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Northern Studies

This program is currently under review and is not accepting new students for the 2017-2018 academic year.

The North is quickly becoming one of the most studied and politically-relevant regions in Canada and around the world. Our program focuses solely on the Circumpolar North, where students study the region’s land, environment, people, culture and issues. We also offer several travel and study abroad opportunities for students, including the North2North Student Exchange Program and the option to study at one of the University of Arctic’s member institutions. This results in exciting international learning opportunities, as students can study in Greenland, Finland, Iceland, Norway, Russia, Sweden and Alaska.


Program Options

Bachelor of Arts - Northern Studies

  • B.A. Four-year
  • B.A. Three-year
  • B.A. Honours
  • Minor

What is Northern Studies?

The main Northern Studies courses developed by the University of the Arctic investigate the land, environment, people, culture and contemporary issues of the circumpolar world. Northern Studies is an interdisciplinary program where students benefit from a broad range of knowledge from a variety of disciplines, including the following:
  • northern studies
  • biology
  • economics
  • geography
  • geology
  • history
  • native studies
  • political studies 
  • agriculture and bioresources

The core courses can be taken online or on campus and are open to students at all University of the Arctic member institutions. As a consortium member, the University of Saskatchewan is committed to recognizing and offering credit for the core courses.

In Northern Studies, there are many opportunities awaiting students in the field—and that means international opportunities for hands-on experience and expanding your horizons.

Northern Studies: Is it for you?

  • Northern Studies is unique at the University of Saskatchewan and in the province, as it focuses on one region of interest: the Circumpolar North.
  • The University of Saskatchewan is a consortium member of the University of the Arctic. As a result, the U of S can connect students to the North like no other institution in Canada.
  • Through the U of S Study Abroad Program, students pursuing Northern Studies have the option to study at one of the University of the Arctic’s other member institutions. This results in international opportunities for students in Denmark (Greenland), Finland, Iceland, Norway, Russia, Sweden and the United States (Alaska). 
  • Travel to these countries to discover the challenges facing other northern communities and the ways in which they are addressed. The North2North Student Exchange Program caters to students interested in the North, and also gives students the chance to study with people from around the world. Contact the Study Abroad Coordinator in the College of Arts & Science or Leslie Bowditch (study.abroad@usask.ca), International Education Officer, International Student and Study Abroad Centre for detailed information about these opportunities and more!

Sample Classes

  • NRTH 322: Peoples and Cultures of the Circumpolar World II
    Aims to promote an integrated and multidisciplinary understanding of the circumpolar peoples and their adaptations and contributions to social, economic, political, and environmental changes. This course describes the emergence of tertiary societies and a description of self-determination, followed by sections on identity and language, media, arts and literature, education, recreation and family, respective to the three primary Circumpolar regions: North America and Greenland, Siberia and Northern Asia, and Northern Scandinavia and North-west Russia.
  • NRTH 332: Contemporary Issues of the Circumpolar World II
    Students will deal with the main challenges confronting the peoples and communities of the world's northern regions, in terms of governance and politics, social issues, education and knowledge systems, and global issues.
  • POLS 422: Aboriginal Development Strategies
    Examines Aboriginal development strategies in Canada with particular attention to Aboriginal Nations in Saskatchewan. Attention is devoted to cultural, economic and political development. The course examines the various factors that foster or inhibit the various types of development within Aboriginal communities. It is designed to provide students with a an academic basis for analyzing existing development strategies in Aboriginal communities
  • GEOG 381: Development in the Canadian North Issues and Challenges
    Explores the importance of the Canadian North to the Canadian Identity and examines the issues and challenges facing the region. Major topics include resource development, environmental issues, community development, and the evolving role of First Nations, Métis and Inuit in the decision-making process.

Career Opportunities

  • Resource Management Consultant
  • Conservationist
  • Researcher
  • Journalist
  • Policy Analyst
  • Environmental Officer

Skill Sets Gained

  • Research skills and methods
  • Critical and analytical thinking
  • Organizational/Planning skills
  • Problem-solving skills
  • Teamwork/interpersonal skills
  • Technical skills
  • Communication skills: written/oral
  • Collecting, analyzing, and interpreting data
  • Conducting field research

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