The Department of Transnational Studies


“Knowledge of Canada or the United States is the best way to gain insight into the other North American country.”  Seymour Martin Lipset, Continental Divide (1990): iii

Welcome to the Canadian Studies Academic Program at the University at Buffalo. Launched in 2007, the program mobilizes and draws upon a wide range of faculty expertise and interest in Canada.

It is vital for citizens on both sides of the border to understand one another. Canada is the closest and most important ally and partner of the United States. Over a billion dollars (US) in goods and services crosses the Canadian-American border every day, making our bilateral economic relationship the largest in the world. More than 300 million cross-border trips are made every year. The border separating Canada and the US has been peaceful for over 200 years. Not only do we share a common heritage but, as stewards of the northern portion of our continent, we share a common destiny.

UB is uniquely situated to contribute to the broadening and deepening of understandings of Canada, and indeed, to enhance our appreciation of the binational relationship. Situated mere miles from the border, our geographic proximity to Canada makes it possible to engage with the country and its people with ease. Buffalo is a beautiful, affordable city with a rich heritage and a lively cultural and artitistic life- click here to see a brief video presenting some of the city’s many assets. Our relationship with Canada is experienced here with an intimacy and intensity that facilitates, and underscores the importance of, understanding our similarities and differences.

The state of New York borders on two provinces, Ontario and Quebec and under the leadership of Professor Jean-Jacques Thomas, our Canadian Studies program also includes a Quebec Studies program to familiarize students with the distinctive perspectives and culture of francophone Canada. Professor Cecil Foster also serves as an Associate Director of the program.  His award winning research focuses on Canada’s experience with multiculturalism.  He lives in Buffalo and in Toronto, which is Canada’s largest and most culturally-diverse city and only a 90 minute drive away.

Recognizing our leadership in the Canadian Studies community, UB was selected in a competitive search to serve as the host institution for the Association of Canadian Studies in the United States, for a three-year term beginning in January 2014.  We are looking forward to serving the interests of this important professional association.

UB offers two graduate credentials for students interested in Canada and the Canada-US relationship.  Our Advanced (Graduate) Certificate in Canadian Studies is a fifteen credit hour coursework-based credential that can be earned either alone or in combination with another graduate degree or program at UB.  You can access a brochure here. Secondly, we are excited to have launched a new Joint Master of Arts in Canadian-American Studies with Brock University in the Fall of 2013.  This is UB and Brock’s first international joint graduate degree.  Take advantage of our border location and earn more for your time and money – two countries, two universities, and one graduate degree! See the UB student newspaper’s (The Spectrum) story on the Joint degree program at “Oh Academia: UB Crosses Borders with Joint Master of Arts in Canadian-American Studies.”  All undergraduate majors are eligible to apply for this interdisciplinary degree – and no prior knowledge of Canada is presupposed.  Apply now and become a pioneer in international education on our campus. To download a copy of our brochure on this exciting program, click here.

Financial Support for Joint MA StudentsStudents accepted into the Joint MA by UB are eligible to be considered for financial support from UB and Brock. In particular, UB students are fully eligible to serve as graduate teaching assistants in Brock University’s undergraduate program in Canadian Studies.  The current stipend for this service is $3,838 (Cdn) per semester for each of two semesters. There is also a possibility of serving as a TA for a third (summer) semester for additional compensation.  This is a tremendous opportunity for American students to gain valuable teaching experience in Canada.

In addition, American citizens are given priority consideration for Brock University’s “Amilcare Ramella Scholarship in Canada-US Relations”, a $5,000 scholarship specifically aimed at supporting the Joint MA degree program.



For our part, UB’s faculty have long appreciated the importance of studying Canada. We are among the most active campuses in the entire United States when it comes to research and teaching on Canada. We are, therefore, an excellent place for you to study Canada and the cross-border relationship.

Prepare yourself to take a leading role in the management of the Canada-US relationship.  Apply now!

Munroe Eagles

Program Director

Professor of Political Science