Major in Canadian-American Studies

Canada and the United States share a continent and are linked by deep economic ties, several 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 through three specializations: Canadian-American relations; Canadian Histories/Cultures/Identities; and Francophone Canada. Additionally, students may design their own specialization in consultation with a faculty advisor.

American flag blending into a Canadian flag

Why Consider a Canadian-American Studies Major?

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.

Major Requirements
 

  • Minimum 57 credits
     
    • 5 core courses (23 credits) - C/AM 200, C/AM 277, C/AM 331, C/AM 406 (or their cross-listed equivalents), and PLSC 250 
    • A minimum of 15 credits of 400-level coursework, including 2 capstone courses C/AM 401 and C/AM 402 (6 credits)
    • 4 courses in the selected area of specialization (I-IV)
    • Additional electives not taken above


Note: Some courses listed under specializations and electives have prerequisites which are not covered by the C/AM major’s Core. Students should consult closely with a faculty advisor when designing the plan of study.

     

      Core Courses

      Core (23 credits)

      • C/AM 200 – Introduction to Canadian Studies
      • C/AM 277 – Canada: A Historical Survey
        or HIST 277 – Canada: A Historical Survey
      • PLSC 250 – The American Political System
      • C/AM 331 – Canada: Society and Environment
        or ENVS 331 – Canada: Society and Environment
      • C/AM 406 – Canadian Government and Politics
        or PLSC 406 – Canadian Government and Politics

      Capstones and Electives

      Capstone and Electives (14-18 credits)

      • C/AM 401 - Research Problem Identification and Development Credits: 3
      • C/AM 402 - Research Analysis and Writing Credits: 3

      Electives under advisement, not taken above (8-12 credits)

      • A/HI 310 - Indigenous Arts of the Pacific Northwest Credits: 5
      • ANTH 314 - Archaeology of North America Credits: 5
      • ANTH 361 - American Indian Perspectives Credits: 5
      • ANTH 411 - Archaeology of Northwestern North America Credits: 5
      • ANTH 462 - Critical Issues in Indigenous Northwest Studies Credits: 5
      • ANTH 476 - Borderlands Credits: 5
      • C/AM 300 - Directed Independent Study Credits: 1-15
      • C/AM 302 - Special Topics in Canadian Studies Credits: 3-5
      • C/AM 325 - Quebec Politics and Quebec-US Relations Credits: 4
        Or   PLSC 325 - Quebec Politics and Quebec-US Relations Credits: 4
      • C/AM 368 - Decolonization Across the Medicine Line Credits: 3-4
        Or FAIR 368 - Decolonization Across the Medicine Line Credits: 3-4
      • C/AM 400 - Directed Independent Study Credits: 1-15
      • C/AM 410 - Study Canada Summer Institute Credits: 3
      • C/AM 430 - Borderlands: Resource Management Credits: 4
        Or   ENVS 430 - Borderlands: Resource Management Credits: 4
      • C/AM 441 - Society, Space, and Natural Resources Credits: 4
        Or   ENVS 441 - Society, Space, and Natural Resources Credits: 4
      • C/AM 442 - Colonial Landscapes in the Pacific Northwest Credits: 4
        Or   ENVS 444 - Colonial Landscapes in the Pacific Northwest Credits: 4
      • C/AM 444 - Canadian Studies Internship Credits: 3-10
      • C/AM 489 - Managing an International Ecosystem Credits: 5
        Or   PLSC 489 - Managing an International Ecosystem Credits: 5
      • ECON 361 - Introduction to International Economics and Business Credits: 4
      • ECON 364 - Topics in Canadian Economic History Credits: 2
      • ECON 365 - The Canadian Economy Credits: 4
      • ECON 366 - Canadian Business Environment Credits: 4
      • ENG 216 - American Literature Credits: 5
      • ENG 235 - Native and Indigenous Literatures of North America Credits: 5
      • ENG 300 - Directed Independent Study Credits: 1-15
      • ENG 334 - Literary and Creative Expression Across North America and Europe Credits: 5 (under advisement)
      • ENG 338 - Women and Literature in North America and Europe Credits: 5 (under advisement)
      • ENG 415 - Special Topics in National Literatures Credits: 5 (under advisement)
      • ENVS 332 - The Pacific Northwest: Society and Environment Credits: 3
      • ENVS 431 - Pacific Rim: Environment, Economy and Sustainability Credits: 4
      • ENVS 452 - International Environmental Policy Credits: 4
      • ENVS 463 - Native American Planning and Natural Resources Policy Credits: 3
      • ESCI 330 - Natural History of the Pacific Northwest Credits: 4
      • ESCI 423 - Paleoclimate and Paleoecology Credits: 5
      • FREN 101 - Elementary French Credits: 5
      • FREN 102 - Elementary French Credits: 5
      • FREN 103 - Elementary French Credits: 5
      • FREN 104 - Review of Elementary French Credits: 5
      • FREN 201 - Intermediate French Credits: 5
      • FREN 202 - Intermediate French Credits: 5
      • FREN 203 - Intermediate French Credits: 5
      • FREN 314 - French Phonetics Credits: 5 (under advisement)
      • FREN 332 - Civilisation et Culture du Canada Francophone Credits: 5
      • FREN 385 - Culture and Conversation Credits: 5 (under advisement)
      • HIST 278 - Multiculturalism in Canada Credits: 5
      • HIST 379 - Canadian American Relations Credits: 5
      • HIST 390 - Topics in History Credits: 5 (under advisement)
      • HIST 391 - History of the Pacific Northwest Credits: 5
      • HIST 468 - Borderland and Frontiers of North America Credits: 5
      • HIST 475 - 20th Century PNW Indians Credits: 5
      • HIST 478 - History of Nationalism in French Canada Credits: 5
      • HIST 490 - Advanced Topics in History Credits: 5 (under advisement)
      • HIST 499 - Historical Research Credits: 5 (under advisement)
      • PLSC 271 - Introduction to International Relations Credits: 5
      • PLSC 291 - Introduction to Comparative Politics Credits: 5
      • PLSC 301 - The British Parliamentary System Credits: 5

      Specializations

      This specialization enables students to choose to focus on cultural, economic, environmental, and/or political relations between Canada and the United States. Courses emphasize the diversity of contexts which underpin the Canadian-American relationship.

      Any four of:

      • ANTH 476 – Borderlands
      • C/AM 325 – Quebec Politics and Quebec-US Relations
        or  PLSC 325 – Quebec Politics and Quebec-US Relations
      • C/AM 368 – Decolonization Across the Medicine Line
        or FAIR 368 – Decolonization Across the Medicine Line
      • C/AM 430 – Borderlands: Resource Management
        or  ENVS 430 – Borderlands: Resource Management
      • C/AM 441 – Society, Space, and Natural Resources
        or  ENVS 441 – Society, Space, and Natural Resources
      • C/AM 489 – Managing An International Ecosystem
        or  PLSC 489 – Managing An International Ecosystem
      • ECON 361 – Introduction to International Economics and Business
      • ECON 365 – The Canadian Economy
      • ECON 366 – Canadian Business Environment
      • ECON 389 – Economies of the Pacific Rim
      • ENVS 431 – Pacific Rim: Environment, Economy and Sustainability
      • ENVS 452 – International Environmental Policy
      • HIST 379 – Canadian American Relations
      • HIST 390 – Topics in History (under advisement)
      • HIST 391 – History of the Pacific Northwest
      • HIST 490 – Advanced Topics in History (under advisement)
      • HIST 499 – Historical Research (under advisement)

      In this specialization, students investigate the diverse cultures and histories which have contributed to the constitution of modern Canada. Courses emphasize the complex and often contested and overlapping natures of individual, regional, and national identities.

      Any four of:

      • A/HI 310 – Indigenous Arts of the Pacific Northwest
      • ANTH 314 – Archaeology of North America
      • ANTH 361 – American Indian Perspectives
      • ANTH 411 – Archaeology of Northwestern North America
      • ANTH 462 – Native Peoples of the Northwest
      • ANTH 476 – Borderlands
      • C/AM 368 – Decolonization Across the Medicine Line
        or FAIR 368 – Decolonization Across the Medicine Line
      • C/AM 442 – Colonial Landscapes in the Pacific Northwest
        or  ENVS 444 – Colonial Landscapes in the Pacific Northwest
      • ENG 216 – American Literature
      • ENG 235 – American Indian Literatures
      • ENG 334 – Literary and Creative Expression Across North America and Europe
      • ENG 338 – Women and Literature in North America and Europe (under advisement)
      • ENG 415 – Special Topics in National Literatures (under advisement)
      • HIST 278 – Multiculturalism in Canada
      • HIST 379 – Canadian American Relations
      • HIST 390 – Topics in History (under advisement)
      • HIST 391 – History of the Pacific Northwest
      • HIST 468 – Borderland and Frontiers of North America
      • HIST 475 – Topics in American Indian History
      • HIST 478 – History of Nationalism in French Canada
      • HIST 490 – Advanced Topics in History (under advisement)
      • HIST 499 – Historical Research (under advisement)

      This specialization develops students' abilities to effectively communicate in French with an opportunity for inquiry into Canadian francophone societies. Courses compare and contrast the historical, cultural, and linguistic diversity of Québec, Acadia, and Louisiana.

      • FREN 201 - Intermediate French Credits: 5
      • FREN 202 - Intermediate French Credits: 5
      • FREN 203 - Intermediate French Credits: 5

        and one of:
         
      • C/AM 325 - Quebec Politics and Quebec-US Relations Credits: 4
        Or   PLSC 325 - Quebec Politics and Quebec-US Relations Credits: 4
      • FREN 314 - French Phonetics Credits: 5 (under advisement)
      • FREN 332 - Civilisation et Culture du Canada Francophone Credits: 5
      • FREN 385 - Culture and Conversation Credits: 5 (under advisement)
      • HIST 278 - Multiculturalism in Canada Credits: 5
      • HIST 376 - French Colonial Canada: 1534-1763 Credits: 5
      • HIST 390 - Topics in History Credits: 5 (under advisement)
      • HIST 478 - History of Nationalism in French Canada Credits: 5
      • HIST 490 - Advanced Topics in History Credits: 5 (under advisement)
      • HIST 499 - Historical Research Credits: 5 (under advisement)

      This specialization requires close consultation with a faculty member in designing a suitable plan of study in an area of the student's interest.

        How to Declare

        To declare the major, contact the Center for Canadian-American Studies undergraduate advisor, Christina Keppie.

        Declaring a major form

        Declaring a minor form

        Advising Tips: A formal program of study is initially designed by the student in consultation with the Canadian-American Studies Department undergraduate advisor, Christina Keppie.

        Grade Requirements

        A grade of C- or better is required for a student’s major or minor courses, and supporting courses for majors and minors.

        Contact Information

        Christina Keppie, Director, Center for Canadian-American Studies and Undergraduate Advisor
        Professor of French and Linguistics
        Office: Canada House 106
        Email: keppiec@wwu.edu

        Lisl Schroeder, Department Manager
        Office:
        Canada House 102
        Email: schroee2@wwu.edu