Northern Studies (BA Program)

Gary Wilson, Associate Professor, Political Science, and Northern Studies Coordinator

Major in Northern Studies

Northern Studies is an interdisciplinary field of particular importance to the University of Northern British Columbia, and of growing relevance globally. Circumpolar environmental processes are becoming recognized as key indicators of global change; circumpolar indigenous peoples are gaining a greater voice both nationally and internationally; circumpolar political arrangements are illustrating new forms of regional governance. For these and other reasons, a better understanding of northern conditions and issues is needed.

Students are required to complete 54 credit hours of coursework consisting of seven core courses (21 credit hours); one course (3 credit hours) in Methodology; at least five courses (15 credit hours) from the "Environment and Health" list of courses, and at least five courses (16 credit hours) from the "Culture and People" list of courses.

The remaining electives and prerequisites are open to design by the student, but 30 credit hours must be at the Upper-Division level.

Note:  Completion of a Bachelor of Arts with a major in Northern Studies graduation requires a minimum of 120 credit hours.

Block transfer of credit up to 60 credit hours towards the Northern Studies BA at UNBC may be given to students from Yukon College who have completed one of the following two year Northern Studies programs at Yukon College: Diploma of Northern Studies, General Studies; Diploma of Northern Studies, Native Studies; Diploma of Northern Studies, Outdoor and Environmental Studies.

Program Requirements

Core Courses
Introduction to the Circumpolar North
NORS 311-3Lands and Environments of the Circumpolar North 1
NORS 312-3Lands and Environments of the Circumpolar North 2
NORS 321-3Peoples and Cultures of the Circumpolar World 1
NORS 322-3Peoples and Cultures of the Circumpolar World 2
NORS 331-3Contemporary Issues in the Circumpolar North 1
NORS 332-3Contemporary Issues in the Circumpolar North 2

Note:  These courses may be available in face-to-face format, cross-listed with other UNBC courses, or as web-based courses offered in conjunction with the University of the Arctic.

Environment and Health
(at least 15 credit hours)

Human Adaptability
Biology of Circumpolar Peoples
Topics in British Columbia Archaeology
Plants, Society and the Environment
Ethnobotany
Plant Ecology
Environmental Economics and Environmental Policy
Environmental Impact Assessment
Snow and Ice
Natural Resources, Environmental Issues and Public Engagement
Aboriginal Resource Planning
First Nations Health and Healing
First Nations Environmental Philosophy and Knowledge
Aboriginal Health and Chronic Illness
Soil Formation and Classification
Introduction to Medical Geography
Geomorphology of Cold Regions
Aboriginal Geography
Social Geography of Northern Communities
Special Topics in Health Sciences
Health Promotion
Global Environmental Challenge: Sustainability
Special Topics in Northern Studies
Independent Research/Directed Reading in Northern Studies
First Nations' Approaches to Resource Management

Culture and People
(at least 15 credit hours)

Medical Anthropology
Ethnography in Northern British Columbia
Archaeological Heritage Management
Topics in British Columbia Ethnography
Topics in British Columbia Archaeology
Ethnographic Field Methods
ANTH 422-(3-6)Ethnographic Research Project
Traditional Use Studies
Northern BC in the Global Economy
First Nations Literature
Advanced First Nations Literature
Northern BC Literature
Contemporary Challenges Facing Aboriginal Communities
Indigenous Women: Perspectives
Law and Indigenous Peoples
Aboriginal Geography
Social Geography of Northern Communities
Aboriginal People in Canada
Special Topics in Northern Studies 
Independent Research/Directed Reading in Northern Studies 
Indigenous Tourism and Recreation
Recreation, Tourism and Communities
Polar Tourism and Recreation
Community Government and Politics
Community Development
Comparative Aboriginal State Relations
Comparative Federalism
POLS 415-3Comparative Northern Development
POLS 434-3Resource Communities in Transition

Methodology
Three credit hours from one of the following:
ANTH 300-3Methods in Social Anthropology
Ecological Analyses
Statistics for the Social and Management Sciences
Social Research Methods
FNST 200-3
Methods and Perspectives in First Nations Studies
Research Methods in First Nations Studies
Introduction to GIS for the Social Sciences
Cartography and Geomatics
Geography Field School
Research Methods and Analysis
Research and Writing for Political Science

Note:  Students are encouraged to participate in an optional semester at another university in the circumpolar north, through exchange agreements between UNBC and other circumpolar universities. This should be done in consultation with the NORS Coordinator.

Elective and Academic Breadth Requirement

Electives at any level in any subject sufficient to ensure completion of a minimum of 120 credit hours, including any additional credits necessary to meet the Academic Breadth requirement of the University (see Academic Regulation 15).

Minor in Northern Studies

Northern Studies is an interdisciplinary field of particular importance to the University of Northern British Columbia, and of growing relevance globally. Many circumpolar issues are gaining importance, and there are important lessons that can be exchanged between circumpolar regions and other areas of the globe. Northern Studies can be an interesting and useful complement to students' other areas of study.

A minor consists of eight courses (24 credit hours). Students must take seven required core courses (21 credit hours). Students must also take one methodology course (3 credit hours) from the list below.

Courses used to fulfill program requirements for a major or another minor may not be used to fulfil requirements for this minor.

Required Courses

Core Courses

Introduction to the Circumpolar North
NORS 311-3Lands and Environments of the Circumpolar North 1
NORS 312-3Lands and Environments of the Circumpolar North 2
NORS 321-3Peoples and Cultures of the Circumpolar World 1
NORS 322-3Peoples and Cultures of the Circumpolar World 2
NORS 331-3Contemporary Issues in the Circumpolar North 1
NORS 332-3Contemporary Issues in the Circumpolar North 2

Note:  These courses may be available in face-to-face format, cross-listed with other UNBC courses, or as web-based courses offered in conjunction with the University of the Arctic.

Methodology (Choose one course from the list):

ANTH 300-3Methods in Social Anthropology
Ecological Analyses
Statistics for the Social and Management Sciences
Social Research Methods
FNST 200-3
Methods and Perspectives in First Nations Studies
Research Methods in First Nations Studies
Introduction to GIS for the Social Sciences
Cartography and Geomatics
Geography Field School
Research Methods and Analysis
Research and Writing for Political Science