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Family and Consumer Sciences Education: BS, BA

Family and Consumer Sciences Education

The Family and Consumer Sciences Education (FCSE) program trains students to become family and consumer sciences (FCS) teachers in middle and high schools. FCS teachers in this area are in high demand across Utah and the nation because they are qualified to teach many different subject areas, including apparel and textile construction, nutrition and foods, interior design, child and human development, financial literacy, and more. USU's family and consumer sciences education students boast nearly 100% pass rate on the Praxis exam (required of all teachers) and 100% job placement after they graduate.

The department works closely with the Nutrition, Dietetics, and Foods Sciences Department, Interior Design Program, Human Development and Family Studies Department, and the Secondary Education Department, to ensure that students receive a broad and well-rounded education. This major also provides undergraduate preparation for the Utah Extension service.


  • School-Based Family & Consumer Sciences Education: The school-based FCSE emphasis prepares students to meet state teacher certification requirements to teach FCS content in public, charter and private schools. Students can become school-based FCS teachers and FCCLA advisors in middle, junior and high schools. School-based FCS teachers educate students on a wide variety of subjects, including financial literacy, human relationships, child development, apparel and textile construction, interior design, nutrition and foods, FCCLA leadership, analytical thinking and problem solving. Students have the unique opportunity to work with mentor teachers starting their junior year to receive instruction and build professional relationships with mentor teachers before they enter the classroom as student teachers. Upon successful completion of student teaching, students are eligible to apply and receive a secondary teaching license in the state of Utah.
  • Community-Based Family & Consumer Sciences Education: This emphasis prepares students for outreach and education in nonformal settings and community engagement. Students will develop a diverse background in FCS content areas. The curriculum includes courses in all the FCS areas: financial literacy, human relationships, child development, apparel and textile construction, interior design, nutrition and foods, and FCCLA leadership. Additional courses in nonformal education include: nonformal teaching methods, volunteer programs, community programming and evaluation, and youth development. Students will also gain knowledge about communication, analytical reasoning, critical thinking, effective writing and teamwork. Students will complete two internships in a community-based emphasis starting their junior year with an FCS-based business, public or private agency, commodity organization, nonprofit organization or extension office. Students may take some additional course work to obtain a Family Finance Minor.

Education Component:

In order to obtain a secondary teaching license for grades 6-12, students must complete the 35-credit Secondary Teacher Education Program (STEP), which includes one semester of student teaching in a public school. This program is administered by USU's School of Teacher Education and Leadership (TEAL) within the Emma Eccles Jones College of Education and Human Services. These courses are taught in addition to the subject content taught through the School of Applied Sciences, Technology, and Education.

Students in the family and consumer sciences education program do not need to have a minor because the program provides students with knowledge in several subject areas, therefore, expanding their career options.

With a degree in family and consumer sciences education, students can pursue the following careers:

  • Secondary family and consumer sciences education (grades 6-12)
  • Secondary family and consumer sciences education (grades 6-12)
  • Family and consumer sciences Cooperative Extension (including 4-H)
  • Marketing related to consumer products and services
  • Researching needs,attitudes, and markets associated with family and consumer sciences 
  • Developing improved products and services related to the different content areas (design improved appliances, fabrics, software, etc)
  • Informing the public about FCS content-related topics through various media outlets
  • Assisting families and communities through various agencies (housing, family, youth, etc.)
  • Managing various FCS-related businesses or operations

Career Services provides counseling and information on hundreds of job and internship opportunities and even helps students apply and interview.

Admission Requirements

In addition to Utah State University’s admissions requirements, this program has additional requirements:

  • Freshmen: New freshmen admitted to USU in good standing qualify for admission to this major.
  • Transfer Students: Transfer students from other institutions and students transferring from other USU majors need a 3.00 total GPA for admission to this major.
  • STEP Requirements: In order to be accepted into STEP, students must go through an application process, which includes the following: 
    • Complete 60 semester credits with a minimum GPA of 3.0
    • Complete certain core courses (see department for more information)
    • Complete a speech and hearing test
    • Pass the Teacher Education Writing Exam
    • Provide an unofficial copy of  your transcript
    • Pass a criminal background check (this should be done one semester before submitting the application)

International students have additional admissions requirements.

Professional Organizations, Honor Societies, and Clubs

American Association of Family and Consumer Sciences: For more than 100 years, the American Association of Family and Consumer Sciences has provided leadership and support to professionals whose work assists individuals, families, and communities in making informed decisions about their well being, relationships, and resources to achieve optimal quality of life.

Association for Career and Technical Education: The Association for Career and Technical Education is the largest national education association dedicated to the advancement of education that prepares youth and adults for careers.

Family and Consumer Sciences Education Association: The Family and Consumer Sciences Education Association is a voluntary organization of family and consumer sciences educators and others associated with or interested in family and consumer sciences instruction in schools and colleges. Family and consumer sciences educators are dedicated to helping each individual help him or herself through a better understanding and control of family and community life. They work to improve the quality of family and consumer sciences instruction and broaden the scope of the curriculum.

International Textiles and Apparel Association: ITAA is a global organization of textile, apparel, and merchandising scholars and researchers in higher education. The ITAA sponsors the Clothing & Textiles Research Journal, a bimonthly newsletter, and annual meetings devoted to the generation and dissemination of knowledge about the production, design, marketing, and consumer evaluation of textile and apparel products.

Utah Association of Family and Consumer Sciences: UAFCS holds regular conferences that allow members to view current examples of family and consumer science practices, such as doing a home tour to learn from the interior design.

Phi Upsilon Omicron: Phi Upsilon Omicron is a national honor society in family and consumer sciences. Its purposes are to recognize and encourage academic excellence, develop qualities of professional and personal leadership, provide opportunities for service to the profession, and encourage professional and personal commitment to the area of family and consumer sciences.

Kappa Omicron Nu: Is a national honor society for human sciences. Its mission is to generate empowered leaders who use an integrative approach to enhance the quality of living. These goals enable the organization and chapters to prepare scholars and researchers as leaders for the 21st century.

Aggie FACS: Aggie FACS is a professional student organization with the mission of bringing people together to improve the quality of life for individuals and families through foods and nutrition, family financial management, clothing and textiles, interior and housing design, and child development and parenting. Students participating in this club come from all disciplines and are provided the opportunity for professional development, service in the community, and fundraising for various content-related activities. The organization is supported by the family and consumer sciences education program with connections to the national organization, the American Association of Family and Consumer Sciences.

Collegiate FFA: Collegiate FFA is the service arm to the national FFA organization. USU Collegiate FFA members serve the agricultural industry, the agricultural education profession, and the FFA at the local, state, and national levels. Students from all majors interested in agriculture are encouraged to join.

Labs, Centers, Research

With the second oldest undergraduate research program in the nation, USU offers students a wide range of opportunities to gain hands-on research experience. USU’s Honors Program prepares students for excellent graduate programs by helping them build relationships with professors, participate in research projects, take smaller, more intensive classes, and develop leadership skills.

Clothing Production Laboratory: This lab offers students state-of-the-art sewing machines and other sewing equipment to help students learn beginning through advanced clothing construction techniques. There is enough space available for students to design, create, and experience clothing production principles first-hand.

Food Literacy Laboratory: This lab is designed to meet the competency levels needed for dietetics and family and consumer science educators. Students engage in hands-on learning to practice concepts discussed in lectures, such as cooking techniques, knife skills, incorporating whole, seasonal foods into meals, substituting ingredients, and enhancing flavors.

Science of Food Preparation Laboratory: This lab focuses on the chemistry of foods, or the structure of foods and ingredients and how they interact with each other to affect the quality of the food. The lab is used to demonstrate and practice concepts learned in classes, such as preparing baked goods with various methods of fat reduction followed by comparison of quality and sensory attributes, using moist-heat versus dry-heat methods to cook meat followed by analysis of tenderness and flavor, or using several methods of cooking vegetables to compare sensory appeal in the final product.

Teaching Laboratory: The teaching lab is a classroom where students can simulate a demonstration to students. They have access to cutting-edge technology, such as a document cam, and other equipment that facilitates an effective classroom.

Textile Science Laboratory: This lab contains highly technical machines on which students perform chemical tests and learn the various characteristics of textiles and how they can be used effectively. Students learn about the fibers in clothing and their properties for performance and care.

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