BYU College of Family, Home and Social Sciences

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The BYU College of Family, Home and Social Sciences is a college located on the Provo, Utah campus of Brigham Young University and is housed in the Spencer W. Kimball Tower and Joseph F. Smith Building.[1]

The south side of the Spencer W. Kimball Tower, where some of the college is located.


The BYU College of Family Living was organized on June 28, 1951 while the BYU College of Social Sciences was organized in 1970.[2] These two colleges merged to form the current college in 1980. The first dean of the college was Martin B. Hickman.[3]

Departments and programs[edit]

Departments and programs within the college include studies in Anthropology, Economics, Family Life, Geography, History, Political Science, Psychology, Social Work, and Sociology. American Heritage 100, a general education class taken at BYU, is also in the college.[1]


The anthropology department offers a BA in anthropology and two emphases, including socio-cultural anthropology and archaeology. It also offers minors in both anthropology and African studies and an MA in anthropology with an archaeology emphasis. Affiliates of the department include the BYU Office of Public Archaeology the Brigham Young University Museum of Peoples and Cultures. The first appointment to a professorship in Archeology at BYU occurred in 1945, shortly after Howard S. McDonald became president of BYU. M. Wells Jakeman was appointed to this position. Archaeology was made its own department in 1946.[4] In 1979 the Department of Archaeology was renamed the Department of Anthropology.[5]


Economics courses began to be taught in 1895. The Economics Department was established in 1921. Policy issues the department teaches include natural resource economics, economic development and growth, international trade and finance, economic history, the organization of industries, the development and efficiency of law, business cycles, labor markets, and public and private finance. The department uses a calculus-based approach in its core courses and houses approximately 22 professors whose research interests vary across the field. The department offers a Bachelor of Arts, a Bachelor of Science and a minor in economics.

Notable Professors: James McDonald (economist), Lars Lefgren, C. Arden Pope

School of Family Life[edit]

There are more than one thousand students in BYU’s School of Family Life. The school offers MS and PhD degrees in marriage and family therapy as well as marriage, family and human development. The marriage and family therapy program is raked No. 1 in the nation for its kind of research and productivity.[6] The school offers BS degrees in family and consumer sciences education and family life, with emphasis in both human development and family studies. The School of Family Life presented the documentary series Real Families, Real Answers,[7] which aired on KBYU-TV. It also affiliates with the Relate Institute [8] and sponsors the Family Studies Center [9] as a research facility.


The geography department offers a BS degree in Geography with emphases in Environmental Studies, Geographic Information Systems, Geospatial Intelligence, Global Studies, Tourism Studies, and Urban and Environmental Planning. The department also offers minors in the same emphases.


The history department offers bachelor's degrees in family history/genealogy.[10] The department also offers minors in history, history teaching, family history and Native American studies.

Political Science[edit]

The political science department offers a master’s of public policy degree, as well as a BA in political science and minors in political science and political science teaching. The department has numerous affiliates, namely the Center for the Study of Elections and Democracy at BYU,[11] the Political Economy and Development Lab,[12] and WomanStats Project.[13] The department also sponsors on-campus clubs, such as BYU Democrats, BYU Republicans, Pi Sigma Alpha (Honors Society) and Tocqueville Group. Their alumni society is the BYU Political Affairs Society.[14]


The psychology program offers a bachelor's degree in psychology, a PhD in psychology, and a PhD in clinical psychology.[15] The psychology doctoral program focuses on broad coverage of the discipline of psychology and scientific research skills during the first four semesters. The last two years of the program, students pursue specialized coursework and training in one of three emphasis areas: applied social psychology, behavioral neurobiology, or theoretical/ philosophical psychology. Students complete a master's degree as part of the program and complete a master’s thesis by the end of their second year. Degrees in counseling psychology and school psychology are offered through the McKay School of Education.[16]

School of Social Work[edit]

The BYU master of social work program offers two emphases: clinical social work and research. The social work program was ranked 104 in the nation by U.S. News & World Report in 2012 [17] Students are required to complete two internships and most work on faculty-mentored research.


The sociology department offers a bachelor's and master's degree. In the undergraduate program, students select their courses based on their career interests. Possible sequences to follow include research and analysis; public policy/law/criminology; family/social work/public policy; business; liberal education degree; academic sociology; and international or domestic development. The graduate program enrolls approximately two-dozen students.

American Heritage[edit]

American Heritage 100 is a course that BYU's Board of Trustees created more 25 years ago because they believed that university students needed a better understanding of the origins of the Constitution and its role in American life. American Heritage draws from three different disciplines: political science, economics and history. Every year, more than 6,000 BYU students take American Heritage.[18]


  1. ^ a b Brigham Young University. (2007, March 28). FHSS Home. Retrieved April 05, 2007, from
  2. ^ Wilkinson, Ernest L., ed., Brigham Young University: The First 100 Years. (Provo: BYU Press, 1975) Vol. 4, p. 487
  3. ^ Deseret News, Oct. 16, 1991, obituary of Martin B. Hickman
  4. ^ Ross T. Christensen. "The True History of Archaeology at Brigham Young University"
  5. ^ history of the Society for Early Historical Archaeology
  6. ^
  7. ^ Real Families, Real Answers
  8. ^ Relate Institute
  9. ^ Family Studies Center
  10. ^ BYU Center for Family History and Genealogy
  11. ^ BYU CSED [1].
  12. ^ BYU Political Economy and Development Lab [2].
  13. ^ WomanStats [3].
  14. ^ BYUPAS [4].
  15. ^ "Home". Retrieved 2018-06-08.
  16. ^ "Degrees Offered | BYU McKay School of Education". Retrieved 2018-06-08.
  17. ^ 2012 US News Grad School Rankings
  18. ^ About the Course [5] (retrieved August 2, 2012).

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 40°14′53″N 111°39′04″W / 40.24806°N 111.65111°W / 40.24806; -111.65111