The Department of Transnational Studies

Program and Admission Requirements

Graduate Certificate

Admission Requirements

Applicants to the Canadian Studies Certificate Program Students will be required to meet the minimum academic standards for admission to UB, except under extraordinary circumstances. Students seeking only the Certificate, and not intending to enroll in formal degree programs at UB, will not be required to supply GRE scores for admission.

Students wishing to pursue the Certificate simultaneously as they work on other graduate degrees at UB will be subject (only) to the admission requirements of their chosen degree program. No additional specific requirements will be required for admission to the Certificate program.  There is a Graduate School application fee of $75.

Immunization Policy:

“In accordance with New York State Public Health Law, UB requires that all students (undergraduate, graduate, professional) born on or after January 1, 1957 provide proof of immunity against measles, mumps, and rubella. The state also requires that all students receive information about meningococcal disease and have made an informed decision about whether or not to receive immunization against meningococcal disease. UB students will not be allowed to register for classes until they have fulfilled these requirements. To learn more, visit

Apply to the Advanced Graduate Certificate Program in Canadian Studies

Program Requirements

The graduate certificate requires the completion of  15 credit hours of approved coursework and /or internship credit.  Two courses – a 3-credit offering – CDN 500 “An Overview of Canadian Studies” – and CDN 505 –Canadian-American and Cross-Border Relations” would be required of all students. Additional coursework will be approved by the program director in advance on the basis of an individual application that identifies courses with significant Canadian content in departments in the College (e.g., in Romance Languages and Literatures, History, Geography, Sociology, English, Comparative Literature, Political Science, etc.) or in other schools (e.g. Law School, Architecture and Planning, etc.).  In courses offered for fulfillment of the Canadian Studies certificate, it will be expected that any required research project would include a significant Canadian component. A maximum of 3 credits of approved Canada-related internship experience could be counted towards completion of the certificate.

Other courses listed under Canadian Studies will serve as electives, enabling students to develop their own chosen aspect of expertise in the context of Canada or the Canadian-American relationship. Beyond these offerings within Canadian Studies, additional coursework will be available from a list of graduate and professional courses that either have substantial Canadian content or in which the instructors have agreed in advance to allow certificate students to prepare all research papers or projects using Canadian materials (see Appendix Two). While the list of courses is still being compiled, we have about forty-five courses available under this arrangement, offered by more than two dozen different full-time faculty members.  While most of these courses are offered within the College of Arts and Sciences, some courses have been drawn from offerings in UB’s Law School and its Graduate School of Education.  At least one elective course (in addition to the two required courses) will be taken by all students in the program.

Graduate Certificate in Canadian Studies

Required total – 15 credit hours of approved graduate study

There are many ways in which the required 15 credit hours can be fulfilled. Below is a summary of the alternative sources of approved credit for the Certificate. A minimum of six hours of coursework in Canadian Studies will be required of all students. The remaining 9 credit hours can be fulfilled in a variety of ways.

Required courses (6 credits):

  • CDN 500 – An Overview of Canadian Studies (3 credit hours)
  • CDN 505 – Canadian-American Relations and Cross-Border Issues (3 credit hours)

Electives (9 credits):

  • At least one 3 credit hour course drawn from the list of affiliated graduate courses;
  • Other graduate courses with appropriate agreement of the instructor and approval of the Program Director;
  • Up to a maximum of 6 credit hours of approved internship experience or a combination of a 3 credit hour internship and an approved 3 credit hour independent study

To become a “candidate” for an Advanced Certificate, please complete and submit the Program of Study form, with appropriate departmental signature, to the Graduate School. This should be submitted to the Graduate School in accordance with regular deadlines for Applications to Candidacy. The deadlines are available here.  The certificate is generated by, and sent out from the Student Response Center, usually 4 – 6 weeks after the conferral date.

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Joint Interdisciplinary M.A. in Canadian-American Studies

Program Description

The Joint Interdisciplinary M.A. in Canadian-American Studies is an interdisciplinary, interfaculty, and international program that provides students an opportunity to consider the interplay between discipline-specific topics and broader issues salient to the Canadian, American, or North American landscape and, in particular, to explore their field of research from both American and Canadian perspectives. Courses and instruction in theory and research methods will equip students to approach their field from an interdisciplinary perspective.

Click here for a list of important dates for students in the program during the 2014-2015 year.

Admission requirements

Successful completion of a Bachelor’s degree or equivalent, in a relevant discipline or interdisciplinary program with a cumulative grade point average of at least 2.8. GRE or other standardized test scores are not required for admission, but if available, they may be included with your application materials.

To be considered for admission to the program, all applicants must submit the following information:

  1. completed application form online;
  2. $75.00 (non-refundable) application fee;
  3. official transcripts (which include your Grade Point Average) from all colleges and universities attended. Have the institution(s) mail an official transcript directly to the Canadian Studies Academic Program, Department of Transnational Studies, 732 Clemens Hall, University at Buffalo – SUNY, Buffalo, NY 14260;
  4. at least three confidential letters of recommendation from persons familiar with your academic work. These can be submitted via the on-line application process, or mailed directly to the Canadian Studies Academic Program, Department of Transnational Studies, 732 Clemens Hall, University at Buffalo – SUNY, Buffalo, NY 14260; FAX:  716-645-5976.

Apply now!

The Graduate Program Committee will review all applications and recommend the admission of a limited number of suitable candidates. Admission decisions for applicants for the Fall semester will be made in the spring of the same year so it is important that your application be complete as soon as possible, but not later than January 15 of the year for which you are applying.

Please note: Since coursework for the degree will be required from both Brock and UB, all students will be required to have and maintain a valid passport or other WHTI-compliant document (an enhanced drivers license, passport card, or NEXUS card) and be eligible to cross the Canada-US border. For more information on this requirement, see:

Degree Requirements

The program offers both thesis and major research paper options. All students are expected to obtain the advance approval of the Program Director for their course of study, and to inform him of any changes or developments as they arise. It is the students’ responsibility to ensure that the Director is fully informed of their intended coursework and progress at all times.

Major Research Paper Option

Students pursuing the major research paper option are required to take 9 three-credit graduate courses including the three required seminars. Approximately half of these courses will be taken on each campus. Students will also complete a three-credit major research paper.

Thesis Option

Students choosing the thesis option will take eight three-credit courses including the three required seminars. In addition to the courses, each student must complete and defend at a public oral examination a thesis (usually of 75-100 pages in length, and which contributes 6 credit hours to their degree).

Students from both campuses who serve as teaching assistants at Brock University will also register in CDN 596 (Supervised Teaching) at the University of Buffalo for a maximum of two semesters.

Language Requirements

Proficiency in a foreign language is strongly recommended but not formally required.

Residence Regulations

The program requires full-time graduate students’ regular presence on campus (with the exception of formally approved absences and leaves). To accommodate teaching assistantships and research projects, graduate students are strongly encouraged to remain in town for the first twelve months of their program. Please see the general graduate studies regulations at the University at Buffalo that specify residency requirements.

Required Courses

CDN 501
Interdisciplinary Methods and Field Research in the Binational Niagara Region (Professor Nick Baxter-Moore, Brock and Professor Munroe Eagles, UB)
Field seminar focused on a binational comparison of some aspect of the cross-border region, providing the necessary theoretical and methodological skills to undertake original fieldwork in the Niagara borderlands region.

CDN 500
An Overview of Canadian Studies (Professor Gregory Betts, Course Director, Brock University)
A multidisciplinary introduction to the study of Canada for graduate students with an emphasis on the interdependence of geography, economy, society, history, and culture and the tension between regional and national identities.

AMS 500
Overview of American Studies (Professsor Cynthia Wu, UB)
Interdisciplinary approaches to the study of “culture” in relations between the United States and other nations.

Optional Recommended Courses

CDN 505
Canadian-American Relations (Professor Eagles, UB)
Examination of general issues in Canadian-American relations, with a special focus on how these play out in the context of the border and its immediate surrounding areas. Popular perceptions of the ‘other’ held by Canadians and Americans, developments associated with the NAFTA and Canada’s future in the new North America.

CDN 506

Critical Multiculturalism – The Canadian Experience (Professor Foster, UB)

The transnational flow of migrants is one of the defining characteristics of modernity, and no country has been more fulsome in its embrace of the resulting phenomenon of multiculturalism than has been Canada.  This course explores the Canadian experience with multiculturalism through the eyes of its supporters and critics.

CDN 420/520
Borderlands – Understanding the Binational Niagara Region (Prof Eagles, UB)
An advanced undergratuate/graduate course examining the development of distinctive identity and shared interests, with particular reference to cross-border regions along the Canadian-American border, comparing the experience of our local binational region with those of others along the Canadian-American border.

CDN 525
Abolitionist Movements and the Underground Railroad (Brock)
A study of the status of Canada as myth, symbol of possibility or “New Canaan,” in literary and historical works from abolitionists, former slaves, historians, and contemporary critics on American cross-border relations and transnationality.

CDN 526
Writing Across Borders (Brock)
Poetry, drama, and fiction written by Canadian and American authors set in the other country, including such authors as Michael Ondaatje, James Houston, Jack London, and Margaret Atwood.

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