Program Description

Admission for the MNGD program has been suspended for the 2019/20 academic year, and no further intakes are planned for the program.

The Master of Northern Governance and Development (MNGD) is an interdisciplinary program that offers northern-based students a unique opportunity to complete a project-based degree focused on northern issues. The program includes a combination of coursework, an internship, a 10-day international field school and a five-day Northern Saskatchewan field school.

MNGD students will have an opportunity to implement research methodologies (including Indigenous methodologies) for community-based research related to northern governance and/or development, and will gain insight on:

  • Political, social and cultural contexts of communications in the North, including a better comprehension of media, corporate and community stakeholders.
  • Conceptual, theoretical, methodological, ethical and political issues of relevance for public policy and program planning, analysis and evaluation.
  • Scientific and technological innovations and the potential for such developments for northern and remote regions, including a better comprehension of barriers to development and successful initiatives in the circumpolar world.

Designed to be completed over two years of full-time study (24 months), students can also complete the program on a part-time basis.

The program has supports in place so that applicants may remain in their home communities while completing the program. Lectures are available via video-conferencing, onsite teaching and online learning (blended delivery method).

The MNGD program works in partnership with northern and Aboriginal communities, industry and government on economic development and governance issues in Northern Saskatchewan. At the completion of the program, graduates will be able to successfully lead northern development in Saskatchewan and elsewhere.


MNGD students are required to complete 24 credit units, consisting of 8 core courses.
  • NORD 836 – Strategic Communication for Northern Development - NORD 836 introduces students to communications with a focus on professional communications and applied academic research relevant to the Provincial North in Saskatchewan and Canada. 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 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 – Internship - NORD 860 provides students an opportunity to conduct applied research for a northern community organization, industry, or government. Based on consultation with northern communities and organizations, a series of well-defined internships will be developed and assigned to each student. The goal of the internship is for students to engage in practical research and discovery around critical issues in Northern governance and development while developing confidence, capacity, and skills in professional leadership, research and evaluation.
  • 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 – Project - NORD 992 requires students to write a research paper of 10,000 to 12,000 words based on original research carried out within Northern and Aboriginal communities during the NORD 850 internship. The research paper is the final component of the program.
  • POLS 855 – Topics in Northern Governance - POLS 855 examines issues of Northern governance, politics, and policies within a Circumpolar comparative perspective. This course explores diverse topics such as regional governance, devolution, co-management, self-government and land claims, resource development, Arctic sovereignty, climate change, and international cooperation. Students will gain an understanding of the key issues facing the Canadian and Circumpolar North in the 21st century.
  • POLS 858 – Policy Planning and Evaluation in Northern Communities - POLS 858 provides students with an overview of various conceptual, theoretical, methodological, ethical, and political issues of relevance for policy and program planning, analysis and evaluation. This course also provides students with an opportunity to produce documents that are commonly used for policy and program planning, analysis and evaluation in the governmental and non-governmental sectors in northern communities. Students will critically analyze policy issues, make policy presentations, and create policy documents.

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

The International Field School offers MNGD students insight into the challenges and opportunities of governance and development in another part of the Northern Circumpolar world. In the past, students have travelled to:

The field school is a fully-funded international field school experience. Students spend 10 days in a northern region outside Canada engaging in a series of academic and guest lectures, meetings with key industry officials, and applied research exploration. Students spend approximately half their time inside the classroom and the remainder of their time meeting community stakeholders and exploring the region. In previous field schools, students have toured a mine, fished for ice crabs, visited a world famous snow hotel, and observed reindeer herds in their natural habitat.


Every student in the MNGD program completes an internship within industry, government or another employment sector with northern applicability. In keeping with the policy needs of the North, the research covers a diverse range of topics, which fall into one of the following five overarching research areas:

  • Governance
  • Innovation and Entrepreneurship
  • Resource Development and Environmental Management
  • Capacity Building, and
  • Health and Social Development.

Overall, the internships comprise one of the largest, student-led research projects focused on northern issues, titled By the North with the North: Community Building in Northern Saskatchewan.This program feature benefits more than the students; it’s a cost-effective means of building northern research capacity.

Application Qualifications

Applicants must have completed a four-year honours degree, or equivalent, from a recognized college or university in an academic discipline relevant to the proposed field of study. A cumulative weighted average of at least 70% (U of S grade system equivalent) in the last two years of study (i.e. 60 credit units) is required for admissions consideration.

Northern residents have priority for admission.

Admissions for the MNGD program have been suspended for the 2017-18 academic year.

Funding and Tuition


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.


Tuition fees are in line with similar graduate programs at the U of S – $1,379 for domestic and $2,178.82 for international studentsStudents who complete the program on schedule will complete their degree in 2 ½ years of part-time study, on average.

Tuition and fees are subject to change. Should there be a discrepancy between the information posted on the institution's website and information posted on the Johnson Shoyama Graduate School of Public Policy website, the institution website should be viewed as accurate.

Contact Us

For further information, please contact:

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

NOTE: If you require student support for the Masters of Northern Governance and Development, please email: