Canadian Studies

Are you passionate about Canada? Do you want to explore the meaning of being Canadian? Majoring in Canadian Studies will introduce you to the rich history and culture of Canada and its continually developing society. You will tackle current and developing issues facing Canada at home and in the international arena. The interdisciplinary approach will delve into various facets of Canadian heritage, history, contemporary politics and art. The program at York is offered in three targeted forms, focusing on "Time and Place", "Culture" and "Society".

This list is not exhaustive but it provides a solid idea of what fellow graduates have gone on to do and what potential careers a Canadian Studies degree can offer. Some options are more directly associated with specific areas of Canadian Studies than others.

  • Aboriginal Activist
  • Archivist
  • Art Dealer
  • Author
  • Brand Strategist
  • Canadian History Professor
  • Communications Consultant
  • Corporate Developer
  • Diplomat
  • Economist
  • Entrepreneur
  • Ethics Board Director
  • Event Planner
  • Fundraising Coordinator
  • Historian
  • Immigration Officer
  • Journalist
  • Lawyer
  • Legislative Aide
  • Librarian
  • Lobbyist
  • Marketing Director
  • Media Correspondent
  • Mediator
  • Museum Curator
  • Non-Profit Administrator
  • Political Advisor/Consultant
  • Public Policy Researcher
  • Public Relations Representative
  • Publisher
  • Social Service Worker
  • Speech Writer
  • Statistician
  • Teacher
  • Television Producer
  • Translator

Some of these career choices may require additional education or preparation in the form of graduate studies, experiential education or professional formative courses and exams. For a more in-depth description of some of the careers mentioned above visit Career Cruising (login information can be found on the home page of the Career Centre's online system) or the National Occupational Classification website.

Skills Developed through a Canadian Studies Degree

A background in Canadian Studies ensures that you develop the skills and mindset to tackle many different professional challenges.

Core Skills

  • In depth knowledge of Canada's history and what it has meant and what it means to be Canadian
  • An understanding of the cultural, societal and political economic issues dominating debate in Canada and the growing importance of multiculturalism
  • An introduction to various forms of art and artistic expression that have emanated from Canada, including study of everything from Aboriginal contributions to contemporary works and art movements

Communication, Data Gathering and Organizational Skills

  • The ability to present your thoughts clearly and intelligently in written statements and written opinion pieces
  • Deduction of information from various sources and the ability to concentrate on relevant resources
  • The ability to learn new information and apply this to professional demands
  • The capacity to critically analyze problems, think creatively and make sound decisions while considering different sides of an argument
  • The ability to explain complex ideas clearly to others and to apply complex theoretical concepts to everyday practice and professional dilemmas

Management and Teamwork

  • The ability to interpret and analyze information presented by peers and efficiently and constructively support or challenge their proposals, theories, ideas and reports in order to achieve a project's intended and successful end result
  • The capacity to lead and interact with a variety of people with different approaches and personal and professional backgrounds
  • Skills enabling you to work effectively in group situations, partaking in decision-making, leading and contributing in various capacities to the ultimate success of the team and task
  • The ability to debate, persuade, mediate and present your thoughts and opinions to others, as well as the capacity to recognize and incorporate other potential solutions or applications to given problems

Professional Associations and Organizations

Knowing the industry and how to excel in it after receiving a degree are key elements of future success. University study sets up the building blocks you will need to develop and enhance your understanding and knowledge in your career. Being part of a professional organization or network and gaining further insight through training are excellent ways of increasing your knowledge of the field. The following is a selection of organizations related to the field of Canadian Studies that you may want to visit as you research career options for Canadian Studies graduates.