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School of the Environment

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School of the Environment

Circumpolar Studies

Circumpolar Studies (Online Only Diploma)

Global interest in the circumpolar region is on the rise, and this program will catapult you into the most important topics surrounding its people and landscapes, its geographical and historical contexts, and issues of security in a changing political and environmental climate. The Trent School of the Environment offers a unique online diploma for students who wish to undertake a single academic year of study (September to April) focused upon the landscape, peoples, and contemporary issues of concern in the Circumpolar world. This interdisciplinary program is the first fully-online diploma in Circumpolar Studies at a Canadian university. Connect with classmates from all over Canada and across oceans while you deepen your understanding of Northern perspectives. Together, you’ll explore the rich diversity of the region and discuss everything from Indigenous issues to sustainable development and physical geography. Developed by University of the Arctic specialists, together with experts from Trent’s School of Environment, the Chanie Wenjack School of Indigenous Studies, and more, this flexible learning opportunity will prepare you for a future focused on the Canadian North and beyond. Introductory courses begin with the examination of the geography, history, and biophysical and physical systems of the Sub-Arctic and Arctic regions. The diploma curriculum then turns to the Indigenous and contemporary peoples of the region, traditional economies and knowledge, governance systems, human security issues, and overall questions of economic development, cultural resilience, and environmental sustainability.

Applicants must either be students registered in, or graduates of, an accredited post-secondary educational institution normally other than Trent University. An official transcript, including evidence of the content of courses completed and grades received, must accompany the application. Application to the diploma program should be made to the Ontario Universities’ Application Centre at ouac.on.ca.

In accordance with University regulations, applicants must have a competence in written and spoken English.

The diploma is awarded in the spring along with a Trent University transcript identifying all courses undertaken and grades received.  Only students enrolled in the diploma program may obtain the diploma. (Trent students currently enrolled in a degree program may choose to complete the Option in Circumpolar Studies (see below).

General Admission Requirements:

  • Ontario Secondary School Diploma (OSSD)
  • A minimum of six Grade 12 4U or 4M courses, including program specific prerequisites
  • A minimum 70% overall final average (unless otherwise specified)
  • ENG 4U with a minimum of 60%

Program Coordinator: Heather Nicol (heathernicol@trentu.ca)

Option in Circumpolar Studies (Online Only)

The Option in Circumpolar Studies connects students to the emerging field of Arctic and Northern Studies. It has been inspired by the importance of the Circumpolar World under conditions of climate change, globalization and unprecedented accessibility of the Circumpolar region to the outside world.  This interdisciplinary option will be of importance for students engaged in political studies, geography and natural sciences, legal and health studies, history, cultural and indigenous studies, and the study of Canada more broadly.The Option in Circumpolar Studies connects students to the emerging field of Arctic and Northern Studies. It has been inspired by the importance of the Circumpolar World under conditions of climate change, globalization and unprecedented accessibility of the Circumpolar region to the outside world. This interdisciplinary option will be of importance for students engaged in political studies, geography and natural sciences, legal and health studies, history, cultural and Indigenous studies, and the study of Canada more broadly. 

Requirements: Students who have fulfilled the requirements for an Honours or a General degree in any subject may graduate with an Option in Circumpolar Studies if they have successfully completed the courses listed below.

The Diploma in Circumpolar Studies consists of the following 5.0 credits:

  • 2.5 GEOG credits consisting of GEOG 1045H, 2320H, 2330H, 3390H, and 3640H
  • 0.5 ERST credit consisting of ERST 3740H
  • 1.0 INDG credit consisting of INDG 3745H and 3750H
  • CAST credit consisting of CAST 3241 and CAST 3243

General Admission Requirements:

The Circumpolar Studies Option is open to all existing undergraduate students at Trent University.

Requirements: Students who have fulfilled the requirements for an Honours or a General degree in any subject may graduate with an Option in Circumpolar Studies if they have successfully completed the courses listed below.

The Option in Circumpolar Studies consists of the following 4.0 credits:

  •  2.5 GEOG credits consisting of GEOG 1045H, GEOG-ERST 2320H, 2330H, 3390H and GEOGCAST 3640H
  •  0.5 ERST credit consisting of ERST-INDG 3740H
  •  1.0 INDG credit consisting of INDG 3745H and 3750H

Career Paths

  • Public Service
  • Cultural and Heritage Consultant
  • Immigration and Human Rights
  • Public Health
  • Geoscience Consultant
  • Diplomat
  • Journalist
  • United Nations Official International Civil Servant
  • Educator
  • Policy Professional