public Relations
  • Corporate Giving
  • Development
  • Employee Assistance Programs
  • Financial Counseling


  • Business firms in various industries
  • Developers of educational products
  • National foundations and associations


Graduates of human services programs may apply their skills and knowledge in the private sector of business and industry.

Earn a minor in business or related field. Develop computer skills particularly with spreadsheets, databases, word processing, and desk top publishing.

Gain experience through part-time jobs, summer jobs, and internships in business environments.

Health Care

  • Case Management
  • Counseling
  • Program Development
  • Administration
  • Rehabilitation


  • Hospitals
  • Community health centers
  • Outpatient clinics
  • Public health programs
  • Health maintenance organizations (HMOs)
  • Nursing homes
  • Group homes
  • Hospice


Human services workers inhealth care facilitate the medical and emotional treatment of patients.

Volunteer in health related settings such as hospitals or the American Red Cross to gain experience. Supplement curriculum with coursework in nursing or health.

Complete appropriate prerequisites for entrance into professional programs suchas occupational therapy, physician's assistant, or physical therapy.


  • Management
  • Policy Development
  • Planning


  • Family service agencies
  • Child welfare departments
  • Social service agencies
  • State mental health departments
  • Employee assistance programs
  • Probation departments
  • Public interest groups
  • Local, state, and federal government


Administrators are involved with planning, budgeting, public relations, management, fund raising, and other crucial operating responsibilities that keep an organization functioning. Obtain a master's degree in social work or related field for additional opportunities. Gain management experience through internships, part-time employment, or leadership in relevant student organizations. Supplement curriculum with coursework in areas such as public relations, advertising, accounting, or management.


  • Advocacy
  • Counseling
  • Case Management
  • Programming
  • Public Policy


  • Hospitals
  • Nursing and retirement homes
  • Senior centers
  • Hospice


Gerontology involves workingwith clients who are older adults, healthy or ill, and their families.

Become involved with programsor organizations designed for senior citizens.

Developmental Disabilities

  • Case Management
  • Advocacy
  • Program Planning and Evaluation
  • Policy Development
  • Rehabilitation


  • Community residential homes
  • State and local agencies
  • Medical facilities
  • Mental health organizations
  • Schools
  • Employment agencies
  • Vocational Rehabilitation


Human services workers specializing in this area help people with disabilities to adjust to and lead productive lives.

Volunteer at special needs camps, child care centers, schools, or hospitals to gain experience. Gain experience with and knowledge of a variety of disabilities.

Obtain specialized training in areas such as sign language or assistive technology for additional opportunities. Earn a master's degree in rehabilitation counseling for opportunities in Vocational Rehabilitation.

Other Professions

  • Child Life Specialist
  • Child Services Coordinator
  • Consumer Advocate
  • Customer Service Representatives
  • Demonstrators and Product Promoters
  • Family Resources Specialist
  • Family Services Coordinator
  • Health and Wellness Consultant
  • Human Development Analyst
  • Interior Design Project Manager
  • Intervention Specialist
  • Personal Life Coach
  • Preventive Care Consultant
  • Program Coordinator
  • Project Manager
  • Renovation Consultant
  • Researcher
  • Resident Service Director
  • Retail Consultant
  • Retail Salespersons
  • Tailors, Dressmakers, and Custom Sewers

Career Advising

Name Office Email Phone
Megan Kayfish  110 Student Services Building  (309) 438-0735 

Internship Coordinator

Name Office Email Phone
Michele Ruby  Turner Hall 106  (309) 438-4608 

Applying to Illinois State

Illinois State's preferred filing period for freshman students for the fall semester is September 1-November 15. Applying early is encouraged, as the University must limit enrollment due to space at the University and in specific majors/programs. Visit the Office of Admissions to apply today!

Plans of Study and Progress Tracking

This information is based on requirements for the academic year(s) indicated. Students should consult the catalog year they were admitted under for their academic requirements.

Applying to Illinois State

Illinois State's preferred filing period for fall transfer students is September 1-January 15. For the spring semester, the preferred filing period is from April 1-August 1. You are encouraged to apply early in the preferred filing period for best consideration for admission into competitive majors. Visit the Office of Admissions to apply today!

Minimum GPA


Middle 50% GPA

2.88 - 3.43

Required Courses


Recommended Courses

  • Human and Family Development (FCS 101)
  • Fundamentals of Human Nutrition (FCS 102)
  • Environmental Design Elements: Studio (FCS 104)
  • Apparel Product Development 1 (FCS 122)

Plans of Study and Progress Tracking

Academic Advising

Name Office Email Phone Note
Clint Smith  Turner Hall 106  (309) 438-5011  Current FCS students 
Michele Ruby  Turner Hall 118A  (309) 438-4608  Prospective FCS students 

Middle 50% GPA

2.88 - 3.43

Plans of Study and Progress Tracking

Application Period

August 1 - September 21, January 1 - February 21

Application Information

Current students can use the Apply to Your Program tool on

Academic Advising

Name Office Email Phone Note
Clint Smith  Turner Hall 106  (309) 438-5011  Current FCS students 
Michele Ruby  Turner Hall 118A  (309) 438-4608  Prospective FCS students 
2016-08-03T11:23:40.188-05:00 2016