Frequently Asked Questions

What is Children's Studies?

Children's Studies is an interdisciplinary program based in the Humanities that seeks to understand the human condition from the perspective of children over time throughout the world and to develop appreciation for both the philosophical and social sources of the range of lived childhoods and the personal, societal, and human consequences of them. In such studies, the child is perceived as the subject rather than an object, as has been typical of most child-focused research historically.

Therefore, children are considered to be authoritative sources that ought to be not only included but also valued in academic efforts to develop knowledge of child and childhood. The Children's Studies Program explores the experiences of children and adult constructions of childhoods lived , adopting a "childist" (child-centered) and children's rights approach that recognizes children as subjects in their own culture. It is, then, for children what a Women's Studies Program is for women.

Students in Children's Studies will therefore learn practical techniques to hear from contemporary children and to discern children's voices in a wide range of historical documentation. Further, they will develop appreciation for what is involved in determining the best interests of the child as well as in developing best practices of working with children to promote their best interests.

What is distinctive about York's Children's Studies Program?

It is based in the Humanities rather than in the Social Sciences.
It considers children to be authoritative sources on childhood.
It is both interdisciplinary and multidisciplinary.
It is both rights-based and child-centered.

How is the Children's Studies Program different from an Early Childhood Education Program?

York's Children's Studies Program defines children according to the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child as all humans under 18.
It is a 4-year Honours BA program, not a 2-year certificate course.
It has many possible applications apart from education.

If I transfer to York from a college, will I get advanced standing?

Depending on your course of study, you will receive a certain number of credits towards a 120-credit university degree, the number of credits being determined by York's Office of Admissions.

You will have to fulfill all of the core requirements for the Major or Minor in Children's Studies plus any designated child-related course requirements for which you have not received specific credit.

Is Children's Studies considered a 'teachable' by the Ontario Ministry of Education?

All Humanities courses have teachable equivalents which are available through York's Faculty of Education.

At this point, Children's Studies is not specifically a teachable, but Family Studies is, and most Children's Studies courses qualify as Family Studies courses.

Where can I get more information about York's Children's Studies Program?

Download the Children's Studies Program Brochure. Download the Children's Studies Supplemental Calendar.

What career paths are possible after completing the Children's Studies Program?

The Children's Studies Program opens doors to further study that would lead to a very wide range of possible options of working with and for children in advocacy, counselling, education, health and wellness, international development, law, librarianship, media, parenting, publishing, recreation, social work and much more.

Such child-centered study and skills as the Program involves are central to creating a better world for children and, as such, will be highly valued by private and public child-related organizations and institutions.

Are there international opportunities connected with the Children's Studies Program?

Through "Right to Play" and "Free the Children" as well as existing internships programs managed by York International, there are already opportunities for Children's Studies majors and minors to undertake child-related work abroad.

Further opportunities for international exchanges, partnerships with various institutions for study around the world, and virtual international experiences are being vigorously explored.

The United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child is central to the Program, which is international in philosophy, methodology, and course content such that children and childhood will be approached as an international agenda of concern.

I am a new Children's Studies major or minor in Fall 2014. What courses should I take?

Please see the appropriate advising checklist that shows all degree requirements “For Students Entering York or Changing Programs in Fall 2014 and After.”

If you are beginning the Children's Studies Program in September 2016, the one course you need to take is AP/HUMA 1970 6.0, The Worlds of Childhood. (Do not try to enrol in HUMA 1971, 2690, 3695, or 4142. You cannot take both HUMA 1970 and 1971. You cannot take HUMA 2690 until you have completed HUMA 1970 with at least a “B.” You cannot take HUMA 3695 and 4142 until after you have completed HUMA 2690 with at least a “B.”)

Children's Studies is an Honours BA Program totalling 120 credits. Although the 120 credits divide evenly into 4 years at 30 credits per year (or 3 years at 30 credits per year if you have been granted 30 transfer credits based on completion of a two-year college diploma such as ECE), you are considered a fulltime student if you are taking 18 to 36 credits in the Fall-Winter. I do not recommend that students take a full 30 credits in their first year at York (whether they are coming directly from high school, from a college program, or from another university) because during the first year, students need to get: 1) an Honours GPA (General Program Average - a weighted average  on all York courses of at least a C+ = 5.0); and 2) at least a "B" in AP/HUMA 1970 6.0. If students try to take too many credits in their first year, they risk not getting either the Honours GPA or the "B" in HUMA 1970—and may be required to withdraw from the Children's Studies Program or repeat the first course as a result.

For their first year in the Children's Studies Program, I recommend that students consider taking 21 or 24 or 27 credits to ensure that they do their very best. They can make up missing credits by taking summer courses or other additional credits later in their degree.

All students are required to take General Education credits in Humanities, Social Science, and Natural Science, preferably in the first two years. Here is a recommended first-year selection of courses for an Honours BA Children's Studies student with no transfer credits (that is, coming straight to university from high school):

AP/HUMA 1970 6.0, The Worlds of Childhood (required, first-year core course for all Children's Studies majors and minors; students are required to get at least a "B" in this course to continue in the Children's Studies Program)

HUMA 1XXX General Education course - either 6 or 9 credits (if SOSC is 6; HUMA needs to be 9) SOSC 1XXX General Education course - either 6 or 9 credits (if HUMA is 6; SOSC needs to be 9) NATS 1XXX General Education course - 6 credits (or two 3-credit courses)

That would total 27 credits. If you feel you would be more successful doing 21 credits, you could leave one of the 6-credit General Education courses until the Summer or the following Fall-Winter.

To find approved General Education courses, go to the Registrar's Office Website (Current Students - Search for Courses) and choose "General Education Courses." Then, select Fall-Winter 2016-2017 / Faculty of Liberal Arts and Professional Studies – (AP) / Bachelor of Arts – (BA) and SEARCH COURSES. If you are a current student, login using your Passport York account to see General Education courses that are relevant to your active program.

For information about Admission to the Children’s Studies Program, transfer credits, tuition, etc., please see Future Students website.

For information about the Children’s Studies Program itself, please see the video, brochure, supplemental calendar, course list, and advising checklists.

Children’s Studies majors and minors are encouraged to seek regular advising through the Program; please see Children’s Studies advising availability and how to book an appointment or when to drop in without an appointment.

I wasn't successful in getting the required minimum of a 'B' in HUMA 1970 or my Academic Decision allows me to continue 'only in Bachelors (90-credit) program.' What are my options?

There are two special requirements for continuing in and graduating in the Children's Studies Program:

  • an Honours GPA (weighted average on all York courses of at least a C+ = 0 = 65%); and
  • at least a "B" in HUMA 1970, 2690, and

If your GPA drops below the 5.0 required to graduate in an Honours Program, your Academic Decision may read “May continue only in Bachelor’s Program.”  Because Children’s Studies is available only as an Honours (120-credit) program, if your Academic Decision does not say “May continue in Honours,” you need to withdraw from the CHST Program and choose a different major in a program that has a 90-credit BA.  (If your GPA becomes Honours again later, you can apply to rejoin the CHST Program.)

If your Academic Decision says, “May continue in Honours,” either because your GPA is 5.0 or above or with a warning that although you cannot graduate from an Honours Program with your current GPA, you are being allowed to continue in Honours, and you have not been successful in getting at least a “B” in HUMA 1970, you may continue in the Children’s Studies Program only by repeating HUMA 1970.  You are allowed to repeat a course once: the grade from the first time the course is taken remains on the transcript but it is notated as “NCR” (no credit retained) and it stops counting towards the GPA. The grade from the second time the course is taken becomes the grade of record.  Please see the Repeated Courses Policy.

HUMA 1970 will next be offered in Fall-Winter 2016-17. The Course Director and Lecturer will be Professor Alison Halsall.  Several tutorial instructors will teach the tutorials.

If you decide to choose a different major and have passed HUMA 1970, the six credits from this course can count as a Free Choice course for another major.  If you major in Humanities, the six credits from this course can count towards your Humanities major or minor (one 1000-level course is allowed in the Humanities major).

Children’s Studies students are encouraged to seek regular advising: please see Children’s Studies advising availability.

I wasn't successful in getting the required minimum of a 'B' in HUMA 2690 or HUMA 3695. What are my options?

FOR CHILDREN’S STUDIES MAJORS WHO DID NOT ACHIEVE AT LEAST A “B” IN AP/HUMA 2690 6.0 or AP/HUMA 3695 6.0

or CHILDREN’S STUDIES MINORS WHO DID NOT ACHIEVE AT LEAST A “B” IN AP/HUMA 2690 6.0

There are two special requirements to continue in and graduate from the Children’s Studies Program:

  • because CHST is available only as an Honours (120-credit) program, students’ academic decision must state, “May continue in Honours,” based on maintaining an Honours GPA (weighted average of all York courses of at least a C+ = 0 = 65%), which is required to graduate from an honours program;
  • students need to get at least a “B” in AP/HUMA 1970, 2690, and 3695 (the first three core courses in the Program), or, for minors, at least a “B” in AP/HUMA 1970 and

If a student has been unsuccessful in getting at least a “B” in one of the core courses, he or she is allowed to repeat each course once, provided his or her academic decision states, “May continue in Honours”: the grade from the first time the course is taken remains on the transcript but it is notated as “NCR” (no credit retained) and it stops counting towards the GPA. The grade from the second time the course is taken becomes the grade of record.  Please see the policy on repeating courses.

AP/HUMA 2690 6.0 will next be offered in FW2016. Professor Cheryl Cowdy will be the course director.  Several tutorial instructors will teach the tutorials.  AP/HUMA 3695 6.0 will be offered in the S1 Term in Summer 2016 (Professor Kabita Chakraborty), the Fall term 2016 (Professor Andrea Emberly), and the Winter term 2017 (Professor Kabita Chakraborty).

To continue in the Children’s Studies Program, a student’s Academic Decision must read “May continue in Honours.” (This is either because the GPA is 5.0 or above or because, although the GPA has dropped below 5.0 and a student cannot graduate in Honours without the GPA being above 5.0, the student is being allowed to continue in the Honours program with a warning.)  If a student’s Academic Decision reads “May continue only in Bachelors Program,” the student will need to change the program from CHST to a program with a 90-credit BA option.

If a student decides to major in Humanities (either BA or Honours BA), HUMA Children’s Studies courses can count towards the Humanities major because these are all approved Humanities courses and no minimum of a “B” is required.  Such students should meet with the Humanities Coordinator: see “Staff” on the Department of Humanities Website.  For other majors, the HUMA/CHST courses can count as Courses Outside the Major or Free Choice Courses.

Children’s Studies students are encouraged to seek regular advising: please see Children’s Studies advising availability.

How to Enroll in Courses that are Full or Reserved?

Each department initially reserves some, most, or all spaces in its courses for its majors and minors at specific levels because these courses are required for those majors and minors. Later, if spaces in the courses are still available, the “cases” or “filters” on the courses will be changed to allow other students the opportunity to enroll in the courses.

In the case of the Children’s Studies Program, Children’s Studies students get preference in enrolling in the required courses for Children’s Studies: for majors, HUMA 1970 9.0A, 2690, 3695, and 4142; for minors, HUMA 1970 9.0A, 2690, and one of 4140, 4142, or 4145. Children’s Studies students also have spaces reserved (at appropriate levels) in HUMANITIES / CHILDREN’S STUDIES courses (most of the courses that appear under “HUMANITIES” in the Children’s Studies course list).

The Children’s Studies Course List contains courses from various programs, departments, and faculties. The courses in the “A” list are automatically approved towards the Children’s Studies major or minor; courses in the “B” list can be approved with special permission. With the exception of the courses mentioned above, spaces are not reserved for Children’s Studies students. Each program or department administers the admission to its own courses, so any questions about getting into individual courses must be directed to the relevant program or department. Please note that some courses (for example, Psychology courses) require prerequisites.

To get into the courses you most want to take, you will need both patience and persistence. Once the last date to add a course without permission of instructor has passed, individual instructors are allowed to sign additional students into their courses if they decide to do so and if their classroom size allows this.Instructors are more likely to admit students who attend the first classes in the course and notify the instructors that they are trying to add the course because those students will not be behind in their studies. (See all important dates.)

Keep trying online. Students drop courses before and after the start of classes. “Cases” or “filters” on the courses are changed by departments. Whichever qualified student first notices a vacancy in a course online gets the opportunity to enroll in that course.