College Spotlight – Family, Home, & Social Sciences

The College of Family, Home, and Social Sciences (FHSS) is one of 10 colleges on BYU campus. Our college encompasses nine departments, ten centers, and five multi-disciplinary programs, offering your students a large number of ways in which they can meld their desired professional aspirations with what the university offers. All of our departments and programs provide learning opportunities both inside and outside the classroom and give students the benefit of real-world experience.

The Anthropology Department describes itself as the most comprehensive social science department. Through archaeology and sociocultural, linguistic, and biological anthropology, students study all aspects of human behavior and experience throughout time. The department works to combine classroom study and field work, especially through the Museum of Peoples and Cultures.

Contrary to popular belief, economics is not solely the study of money. Instead, it is the study of the allocation of other resources like food and water. It is the study of who gets what, how much, and why. Described as a selection of courses that will change students' perception of the world, the Economics Department curriculum prides itself on teaching your students how to apply this altered perception to the real world through an active study of contemporary policy issues.

School of Family Life
Reaching beyond home economics, the School of Family Life (SFL) is for those passionate about the family. SFL offers career possibilities that range from chef training to fashion designers to working with children with special needs. Whether your student is interested in family law or pediatrics, SFL is committed to enhancing the quality of family life worldwide with the aim to understand and enhance human development and familial relationships.

A subject taught by Karl G. Maeser himself, geography has been a part of BYU since its beginning. With emphases ranging from tourism to geospatial intelligence, the department works to strengthen the geographic awareness, knowledge, and skills of your students. Complete with a weather station, the Geography Department actively encourages networking and skill building.

While other departments may sport majors that are vocationally oriented, the History Department is designed for students who desire a true liberal education. Although they have specialized programs, such as the Center for Family History and Genealogy, the department focuses on teaching students not only history, but skills that have the flexibility to move across careers.

Political Science
People are shaped by the construct of their communities and as a result, political science helps us to understand not only our world but ourselves. The Political Science Department introduces students to a broad range of perspectives and methods to better understand and ultimately answer questions concerning their communities. In an effort to encourage students to be active components in society, there is also an Office of Civic Engagement.

Students have the chance to follow multiple tracks in the psychology field, whether by studying to become a psychiatrist or pursuing a degree in neuroscience. It’s all about studying how the brain works, mentally and physically, and how that shapes who we are and why we do what we do. The Psychology Department is dedicated to discovering the truth about human nature and how to apply that truth toward improving the human condition.

School of Social Work
With an understanding of human behavior in a social environment, students work toward serving their communities, and specifically toward advancing human rights and social and economic justice. The School of Social Work teaches applicable practices to help prepare students for post-graduate work and to advance social and economic well-being in the community.

Social interaction affects our behavior, individually and as a community. The Sociology Department focuses on the study of social relations and different levels of social interaction. Students have the opportunity to study social movements, diversity and inequality, and social change as well as the contemporary effects of communication.

The goal of the College of Family, Home, and Social Sciences is to help its students find a corner of study that they love. We focus on the value of real-world experience through internships, field studies, and our Fulton Mentored Student Research Conference. Becoming an alum of FHSS is more than just choosing a major with your student, it’s a life-long connection. For more information on our departments and the various programs associated with FHSS, visit our website:

Laura Ricks is the Outreach Coordinator for the College of Family, Home, & Social Sciences.