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Athabasca University

Canadian Studies Major


This program is now closed to new admissions.

s a graduate of Athabasca University’s Canadian Studies program, you will gain a knowledge and understanding of such disciplines as Canadian history, literature, geography, Indigenous and ethnic studies, politics, and government. The program will help you understand and interpret the Canadian experience and its diversity, and increase your knowledge and understanding of yourself and others.

Athabasca University has developed program learning outcomes that describe the career options that may be available to you upon graduating.

Did you know? Athabasca University also offers:

For specific degree requirements view each program page.

Students complete the program regulations in effect at the time of their enrolment.

Program Requirements

Requirements in addition to the general program requirements for the 4-year BA with Major:

  1. 60 credits in courses designated as electives including 30 senior (300 or 400) level credits (a minimum of 12, 400-level credits).
  2. A minimum of 9 credits per subarea from any four of the following five: Canadian History, Canadian Literature, Canadian Geography, Canadian Indigenous and Ethnic Studies, and Canadian Politics and Government (see below).
  3. Students majoring in Canadian studies must demonstrate oral proficiency in French and/or one of Canada’s Aboriginal languages (for example Cree or Inuktitut). Students may meet the language requirement by completing 6 junior (200 level) credits in French and/or one of Canada’s Aboriginal languages. These courses will not count towards the major in Canadian Studies but will count towards the total number of credits required for the degree.


Students working toward a Canadian Studies major should meet the language requirement before completing 30 credits with Athabasca University. Students enrolled in an after-degree program are advised to select courses within the following four subareas that fulfill the Humanities, Science, and Social Science requirements as well as the subarea requirements. Failure to do so could result in a student being required to complete more than 60 credits in order to fulfill all of the regulations.


Canadian History (select 9 credits from the following)

HIST 224 History of Canada to 1867 (3)
HIST 225 History of Canada, 1867 to the Present (3)
HIST 326 Contemporary Canada: Canada After 1945 (3)
HIST 328 History of Canadian Social Policy (3)
HIST 330 Social History of Canada: European Contact to Early Industrialization (3)
HIST 331 Social History of Canada: Early Industrialization to Contemporary Canada (3)
HIST 336 History of Canadian Labour (6)
HIST 338 History of the Canadian West (6)
HIST/WGST 363 The Women’s West: Women and Canadian Frontier Settlement (3)
HIST/WGST 365 Girls and Women in Urban Canada, 1880 to 1940 (3)
HIST 426 Contemporary Canada: Canada After 1945 (3)
HIST 455 Canada and the Bomb: Canada and the World in the Cold War (3)

Canadian Literature (select 9 credits from the following)

ENGL 302 Introduction to Canadian Literature (6)
ENGL 306 The Literature of Work (3)
ENGL 308 Native Literature in Canada (3)
ENGL 351 Comparative Canadian Literature I (3)
ENGL 431 Canadian Drama (3)
FREN 374 Introduction à la littérature canadienne-française (6)

Canadian Geography (select 9 credits from the following)

GEOG 265 Introductory Physical Geography I (3)
GEOG 302 The Canadian North (3)
GEOG 311 Canadian Urban Development (3)

Canadian Indigenous and Ethnic Studies (select 9 credits from the following)

ANTH 362 Aboriginal Cultures of North America (3)
HADM 315 Health and Community Development
HADM 326 Health Issues: Health and Healing (3)
HIST/INST 368 Indigenous Peoples in Canada to 1830 (3)
HIST/INST 369 Indigenous Peoples in Canada Since 1830 (3)
HIST/INST 370 The Métis (3)
INST 357 Contemporary Aboriginal Issues in Canada (3)
INST 358 Aboriginal Women in Canada (3)
INST 377 Topics in Aboriginal Governments (3)
INST 426 Aboriginal Government and Law (3)
INST 430 Indigenous Governance (3)
SOCI 321 Sociology of Work and Industry (3)
SOCI/WGST 345 Women and Work in Canada (3)
SOCI 380 Canadian Ethnic Relations (3)
WGST 304 Issues in Aboriginal Women’s Health and Wellness (3)

Canadian Politics and Government (select 9 credits from the following)

CMNS 202/POLI 291 Media and Power in Canadian Society (3)
GLST/GOVN/POLI 403 Public Policy in a Global Era (3)
GOVN 450

Public Budget and Financial Management in a Globalized World

GOVN 390/POLI 392 Public Policy and Administrative Governance (3)
POLI 309 Canadian Government and Politics (3)
POLI 311 Aboriginal Policies and Governments (3)
POLI 325 Canadian Environmental Policy and Politics (3)
POLI 350 Women in Canadian Politics (3)
POLI 390 Canadian Federalism (3)
POEC 393 Canada and the Global Political Economy (3)

* Note for students seeking transfer credit: Within each elective area, courses that are not listed here but which are easily demonstrated to have mainly Canadian content may be counted towards the credit requirements for the elective area upon approval of the program director.

Other (24 other credits selected from the disciplinary lists above and/or from the following courses)

ECON 385 Money, Banking, and Canadian Financial Institutions (3)
FREN 405 Translation from French to English (3)
GEOL 313 Our Physical Resources (3)
IDRL 309/LGST 310 Human Rights, the Charter and Labour Relations (3)
LBST 200 Introduction to Labour Studies

LBST 202 Introduction to Labour Studies: Labour College of Canada
LBST/SOCI/WGST 332 Women and Unions (3)
LGST 331 Administrative Law (3)
LGST 369 Commercial Law (3)
LGST 479 Local Government Law in Alberta (3)
SOCI 291 Canadian Society (3)
SOCI 321 Sociology of Work and Industry (3)
SOCI/WGST 345 Women and Work in Canada (3)
WGST 266 Thinking From Women’s Lives: An Introduction to Women’s Studies (3)
WGST 401 Contemporary Feminist Theory (3)
TAXX 301 Taxation I (3)


Information effective Sept. 1, 2017 to Aug. 31, 2018.

Updated May 16 2018 by laurab

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