Jul 15, 2024  
2024-25 Western Washington University Catalog 
2024-25 Western Washington University Catalog

Canadian-American Studies, BA

Location(s): WWU - Bellingham

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Canadian-American Studies Program, University Interdisciplinary Programs

56 credits


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.

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, communication studies, 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. 

 Contact Information

Program Director and
Undergraduate Advisor

Christina Keppie
Canada House 106

 Sample Careers

Art and literature | Education and research | Environmental policy | Diplomacy | International business | International law | Politics

 Major/Career Resources


How to Declare (Admissions and Declaration Process):

To declare the major, contact the Center for Canadian-American Studies undergraduate advisor, Christina Keppie, or go to canam.wwu.edu/major-canadian-american-studies.

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. One-on-one advising is offered to each student on an as-needed basis.

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.



  • At minimum, 15 credits of 400-level coursework must be included in the plan of study.
  • 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.
  • For courses listed as “under advisement,” students should consult with the faculty advisor prior to enrolling.


Choose one of the following specializations:

Specialization I – Canadian-American Relations (16-20 credits)

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.

Specialization II – Canadian Histories/Cultures/Identities (15-20 credits)

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.

Specialization III – Francophone Canada (19-20 credits)

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.

Specialization IV – Student-Faculty Designed (16-20 credits)

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

Capstone and Electives (14-18 credits)

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