Northern Environmental and Conservation Sciences Degree

students measuring the circumference of a tree

Contribute to the conservation and sustainability of northern resources and communities.

The Northern Environmental and Conservation Sciences (ENCS) program integrates natural and social sciences to investigate the unique ecosystem and cultural issues of the North.

Program description

In collaboration with the University of Alberta (U of A), Yukon University (YukonU) offers years three and four of a Bachelor of Science (B.Sc.) degree in Northern Environmental and Conservation Sciences (ENCS), with a major in Northern Systems. 

The ENCS curriculum offered at YukonU integrates natural and social sciences as related to issues such as:

  • wildlife conservation
  • land use
  • resource management under modern treaties
  • energy
  • global climate change
  • northern and aboriginal studies,
  • local environmental, economic and social context

The program provides students with the knowledge and skills to understand environmental conditions and evaluate impacts on plants, soils, water and animals. The structure and function of ecosystems are explored as students learn to develop, assess and implement conservation and restoration measures for natural and managed ecosystems.

Program delivery

  • Coursework is completed at YukonU, taught by U of A and YukonU faculty.
  • Students may also choose to spend some of their third or fourth years taking courses at the U of A campus in Edmonton.
  • Students from Edmonton may also complete part of their program in Whitehorse.

Visit our Northern ENCS website

Admission requirements

Students complete up to two years (60 credits) of transferable coursework in a science-based diploma program at Yukon University (such as the Northern Environmental and Conservation Sciences Diploma, or Renewable Resources Management) or at another institution before applying to transfer into the University of Alberta B.Sc. ENCS program for years three and four.

Students planning to apply to transfer to the ENCS program from a diploma program at Yukon University should complete a minimum of 24 credits (8 courses) from the core and/or elective courses listed here (Recommended Courses for First and Second Year of B.Sc. in Northern ENCS).

Students applying from other post-secondary institutions should contact the ENCS Program Advisor about transfer credit options.

To receive transfer credit toward the B.Sc. ENCS program for courses from Yukon University or from other institutions, students must have received a grade of C- or higher. 

Students must also meet the entrance requirements of the Faculty of Agricultural, Life, and Environmental Sciences at the University of Alberta, including:

  • minimum admission GPA of 2.3
  • Biology 12
  • Chemistry 12
  • Pre-calculus 12 or equivalent

NOTE: if you do not have these high school prerequisites, please contact an ENCS Program Advisor as you may meet these requirements through other previous coursework, or through upgrading at Yukon University.


Application deadlines: May 31st for September admission (deadline extended from March 1 in 2023); November 15th for January admission.  If you've missed the deadline, contact an ENCS Program Advisor at to find out about submitting a late application.

To apply for admission:

  1. Contact an ENCS Program Advisor to discuss your program options.  The advisor will conduct a preliminary assessment of your completed coursework and unofficial transcripts to ensure that you are eligible to apply.
  2. Once the advisor has confirmed that you are eligible to apply, submit an application by going to the U of Alberta undergraduate admissions page and clicking on the Start Application button.  This will take you to the ApplyAlberta system.  Please note the following details when filling out the application, the Faculty being applied to is Agricultural, Life, and Environmental Sciences (ALES), the program is Environmental and Conservation Sciences (or just ENCS), and the major is Northern SystemsFor campus, select “North Campus (Edmonton)” (selecting Northern Systems in the Major section indicates that you are applying to the Yukon program). U of Alberta application fees apply.
  3. After submitting the application through the U of Alberta system:
    1. Email a pdf copy of the application to Dr. Kathryn Aitken, for Yukon University records.
    2. Have official copies of post-secondary and high school transcripts mailed to the Registrar's Office at Yukon University, P.O. Box 2799, 500 University Drive, Whitehorse, Yukon, Y1A 5K4. NOTE: If you are, or have been, a Yukon University student, and have official transcripts on file with Yukon University, we may be able to use those for the application process. Talk to an ENCS Program Advisor to find out if this is an option for you.
    3. Follow the instructions at to ensure that you have activated your Campus Computing ID (CCID) and password.  You can monitor the progress of your application by logging into your UAlberta Launchpad account.
  4. After receiving an offer of admission from U of Alberta, you will be required to pay a $500 tuition deposit to U of A to indicate your intention to attend.  The deadline to pay the deposit will be indicated in your UAlberta Launchpad account.  For more information on tuition deposits and how to accept your offer of admission, visit: further information, contact U of A Financial Services at or call 780-492-2400.  If you are an indigenous student who will be receiving third-party funding for your education costs (e.g. through your First Nation, etc.), you may qualify for a waiver of the tuition deposit.  Contact to find out more.

Once admitted, students must meet with a ENCS Program Advisor at YukonU select courses. Email the Program Advisor to make an appointment.

Other requirements

While enrolled in the B.Sc. Northern ENCS program, students will maintain dual registration at U of A and YukonU.

Tuition, mandatory course instructional support fees, and non-instructional student fees will be assessed in accordance with the policies of the University of Alberta. Student fees will be assessed in accordance with the policies of Yukon University.

Graduation requirements

To receive a B.Sc. Northern ENCS degree students must:

  • Complete all course requirements of the B.Sc. Northern ENCS program, including a minimum of 60 approved credits of U of A coursework offered at YukonU or at the U of A campus in Edmonton.
  • Meet the YukonU First Nations core competency requirement
  • Achieve a minimum GPA of 2.0 in their last 60 credits of U of A coursework.
  • Meet all other relevant academic standing and graduation requirements of the U of A.
Yukon First Nations Core Competency

Yukon University recognizes that a greater understanding and awareness of Yukon First Nations history, culture and journey towards self-determination will help to build positive relationships among all Yukon citizens. As a result, you will be required to achieve core competency in knowledge of Yukon First Nations.

For details, visit Yukon First Nations Core Competency

Career opportunities

Graduates of the ENCS program are prepared for a variety of career options in both the public and private sectors.

Examples of employment opportunities include:

  • wildlife biologist
  • First Nations resource manager
  • park warden
  • traditional land use advisor
  • environmental policy analyst
  • environmental educator

Students may also continue on to graduate studies.

Money matters


Tuition for this partnered program is calculated per course credit based on University of Alberta rates.  See the U of A website for details or email our ENCS Program Advisor.

Student financial awards

Students are eligible for U of A awards while formally registered as U of A students.

Students may also be eligible for Yukon Government student grants and training allowance while registered in partnered programming.

Please contact the Financial Aid advisor at Yukon University and the Office of the Registrar and Student Awards at the U of A for more information.

Financial assistance

There are government programs, scholarships, bursaries, awards and First Nation funding available to financially support you throughout your academic career.

See money matters for more information, or talk to our financial advising staff. Email or call 867 668 5209 to make an appointment.

Current term course schedule (pdf)

This expanded schedule includes information on the current courses offered in the Northern ENCS program, including descriptions and course registration numbers for both the YukonU and University of Alberta registration systems.

Click here to download a pdf of the Fall 2023 course schedule (current as of 1 Sep 2023)

Click here to download a pdf of the Winter 2024 course schedule (current as of 27 Nov 2023)


Core Courses

Title Campus Scheduled
ALES 204 - Professional Communication
ALES 291A - Mathematics for the Life Sciences
ALES 391 - Critical Thinking and Communications in Science
AREC 365 - Natural Resource and Environmental Economics
NS 200 - Indigenous Canada Online/Video
NS 390 - Research Methods in Indigenous Studies
NS 435 - Management of Indigenous Natural Resources
PLSC 221 - Introduction to Plant Science Whitehorse (Ayamdigut)
PLSC 221L - Intro to Plant Science Lab Whitehorse (Ayamdigut)
RENR 201 - Intro Geomatic Techniques
RENR 201L - Geomatic Techniques Lab
RENR 205 - Wildlife Diversity and Ecology Online/Video
RENR 210 - Introduction to Soil Science and Soil Resources Whitehorse (Ayamdigut)
RENR 210L - Introduction to Soil Science and Resources - Lab Whitehorse (Ayamdigut)
RENR 250 - Water Resource Management Whitehorse (Ayamdigut)
RENR 250L - Water Resource Management Lab Whitehorse (Ayamdigut)
RENR 260 - History and Fundamentals of Environmental Protection and Conservation Whitehorse (Ayamdigut)
RENR 307 - Environmental Assessment Principles and Methods
RENR 364 - Principles of Managing Natural Diversity
RENR 365 - Ecology of Northern Landscapes
RENR 376 - Wildlife Ecology and Management
RENR 376L - Wildlife Ecology and Management Lab
RENR 427 - Science Policy and Canada's North Whitehorse (Ayamdigut)
RENR 463 - Biological Adaptations to Northern Environments Whitehorse (Ayamdigut)
RENR 465 - Northern Exposures Field School Off-Campus
RENR 466 - Climate Change and the Circumpoloar World
RENR 473 - Topics in Northern Resource Management Whitehorse (Ayamdigut)
RENR 480 - Applied Statistics for Environmental Sciences Whitehorse (Ayamdigut)
RENR 480L - Applied Statistics for Environmental Sciences Lab Whitehorse (Ayamdigut)
RENR 491 - Land use Planning in Canada's North
RSOC 375 - Public Participation and Conflict Resolution Online/Video