Geography Independent Research Courses

Independent research courses are an excellent way for senior students to explore topics that are not part of the regular offering of courses in the department and acquire some basic research skills. The half‐credit Independent Research courses (GGR496H1 – GIS, GGR497H1 – Environmental Geography, GGR498H1 – Physical Geography, GGR499H1 – Human Geography) build upon one of the courses already completed in your area of study. The full‐credit Research Project (GGR491Y1) is for research in your area of specialization that may or may not build on a course you have already taken.


You should have a project or research topic in mind that you want to study further. You are responsible for approaching and finding a faculty member willing to supervise your project. This can take some time, especially during the summer months, so if you are hoping to start a course in the fall term you may want to start your search in the spring. The supervisor must be a full time faculty member in the department of Geography. You may also have a supervisor from another department, with approval, if they are suitable to supervise a Geography project.

Once a supervisor is secured, you will work together to decide on the specifics of the course (topic description, readings, assignments, due dates, etc). You will submit the completed application, which has been signed by the supervisor, to the Undergraduate Administrator for approval by the department. Independent Research Request Form

How To Find A Supervisor 

It is good to start your search with faculty members who you have already had a class with and who may be familiar with your academic performance. You can also review the list of faculty on the Geography website to find a faculty member with research interests that align with the project you want to do. The supervisor would normally be at the St. George campus.


You should submit your application to the department before the start of the term in which you want to do the independent study. It is ideal to have this a few weeks before the start of the term so that any potential questions can be asked, or necessary adjustments made. Approval is not guaranteed, though applications are normally approved. If you are in your final year of study, you should register for a backup course to meet your requirements, in case we are not able to approve the research course.