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Canadian Studies

Program Description

Just the Facts

Canadian Studies. A program that focuses on the history, society, politics, culture, and economics of one or more of the peoples of Canada and its Pre-Columbian, colonial, and pre-federation predecessors, including immigrant flows and related borderlands and island groups.

This program is available in these options:

  • Associate degree
  • Bachelor's degree
  • Graduate Certificate
  • Master's degree

High School Courses

See the high school courses recommended for programs in this career cluster:

Related Careers

Check out related careers

Additional Information

Canadian studies is a multidisciplinary program that covers a lot more than maple syrup and hockey. Students combine courses in the arts and sciences, such as law, economics, political science, literature, sociology and history -- all with a focus on Canada.

Students learn about Canadian society from different points of view. Some students choose to focus their studies. Areas of focus could include Atlantic Canada, First Nations, different cultural groups, economics, literature or contemporary issues.

Most undergraduate programs are four years of study. Master's programs, graduate certificates and PhD programs are also available.

There are more Canadian studies programs available in Canada, but Americans can find the major without crossing the 49th parallel.

Some American programs offer exchanges, so students can study in Canada for part of their degree. American students may choose to pair Canadian studies with studies in international trade or law.

As neighbors and trading partners, Canadians and Americans must learn about each other. More than a billion dollars in trade crosses the border each day, Munroe Eagles points out. He is the director of Canadian studies at the University at Buffalo -- SUNY. It offers a graduate certificate in Canadian studies.

"Both countries have a great deal to gain from cultivating an appreciation of the other," says Eagles. He says despite the obvious importance of Canada to Americans, Canadian studies as a field is surprisingly small.

"This is changing, however, and there is a growing appreciation that the frictions that will inevitably arise in the close relationship between Canada and the U.S. will need careful management -- more careful than they have received in the past."

Eagles says studying another country is a great way to learn about your own country. It can help to find different solutions to similar problems.

"In this respect, studying Canada in the United States is especially revealing. This is because the two countries share a great deal, but they also differ in important ways," he says.

American grads might find a career in the management of cross-border relations. A background in Canadian studies could help job seekers break into employment in this area, says Eagles.

"There are lots of job opportunities for Canadian studies students depending upon their interests, their academic grades, the courses they have selected during their time at university," says Della Stanley. She is the coordinator of a Canadian studies program. "The advantage to Canadian studies is its variety and diversity."

Some teachers, lawyers, journalists, museum and art gallery curators, social workers and computer game programmers all started their education in Canadian studies programs.

"High school students who focus on the humanities or the social sciences should look for opportunities to incorporate Canadian materials in their studies. Ideally, they will have an opportunity to travel to Canada to explore the country first-hand," says Eagles.

Stanley suggests that students help to raise money for a charity, organize student events, participate in heritage fairs, or take a leadership role in a history club or the student union.

Textbooks are an additional cost. Laptop computers are an advantage. American students doing exchanges or internships in Canada will have extra costs for travel.


Occupational Outlook Handbook
For more information related to this field of study, see: Social Scientists, Other

Canadian Studies
A fantastic introduction to Canadian studies

Canadian Museum of Civilization
Get a taste of Canadian culture

Canadian Geographic Kids
Learn some weird facts about Canada

Canadian Broadcasting Corporation
Get the latest national news

Canadian Atlas Online
Try some games and quizzes to test your knowledge

Association for Canadian Studies in the United States
Improving the understanding of Canada in the U.S.

Canadian Studies in the U.S.
A list of programs from the government of Canada


  • Email Support
  • 1-800-GO-TO-XAP (1-800-468-6927)
    From outside the U.S., please call +1 (424) 750-3900
  • North Dakota Career Resource Network
    ndcrn@nd.gov | (701) 328-9733