Thunder Bay • Orillia

Northern Studies Programs

Program Co-ordinator
(Chair of the Department of History)

M. Beaulieu

Students enrolled in any program at Lakehead University, known internationally as one of the main centres for northern studies in Canada, can achieve a Minor in Northern Studies in partnership with the University of the Arctic.

Over four years students will have the opportunity to take a variety of courses from a wide variety of disciplines such as, but not limited to: Anthropology, Biology, Chemistry, Economics, Environmental Studies, Forestry, Geography, Geology, History, Indigenous Learning, Outdoor Recreation, Political Science, Social Work, and Sociology.

Student undertaking the Minor are also encouraged to participate in the north2north student exchange program. It gives students from UArctic member institutions the opportunity to learn first-hand about life in another northern region.

A Minor in Northern Studies prepares students for a variety of public and private sector professional opportunities dealing with local, national, and international environmental issues. Graduates with a Minor in Northern Studies can expect to find work in northern related agencies of all levels of government: federal, provincial and local. Employment opportunities also exist in northern economic development, social service agencies, resource management, resource exploration and development companies, environmental nongovernmental organizations, northern park management, conservation, journalism, education and health.



Students in Northern Studies are encouraged to make use of the various programs offered by the University of the Arctic ( The University of the Arctic (UArctic) is a cooperative network of universities, colleges, and other organizations committed to higher education and research in the North. Lakehead University is one of the key members of the University of the Arctic. Members share resources, facilities, and expertise to build post-secondary education programs that are relevant and accessible to northern students. Our overall goal is to create a strong, sustainable circumpolar region by empowering northerners and northern communities through education and shared knowledge. 

We promote education that is circumpolar, interdisciplinary, and diverse in nature, and draw on our combined strengths to address the unique challenges of the region. The University of the Arctic recognizes the integral role of Indigenous peoples in northern education, and seeks to engage their perspectives in all of its activities.


The north2north student exchange program gives students from UArctic member institutions the opportunity to learn first hand about life in another northern region. Successful students receive travel support to study at another UArctic institution. Students taking Northern Studies are encouraged to apply for the north2north program and spend at least one semester studying in another circumpolar country. 


The University of the Arctic offers seven courses, each one equivalent to 6 ECTS (equivalent to one half-course at Lakehead University). The seven courses together are referred to as the "BCS Core".

BCS 100: An Introduction to the Circumpolar World (Northern Studies 1111)
BCS 311: Land and Environment I (Northern Studies 3111)
BCS 312: Land and Environment II (Northern Studies 3112)
BCS 321: Peoples and Cultures I (Northern Studies 3211)
BCS 322: Peoples and Cultures II (Northern Studies 3212)
BCS 331: Contemporary Issues I (Northern Studies 3311)
BCS 332: Contemporary Issues II (Northern Studies 3312

Core courses are developed, offered and provided to member institutions and their students by the University of the Arctic. 

The following Northern Studies programs are offered:
Each program is marked with a TB, O or W designation to distinguish where each program is available.
(TB = Thunder Bay campus, O = Orillia campus, W = online)

Minor Program in Northern Studies (TB)