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The family relations and human development graduate program is committed to the study, generation and application of research on human development, and the influences of family dynamics on development across the life course. Students are expected to undertake a program of study that develops a broad and sophisticated understanding of normal and dysfunctional development and/or family functioning. The aim is to prepare scholars and professionals with a perspective that is not only multidisciplinary but that also integrates theory, research, and the application of knowledge for the enhancement of individual or family development. The faculty represents a variety of academic backgrounds and professional expertise encompassing human development, sociology, psychology, early childhood education, family relations, gerontology, social work, and couple and family therapy.

Areas of Study
  • Child or Adolescent Science/Studies - Undergraduate
  • Development (Child, Human, or Family) - Doctoral
  • Development (Child, Human, or Family) - Master's
  • Development (Child, Human, or Family) - Undergraduate
  • Family Science/Studies - Doctoral
  • Family Science/Studies - Master's
  • Family Science/Studies - Undergraduate
  • Therapy (Couples, Marriage, or Family) - Master's
Last Updated

The Child and Family Studies Program at Nipissing University is a unique program with a particular focus on two thematic areas of study:

1) Human Development and Learning; and

2) Child and Family Well-Being: Issues, Services, and Social Justice. Students can pursue a General or Honours program of study.

Multidisciplinary Approach

The CHFS program engages students in a multidisciplinary approach to the study of children and families. In drawing on disciplines and fields such as psychology, sociology, political science, social welfare, and social work, the program develops a broad and in-depth understanding of issues and themes related to children and families. The focus of the program includes but is not limited to psychological development, the increasing variation in family structure, the changing roles of men and women, the status of children, children's rights, and the role and status of caregiving in society. Students who select this program would be interested in the changing interrelationships among individual development, family systems, communities, and the larger culture. Program objectives include providing students with a solid educational basis upon which to pursue their future goals, whether related to post-degree educational pursuits (such as education or social work), or career aspirations in areas like child welfare, community mental health, social services, and counseling. The possibility of jobs in these areas is excellent.

Thematic Areas of Study

The two thematic areas of study are designed to prepare students for these future aspirations and goals. Coursework in the 'Human Development and Learning' thematic area reflects and enhances program objectives, notably in relation to education, and coursework in the thematic area of 'Child and Family Well-Being: Issues, Services, and Social Justice', encourages students to exercise their critical thinking capacities in assessing the conditions of child and family well-being in a variety of policy and practice areas, as well as within societies and culture generally.

Nipissing University is continually ranked with A grades for:

  • Quality of Teaching
  • Campus Atmosphere
  • Class Size (A+)
  • Student Residences
  • Academic Support Services
    (According to Globe and Mail - GlobeCampus)

Don't take it from us, here's what student's say:

  • "The best thing ... is being able to see your professors outside the classroom and they greet you on a first-name basis. There is nothing better than being able to talk to your professor like they are a friend."
  • "There is a large focus on research at the undergraduate level which does not always happen at larger universities. This gives Nipissing science students a path to further education and graduate schools."
  • "It is in a very scenic, northern setting. There are many trails on campus and a pond and waterfall to relax by to relieve stress and just think."
  • "The residences here are amazing with excellent dons and managers and activities. The residences are new and have amazing laundry, phone and kitchen facilities."
  • "Recreational and athletic programs offer a wide variety, lots of activities to sign up for, appropriate for all levels of skill."
Areas of Study
  • Child or Adolescent Science/Studies - Undergraduate
  • Family Science/Studies - Undergraduate
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The Family Studies program at Brescia University College provides students with an interdisciplinary approach to understanding family life and its relationship to the wider community and cultural context. Brescia University College has two degree options under Human Ecology, a Bachelor of Arts and a Bachelor of Science. The BA provides students with a foundation for pursuing professional careers to work with families through courses in Family Studies, Human Ecology and the Social Sciences. The BSc offers students an opportunity to develop a foundation in the study of the family and Foods and Nutrition science. A new BA module, "Nutrition and Families," provides a similar foundation. Professional Designation: Students who complete Human Ecology 2222 (Professional Perspectives) are eligible for the Professional Home Economist (PHEc) designation offered by the Ontario Home Economics Association (OHEA). This designation is endorsed by the Ontario Family Studies / Home Economics Educators Association (OFSHEEA) and the Ontario Family Studies Leadership Council (OFSLC).

Areas of Study
  • Family Science/Studies - Undergraduate
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Sexuality, Marriage, and Family Studies (SMF) is housed at St. Jerome's which was the founding college of the University of Waterloo. It addresses human interactions within relational and sexual contexts. It examines not only basic anatomical knowledge and sexual health, but also the formation and maintenance of relationships, parenting skills, and the impact of culture on sexual and family-related values, ideas, and attitudes. Issues that are rarely discussed in secondary education are studied in-depth; some examples include the effects of pornography on societal attitudes, family conflict and its escalation to violence, and sexual dysfunctions. An SMF plan of studies will be of interest to those considering a career as a social worker, sex educator, school teacher, family lawyer, or any occupation where relationship issues and human sexuality are involved. The specialized training will help prepare students for careers in counseling, teaching, health services, and scholarly research.

Areas of Study
  • Family Science/Studies - Undergraduate
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The Childhood & Social Institutions Program is a cross disciplinary, limited enrollment program designed to provide students with a useful academic foundation in the subject matter. The program combines the new insights from recent studies of childhood and families in today's society with the best of the more established perspectives to offer a timely, comprehensive and responsive academic experience.

The CSI program is structured to enable and encourage students to combine it with other areas of study. CSI may be taken as an Area of Concentration (3-year BA), as an Honors BA, or as part of an approved Combined Honors program.

Areas of Study
  • Early Childhood - Undergraduate
  • Family Science/Studies - Undergraduate
  • Community - Undergraduate
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