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North American Studies

Graduate Certificate in North American Studies

Note: No new students will be admitted to this program.


(For students already admitted)

  • 18 credit hours of approved courses with grades of C or better and with at least 9 credit hours at the 600-level 

Students take the core course and 15 additional credit hours in North American-related course work, including study abroad in Canada or Mexico and/or an approved internship, with a minimum 3.0 GPA in courses for the certificate overall and a 3.3 GPA in the core courses. 

Grades of C- or D in certificate program courses are not accepted toward the fulfillment of certificate requirements, although these grades will be included in the calculation of the GPA. Students must have at least a 3.0 GPA in certificate courses in order to be awarded a certificate. Students in certificate programs must take a minimum of 6 credit hours during each 12-month period and complete the certificate in four years. International students must enroll in 9 credit hours each semester (except for summer). A maximum of 3 credit hours earned at an accredited college or university may be applied toward the certificate as transfer credit. 

  • A minimum of two years of Spanish or French language courses at the post-secondary level with grades of B or better, or a level of communication competency equivalent to the entry level for third-year conversation and composition, as demonstrated by a placement score of 421 points in French or 440 points in Spanish on the Computer Assisted Proficiency Exam (CAPE) administered by the Language Resource Center in the Department of Language and Foreign Studies (LFS). 
  • Preparation of a significant research paper as part of one of the core courses or as a reflection on study abroad or approved internship 
  • Approved study abroad in Canada or Mexico or an internship with a North American focus 

Course Requirements

  • SIS-618 Topics in North America Studies: North America: A Union, a Community, or Just     Three Nations? (3) 


SIS-503 North American Summer Institute: Discovering North America Seminar (3) 

  • a minimum of two North American-related issues courses from the following, or other North American topics courses with the program coordinator’s approval: 

ECON-658 Economics of the World Regions: North America (3) 

GOVT-638 North American Politics (3) 

SIS-513 Computer Applications in International Relations Research (3) (focus on North America) 

SIS-676 Selected Topics in Cross-National Study: North American Social Movements 

  • 9 additional credit hours including an approved internship or courses taken at selected universities in Canada and Mexico, and from special courses taught by CNAS Senior Fellows and the following with the program coordinator’s approval: 

ECON-619 United States Economic History (3) 

FREN-626 French Topics: Civilisation, Littérature, et Cinéma du Québec (3) 

SPAN-656 Spanish Topics: Mexico-U.S. Border (3) 

SIS-618 Topics in North American Studies: Politics and Institutions of International Trade (3) The Foreign Policy of a Middle Power: The Case of Canada (3)