Interested in learning more about our online GENI program? Why not connect with our program manager to learn about the flexible delivery option and the application process.

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, policy, 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 project, 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 four years of part-time study or two-year full-time study.

uarctic_endorsed_logo_horizontal_cmyk.pngDID YOU KNOW: The GENI program is endorsed by UArctic, an international cooperative network with an interest in promoting education and research in the Arctic region.

Joint Delivery

GENI students register at both the UiT The Arctic University of Norway and the University of Saskatchewan (USask), 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 eight semesters, and is set up to be a part-time program. There is also a full time option over two years.

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 third semester prior to the applied research project either at UiT The Arctic University of Norway or at University of Saskatchewan. Supervision for the applied research project and thesis work is to be given both through (online) seminars and individual supervision.


GENI students are required to complete the following 11 core courses and 1-course elective (120 ECTS total or 48 North American credit units).

USask Courses

UiT Courses

In addition to the core courses, GENI students must choose one elective course worth at least two credit units or five ECTS. Electives must be chosen with the approval of the program administration.

Additional Program Requirements

For detailed information regarding the program and courses, please refer to the Study Plan 2020

International Field School

Student mobility is an essential and integral part of the GENI program. Students are required to participate in two short-term field schools with intensive teaching and site-visits to communities, businesses and organizations. In addition, students are provided with an opportunity to spend a full semester at the partner institution's campus.

The first field school will be integrated into NORD 990 the GENI Seminars series, and will provide an opportunity for students to learn about contemporary issues in the Circumpolar context, while also learning from the local communities, bands, businesses, organizations and knowledge keepers 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 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 a northern context.


In September 2019, graduate students in the GENI program travelled to northern Saskatchewan as part of their five-day field school. Throughout their journey, students journaled personal reflections of their experiences in the communities of La Ronge, Pinehouse, and Ile-a-la-Crosse. The personal reflections were recorded into a series of short videos, and these have been shared with the hosting communities as a sign of gratitude, respect and appreciation. With their support, the videos are now being shared widely to show the resilience and strength of northern Saskatchewan.

The Role of Language
Community-Based Education
Innovation and Opportunity in the North

Applied Research Projects

The goal of the Applied Research Project is for students to learn community based project development and knowledge discovery. The project topic is in relation to issues identified as important to the prosperity of the community and significant to northern governance and sustainable development. It is anticipated that as graduate learners, students will develop confidence, capacity, and skills in project management, inter-professional collaboration, leadership, critical analyses and knowledge mobilization.

In addition to gaining knowledge and developing skills, students also build capacity 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.

Collectively, the Applied Research Project will demonstrate a breadth and diversity of northern-focused concepts that challenge students to be creative and innovative. The graduate programs delivered by JSGS provide students with course content and data in areas that are core to the work of the GENI program: Governance; Innovation and Entrepreneurship; Resource Development and Environmental Management; Capacity Building and Health and Social Development.

Students are guided by academic supervisors selected from the UiT The Arctic University of Norway and the University of Saskatchewan. In addition, they will have a community supervisors that will is a leader and well-known member of the community or organization in which the project will be conducted. The community supervisor will assist students to navigate through the complexities of the region/corporation to meet the intents of the applied research project.

The students will have their applied research projects in the country of their home institution.  A special request can be made to have it at the partner institution. 

Interested in learning about the Applied Research Projects conducted by our students?
Click here for Day 1 and Day 2 of our Applied Research Project Showcase!

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. Special exemptions can be made for Norwegian applicants.

The GENI Admission team will contact applicants that are shortlisted for an interview. 

Tuition and Scholarships


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

USask students: The GENI program has a special tuition rate at the University of Saskatchewan. For the 2022/23 academic year, the total cost of the program is $27,560.00. 

Student Fees

GENI students will be required to pay student fees at both institutions.

USask Student Fee: All GENI students are required to pay USask Off-Campus student fees. For 2022/23 the amount is $56.83 for each of the Fall and Winter terms and $17.50 for each of the Spring and Summer terms. For updated fees and amounts, please check the Graduate Studies Tuition and Fees page.

UiT Fee: All GENI students are required to pay a UiT student fee of 625 NOK each semester (i.e. twice a year) to the Arctic Student Welfare Organization. Payments must be completed before you can register for classes. For updated fees and amounts, please check the UiT Student Cost site.


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.


Students registered in the GENI program can expect their online courses to proceed as expected.

JSGS and UiT have not yet made decisions regarding upcoming in-person field schools. That said, JSGS and UiT will offer the field school in a virtual format if neither institution recommends international travel due to COVID-19.

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 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 order to be accepted into the GENI program, a preferred bachelor’s degree in social science, law or education. Degrees in natural science, business, engineering or related fields are in general not sufficient. However, a combination of education and 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 applied research project takes place in Spring/Summer of the second 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 applied research project 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. The applied research project 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 third year, and continues through the fourth year. Students develop a topic in conjunction with their supervisors, often building on the research completed in their applied research project. The resulting paper is expected to be between 12 000-15 000 words (40-45 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 learning platforms), 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.

Contact Us

For further information, please contact:

Emmy Stavøstrand Neuls
Manager, Graduate Programs (Distance), GENI and Online MPA
Johnson Shoyama Graduate School of Public Policy
University of Saskatchewan campus
Phone: 306-966-1380

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