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Master of Arts in Island Studies

The Master of Arts in Island Studies (MAIS) at the University of Prince Edward Island is a unique, interdisciplinary, and policy-driven graduate program that critiques islands on their own terms.

The program welcomes students from around the world. They come out of undergraduate programs from diverse disciplinary backgrounds and diverse degrees, or with professional workplace experience in the public, private, or resource sectors.

The program offers a challenging opportunity for students

  • with a special interest in researching islands: their societies, economies, histories, cultures, governments, geographies, and environments
  • an interest in public policy and administration
  • career aspirations within local, regional, national, and international governmental and non-governmental organizations
  • career aspirations in the private and resource sectors
  • a desire for the challenge of graduate education

Students may adopt a comparative approach to study islands or explore a topic or issue that is crucial to one island. Either way, the program will prepare students with the practical research skills and knowledge they need to succeed in a world increasingly defined by interconnections and interactions among peoples and regions. Read about what our graduates say about the program.

Students will

  • study in small classes at the world’s top island studies university, hosting an Institute of Island Studies, a Canada Research Chair in Island Studies, and the internationally peer-reviewed Island Studies Journal — all located in one of North America’s most picturesque island jurisdictions
  • benefit from grants and research assistantships made available to students by faculty
  • be considered for many scholarships and awards, including entrance scholarships and donor-based awards (
  • participate in a challenging scholarly and interdisciplinary environment, with expert professors based at UPEI or visiting from other parts of the world The program involves six taught courses (three hours per week for twelve weeks) and a thesis under supervision (spread over three academic terms).

Tuition, fees, and other costs for both Canadian and international students can be found at

"We are headed toward understanding the whole planet as a world of islands..."

— David Quammen, Song of the Dodo

Master of Arts in Island Studies Program Brochure

Jim Randall
Program Coordinator
Faculty of Arts
(902) 620-5013
Contact UPEI