Bachelor of Arts

The Bachelor of Arts in Northern Studies

The BA in Northern Studies offers students an opportunity to learn about various aspects of and perspectives on the north, focusing on the social sciences and humanities. Its mission is to prepare students for living and working in the north. The program offers students broad flexibility so they can choose a course of study that corresponds to their needs and interests. Common academic interests of Northern Studies students include northern histories, various political challenges in the north, environmental concerns, natural resource management, indigenous cultures and indigenous peoples’ concerns, northern literature and other arts and humanities.

Northern Studies students benefit from the northern expertise of our faculty, as well as the close mentoring the faculty offer, the extensive holdings in the Alaska and Polar Regions Department at the Rasmuson Library, and from studying in the northern context at the premier research institution in the circumpolar north. Moreover, the program encourages study abroad experiences in the north to strengthen students’ knowledge and understanding of the whole circumpolar region.

Here is what Lisbet Norris, the 2011 Outstanding Student in Northern Studies had to say about her educational experience within the Northern Studies Program:

“The greatest strength of the Northern Studies BA is its faculty. The Northern Studies program is unique in the strong mentorship and support it provides. There is a real sense of community among the students and faculty involved with the program. It makes for an incredibly encouraging environment that fosters creative thought and academic strengths."

"Another attractive feature of the Northern Studies program is the flexibility it allows. Rather than constricting my education to a pre-set curriculum, the Northern Studies program encouraged me to pursue the subjects I found most interesting. The program encourages experiential learning, especially abroad, and helped facilitate my period of study on Baffin Island. The interdisciplinary nature of the program has allowed me to gain expertise and knowledge in the fields I find most relevant and fascinating, a process I feel has strengthened my overall understanding of the North.” 

Northern Studies graduates and other students, along with the graduates' Graduate Advisory Committee chairs

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