Child and Family Studies

Welcome to the Child and Family Studies (CHFS) program within the School of Human and Social Development at Nipissing University. The Child and Family Studies Program is unique 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 Major, Specialization or Honours Specialization

Further, you want a career within child and adult developmental and/or behaviour services, health/mental health services, child welfare, education, justice, government, or even the private sector, and have a real appetite for social justice and making a significant difference. You may choose to complete one of our 2 Applied Certificates in Applied Behaviour Analysis or our Program Evaluation and Applied Research Certificate (PEAR) as you learn to improve systems and services for children, youth, or adults, across the social and human services sector.

Certificate in Applied Behaviour Analysis (ABA)-Lifespan

In addition to earning a degree, may elect to complete the Certificate in Applied Behaviour Analysis (ABA) - Lifespan. The required courses provide opportunity for students to gain experience in designing and implementing Applied Behaviour Analysis (ABA) programs for individuals with emotional/behavioural and/or developmental needs.

Certificate in Early Intensive Behaviour Intervention (EIBI)-Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD)

Students may elect to complete the Certificate in Early Intervention. The required courses allow students to gain experience in designing and implementing Applied Behaviour Analysis (ABA) programs in Early Intensive Behaviour Intervention (EIBI) settings, and to work with children with Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD).

Certificate in Program Evaluation and Applied Research

Students pursuing either a Child and Family Studies, or a Psychology (BA) Honours Specialization, Specialization, or Major, may elect to complete the Certificate in Program Evaluation and Applied Research (PEAR). The required courses offer experience to upper-year students in applied research and evaluation as part of a departmental research team and in collaboration with community stakeholders.

Certificates available to all Nipissing students


Nipissing's campus is located on a stunning 291 hectares of Canadian Shield forest. With our focus on student-centred living and learning, you will feel a sense of community the moment you step on campus.

The Harris Learning Library

The Harris Learning Library was completed in 2011 and provides 56,000 square feet of study space with natural light and a modern award-winning design. The new library features expanded print collections, a learning commons, an adaptive technology area, and collaborative work spaces.

Academic Support Services

Our goal is to support your academic and personal development. Look for assistance with accessibility services, learning style assessments, writing skills, writing formats, study strategies, time management, note-taking skills, academic resources, group seminars, peer support, career development activities, and more. Learn More...

Financial Support Services

Achieve your goals on time and on budget. We’ll help you fund your education through scholarships, awards, bursaries, government assistance, and work study programs. Learn More...

​Scholarships, awards and bursaries for students in the Child and Family Studies program

Internationalize your Degree

If you want to experience a year or a semester at one of our partner schools across the globe, we have support services and programs to help you get there. If you want to assist International students with adjusting to life in Canada, we’ll connect you. Check out your options...

Personal Counselling Services

Our registered counsellors offer free, year-round personal counselling services, specialized therapeutic groups, referral services and a host of wellness, educational and awareness events to all full- and part-time undergraduate and graduate students. Learn More...


Our top-rated residences will make you feel right at home. You will make fast friends with your residence community. Our student leaders, Residence Dons, and award winning residence staff give tutorials on everything from the basics of laundry and cooking to making connections within the community. Learn More...

Leadership and Community Engagement

If you are eager to get involved beyond the classroom, take part in the annual Undergraduate Research Conference, which gives you the opportunity to present your work to peers, professors, and family members. You may also have opportunity to work as a Research Assistant to help a professor conduct research and gain valuable experience at the same time.

Record of Student Development

Your experience at Nipissing University is more than just the time spent learning great things in lectures, labs, and seminars. It’s also about the activities you are involved in outside of the classroom, the causes you champion to make change on campus, the clubs you organize, the awards you receive, the workshops you participate in, the volunteering you do, and all the learning that occurs outside of the classroom. 

The Record of Student Development (RSD) is Nipissing University's way of recognizing that learning is happening everywhere on campus. It is a formal record, otherwise known as a co-curricular transcript, where you can include workshops, volunteer experiences, awards, activities, and on campus employment experiences that you participate in throughout your degree. 

Each RSD Approved activity in our database is linked to competency areas employers are looking for such as:    

  • Critical Thinking 
  • Leadership  
  • Digital Literacy  
  • Equity and Diversity 
  • Emotional and Interpersonal Intelligence 
  • & more!  

To see the full list of competencies and get started building your Record of Student Development go to:

Nipissing University Student Union (NUSU)

Students attending Nipissing University in North Bay and long distance students are members of the Nipissing University Student Union. Our organization strives to represent students democratically, provide a communication framework, and lobby for legislative change on issues that affect students.


Exercise and healthy competition always help to clear the mind.


Nipissing’s Athletics Department offers a wide range of intramural activities to keep you on your game


Club sports are available to all Nipissing students and are both recreational and competitive.


Go Lakers! Our varsity athletes always bring their “A” game. Get your friends together and come out to cheer on your favourite teams.


Whether you are a gym enthusiast or a weekend warrior, Nipissing has just what you need.


Program Representative

Part-time Faculty

As a recent graduate (Bachelor of Arts - June, 2011), I think the biggest advantages to the Psychology program at Nipissing is the unique preparation towards graduate studies and employment, as well as the personal one-to-one interactions between students and professors. Currently I am pursuing my PhD in Psychology at Carleton University with a specialization in Cognitive Learning and Literacy, and my studies have been aided by the unique, realistic experience I gained at Nipissing in conducting research. My professors at Nipissing challenged me to be a critical thinker and to always read between the lines, which are valuable skills for personal, academic, and employment achievement.

Simon Hill, BA '11, MA

Whenever I am asked about my degree, Child and Family Studies is a great conversation starter. Employers are excited to hear about a degree that not everyone has. This program at Nipissing University paved the way to my career in Social Work through its versatility and ability to transfer the skills learned.

Tina Rowe, BA ‘07, BSW(Hon.) ‘08

Some of our students pursue graduate studies or go on to do advanced professional degrees and become teachers, social workers, applied behavioural interventionists, mental health workers, or clinical psychologists.

You may also begin a career in human and social services, health, education, or justice sectors. Graduates are a great fit for careers within child welfare/child protection, intervention services, applied behavioural analysis, or developmental and mental health services. You might work with individuals with developmental disabilities (including autism and fetal alcohol spectrum disorders), children/families within the child welfare sector, individuals interfacing with justice and correction systems, young children in early childhood development environments, or school children in the education system. You may also consider program level and policy development work, such as becoming a program evaluator or applied researcher with various ministries.

With a CHFS degree, you will be equipped for success in a range of different careers paths.

Career and Academic Options

  • Graduate Studies
  • Professional School (Education, Law, MBA, Social Welfare)
  • Careers in areas such as child welfare, social services, counseling, community advocacy, and community mental health