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Island Studies

Island Studies is an interdisciplinary Minor program designed to promote an understanding of selected features of the world's small islands, including their geographies, ecologies, cultures, political systems, histories, and societies.

The program has three primary goals:

  • to engage students in an emerging, international academic discussion of islands' distinctive characteristics, challenges, and opportunities
  • to study Prince Edward Island as a specific example of an island bearing these characteristics and playing out these challenges and opportunities
  • to study islands in a comparative and international framework

For application and admission information and complete course descriptions, please visit the Island Studies Minor program page using the link on the right of this page.

Prince Edward Islanders may call PEI "the Island," but they know that their island shares the world's seas with many small islands. Each sea-bound stretch of land faces its own particular challenges, but international discussions among the world's island peoples continue to reveal many characteristics that islands share.

The interdisciplinary Minor in Island Studies at the University of Prince Edward Island allows students to study some of the specific characteristics of islands. Some courses focus on one island — Prince Edward Island — but that one island is understood within an international, comparative framework, among other small islands whose differences and similarities offer limitless lessons.

Lessons from small islands come from many disciplines — from geography, sociology, education, and political studies; from biology and physics; from English and history. As an interdisciplinary program, UPEI's Minor in Island Studies encourages students to make critical connections among studies from diverse fields to expand their knowledge of islands.

The University of Prince Edward Island is uniquely placed to offer Canada's only Minor in Island Studies. The University already houses the Institute of Island Studies, one of the world's leading small islands research and public policy institutes. The academic program in Island Studies balances the University's traditional strength in researching and teaching Prince Edward Island topics with its increasing reputation for advancing international island studies.

Jim Randall, PhD
Program Coordinator
Faculty of Arts
(902) 620-5013
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