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Immigration and Settlement Studies (MA)


This innovative program explores immigration trends, policies and programs in Canada from multi-disciplinary perspectives. Available in full- and part-time study options, this program is offered in a city with a 46 percent immigrant population. Catering to research- and professionally-oriented students, the program prepares graduates for careers in the community, government and private sectors, as well as further academic pursuits.

Degree awarded: MA

Administered by: Yeates School of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies

Immigration and Settlement graduate program website

 (PDF file) Immigration and Settlement graduate program calendar 2023-24


Course Code Degree Requirements: Master of Arts Credits


Major Research Paper



Seminar and Field Placement



The Cdn Immigration Experience



Settlemnt Experience in Canada



Imm Law Policy Politics Pract



Research Methods



Three credits from Elective List



Course code Course title Credits


Equity for Newcomers: Schools



Changing Multicult Mosaic: GTA



Immigrants' Voices in Cdn Lit



The Economics of Immigration



Glbl Migration & Pop Movements



Women Immigration & Settlement



Imm Fams & Intergenerat Rltns



Law Enforcement in Cdn Imm Sys



Issues of Aging in Settlement



Race and Racialization



Refugee Issues



Immigration and Health



Multicultural Cities – Planning Plcy



Migration and Language



Migration and Identities



Directed Study



Western Muslims and Liberalism



Major Research Paper (MRP)
As a capstone project, students will conduct specialized research on a topic of their choice. A draft proposal for this topic will be developed through the required course IS8904 - Research Methods. The MRP research and writing will be conducted under supervision of a faculty member selected by the student. The MRP will be evaluated by the supervisor and a second reader, and will involve an oral review. This is a “Milestone”. Pass/Fail

IS8100 Seminar and Field Placement
This course prepares students to complete a 150-hour field placement at an organization engaged in immigration or settlement policy or programs, allowing students to link classroom learning to work experience. During the Winter term, students attend presentations by practitioners on policy, service delivery, and advocacy. Typically, students complete their placement during the Spring/Summer term. Post-placement, students share their placement experiences at a symposium and submit a reflective report on their personal and professional learning. Pass/Fail

IS8901 The Canadian Immigration Experience
This course examines the Canadian immigration experience as an interplay of government policy towards newcomers, and the lives immigrants have made for themselves through migration. Key themes explored in the Canadian approaches to immigrant admission and integration include the significance of state authority, economic interests, presumptions of race and gender as drivers of immigration policy. Transnationalism is then emphasized as central to understanding the experience of immigrants attached to both Canada and their homeland. 1 Credit

IS8902 The Settlement Experience in Canada
This course examines the experiences of immigrants and refugees who have settled in Canada, and the social, cultural and political processes of their integration and/or marginalization. In this context, it explores immigrant- based institutions and social movements, and equitable approaches to service provision and community development. Comparisons will occasionally be made to other countries. Students will develop an understanding of the migrants’ lived experiences and the practical interventions that may reproduce or challenge processes of marginalization. 1 Credit

IS8903 Imm Law, Policies, Politics, & Practices
Immigration policy and law determine who is admitted to Canada. The formulation and implementation of immigration policy involves the complex integration of factors such as demographic trends, labour market conditions, human rights and the well-being and opportunity of immigrants. This course examines the politics of the decision-making process which defines Canadian immigration policy. Students will be encouraged to focus on policy analysis from the perspective of the immigrant, practitioner and the critic of immigration policy. 1 Credit

IS8904 Research Meth. in Imm. & Sett. Studies
This course is designed to prepare students to work on their required Major Research Paper (MRP) with a faculty supervisor. The principal components of this preparation are an articulation of one’s research topic of interest, a thorough review of the existing literature on the topic, an overview of available methods, an explicit consideration of ethical issues in their research and student conference-style presentations to their classmates of their research ideas and methodological choices. 1 Credit

IS8921 Equity for Newcomers: Schools
Educational policies and practices routinely disadvantage migrants, and especially those without language skills in English or French. Educational equity in Canada will be explored in terms of: research and theory on social dominance; attempts by educational organizations to develop processes that are friendly to immigrant families; and research on the educational experiences of first and second generation immigrant children and their parents. 1 Credit

IS8922 Changing Multicultural Mosaic of the GTA
This course has two related objectives: to examine the migration and settlement experiences of diverse immigrant and refugee groups in the Greater Toronto Area (GTA), and in doing so, evaluate whether the GTA is indeed a multicultural space. Throughout this course, we will critically examine various concepts such as ‘race’, ethnicity, visible minority, class, gender, immigrant, refugee, and citizenship. 1 Credit

IS8923 Immigrants’ Voices in Canadian Literature
The radical transformation of Canadian Literature into a robust body of writing occurred during the twentieth century, a period of intense immigration to this country. This course will examine a range of work by newly arrived and not-so newly arrived writers and will consider how identity is affected by the physical and cultural upheaval that characterizes the immigrant’s experience. Whether and how the “self” is (re)constituted through immigration narratives will be considered. 1 Credit

IS8924 The Economics of Immigration
Labour economic theory and economic models of migration are applied to the context of immigration with particular emphasis on labour market outcomes of immigrants compared to the Canadian-born population. The topics include: effects of immigration on labour market outcomes; immigrants' earnings; and public spending and social assistance. Economic push and pull factors behind immigration flows are also examined, along with issues such as economic effects of migration on the source country. 1 Credit

IS8925 Global Migration & Population Movements
Scholarly records demonstrate that geographic mobility, not permanence, has been dynamic in shaping human settlements around the world. Historically the state often aimed to restrict population movements, however, sometimes it fostered migration through slavery, deportation, and colonialism. Today, ecological factors, demographic and economic pressures, political instability, wars, and social disruptions all precipitate voluntary and involuntary population movements. Interdisciplinary literature is reviewed, to compare patterns of population movements and migrations, and gendered relations of displacement globally. 1 Credit

IS8926 Women, Immigration, and Settlement
This course offers an analytical and theoretical orientation to understanding how immigrant women’s lives are shaped by the intersection between gender, social class, race, ethnicity, and immigrant status. We will explore the history of Canadian immigrant women through the periods of colonization, agrarian transformation, nation state formation, industrialization, and globalization. Through these time periods, we will uncover patterns in the shaping of immigrant women’s economic, political, and social rights, together with the attendant changing historical images of immigrant women. Particular attention will be paid to the changing nature of immigration policy, and immigrant women’s settlement experiences – focusing on the multiple effects of immigrant status, gender, and race on employment and community life. 1 Credit

IS8927 Imm. Families & Intergenerational Relations
This course will explore family and intergenerational relations in the immigration and settlement process, premised on an appreciation of diversity in kinship and family structures. Continuities and changes in family relationships and roles are discussed, as they pertain to family separation and reunification, and transnational family lives. The experiences of elders, adults, youth and children are analyzed, in the light of the different sets of challenges they face in the receiving society. 1 Credit

IS8928 Law Enforcement in Canada’s Imm. System
Terrorism, criminality, and undocumented migration are among the most contentious immigration issues. This course will address the legal and procedural mechanisms used to bar some people entry to Canada. We will discuss how and why Canada perceives threats to its public and national security interests, and what effect such definitions have on certain immigrant groups. We will shed light on the perspectives of both the law enforcement establishment and potential entrants to Canada. 1 Credit

IS8929 Issues of Aging in Settlement
This course examines some of the historical, sociological, legal, and residential issues that are part of the immigration and settlement experience of older immigrants to Canada. Their issues revolve around the economic, social, and other supports available from family, friends and the wider community. We will address how gender, race, language, and education combine to inform the experiences of exclusion and inclusion, dependency and independence, of aging immigrants in Canadian society. 1 Credit

IS8930 Race and Racialization
This course is constructed on the premise that racism and ethnocentrism have been and continue to be prominent features of Canadian society, which have challenged the dominant institutions. The course will examine the historical roots, contemporary manifestations and continual reproduction of racism, starting at the point of first contact between European colonizers and Aboriginal peoples, and continuing to draw examples from the subsequent patterns of immigration including the most recent attention to racialized minority immigrants. 1 Credit

IS8931 Refugee Issues
Refugees are populations and individuals who have been displaced across and within borders for reasons of persecution, expulsion, war, violence, and violations of fundamental human rights, security, and livelihood, including environmental causes. This course will address the accommodation, protection, and assistance for refugees through asylum, settlement, resettlement and reintegration. The policies and actions of governments and non-governmental organizations are explored critically, based on an analysis of the multiple consequences on refugees' lives, of their displacement. 1 Credit

IS8932 Immigration and Health
Newly arriving immigrants are, on average, healthier than native-born Canadians. They do not always stay that way. This course will address personal and social determinants of physical and mental health, and paradigms used to explain the health status of immigrants. Culturally appropriate health care requires institutional change, but this has been slow in coming. We will examine why, despite universal coverage, Canada's health care system is still failing to provide equitable services for immigrants and refugees. 1 Credit

IS8934 Multicultural Cities-Planning Policy
Recent immigration patterns have prompted an exploration of local governments' provision of urban facilities, services and infrastructures. We will address how modern cities of diverse cultures evolve and what policy approaches can sustain them. The course offers a mix of theoretical explanations about the geographic, political and economic bases of multicultural cities and a critical review of current policies and planning practices. It compares cities around the world, with a focus on Greater Toronto Area. Antirequisite: PL8101. 1 Credit

IS8935 Migration and Language
Many newcomers to Canada arrive with a good knowledge of one official language, which makes their integration to Canadian society much easier. Others, though, for whom English and French are not familiar languages face several obstacles to their full integration. In this course, students will be presented with the current status regarding language accommodations in the public sector, while being made aware of some of the difficulties associated with language in implementing Canada’s immigration policies. 1 Credit

IS8936 Migration and Identities
Theoretical approaches are introduced regarding the connections between migration policies and practices, and the people who engage in them. The main approaches are feminist, critical race, and queer theory, and theories of citizenship belonging. We will engage in critical analysis of transnational and intra-national movements of migration while attending to how identities are shaped in the process. We will explore identities and migration and their connection to the state, social institutions, and personal experience. 1 Credit

IS8937 Directed Study
This course provides for individual directed study of a subject area in Immigration and Settlement Studies not available in the curriculum. The course is carried out under the supervision of a faculty member, and requires a program of supervised study and regular meetings between a student and a faculty member in an area of study related to the student’s area of research. 1 Credit

IS8938 Western Muslims and Liberalism
This course examines the experiences of Muslims in Western liberal societies as citizens and social-political subjects rather than cultural aliens or permanent immigrants. Using contemporary approaches in migration studies such as transnational practices, cultural hybridity and pluralism we will develop a complex analysis of recent instances when notions of "Muslim" identity or '·Islam' were seen to clash with liberal individualism, democracy and human rights in Western Europe and North America. 1 Credit