The Major and Minor
Arctic and Northern Studies (ACNS) is an interdisciplinary and innovative program in the College of Liberal Arts (CLA) at the University of Alaska Fairbanks (UAF). It offers a Bachelor of Arts (B.A.), a Graduate Certificate, and a Master of Arts (M.A.). The program also houses several Interdisciplinary Studies (INDS) Ph.D. students. Each degree educates students about the common and distinctive features of the peoples, regions, and countries; and about the issues, opportunities, and challenges; of the circumpolar North.
The program offers students broad flexibility so they can choose a course of study that corresponds to their needs and interests. Common academic interests of students include climate dynamics; Northern histories; political cooperation and challenges in the North; international relations; natural resource management; Indigenous cultures and Indigenous peoples’ concerns; and Northern literature, arts, and humanities. The program draws from a number of fields, including anthropology, art, biology, geography, history, literature, political science, psychology, and more.
The geographic location of UAF allows students to immerse themselves in a sub-Arctic environment while studying Northern issues. The degrees are also available online. ACNS students benefit from the expertise and research experience of the faculty and from the comprehensive holdings of the Alaska and Polar Regions Collections and Archives at the Rasmuson Library.
Students majoring in Arctic and Northern Studies elect one of three different concentrations: Arctic History and Politics, Environmental Studies, or Native Studies.
Two Interesting Courses
ACNS F201: The Circumpolar North: An Introductory Overview
This course introduces students to the circumpolar North as a region by exploring themes related to the environment and climate change; politics and international relations; history; geography; nonrenewable and renewable energy; literature; and Indigenous cultures, customs, and issues.
PS F469: Arctic Politics and Governance
This course traces current developments in Arctic politics and governance from multiple perspectives, including exploring interests, processes, and behaviors of Arctic governments and non-state actors, individually and collectively. The course surveys the formal and informal institutions that govern resource development, pollution, shipping, state-indigenous relations and security.
Five Possible Complementary Majors/Minors at the University of Alaska Fairbanks
Unique Opportunities within the Major/Minor
Students can apply to the University of Alaska Fairbanks’ Climate Scholars program, through which students can participate in a Climate Intensive, study abroad via The Climate Exchange, and engage in a Climate Internship.
Sample Similar Programs