Program Description

This program is delivered and administered in collaboration with the UiT The Arctic University of Norway.

The Joint Master of Governance and Entrepreneurship in Northern and Indigenous Areas (GENI) is designed to prepare students in northern and Indigenous communities to take on leadership roles in supporting their communities with economic development by using innovative and entrepreneurial approaches. GENI students will gain competencies in areas including governance, consultation and entrepreneurship.

Mobility is an integrated part of the program. Students are expected to participate in short-term exchanges in the form of field schools, both in Northern Saskatchewan and Northern Norway. Flexible education and online teaching will be a part of all core courses in the program. Through the applied research-based internship, the program will provide students with a unique opportunity to gain work experience from industry, government and Indigenous peoples concerning natural resource management, consultations and negotiations, and economic development or other governance issues in the circumpolar north.

Graduates of the program form an international network that strives to understand the current and future challenges of the north, such as climate change and globalization, and how to best resolve them in ways that strengthen the position of the communities and the peoples of the region.

The program is interdisciplinary and is open to students from a wide variety of educational backgrounds. Students can expect to complete the thesis-based program is three years of full-time study.

Applications are due by March 15, 2019, for August 2019 entry.

Joint Delivery

GENI students register at both the UiT The Arctic University of Norway and the University of Saskatchewan, but are dedicated to one home institution. The home institution has primary academic oversight for their students, and oversees all administrative tasks and responsibilities for these students.

Flexible education will be applied for all of the courses in the program, and students can be located off-campus. The organization of the teaching will depend on the character and content of each course. The type of assessment is specified in each module. The two field schools, in the first and second semester, will create a platform for building a student cohort and preparing for cooperation throughout the program and afterwards.  The program is taught in English over six semesters, and is set up to be a part-time program.

The delivery of the joint program will include:

  • An intensive introduction week of each mandatory course by means of videoconferencing;
  • Two international fields schools;
  • Faculty mobility at the beginning of each student cohort;
  • Co-teaching of courses via videoconferencing, web-based learning and streamed lectures;
  • Reciprocal feedback from the teachers on streamed lectures and videoconferencing;
  • Students produced video clips (interviews with local leaders) made during their internships period;
  • Student panels and colloquiums in connection with student and faculty exchange;
  • Synchronous student and faculty presence assuring immediate student feedback.

All students will be appointed an academic supervisor in the second semester prior to the internship either at University of Tromsø or at University of Saskatchewan. Supervision for the internship and thesis work in the fifth semester is to be given both through (online) seminars and individual supervision.


GENI students are required to complete the following core courses (120 ECTS total or 48 North American credit units).
  • NORD 835 – Communication I: Academic and Professional Writing - NORD 835 introduces students to communications with a focus on professional communications and applied academic research relevant to the Provincial North in Canada, Northern Scandinavia, and other regions of the Circumpolar North. Students will learn the form and function of key professional documents, such as the formal report and the press release, as well as principles of oral communications in a professional environment. Through the experiences and perspectives of a variety of communication specialists from the North, students will also be exposed to communications in a northern environment.
  • NORD 838 - Communication II: Negotiations and Consultation - NORD 838 is an interactive examination of Indigenous consultations and negotiations.  Consultations and negotiations are central to managing relations among Indigenous governments and organizations, municipal, provincial, and federal/central governments, and industry.  This course has three objectives: 1) provide an overview of the state of legal and political environment on consultation, including legal benchmarks arising from court decisions on the duty to consult and accommodate; 2) examine seminal and current research on consultation and negotiations between among Northern actors; and 3) provide applied learning experience through negotiation simulation exercises.
  • NORD 847 – Circumpolar Innovation - NORD 847 examines the manner in which scientific and technological innovation is shaping the Circumpolar world. Nations around the world have identified innovation as being the cornerstone of economic competitiveness and critical to everything from job creation to environmental sustainability.  Comparatively little effort, however, has been made to develop the research capabilities, highly qualified personnel and commercial environments necessary to promote northern economic and social development.  This course looks at the global role of scientific and technological innovation and examines ways in which new technologies and new commercial processes can have a beneficial impact on the North.  
  • NORD 857 – Northern Resource Economics and Policy - NORD 857 explores the economic concepts related to the management of renewable and non-renewable resources in the northern world. Students will examine competing theories in resource and environmental economics and learn to apply analytic models. Students will also compare and contrast international resource policies that enhance their understanding of how resources are distributed and managed, and how different economic and policy regimes contribute to sustainability. This course will have a field school component that will involve international travel.
  • NORD 860/IND-3001 – Internship - The NORD 860 / IND-3001 internship is required in the Joint Master’s Program in Governance and Entrepreneurship in Northern and Indigenous Areas (GENI). The aim of this internship is to prepare students for the thesis work, as well as to build capacity among students by providing experience working with industry, government, indigenous organizations and institutions and other organizations and stakeholders; fostering professional networks; and serving the research needs of northern community organizations and other stakeholders. At the same time, the internship aims to build analytical and communication skills and allow students to apply these skills in a real-life setting.
  • NORD 990 – Graduate Seminar Series - NORD 990 provides professional training and information to students in the Master of Northern Governance and Development program. This course will consist of monthly seminars plus a student research poster presentation.
  • NORD 992 (IND 3901) - Project Thesis - NORD 992, also called IND 3901, will manifest the student's ability to reflect and write independently on Northern governance and indigenous related issues, drawing broadly on the internship, courses and seminars offered in the GENI-program. Students are expected to work on the thesis during the fourth, fifth and sixth semesters, but the process will begin in the second semester with the development of the project idea and the internship. The thesis topic is chosen based on the student’s interest and internship-placement.
  • IND 3002 - Methodology and Planning - As the North becomes increasingly industrialized, the need for skills and knowledge on analysis of policies and government-industry practices will become more pressing. IND-3002 aims to give students the analytical and critical thinking skills to be able to make sense of, explain, and write sound policy analysis on salient issues relevant to Northern communities. This course gives students insight into the methodology for analysis of policy planning and the writing of policy documents. The case examples and focus will be the North and the Arctic.
  • STV 3040 - Northern Governance - STV-3040 will introduce students to theories of governance so they can apply them in the northern context, as well as give them knowledge about different historical experiences of colonization and state integration, and contemporary policies and management of selected circumpolar countries. The course consists of two main parts. The aim of the first, the theoretical and conceptual framework, is to give students necessary tools to analyze different aspects of governance in northern areas. In the second part, the goal is to introduce students to different cases of governance, both to illustrate different aspects of governance and to understand the variety of challenges in Northern areas.

Students are also required by the University of Saskatchewan College of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies to complete:

  • GSR 960 Introduction to Ethics and Integrity (0-credit course) - GSR 960 is a required course for all first year graduate students at the University of Saskatchewan. The purpose of this course is to discuss ethical issues that graduate students may face during their time at the University. All students will complete modules dealing with integrity and scholarship, graduate student-supervisor relationships, conflict of interest, conflict resolution and intellectual property and credit.

International Field School

Student mobility is an essential and integral part of the GENI program. Students are required to participate in two short-term exchanges and field schools with intensive teaching. In addition, students can spend a full semester at the partner institution's campus in their fourth or fifth semester.

There are two scheduled short-term exchanges. The first field school will be integrated into STV 3040 Northern Governance, and will provide an opportunity for students to compare governance challenges in the Circumpolar context, while also learning from the local communities, municipalities, bands and councils in Northern Saskatchewan. The second field school to Northern Norway is an integrated part of the NORD 857 Northern Resource Economics and Policy which explores the economic concepts related to the management of renewable and non-renewable resources in the north. Students will examine competing theories in resource and environmental economics, while being able to experience how theory is actually applied in an Northern context.


This internship will be a venue for students to acquire relevant work experience during the study period and establish useful contacts for future job searches and/or joining professional networks. The duration of the internship is 180 hours, in addition to orientation classes and the research paper.

The goal of the internship is to prepare students for the thesis work, as well as to build capacity among students by:

  • providing experience working with industry, government, indigenous organizations and institutions and other organizations and stakeholders;
  • fostering professional networks; and
  • serving the research needs of northern community organizations and other stakeholders.

At the same time, the internship builds analytical and communication skills and allow students to apply these skills in a real-life setting. The internship is focused on service learning, where students conduct research for a community partner on a question of practical relevance to their organization/company. Students are guided by academic supervisors selected from the University of Tromsø and the University of Saskatchewan.  The students will have their internship in the country of their home institution.  A special request can be made to have it at the partner institution. 

Application Qualifications

  • A four-year undergraduate degree, or equivalent from a recognized college or university in academic fields of the social sciences, law or education,
    OR, a three-year first cycle undergraduate degree, in an academic discipline relevant to the proposed field of study, from an institution that meets the criteria set forth in the Bologna Declaration, will be acceptable as the equivalent of an undergraduate honours degree.
  • A cumulative weighted average of at least 70% (U of S grade system equivalent) in the last two years of full-time study (e.g. 60 credit units U of S equivalent).
  • Proof of English language proficiency may be required for international applicants and for applicants whose first language is not English

Tuition and Scholarships


Students have to follow the tuition and fees applicable to their home institution. 

U of S students: Tuition fees are in line with similar graduate programs at the U of S – $1,379 for domestic and $2,178.82 for international students. Students who complete the program on schedule will complete their degree in 3 years of part-time study, on average. Please visit the College of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies for more information about International Student Tuition and Fees.

UiT Students: For 2015, the semester fee is NOK 500.


The Johnson Shoyama Graduate School offers some scholarships for qualified students to cover a portion of their tuition costs. Scholarships will be awarded to students based on academic standing.

In addition to potential funding from the school, there are scholarships and awards available for students from the University of Saskatchewan.


No. During the first year of the program, you will need to attend two week-long field schools (one in Northern Norway and one in Northern Saskatchewan). Throughout the three year program, there will likely be occasional on-campus seminars for you to attend. The coursework is, in general, all available online but a reliance on online courses may limit the variety of electives you have to choose from in your second year.

In order to be accepted into the GENI program, you need a bachelor’s degree in social science, law or education. Degrees in natural science and business are not, in general, sufficient. If you feel your experience might make you eligible without one of these degrees, please feel free to contact us with the specifics of your case.

Applicants with Higher Education Entrance Qualification (GSK) from a Norwegian High School are exempt from the University of Saskatchewan’s English-language proficiency requirements. An applicant with a three-year degree from an eligible English-language institution may also be exempt (see uSask requirements).

The student internship takes place in Spring/Summer of the first year. The research generally takes place in the country of your home institution, though other arrangements can be made on a case-by-case basis. The internship is a collaboration between a host, academic supervisor and the student. The host may be a business, an organization, a governmental body, a northern community or some other institution. Students are usually required to spend approximately two days to two weeks on site doing primary research, including interviews. The internship is a consultation process, in which the student works on an issue that the host has identified as a priority.

The project thesis starts in the second year, and continues through the third year. Students develop a topic in conjunction with their supervisors, often building on the research completed in their internship. The resulting paper is expected to be between 10 – 12 000 words (35-40 pages).

No. Your research may extend beyond those two countries, but it should focus on Indigenous peoples in the circumpolar/geographic north, (eg. Northern Europe, Northern Asia, Northern Canada and Alaska)

Student fees and tuition differ between campuses.

USask tuition and fees and funding information can be found on their website. Scholarships to cover tuition costs are available to eligible applicants with uSask as their home institution.

At UiT, students are required to pay only minimal student fees and many costs (including the field schools) are covered by the program.

Course delivery methods are the prerogative of course instructors. Some prefer to organize the courses so that students communicate entirely in writing (via educational websites), whereas others prefer a mix of pre-recorded lectures and live video-conferencing seminars.

As such, a relatively high-speed internet connection and quality microphones are important to facilitate video-conferencing.

Because of the time difference between students in Saskatchewan and Norway, there are limited options for scheduling seminars involving all students. Depending on where you live, video-conferencing seminars and other meetings usually take place either in the early morning (Saskatchewan/Central Standard Time) or in the late afternoon (Norway/Central European Time).

Students usually take between 5-7 graduate level courses each year. Students are encouraged not to try to attempt the program while engaged in full-time employment.

Past students following the standard course plan have found that they needed spend an average of 20 hours per week on their studies, including class time.

For a variety of reasons, students may wish to complete the GENI program at a pace different from the standard course schedule. We hope to develop a standardized schedule for students to complete the program as full-time students in two years instead of three. In the meantime, your host institutions are willing to work with you to find ways to increase or decrease your course load. We will do our best to balance your personal needs with the requirements of the program and foster your success as a student.

Contact Us

For further information, please contact:

Emmy Neuls
Specialist, International Graduate Programs and Circumpolar Outreach
Johnson Shoyama Graduate School of Public Policy
University of Saskatchewan campus
Phone: 306-966-1380

NOTE: If you require student support for the joint Master of Governance and Entrepreneurship in Northern and Indigenous Areas, please email: 

Jonathan Crossen
GENI Coordinator
Centre for Sami Studies, Faculty of Humanities, Social Sciences and Education
UiT The Arctic University of Norway