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Department of History

History has been defined as the "memory of human group experience" because it brings the student into contact with the whole range of human effort and achievement. Its objective is to recreate the past from the evidence left to us, and to try to explain how and why human beings spoke, acted, and thought as they did in the past. Although history must always deal with the "facts" of societies, it is even more concerned with explaining and illuminating them.

The program is centred broadly on the history of "Atlantic Civilization" -- the historical development of Europe and the Americas. The courses aim to provide both a broad exposure to the history of the Atlantic World, and more specialized work in the history of various regions and countries.

The Department also offers courses in the practice and the craft of history.

For more information about the History program's admission requirements and a complete list of courses, please visit the History program page using the link on the right of this page. 

Mission Statement

The University of Prince Edward Island, founded on a tradition of liberal education, exists to encourage and assist people to acquire the skills, knowledge, and understanding necessary for critical and creative thinking, and thus prepare them to contribute to their own betterment and that of society through the development of their full potential.

Edward MacDonald
(902) 894-2805

Photo by dalbera, used under Creative Commons.

Department of Fine Arts

Fine Arts (Art History) examines the role of the visual arts in the development of human society. Fine Arts attempts to understand the nature of art, its origins and evolution, and the role it plays in various civilizations. 

While the task of the artist is the creation of works of art, that of the art historian is their systematic study, analyzing and understanding the products of creative expression. Studies of the Fine Arts can involve the examination of economic, social, and political issues; problems of patronage, taste, style, and iconography; and questions of literary influence, philology, philosophy, psychology, and religion. At the same time, how works of art are made, their conservation and/or restoration, and theories of perception or optics are also investigated. The study of Fine Arts helps to enhance our aesthetic awareness and our ability to "see" and describe, and to search for new meanings and explore new ideas in our environment. 

The Department of Fine Arts offers a range of art history courses, especially Western art, from ancient times to the present. The Art History courses concentrate on the study of architecture, sculpture, painting, and minor/decorative arts.

Janos Fedak
Fine Arts
(902) 566-0406

UPEI Environmental Society

UPEI's Environmental Society is made up of students from all walks of life - we get together to brainstorm some awesome, fun ways to promote environmental awareness and sustainable living on campus. What’s great about the Environmental Society is that you can be from any faculty, any department, any year and feel welcome. 

Why should I want to be part of this society?

If you are concerned about how the planet is going to be able to sustain its seven billion+ human inhabitants, the Environmental Society is for you! We are a group of students interested in improving the environmental stewardship and awareness at the University of PEI. We are always looking for new members and ideas. Check us out here!

About Environmental Studies

The minor in Environmental Studies at UPEI aims to equip students to integrate an understanding of the environment with other academic fields and their personal life. The key words to describe Environmental Studies are knowledge integration, leadership, and impact.

Knowledge integration

We offer you a truly interdisciplinary and multidisciplinary liberal arts and sciences approach to the theory, research, and practice of environmental studies. You have the opportunity to take courses offered in sixteen different departments and across faculties of Arts, Science, Education and Business.


Individualized attention from faculty and close connections with governments and community groups allow you to truly get involved in real-world issues. In the classroom, in the field and in the community, our program is aimed toward helping you explore your ability to lead the way toward finding environmental solutions.


Through active learning assignments, special courses, directed studies, internships, public environmental forums, and many other opportunities, you will be laying the foundation to make a positive impact toward sustainability in your personal life and career.


  1. Take ENV 201 early. Students wishing to minor in Environmental Studies are encouraged to enroll in Environmental Studies 201 as early as possible.
  2. Watch for extra courses offerings. Some Special Topics courses, summer courses, or courses on environmental themes offered in another department could be eligible for credit toward the Environmental Studies minor if approved by the Director of Environmental Studies.
  3. Prerequisites: Since several recognized ES courses are offered across a number of departments, many students may not have the required prerequisites for particular courses. We encourage such students to consult directly with the instructors of these courses to seek their permission to enroll. Instructors may choose to accept alternative prerequisites that are judged to provide the student with sufficient background preparation for the course.

Graduate Studies in Environment

There are a number of options available for anyone wishing to pursue graduate studies at UPEI that have environmental themes:

Carolyn Peach Brown
Environmental Studies
(902) 620-5066

Student Symposium

Make an Impact! The Special Topics Student Environmental Studies Symposium course is an opportunity for students to facilitate a public forum to raise awareness and discussion about a contemporary environmental issue. This unique course will focus on students planning and running a one day symposium about a relevant environmental issue of their choice.

It will provide an opportunity for active and collaborative learning as students dialogue with important stakeholders engaged in real world issues from government, the private sector and civil society.

Through the process of organizing this symposium, students will deepen their knowledge of the complex nature of environmental issues and the challenges in finding sustainable solutions. Practical outcomes of the course include the development of critical thinking and writing skills, as well as organizational, communication and team-building skills.  The first information and organizational meeting will take place September 6. 2012, 4 – 5:30 pm, location TBA. Register for ENV 409B in the Fall semester. For more details contact Carolyn Peach Brown, Director at

To see some photos and a video from last year's symposium, see the following links.

Symposium Photos




Carolyn Peach Brown
Environmental Studies
(902) 620-5066

Department of Environmental Studies

As an interdisciplinary liberal arts and science program, students in the Environmental Studies Minor program have the opportunity to take courses in 16 different departments across the faculties of Arts, Science, Education and Business. Our close connection with the island community enables students to explore the relationship between classroom theory and action, and between environmental issues and their context, in seeking to develop sustainable solutions. The Master of Arts in Island Studies and the new Masters and PhD in the Environmental Sciences provide opportunities to do personal research that helps to understand and address the increasingly complex environmental challenges that our world faces.

For more information, please visit the Faculty of Science Environmental Studies page. For course listings and admission requirements, visit the Environmental Studies program page using the link on the right.

Dr. Carolyn Peach Brown
Program Coordinator

Carolyn Peach Brown
Environmental Studies
(902) 620-5066

Theatre Studies Minor

Theatrical performance is one of the most significant art forms in the history of civilization; it exemplifies the connection between Art and people. Unlike most forms of studied literature, dramatic literature is intended to be performed for and experienced by an audience. As a result, Dramatic literature exists between scholarly and practical realms. It requires the acquisition of both analytic and practical skills. UPEI’s Minor in Theatre Studies offers students the opportunity to develop their analytic, practical, and creative skills required for theatrical production. The Minor in Theatre Studies provides students with foundational skills on which they can pursue their interest in the Theatre, or any area of study.

Visit our Theatre Studies at UPEI website to find out about auditions, see photos of past shows, and find out how to get involved.

Visit the Theatre Studies program page to obtain requirements and complete course descriptions for the Minor in Theatre Studies.

Dr. Greg Doran
Theatre Studies
(902) 566-6013

Department of English

Welcome to UPEI's English department. If you are a person who loves to read, you've come to the right place. We have several degree options. Each offers strong preparation for further studies in a wide variety of areas.

The Major in English provides intensive study through reading, writing, and lively conversation. Explore the world through fiction, drama, film, poetry, non-fiction, and memoir. Enhance your ability to think about, understand, and interact with our increasingly complex society. Gain a richly diverse knowledge of how language and literature have been shaping, and continue to shape, human experience and culture.

The Minor in English is designed for those of you who want to enhance another major or wish to clear a space for literature and language studies in your lives. We also welcome anyone who wants to sample a course here and there, staying in touch with familiar writers and discovering new ones.

The Honours degree is for those who want to extend a thorough grounding in English language or literature by developing an area of independent study through a scholarly or creative writing Honours project.

As well as the place for all things literary, the English department is home to the University Writing and Theatre Studies Programs. You will also find creative writing workshops and linguistics courses here.

Our faculty is creative, dynamic, and student-centred, with a passionate dedication to innovative research and to teaching excellence. In fact, many of us have received national, regional, and local teaching awards that recognize our commitment to our students. Every English major and Honours student, and every English interested minor, is matched with a faculty mentor who will help guide you through your program. The English department is known for its profs' open doors, and for the mentoring relationships that develop and enrich the student experience. If you'd like to know more about what we do and what we offer, drop by the Department to chat with any one of us. You also can learn more about our courses below, by reading the Department's Calendar Supplement, which is updated annually and available on the right of this page, or by clicking on the link to department site on the right.

Studies in English language and literature will help you thrive—in your university experience and in your personal life.

Dr. Greg Doran, Chair

Tracy Manning
(902) 566-0389

Department of Economics

Economics belongs to the branch of knowledge known as the "Social Sciences." The social sciences deal with both intergenerational and intra-generational interactions between human beings in a society.

Human activities can, of course, be studied from many different perspectives. We could look at humans as political, psychological, historical, or economic beings. A political scientist, for example, would analyze the political activities of the people while an economist would examine activities related to their livelihood. Human beings, in order to fulfil their innate desire for food and shelter, engage in activities that lead them to the production of goods such as food, clothing, and housing, as well as services. These acts of production and consumption to satisfy human wants form the very basis of the subject matter of Economics. Perhaps observing people engaged in this pursuit, Alfred Marshall defined economics as "a study of mankind in the ordinary business of life."

Since the ordinary business of life involves the use of limited natural and human-made resources (capital), people have always been interested in making the best possible use of these resources. This efficient use of resources has been the underlying theme in economics. Hence, the most succinct definition of economics would be that economics deals with the efficient utilization of scarce resources to satisfy human wants. Scarcity gives legitimacy to economics. If there is no scarcity, there is no economic problem.

The discipline of Economics is built upon two strands of theory: Microeconomic Theory and Macroeconomic Theory. Microeconomic deals with the study of individual units in an economy, such as consumers, producers, and the interaction of these units in a given market structure. Macroeconomic theory, on the other hand, deals with the economy as a whole. Here we analyze the problems related to unemployment, growth, inflation, and the balance of payments.

Most of the other courses in Economics are applied courses which use the concepts of Microeconomic Theory and/ or Macroeconomic Theory. An understanding of the relationship between these two theory courses and other fields in economics is usually helpful in planning your selection of courses.

For application and admission information and detailed course descriptions, please visit the Economics program page using the link on the right of this page.  

Jim Sentance


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