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A Home for Household Economics

Students in the Department of Home Economics in 1923.

But what of the Faculty of Home Economics? The Department of Household Economics was established in 1918 under the Faculty of Arts and Science. Classes were conducted in the basement of the Arts Building and the degree of Bachelor of Science in Household Economics was awarded upon completion of the three-year program.

In 1928, a small change was implemented with the Department's becoming the School of Household Economics. During the school's early years, emphasis was placed on the biological and physical sciences in relation to foods and nutrition. In conjunction with the Faculty of Education, the School of Household Economics first offered the necessary courses for a master's degree in Household Economics Education in 1945. Fifteen years later, in 1968, post-graduate research programs in nutrition were made available.

In 1963, Household Economics became a part of the newly organized Faculty of Science. New programs of study were offered in 1965, and the school was organized into three divisions: Foods and Nutrition, Clothing and Textiles, and General Home Economics.

Clothing and Textiles is concerned with clothing, textiles and housing, allowing specialization in textile and apparel merchandising, history, and conservation. The Department was the Secretariat for the Apparel Studies Association of Canada Inc. from 1973 to its dissolution in 1988.

General Home Economics, which later became known as Family Studies, offers teaching and research on the family of the past and the present. Undergraduates may choose a general home economics route or family studies route, both of which include a work experience component in addition to coursework. Master's students may specialize in family studies, family life, education, and consumer studies. The department has become involved with international projects, such as the Joint Family Development Centre ("Brazil") Project with the University of Ceara in Fortaleza, which aims to improve living conditions in urban slums.

A new Household Economics Building opened in 1965. In 1970, the study program was expanded to include five areas of specialization at the graduate level. Also in 1970, the School of Household Economics expanded beyond its teaching and research functions with the introduction of a Textile Analysis Service. The new service was housed on the third floor of Printing Services Building and was made available to the general public as well as to the campus community.

The School of Household Economics was granted faculty status in 1976, and the name was changed to the Faculty of Home Economics. The change from "Household" to "Home" was thought to make the name more descriptive of the faculty's areas of concern.

Up to the early 1970s, the Faculty was basically a teaching-oriented school with very little research taking place. For example, in 1968, only four staff members had PhD degrees. Between 1968 and 1979, however, that number increased to fifteen and Home Economics evolved into a research faculty.

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