Certificate in Family and Child Development

About the Program

The Certificate in Family and Child Development is intended for individuals who are working in the field, but who lack specific knowledge about family dynamics and human development, such as professionals employed by social-service agencies, juvenile justice facilities, child welfare programs, educational institutions, or medical fields. It is also intended for students enrolled in graduate degree programs and those in related fields who need to meet continuing education requirements or desire additional academic preparation.

Program Mode of Delivery

Courses for this program are available entirely online.


A student pursuing the certificate program is expected to have a minimum of six semester hours of undergraduate course work in human development and family sciences or the equivalent, including a course in marriage and family relations (three semester hours) and one course in child or lifespan development (three semester hours).

If deficient, the deficiency courses should be completed during the first semester after admission to the certificate program. The deficiency courses must be met with a grade of B or better.

A minimum of 15 credits are required for the completion of the Graduate Certificate in Family and Child Studies. The curriculum is comprised of nine credit hours of required course work and six additional credits of elective courses.

You must maintain a cumulative minimum 3.00 GPA in all course work to continue in the certificate program. Information about specific course requirements can be found in the NIU course catalog.

Applying to the Program

If you are not currently enrolled as an NIU graduate student: First, you will apply as a Student at Large (SAL) through the Graduate School. To submit an application, you must upload proof that you have received a baccalaureate or higher degree. Proof may include an unofficial copy of a transcript, teaching license or photocopy of a diploma. Visit the Students-at-Large Admission page to learn more or to apply.

After you complete the SAL application, complete the certificate program application with the School of Family and Consumer Sciences.

If you are currently enrolled as an NIU graduate student: Begin by completing the certificate program application with the School of Family and Consumer Sciences.


  • Thomas Pavkov, Ph.D. — FACS Chair
  • Scott Sibley, Ph.D. — Associate Chair
  • Susan Bowers, Ph.D.
  • Sophie Li, Ph.D.
  • Jane Rose Njue, Ph.D.
  • Flora Surjadi, Ph.D.
  • Charline Xie, Ph.D.

Why NIU Online?

We know you have responsibilities and commitments. It's just easier if you're able to take classes where you are without the commute. The good news is that with NIU, you're not alone. Your classmates and instructors are available via the same technology that helps deliver your classes. In our classrooms or in your living room, we want you to succeed academically because your future is our focus.

Program Type: Online graduate certificate
College: College of Health and Human Sciences, School of Family and Consumer Sciences
Credits Required: 15 credits
Tuition per Credit: $505.00
$874.24 (international)
(Learn more about tuition and fees)

Request More Information


Application Deadlines

For applicants residing in the U.S.

Term Deadline
Fall August 15
Spring December 13

For international students living abroad

Term Deadline
Fall October 1
Spring December 1



Contact Scott Sibley, Ph.D. at dscottsibley@niu.edu or 815-753-6344

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