About the Certificate in Arctic Studies

The International Affairs Program (IAFS) offers an interdisciplinary undergraduate certificate in Arctic Studies, in collaboration with the Program in Nordic Studies (SCAN), the Program in Russian Studies (RUSS), the Department of Geography (GEOG), the Department of Environmental Studies (ENVS), the Department of Anthropology (ANTH), the Department of Ethnic Studies (ETHN), and the research entities the Cooperative Institute for Research in Environmental Sciences (CIRES), the National Snow and Ice Data Center (NSIDC), and the Institute of Arctic and Alpine Research (INSTAAR).

Why do the Certificate in Arctic Studies?

This certificate will prepare students to address pressing environmental, political, and cultural issues in the far north. A laboratory for studying the effects of global climate change, the arctic region spans three continents, with territories in Canada, Greenland (Denmark), Finland, Iceland, Norway, Sweden, Russia, and the United States. Its population exhibits considerable ethnic, linguistic, and sociopolitical diversity, and contains numerous indigenous peoples. Issues as critical as nationalism, territorial rights and law, security, economic development, and resource technology place the Arctic at the center of global, regional, and national interests. Further, the region’s natural and social characteristics have inspired influential and enduring expressive culture—produced by locals and outsiders—from antiquity to the present.

These features make study of the arctic ideal for students pursuing careers in international politics and diplomacy, indigenous rights, environmental science and climate change, humanistic scholarship, or creative work.