Arctic and Northern Studies

Study climate change, coastal erosion and other critical issues of the circumpolar North at America’s Arctic university

The fully online* master’s degree in Arctic and Northern studies brings together experts in history, political science, Alaska Native studies, anthropology, English and geography to offer you an educational experience you won’t find anywhere else in the world. You can also focus your degree in Arctic Politics and Policy or pursue an individualized concentration based on your specific research interests.

*select concentrations only

Who Is the Online Master’s Degree in Arctic and Northern Studies Designed For?

The Arctic is warming twice as fast as the rest of the world and communities are already experiencing the devastating effects of coastal erosion, sea ice melt, crumbling infrastructure resulting from melting permafrost, and the most destructive wildfires on record, while toxins accumulate within their traditional foods. This unique program is designed for students who want to tackle these important challenges, living and working in the North. It’s also a great option for students who enjoy cross-disciplinary research and learning, and are interested in careers that directly impact people and communities.

Why Earn Your Online Master’s Degree in Arctic and Northern Studies at UAF?

  • Study at the premier research institution in the circumpolar North, with access to resources you won’t find anywhere else in the world.
  • Choose coursework that complements and supports your research interests. Our students have chosen wide-ranging topics including Arctic shipping, Indigenous histories, oil and gas corporate social responsibility, sexual and domestic violence in the North, and much more.
  • Take part in opportunities such as the Model Arctic Council (MAC) program, a collaborative experiential learning exercise that simulates the work of the Arctic Council bringing together students from throughout the circumpolar North and beyond.
  • Learn from award-winning faculty recognized for excellence in teaching, research and public service.

Degree Type

  • Graduate Degree


  • Online

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Get Started on Your Online Arctic and Northern Studies Degree

Finding a way to balance school and family life was a crucial part of my search for a graduate program. The online option of the Arctic and Northern Studies MA program was an immediate draw for me. I had been looking for a strong program I could complete from home while still caring for my three children. The ACNS program has more than exceeded my expectations. Over three semesters in the ACNS graduate program at UAF, every single class I have taken has offered a rigorous and challenging educational experience. I am thrilled that the online ACNS program has allowed me the opportunity to pursue my academic goals within a flexible schedule that works for me.

Elizabeth Klemm

Research assistant for Arctic & Northern Studies, UAF

Online Classes at UAF

At UAF, online courses typically do not have set meeting times but do have weekly deadlines. While there are some standard practices, each course is designed by the instructor to best teach the material. Most courses run the full length of the 16-week semester.