Northern Studies

students researching a historical site

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

Our two-year Northern Studies diploma program offers a supportive framework for a personalized selection of courses 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 in a northern experience.

Northern Studies

Northern Studies is a flexible program with a range of delivery options to suit your needs. Scheduled courses are offered face-to-face and online. Some courses may have weekly scheduled video-conferenced sessions, while others may run entirely in person or in a combination. See the course pages and course outlines for details. Spring courses generally run online to ensure the widest accessibility.

Contact the School of Liberal Arts or a program advisor for assistance or for more information about our programs and courses in general or to see if the highly flexible NOST diploma is your next step.

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
  • English 12 (65%)

If students do not meet the 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)


  • 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.
  • Diploma students may take 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.
  • 060-level courses will not be accepted as LA or Open Electives in this program.


  • As of May 2019, science elective courses no longer require labs.

A Program Advisor can 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

Dual credit possibilities

Any undergraduate-level Yukon University course that is part of the British Columbia Council on Admission and Transfer (BCCAT) system is eligible for dual credit. Many courses in the School of Liberal Arts are suitable for high-school students to take as dual credit courses providing any prerequisites are met.

Students have often selected ENGL 100, HIST 140, PSYC 100, PSYC 101, and SOCI 100 for dual credit, but many other first-year courses and some second-year courses are options. Beginning in Fall 2023, ENGL 101 is available.

For more information about dual credit for Yukon high-school students, see the Dual Credit program page.


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.


Core Courses

Northern Studies

Title Campus Scheduled
ANTH 140 - Introduction to the Fields of Anthropology Whitehorse (Ayamdigut)
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 Whitehorse (Ayamdigut)
ATHA 102 - Introduction to Native Languages 2
BIOL 210 - Introduction to Northern Botany Whitehorse (Ayamdigut)
BIOL 210L - Introduction to Northern Botany Lab Whitehorse (Ayamdigut)
BIOL 220 - Ecology Whitehorse (Ayamdigut)
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
ENGL 230 - Indigenous Narratives
ENST 200 - Environmental Perspectives Whitehorse (Ayamdigut)
ENST 201 - Environmental Ethics
ENVS 223 - Principles and Practices of Heritage Interpretation
ENVS 225 - Environmental Change and Fish and Wildlife Health Online/Video
ENVS 226 - Environmental Change and Community Health
ENVS 227 - Yukon Source Water Protection and Watershed Stewardship
FNGA 100 - Introduction to Indigenous Governance Whitehorse (Ayamdigut)
FNGA 101 - Governance & Land Claims Whitehorse (Ayamdigut)
FNGA 200 - Organizational and Community Wellness
FNGA 207 - Public Policy in Northern and Indigenous Context
FNGA 209 - Intergovernmental Relations Whitehorse (Ayamdigut)
FNGA 240 - Indigenous People and Research
FNGA 301 - Theory and Practice of Negotiation Whitehorse (Ayamdigut)
FNGA 302 - Power and Influence Whitehorse (Ayamdigut)
FNST 140 - Preservation of Traditional Knowledge
GEOG 290 - Climate Change and the Circumpolar World
GEOL 112 - Introduction to the Mineral Exploration and Mining Industries
HIST 140 - History of Yukon First Nations and Self-Government Online/Video
LANG 140 - Language and Culture Preservation Online/Video
LANG 240 - Language Activism
NOST 100 - Introduction to the Study of the North
NOST 101 - The Circumpolar World Online/Video
NOST 229 - Special Topics in Northern Studies
NOST 324 - Contemporary Issues in the Circumpolar World I Online/Video
NOST 325 - Contemporary Issues in the Circumpolar World II
NOST 326 - Lands and Environments of the Circumpolar North I Online/Video
NOST 327 - Lands and Environments of the Circumpolar World II
NOST 328 - Peoples and Cultures of the Circumpolar North I Online/Video
NOST 329 - Peoples and Cultures of the Circumpolar North II
PHED 222 - Northern Outdoor Pursuits and Leadership 1 Whitehorse (Ayamdigut)
PHED 225 - Northern Outdoor Pursuits and Leadership 2
PHIL 230 - Bridging Knowledges Whitehorse (Ayamdigut)
POLI 222 - Northern Resources and Environmental Law
POLI 330 - Indigenous Politics in Canada
RRMT 121 - Northern Field Biology
RRMT 238 - Environmental Protection and Impact Assessment
SOCI 104 - Social Problems
WGST 202 - Women in Indigenous Societies
WGST 220 - Women in the Circumpolar World - Religion and Spirituality

Open Electives

Title Campus Scheduled
ANTH 101 - Biological Anthropology
ANTH 102 - Survey of World Prehistory
ANTH 103 - Introduction to Archaeology Whitehorse (Ayamdigut)
ANTH 210 - Globalization and the Culture of Capitalism
ANTH 226 - Analytical Methods in Archaeology and Ethnography
ANTH 300 - Anthropology of Gender
ANTH 312 - The Anthropology of the State - Past, Present, Future
ASTR 100 - Introduction to Astronomy
BIOL 101 - Ecology, Evolution and Diversity Whitehorse (Ayamdigut)
BIOL 102 - Cellular Biology and Physiology
BIOL 225 - Ornithology - Introduction to the Biology of Birds
BIOL 230 - Conservation Biology
CHEM 110 - The Structure of Matter Whitehorse (Ayamdigut)
CHEM 111 - Chemical Energetics and Dynamics
COMM 100 - Business Communications Whitehorse (Ayamdigut), Online/Video
COMM 200 - Intercultural Communication for Business Whitehorse (Ayamdigut)
COMM 204 - Introduction to Scientific and Technical Communication
CRIM 135 - Introduction to Canadian Law and Legal Institutions
CRIM 210 - Law, Youth and Young Offenders
CRWR 201 - Introduction to Creative Writing 1
CRWR 202 - Introduction to Creative Writing 2 Whitehorse (Ayamdigut)
ECON 100 - Introduction to Microeconomics Whitehorse (Ayamdigut)
ECON 101 - Introduction to Macroeconomics
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 Online/Video
ENVS 100 - Introduction to Environmental Science 1 Whitehorse (Ayamdigut)
ENVS 101 - Introduction to Environmental Science 2
GEOG 101 - Earth Systems: Atmosphere and Climate Whitehorse (Ayamdigut)
GEOG 102 - Earth Systems: Landscapes and Natural Hazards
GEOG 250 - Introduction to Mapping and Geographical Information System (GIS)
GEOL 105 - Physical Geology Whitehorse (Ayamdigut)
GEOL 106 - Historical Geology
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 111 - History of Western Philosophy
PHIL 120 - Introduction to Ethics Whitehorse (Ayamdigut)
POLI 201 - Introduction to Political Thought
PSYC 100 - Introduction to Psychology 1 Whitehorse (Ayamdigut)
PSYC 101 - Introduction to Psychology 2
PSYC 202 - Cognitive Psychology Whitehorse (Ayamdigut)
PSYC 203 - Social Psychology
PSYC 204 - Abnormal Psychology Online/Video
PSYC 205 - Child Development
PSYC 206 - Human Growth and Lifespan Development
RELI 100 - World Religions I
RELI 101 - World Religions II
SOCI 100 - Introduction to Sociology Whitehorse (Ayamdigut), Online/Video
SOCI 103 - Canadian Society
SOCI 203 - Sociology of the Family
SOCI 209 - Society, Technology and Values Whitehorse (Ayamdigut)
THEA 200 - Introduction to Acting 1 Whitehorse (Ayamdigut)
WGST 100 - Introduction to Women's Studies 1 Online/Video
WGST 101 - Introduction to Women's Studies 2
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

Third year

Title Campus Scheduled
INTD 350 - Special Topics Whitehorse (Ayamdigut)