Overview
Understanding the world's small islands

Island Studies is an interdisciplinary 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 Island Studies program has three primary goals:

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

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.

Declaring a Minor

Current students can declare a minor in this program through their myUPEI account.

Course Structure
Minor in Island Studies

A minor in Island Studies consists of twenty-one (21) semester hours of credit taken from the list of approved courses, and including Island Studies 2010. Among the elective courses, students must complete at least two courses (six semester hours) specific to Prince Edward Island and at least two courses (six semester hours) which are comparative. Students intending to complete a minor in Island Studies are encouraged to complete Island Studies 2010 early in their course of studies. Students minoring in Island Studies must choose at least 4 courses in subject areas other than those in which they are majoring.

Electives

Prince Edward Island Courses

 

  • Biology 2220 - General Ecology
  • Biology 3270 – Field Coastal Ecology
  • Biology 3910 – Marine Biology
  • Economics 2420 – The Economics of Tourism
  • English 3310 - Literature of Atlantic Canada
  • Environmental Studies 1010 - Introduction to Environmental Studies
  • Environmental Studies 2310- Island Environmental Histories 
  • History 3310 - History of PEI - Pre-Confederation
  • History 3320 - History of PEI - Post Confederation
  • History 4890 - 20th Century PEI
  • Modern Languages 4430 - Culture et litterateur Acadiennes I
  • Philosophy 3710 - Community-based Inquiry in Agriculture and Globalization
  • Political Science 2020 - The Politics and Government of Prince Edward Island

 

Comparative Courses

 

  • Acadian Studies 2010 - Introduction to Acadian Studies
  • Anthropology 3320 - Knowledge and Culture
  • Biology 4520 - Biogeography and Macroecology
  • Business 3730 - Tourism Management
  • Business 4550 - Sustainable Tourism Development
  • Economics 2120 - Regional Economics
  • Economics 3310 - International Trade
  • Economics 3410 - Economic Development Theory
  • Education 4630 - Culture and Society in Education
  • English 3420 - Fiction from Ireland
  • Environmental Studies 3340 - Environmental Stresses on Island Communities
  • Environmental Studies 4110 - Environmental Governance and International Relations
  • History 2310-2320 - The Atlantic Region
  • Latin American Studies 2120 - Mexico and the Caribbean
  • Philosophy 2030 - Environmental Philosophy
  • Political Science 2820 - Introduction to International Politics
  • Political Science 2330 - Political Geography
  • Political Science 3620 - Comparative Politics of Latin America and the Caribbean
  • Political Science 4140 - Public Policy in small Island Jurisdictions
  • Political Science 4450 - Political Economy of East and Southeast Asia
  • Sociology/Anthropology 2420 - Peoples of Oceania
  • Sociology/Anthropology 3740 - Tourism

Notes

  1. Other courses not specifically focused on islands may, with prior approval of the instructor, the Co-ordinator of Island Studies, and the Dean of Arts, be credited toward an Island Studies minor. In such a case, the students will complete substantial individual work on topics related to islands.
  2. Students minoring in Island Studies must choose at least 4 courses in subject areas other than those in which they are majoring.
  3. Students who have taken ENV-4110 for credit cannot take IST-6190 for credit.
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