Northern Science

Instructor & students examining birds

Gain the skills needed for a science career in the North.

The Diploma of Northern Science offers a variety of courses enabling students to concentrate on particular fields of study or build a base for a general science program with a strong northern focus.

COVID-Related Program Delivery Information

Courses in the Northern Science program will be delivered in 2021-2022 primarily with face-to-face delivery at the Ayamdigut campus in Whitehorse.  This includes all laboratory sections; the one exception is GEOL 105L (Physical Geology lab) which has both online and face-to-face options. The lecture sections for most science courses are also face-to-face. Three courses (MATH 100, ENVS 225 and GEOL 105) have blended online/face-to-face delivery in which Zoom capture of face-to-face lectures is available to students off-campus. Courses in the Northern Science program that are offered by other Schools within the University (e.g. ENGL 100, offered by the School of Liberal Arts), may have face-to-face, blended, or fully-online delivery; the details for each course will be available on its course page.

Online courses will require that you have access to your own computer and Internet connection. 

More information about the online platforms that will be used to support both face-to-face and online instruction can be found at

Students new to online learning are encouraged to take the brief online introductory workshop Distance Learning Success.  Contact the Academic Support Centre for more information:


Program description

The School of Science offers university-transfer courses in mathematics and in the earth, life and physical sciences. Students can complete a one-year Certificate of Science, a two-year Diploma of Northern Science or a four-year Bachelor of Science degree.

The Diploma of Northern Science is designed for those who wish either to enter a scientific profession or to work in the North at the technical level.

A wide choice of electives enables students to concentrate on a particular field of study or to construct a general science program with a strong northern focus.

In the first year, students have two options:

  • Complete the Yukon University Certificate of Science (or equivalent) OR
  • Complete a first-year program comprised of Chemistry, English and selected electives.

Building on this base, in their second year, students take the Northern Studies Core as well as northern-oriented science electives and develop practical expertise by attending the Northern Studies Field Camp.

Suggested course schedule

Year one - Fall 
CHEM 110, ENGL 100, Science elective, Science elective, Elective

Year one - Winter
CHEM 111, ENGL 101, MATH 105, Science elective, Science elective

Year two - Fall
NOST 215, NOST Core Course, Science Elective (200-level), Science Elective (200-level), Elective

Year two - Winter
NOST Core Course, Science Elective (200-level), Science Elective (200-level), Science Elective, Elective

Admission requirements

To be eligible for admission students must satisfy the prerequisites for any two of the required courses in the program, such as English 12 or Math 11 (Principles, Foundations, or Precalculus) or Chemistry 11.

Graduation requirements

The Diploma of Northern Science is awarded for the completion of the equivalent of two years of full-time university-level study (60 credits) in the sciences.

To graduate, students must pass all the required courses, and:

  • complete 50% of the course work at Yukon University
  • maintain a 2.00 cumulative GPA (C average) across all courses
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


Science courses and programs are transferable to most universities and colleges in Canada and Alaska, either by program or on a course-by-course basis.

Career opportunities

The Diploma of Northern Science prepares students for studies towards a degree at another institution.

The program also presents an ideal continuing education opportunity and is useful for those professionals seeking a northern specialization in their respective fields.

Money matters


Tuition for credit programs is calculated per course credit. See money matters for more information.

Some programs and courses have additional fees -  see Ancillary Fees.

Student financial awards

Education is an investment in your future, your family and your community. Yukon University is pleased to support that investment by offering some of the most competitive tuition rates in the country, as well as several student financial awards to help offset your educational and living costs.

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 in the Student Services Centre. Email or call 867 668 5209 to make an appointment.

Program Guides

A program planning guide lays out the courses and requirements needed to graduate from a particular program. It guides you through course selection options for each term, provides a sample program pathway and acts as a tool to track your progress.


Science Electives. 9 required, 27 credits; min. 4 @ 200-level
Title Campus Scheduled
GEOL 108 - Earth Through Time
BIOL 101 - Principles of Biology 1 Whitehorse (Ayamdigut)
BIOL 101L - Principles of Biology I Lab Whitehorse (Ayamdigut)
BIOL 102 - Principles of Biology 2
BIOL 102L - Principles of Biology II Lab
COMM 193 - Introduction to Scientific & Technical Communication
ENVS 100 - Introduction to Environmental Science 1 Whitehorse (Ayamdigut)
ENVS 100L - Environmental Science I Lab Whitehorse (Ayamdigut)
ENVS 101 - Introduction to Environmental Science II
ENVS 101L - Environmental Science II Lab
GEOG 101 - Introduction to Physical Geography 1 Whitehorse (Ayamdigut)
GEOG 101L - Introduction to Physicial Geography I Lab Whitehorse (Ayamdigut)
GEOG 102 - Introduction to Physical Geography 2
GEOL 105 - Physical Geology Whitehorse (Ayamdigut), Online/Video
GEOL 106 - Historical Geology
GEOL 106L - Historical Geology Lab
GEOL 107 - Geological Field Methods and Mapping 1
KINE 100 - Introduction to Human Physiology
MATH 100 - Single Variable Calculus 1 Whitehorse (Ayamdigut), Online/Video
MATH 101 - Single Variable Calculus 2
MATH 120 - Mathematics for the Life Sciences
PHYS 100 - Introductory Physics
PHYS 101 - Elementary Physics 1 Whitehorse (Ayamdigut)
PHYS 101L - Elementary Physics I Lab Whitehorse (Ayamdigut)
PHYS 102 - Elementary Physics 2
PHYS 102L - Elementary Physics II Lab
BIOL 201 - Cell Biology Whitehorse (Ayamdigut)
BIOL 201L - Cell Biology - Lab Whitehorse (Ayamdigut)
BIOL 202 - Genetics
BIOL 202L - Genetics - Lab
BIOL 210 - Introduction to Northern Botany
BIOL 210L - Introduction to Northern Botany Lab
BIOL 220 - Ecology Whitehorse (Ayamdigut)
BIOL 225 - Ornithology - Introduction to the Biology of Birds
BIOL 230 - Conservation Biology
BIOL 290 - Beringia: Its Pleistocene Environment and Paleoecology
CHEM 210 - Organic Chemistry I Whitehorse (Ayamdigut)
CHEM 210L - Organic Chemistry I - Lab Whitehorse (Ayamdigut)
CHEM 211 - Organic Chemistry II
CHEM 211L - Organic Chemistry II - Lab
ENVS 225 - Environmental Change and Fish and Wildlife Health Whitehorse (Ayamdigut), Online/Video
ENVS 226 - Environmental Change and Community Health
ENVS 227 - Yukon Source Water Protection and Watershed Stewardship
GEOG 250 - Introduction to Mapping and Geographical Information System (GIS)
GEOG 290 - Climate Change and the Circumpolar World
GEOL 200 - Mineralogy
GEOL 200L - Mineralogy Lab
GEOL 206 - Sedimentology and Stratigraphy
GEOL 206L - Sediment & Stratigraphy-Lab
GEOL 208 - Structural Geology
GEOL 211 - Geochemistry
GEOL 213 - Geophysics
GEOL 301 - Hydrogeology
GEOL 301L - Hydrogeology Lab
NOST 326 - Lands and Environments of the Circumpolar North I Online/Video
NOST 327 - Lands and Environments of the Circumpolar World II
NSCI 201 - Research Skills and Proposal Writing
NSCI 202 - Data Collection, Analysis and Reporting
RRMT 238 - Environmental Protection and Impact Assessment
RRMT 239 - Freshwater Ecosystems and Hydrology Whitehorse (Ayamdigut)
RRMT 239L - Freshwater Ecosystems and Hydrology Lab Whitehorse (Ayamdigut)
SOIL 210 - Introduction to Soil Science and Resources Whitehorse (Ayamdigut)
SOIL 210L - Introduction to Soil Science and Resources - Lab Whitehorse (Ayamdigut)
NOST Core Courses: 2 required, 6 credits
Title Campus Scheduled
NOST 200 - Research in the North Online/Video
NOST 201 - The Natural History of the North Whitehorse (Ayamdigut)
NOST 202 - Social History of the North Online/Video