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Families play a significant part in individuals' lives and society. In sociology, one approach is to view families as a small group, focusing on relational processes like support, socialization, conflict, and intimacy that constitute interactions among family members. Another approach views the family as a major social institution that interacts closely with other institutions including those affecting education, law, healthcare, religion, the economy, criminal justice, and welfare. The family-in its varied and diverse forms-is also key to understanding how inequality is experienced and reproduced in society, as substantial responsibility for caring, nurturing, and raising others is delegated to families. The interplay of these multiple levels-the micro or interpersonal, the meso or institutional, and the macro or structural-also interest sociologists, as individuals influence social structures and institutions, and the latter, in turn, affect family interactions and relationships. This certificate provides students a foundation for understanding the complex role of families and family members at multiple levels, as well as the social systems and organizations responsible for supporting families and individuals. The content and methods courses will prepare students for direct service positions working with individuals and families (e.g., human and social services), or research, policy or advocacy positions addressing family issues (e.g., housing, violence and abuse, parenting, social welfare). Students earning the certificate also will be well-positioned to pursue advanced degrees in social work, public health, counseling, law, sociology, or related disciplines.
Upon successful completion of the certificate, students will:
Recognize the diversity of family structures within and across cultures
Understand the theoretical perspectives explaining family behavior and relationships, and those addressing differences in the institution of the family across cultures and over time
Be familiar with current trends in family structure, and recent research on family functioning and well-being, and how family research informs advocacy and policy work, and social welfare programs
Be able to apply the technical skills of their methodological training to conduct analyses about families and family life, and outcomes assessments for social welfare programs aimed at helping families
Engage in original research projects involving family-related issues
- This is an on-campus or online program.
Declaring This Certificate
- Eligibility: While housed in Sociology, the study of families and social welfare is in fact a multidisciplinary field that draws from diverse liberal arts fields, including Psychology, Political Science, Communications, and History, among others. Thus, CU Denver undergraduate students in any discipline can enroll in the certificate program. The certificate is also available to non-degree-seeking students who already have earned a BA or BS degree, either at CU Denver or elsewhere.
- Application procedures: Students are encouraged to contact the Director of the Families and Social Welfare Certificate informing them of their wish to pursue the certificate at any point in their undergraduate studies. Providing their student identification number and an unofficial transcript will assist the Director in advising them. The certificate is awarded to the student upon successful completion of required coursework and an assessment exam.
These program requirements are subject to periodic revision by the academic department, and the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences reserves the right to make exceptions and substitutions as judged necessary in individual cases. Therefore, the College strongly urges students to consult regularly with their Families and Social Welfare advisor to confirm the best plans of study before finalizing them.
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Students must complete a minimum of 15 credit hours from the approved courses below.
- Students must complete a minimum of six upper-division (3000-level and above) credit hours chosen from the approved courses below.
Students must earn a minimum grade of C- (1.7) in all courses that apply to the certificate and must achieve a minimum cumulative certificate GPA of 2.0. All graded attempts in required and elective courses are calculated in the certificate GPA. Courses taken using pass/fail grading cannot apply to certificate requirements.
Students must complete all 15 credits applied to the certificate at CU Denver chosen from the approved courses below. If students have completed a course required for the certificate elsewhere, they may add the needed credits in the form of additional elective credits drawn from the approved elective courses.
Certificate Restrictions, Allowances and Recommendations
The certificate will be awarded at the end of the semester in which the student completes all required courses for the certificate.
|Complete all of the following certificate requirements:||15|
|Complete the following required courses:||9-11|
|Quantitative Methods & Analysis|
and Qualitative Methods 1
|Families and Society|
|Complete two of the following courses: 2||6|
|Sociology of Human Sexuality|
|Sex and Gender|
|Social Meanings of Reproduction|
|Aging, Society and Social Policy|
|Sociology of Childhood and Adolescence|
|Violence in Relationships|
|Gender in Cross-Cultural Perspective|
|China and the Chinese|
|Contemporary Chinese Society and Culture|
|Economics of Social Issues|
|Economics of Race and Gender|
|Multiracial Families and Communities|
|African American Family|
|Introduction to Family and Community Services|
|Families in Global Perspectives|
|Family and Cultural Diversity|
|Latino Families in School and Communities|
|Abuelos (Grandparents) Latino Families|
|Family Policy & Law|
|Family Systems and Social Justice|
|Families in Later Life|
|LGBTQ Family Systems|
|Women & Gender in US History|
|Depression, Affluence and Anxiety: U.S. History, 1929 to the Present|
|U.S. Society and Thought to 1860|
|U.S. Society and Thought Since 1860|
|Sex and Gender in Modern Britain|
|United States History, 1919-1945|
|United States History, 1945-1973|
|Red and Blue America: U.S. History, 1973-Present|
|Public Health Perspectives On Family Violence|
|Social and Political Philosophy|
|Politics of the Budgetary Process|
|State Politics: Focus Colorado|
|Local Government and Administration|
|Comparative Governance: Environment and Society|
|Women and the Law|
|Human Development I: Child Psychology|
|Human Development II: Adolescence and Adulthood|
|Psychology of Cultural Diversity|
Students may substitute two approved methods courses in their major discipline, one on quantitative methods and one on qualitative methods. Questions about eligible methods course substitutions should be directed to the criminology certificate advisor.
- SOCY 3115 Quantitative Methods & Analysis substitutions may include ECON 3801 Introduction to Mathematical Economics, ECON 3811 Statistics with Computer Applications, GEOG 2080 Introduction to Mapping and Map Analysis, GEOG 4080 Introduction to GIS, MATH 2830 Introductory Statistics, PHIL 2441 Logic, Language and Scientific Reasoning, PHIL 3440 Introduction to Symbolic Logic, PSCI 3011 Research Methods, PSYC 2090 Statistics and Research Methods, PSYC 3090 Research Methods in Psychology.
Prerequisites may apply.
To learn more about the Student Learning Outcomes for this program, please visit our website.