What is Canadian-American Studies?
Canada and the United States share a continent and are linked by deep economic ties, common historical experiences, and many cultural similarities; they are also marked by real and important differences. The Canadian-American Studies major helps students better understand the impact of these similarities and differences, as well as how they affect key cultural, environmental, and economic issues in North America today and in the future.
Canadian-American Studies Degree(s)
Canadian-American Studies, BA
On its own, the major provides an excellent international and interdisciplinary course of study for students looking for a broad-based, liberal arts education. Through identified specializations, the major is also designed to combine with other majors to add depth and international expertise.
Christina Keppie, Program Director and Undergraduate Advisor
Christina.Keppie@wwu.edu | 360-650-3930
A/HI 310 - Indigenous Arts of the Pacific Northwest
ANTH 476 - Borderlands
ENVS 431 - Pacific Rim: Environment, Economy and Sustainability
ENVS 463 - Native American Planning and Natural Resources Policy
HIST 278 - Multiculturalism in Canada
HIST 391 - History of the Pacific Northwest
Canadian-American Studies at Western
The Canadian-American Studies major helps students better understand the impact of these similarities and differences, as well as how they affect key cultural, environmental, and economic issues in North America today and in the future through three specializations:
- Canadian-American relations
- Canadian Histories/Cultures/Identities
- Francophone Canada
Additionally, students may design their own specialization in consultation with a faculty advisor.
On its own, the Canadian-American Studies major provides an excellent international and interdisciplinary course of study for students looking for a broad-based, liberal arts education. By drawing upon courses from the humanities, social sciences, and natural sciences, the major explores key concepts and methods across multiple disciplines and applies them to complex projects in our shared regional, continental, and cultural contexts. Western Washington University's location and longstanding tradition of Canadian-American collaborations have fostered a program that draws upon leading expertise from researchers, policymakers, and issue advocates.
Through identified specializations, the major is also designed to combine with other majors to add depth and international expertise. Examples include combining Canadian-American Studies’ specializations with: environmental science and policy, international business, geography, anthropology, political science, marketing, communications, journalism, history, and foreign languages. These combinations provide platforms for work or future academic study in areas such as global politics, culture, advocacy, and diplomacy.
Organizations and Clubs
Beyond the classroom, the Center and Club Canada offer opportunities for students to immerse themselves in Canadian culture by holding events such as hockey and broom ball games, regional food celebrations, film screenings, guest speakers and faculty talks, and field excursions to Vancouver, Whistler, and more.
The Center provides support and resources to students interested in participating in relevant internships, including opportunities with the Canadian Consulate in Seattle.
For a Canadian-American Studies major, being 20 minutes from Canada has its advantages. The program is also customizable, which allowed me to take a variety of courses ranging from environmental studies to political science.Julia BarnesStudent
What can you do with Canadian-American Studies?
The Canadian-American Studies curriculum prepares students for careers related to art and literature, education and research, environmental policy, diplomacy, international business, international law, and politics.
Recent Western graduates have found fulfilling careers working for the Canadian Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade, directing internet marketing for a Canada-US import/export firm, serving as a US federal government liaison to a municipality for emergency preparedness, working for Google in their map division, and coordinating border and emergency management programs for the cross-border Pacific Northwest Economic Region.
Canadian-American Studies Careers
- Art and Literature
- Education and Research
- Environmental Policy
- International Business
- International Law