College of Liberal Arts
Minimum Requirements for Degree: 30 credits
The northern studies program
offers an interdisciplinary study of northern problems
and policy issues. The purpose of the northern studies
program is to give interested students a broader study of the northern
region—its environment, peoples
The geographic location of UAF is outstanding
for the study of northern issues. Students examine the
countries and regions throughout the circumpolar North,
and their distinctive problems, such as the survival of indigenous populations,
environmental and wilderness issues, high rates of alcoholism
and suicide, fragile environments, adaptation to extreme cold and cycles
of light and darkness and adult development in small frontier societies.
M.A. program is designed especially for students who live
and work in the North and who want to expand their knowledge
of the history, economics, politics, psychology and anthropology of northern
regions. Many northern studies students are seeking employment with northern
agencies and want to develop a broad perspective on northern issues. Some
students plan to pursue doctoral work in a discipline such as history
or anthropology and seek a master’s degree with a broad approach.
Other students are employed as teachers, military personnel,
or agency staff and want a rich, interdisciplinary program.
The program is suitable for any of these goals, and it is designed to
be compatible with either full-time graduate study or full-time employment.
M.A. program offers three concentrations: northern history,
global environmental policy, and individualized study.
Students of northern history benefit from the availability of the Alaska
and circumpolar collections of the UAF library, UA Museum, and the Polar
Regions Collection. The global environmental policy concentration focuses
on political, social and psychological responses to environmental change.
The individualized study concentration has a focus selected by the student.
program offers a thesis or non-thesis option. The choice
of option is guided by the student’s interests and goals, the graduate
advisory committee, and the requirements of the university.
Faculty in the program are drawn from such disciplines
as Alaska Native studies, art, anthropology, economics, English, geography,
history, library science, political science and psychology.
on studying at McGill University, Montreal, Canada; the
University of Copenhagen, Denmark; or opportunities for
study in the former U.S.S.R., see International Study Abroad and Exchange
Graduate Program—M.A. Degree
Concentrations: Individualized Study,
Global Environmental Policy and Northern History
- Complete the following
NORS 600—Perspectives of the North 3 credits
NORS 601—Research Methods and Sources in the North 3
2 elective courses at the 400- or 600-level 6 credits
1 of the following:
NORS 698—Project 6 credits
NORS 699—Thesis 6-12 credits
- Complete 1 of the following concentrations:
Complete 12 credits from the following:
a. Course offerings selected from the relevant department**
b. Courses offered within the Northern Studies program,
including those in the other concentrations (below) and,
c. Any of the following:
NORS 606—Science, Technology and Development in Northern Regions
NORS 614—Human Adaptation to the Circumpolar North 3 credits
NORS 640—Ethics and Reporting in the Far North 3 credits
NORS 652—International Relations of the North 3 credits
NORS 660—Government and Politics of Canada 3 credits
NORS 662—Alaska Government and Politics 3 credits
NORS 668—Government and Politics of Russia 3 credits
NORS 680—Comparative Education 3 credits
* The individualized study concentration may be used
as a basis for a M.A. thesis/project typically under
the direction of a faculty member in the most relevant
** Some students may, with the consent of their graduate
committee, develop an individualized program with an
emphasis on Alaska Native studies, northern art, northern
sociology, northern policy studies, or another northern
field or discipline.
Global Environmental Policy*
Complete 12 credits from the following:
NORS 647—U.S. Environmental Policy 3 credits
NORS 648—Environmental Politics of the Circumpolar North 3 credits
NORS 654—International Law and the Environment 3 credits
NORS 655—Political Economy of the Global Environment 3 credits
NORS 656—Science, Technology and Politics 3 credits
NORS 658—Comparative Environmental Politics 3 credits
NORS 613—Wilderness and Environmental Psychology 3 credits
* The global environmental policy concentration may be
used as a basis for the M.A. thesis/project.
Note: The global environmental policy concentration is
a clear track toward interdisciplinary doctoral programs.
a. Complete the following:
NORS 690—Researching and Writing Northern History 3 credits
b. Complete 9 credits from the following:
HIST 470—Seminar in Alaska History 3 credits
NORS 661—History of Alaska 3 credits
NORS 663—Foundations of Russian History 3 credits
NORS 664—Modern Russia 3 credits
NORS 681—Polar Exploration and its Literature 3 credits
NORS 683—20th Century Circumpolar History 3 credits
* The northern history concentration may be used for
the M.A. thesis/project.
- Minimum credits required 30