Undergraduate Studies in Geography
Geographers see the world. We want to know how human societies, economies and cultures work. We seek ways to balance environmental protection and economic development. We study physical processes that operate at scales from the microscopic to the global. Not only does our work take us around the world, but also we see the world as our classroom and our laboratory.
A university education in Geography offers students the chance to satisfy curiosity about human and natural systems, while at the same time cultivating practical skills that lead to a diverse range of careers.
Undergraduate Degree Programs
The Department of Geography offers major and minor degrees as part of the Bachelor of Arts and Bachelor of Science programs. Majors may be combined with minors offered by the Department of Geography, or by other units on campus.
Courses in the Department of Geography are organized in broad streams that allow students to develop increasingly specialized knowledge, while building a solid foundation in human-environment geography, environmental geoscience and geomatics.
Three first year courses provide the foundation for the rest of the program:
|Society and Space introduces major concepts and methods of Human Geography. Topics include population dynamics, landscape and settlement, culture, economic processes and globalization.|
|Human Impact on the Environment provides a global overview of the changing relationships among society, technology and the environment. Major stages of human use of resources, and the environmental consequences of global changes, are emphasized by contrasting experiences in developed and developing countries.|
|Introduction to the Biophysical Environment explores natural processes operating in local to global environments. The course focuses on climate, vegetation and landforms.|
Depending on the program, various other courses will be required during the first year. For example, students in the BA Honours Geography major will complete courses from several other disciplines in the social sciences, humanities, and natural sciences.
Research, writing, critical thinking and problem solving are emphasized throughout the program. Students learn in the classroom, and through hands-on work in labs, in the field, and in the community. Labs are important in courses from the first to fourth years, and allow students to design and conduct experiments, and to solve problems using various data collection methods, state-of-the-art computing, and analytical tools. Training in field research begins as early as labs in first year courses. Students can put their field research skills to work in the optional fourth year field course that visits destinations as diverse as Western Canada, South Western United States, England and Wales, and the West Indies.
Beyond the Classroom
Students in the Department of Geography can participate in the Geography Society, the Environmental Governance Society, Environmental Geoscience and Geomatics Society, and the Environmental Science Society. Student societies organize special events throughout the year, including trips, parties, and career nights. The Geography Society has its own room in the Hutt Building, which provides a place for members to meet, to study, and to plan events.
Geography graduates are pursuing exciting careers across Canada and around the world, in consulting firms, government agencies, non-government organizations, and the teaching profession. Many graduates of our programs have pursued graduate studies.