Northern Studies

students researching a historical site

Take advantage of Yukon University’s northern expertise and unique location.

This two-year Northern Studies diploma program offers a framework that is ideal for those interested in broadening or formalizing their knowledge of the North and the Circumpolar world and its social, political, historical and physical characteristics, issues and stories. Your northern expertise is rooted here.

Northern Studies

Yukon University made changes to the way its courses were delivered as a result of COVID-19 and some have continued due to popular demand.

Scheduled courses will be offered face-to-face and online this academic year alongside unscheduled online courses. Some courses may have weekly scheduled video-conferenced sessions, while others may run entirely face to face. See the course pages and course outlines for details.

Contact the School of Liberal Arts or a program advisor for assistance or for more information about any COVID-19-related changes to the program and its courses.

Program description

Northern Studies is ideal for individuals, students or practitioners who wish to expand and/or formalize their knowledge of the North and its social, political and physical features, issues and stories.

The program's flexibility -- with a small core of required courses -- allows it to be self-directed and multidisciplinary. This makes it a fabulous opportunity for anyone wishing to pursue personal or professional interests in the North and the Circumpolar world, because it enables individually tailored study plans to suit specific needs by including options for independent and multidisciplinary reading, study and research in a range of academic fields.

Previous college or university study can be a step up to a Northern Studies Diploma. Those with sufficient previous university-level coursework, a Yukon University Liberal Arts certificate, another academic credential or a previous degree may be able to achieve a post-certificate or post-degree diploma in only one year of full-time study.

Admission requirements
  • Grade 12 graduation with English 12

If students do not meet either admission requirement, they should explore entry options with a Program Advisor.

Graduation requirements

To graduate, students must complete 60 credits, including

  • ENGL 100 and ENGL 101 (6 credits)
  • Two Northern Studies (NOST) core courses (6 credits)
  • Five Northern Studies (NOST) electives (15 credits)
  • Two social-science electives (6 credits)
  • Two science electives (6 credits)*
  • Seven electives (21 credits)

Diploma students must ensure that they

  • complete at least six courses (18 credits) at the 200 level or above
  • demonstrate Yukon First Nations Core Competency
  • complete at least 50% of the work at Yukon University
  • maintain a cumulative GPA of 2.0 (C average)

NOTE: NOST core courses and NOST electives may be used as electives provided all other requirements have been met. Course selection should be done in consultation with a program advisor.

IMPORTANT NOTE ABOUT ELECTIVES: Diploma students up to 12 credits from outside the School of Liberal Arts and School of Science. However, students must recognize that such coursework may not be transferable to programs at other post-secondary institutions and may result in a credit shortfall upon transfer. Students working towards a degree should check their course selection with a Program Advisor.

*NOTE ABOUT SCIENCE REQUIREMENTS: As of May, 2019, science elective courses no longer require labs. Please check with a Program Advisor to discuss options.

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


For transfer information on a specific Yukon University course, click the 'Check the BC Transfer Options' link on the course’s information page. For additional information, consult a Program Advisor.

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.


Northern Studies

Title Campus Scheduled
ANTH 140 - Introduction to the Fields of Anthropology
ANTH 144 - Heritage and Culture Field School
ANTH 221 - Subarctic Archaeology
ANTH 225 - Field Methods in Subarctic Ethnography and Archaeology
ARCV 140 - Archives and Collections Management
ATHA 101 - Introduction to Native Languages I
ATHA 102 - Introduction to Native Languages 2
BIOL 210 - Introduction to Northern Botany
BIOL 210L - Introduction to Northern Botany Lab
BIOL 220 - Ecology
BIOL 290 - Beringia: Its Pleistocene Environment and Paleoecology
BUS 301 - Land Claims and Community Economic Development Process
COMM 200 - Intercultural Communication for Business Whitehorse (Ayamdigut)
CRIM 219 - Aboriginal Peoples and Canadian Criminal Justice
ENGL 220 - The North in Canadian Literature Online/Video
ENGL 230 - Indigenous Narratives
ENST 200 - Environmental Perspectives
ENST 201 - Environmental Ethics Whitehorse (Ayamdigut)
ENVS 223 - Principles and Practices of Heritage Interpretation
ENVS 225 - Environmental Change and Fish and Wildlife Health
ENVS 226 - Environmental Change and Community Health
ENVS 227 - Yukon Source Water Protection and Watershed Stewardship Whitehorse (Ayamdigut)
FNGA 100 - Introduction to Indigenous Governance
FNGA 101 - Governance & Land Claims
FNGA 200 - Organizational and Community Wellness Online/Video
FNGA 207 - Public Policy in Northern and Indigenous Context Online/Video
FNGA 209 - Intergovernmental Relations
FNGA 240 - Indigenous People and Research Online/Video
FNGA 301 - Theory and Practice of Negotiation
FNGA 302 - Power and Influence
FNST 140 - Preservation of Traditional Knowledge
GEOG 290 - Climate Change and the Circumpolar World
HIST 140 - History of Yukon First Nations and Self-Government Online/Video
LANG 140 - Language and Culture Preservation
LANG 240 - Language Activism Online/Video
NOST 100 - Introduction to the Study of the North
NOST 101 - The Circumpolar World Online/Video
NOST 229 - Special Topics in Northern Studies Online/Video
NOST 324 - Contemporary Issues in the Circumpolar World I
NOST 325 - Contemporary Issues in the Circumpolar World II Online/Video
NOST 326 - Lands and Environments of the Circumpolar North I
NOST 327 - Lands and Environments of the Circumpolar World II Online/Video
NOST 328 - Peoples and Cultures of the Circumpolar North I
NOST 329 - Peoples and Cultures of the Circumpolar North II Online/Video
PHED 222 - Northern Outdoor Pursuits and Leadership 1
PHED 225 - Northern Outdoor Pursuits and Leadership 2 Whitehorse (Ayamdigut)
PHIL 230 - Bridging Knowledges
POLI 222 - Northern Resources and Environmental Law
POLI 330 - Indigenous Politics in Canada Online/Video
RRMT 121 - Northern Field Biology
RRMT 238 - Environmental Protection and Impact Assessment Whitehorse (Ayamdigut)
SOCI 104 - Social Problems Online/Video, Whitehorse (Ayamdigut)
WGST 220 - Women in the Circumpolar World - Religion and Spirituality

Open Electives

Title Campus Scheduled
ANTH 101 - Biological and Forensic Anthropology
ANTH 102 - Survey of World Prehistory
ANTH 103 - Anthropological Archaeology
ANTH 210 - Globalization and the Culture of Capitalism
ANTH 226 - Analytical Methods in Archaeology and Ethnography
ANTH 300 - Anthropology of Gender Whitehorse (Ayamdigut)
ANTH 312 - The Anthropology of the State - Past, Present, Future
ASTR 100 - Introduction to Astronomy Whitehorse (Ayamdigut)
BIOL 101 - Ecology, Evolution and Diversity
BIOL 102 - Cellular Biology and Physiology Whitehorse (Ayamdigut)
BIOL 225 - Ornithology - Introduction to the Biology of Birds Whitehorse (Ayamdigut)
BIOL 230 - Conservation Biology Whitehorse (Ayamdigut)
CHEM 110 - The Structure of Matter
CHEM 111 - Chemical Energetics and Dynamics Whitehorse (Ayamdigut)
COMM 100 - Business Communications Whitehorse (Ayamdigut)
COMM 204 - Introduction to Scientific and Technical Communication Whitehorse (Ayamdigut)
CRIM 101 - Introduction to Criminology
CRIM 103 - Psychological Explanations of Crime and Deviance
CRIM 104 - Sociological Explanations of Crime and Deviance
CRIM 131 - Introduction to the Canadian Criminal Justice System
CRIM 135 - Introduction to Canadian Law and Legal Institutions
CRIM 210 - Law, Youth and Young Offenders
CRIM 213 - Women, Crime and Justice
CRIM 230 - Introduction to Substantive Criminal Law
CRIM 241 - Intro to Corrections
CRIM 251 - Introduction to Law Enforcement
CRWR 201 - Introduction to Creative Writing 1
CRWR 202 - Introduction to Creative Writing 2 Online/Video
ECON 100 - Introduction to Microeconomics
ECON 101 - Introduction to Macroeconomics Whitehorse (Ayamdigut)
ENGL 203 - Introduction to the Novel
ENGL 204 - Introduction to Science Fiction
ENGL 205 - Literary Representations of the Natural World
ENGL 206 - Introduction to the Short Story
ENVS 100 - Introduction to Environmental Science 1
ENVS 101 - Introduction to Environmental Science 2
GEOG 101 - Introduction to Physical Geography 1
GEOG 102 - Introduction to Physical Geography 2 Whitehorse (Ayamdigut)
GEOG 250 - Introduction to Mapping and Geographical Information System (GIS) Online/Video
GEOL 105 - Physical Geology
GEOL 106 - Historical Geology Whitehorse (Ayamdigut)
HIST 120 - European History 1
HIST 121 - European History 2
HIST 135 - Canadian History to 1867
HIST 136 - Canadian History - Confederation to the Present
MATH 105 - Introductory Statistics
PHIL 120 - Introduction to Ethics
POLI 201 - Introduction to Political Thought
PSYC 100 - Introduction to Psychology 1
PSYC 101 - Introduction to Psychology 2 Online/Video
PSYC 202 - Cognitive Psychology Online/Video
PSYC 203 - Social Psychology
PSYC 204 - Abnormal Psychology
PSYC 205 - Child Development
RELI 100 - World Religions I
RELI 101 - World Religions II
SOCI 100 - Introduction to Sociology
SOCI 103 - Canadian Society
SOCI 203 - Sociology of the Family
SOCI 209 - Society, Technology and Values Online/Video, Whitehorse (Ayamdigut)
THEA 200 - Introduction to Acting 1 Whitehorse (Ayamdigut), Online/Video
WGST 100 - Introduction to Women's Studies 1
WGST 101 - Introduction to Women's Studies 2 Online/Video
WGST 200 - Women and Social Change
WGST 230 - Women and History - Rethinking Canada
WGST 240 - The Study of Men and Masculinities 1
WGST 241 - The Study of Men and Masculinities II