Programs of Study

Specialists/Majors/Minors in Geography

Geography students have the opportunity to pursue Specialist, Major and Minor programs in the following program areas, depending on the aspects of geography that interest them the most.

  • Human Geography – Specialist, Major, Minor
    How do people use and experience the environments they live in? What are the interrelationships between landscapes, places, people and nature?

  • Environmental Geography – Specialist, Major, Minor
    What are the social, spatial and economic factors shaping the relationship between humans and the environment?

  • Environment & Energy – Minor only (joint program with the School of the Environment)
    What are the scientific, technological, environmental and policy aspects of energy use and supply?
  • Geographic Information Systems – Minor only
    How is spatial data organized, manipulated and mapped to answer specific geographic questions?
  • Physical & Environmental Geography – Specialist, Major, Minor (Program Suspended)
    How do physical, chemical and biological processes shape the earth’s surface?

Enrolment in the Physical and Environmental Geography Specialist will be administratively suspended as of January 31, 2024 and students will no longer be able to enrol in the program. Students presently enrolled in the Specialist will be able to complete the program requirements as described below. Students who are not enrolled in this program but are interested in “Physical and Environmental Geography” programs are encouraged to consider the Environmental Geography and/or Human Geography Programs in the Department of Geography and Planning and are strongly recommended to consult with the Department of Geography and Planning for advising.

Focuses in Geography

Students in the Human Geography Specialist or Major have the option to take a focus. These focuses are specific clusters of courses which complement the Human Geography program. It is possible to complete a focus within the program requirements for the Specialist or Major. It is possible to complete both focuses, but no overlap is allowed between the two.

  • Focus in Planning
  • Focus in Urban Geography

General Information

Our programs have limited enrolment that can only accommodate a limited number of students. Admission will be based on one of the following:

  • Specialist: 0.5 GGR FCEs at the 100 or 200 level with a final mark of 75% or 1.0 GGR FCEs at the 100 and/or 200 level with a final mark of 70% in each course.
  • Major: 0.5 GGR FCEs at the 100 or 200 level with a final mark of 67% or 1.0 GGR FCEs at the 100 and/or 200 level with a final mark of 63% in each course.
  • Jointly-offered GGR courses will also be considered (e.g. JGI, JGE).
    Achieving these marks does not necessarily guarantee admission to the program in any given year.

Overlap between Geography programs: 

Double majors in Geography may only overlap 1.0 FCE. Double minors can overlap 1.0 FCE. Students combining any of our Minor programs with a Specialist/Major program would normally be allowed to overlap only 1.5 FCEs towards both programs. Students combining the Focus in Planning and the Focus in Urban Geography can overlap 1.5 FCE. Students that choose to specialize or major in one of the three Geography programs cannot minor in the same program but may do so in another Geography program.

Generally, students may only take 1.0 Independent Research Project FCE toward their program requirements.