North American Studies

North American Studies Certificate

I. Certificate Description

The Undergraduate Certificate in North American Studies is an inter-disciplinary 18-hour program of studies focusing on the three primary countries of North America: Canada, Mexico and the United States. Three core areas analyze relations among the North American countries, history, and geography. Students have options from several disciplines to fulfill the remaining requirement for three specialized courses, including History, Modern Languages, Political Science, International Relations, Interdisciplinary Social Sciences and Religious Studies.

II. Background

The Jack D. Gordon Institute for Public Policy and Citizenship Studies was part of a multi-year collaborative program funded through the governments of Canada, Mexico and the United States. This project’s lead institutions were the University of Texas at El Paso (UTEP), Carleton University in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada and Centro de Investigación y Docensia Económicas (CIDE) in Mexico City; partner institutions: Florida International University (FIU), University of Alberta in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada, and Universidad Autónoma de Nuevo León (UANL) in Monterrey, Nuevo León, Mexico.

The primary purpose of this program was to help students study at partner universities in other countries. We met the program’s goal of supporting the travel of seven FIU students.

Another part of this program was to establish courses on North America in each of the partner institutions. CPO 4047, The Politics of North American Cooperation was developed through the Department of Politics and International Relations and the Gordon Institute developed ISS 4284, North American Integration. A course, Canadian Government, Politics and Policy is under development.

The Undergraduate Certificate in North American Studies further fulfills our goal and fills a gap within the FIU curriculum. This certificate will help students widen their horizons, learn about other countries and cultures, and analyze the intricate relationships of trade and migration. Immigration debates are rampant and have significant impact on our closest North American neighbors, which are also our most significant trading partners.

III. Required credits

To fulfill certificate requirements 18 credit hours (6 courses) must be completed with a grade of ‘C’ or higher. Three core course areas and three specialized courses are required. A Bachelor’s degree must have been completed for the certificate to be awarded to a student.

IV. Certificate Coordinating Committee (members and their departments)

Barry Levitt, Department of Politics & International Relations and Maria del Mar Logrono Narbona, Department of History