Financial Support

The Department offers research-focused MA/MSc and PhD degrees in Geography. Students may also register in Geography to undertake the MA/MSc/PhD program in Collaborative International Development Studies.

Guaranteed Minimum Stipend

The Department of Geography guarantees full-time graduate students funding. Currently, Master's students are guaranteed a minimum of $16,056 during their first three semesters, and $10,704 for their fourth and fifth semesters. Currently, Doctoral students are guaranteed a minimum of $17,500/year for three years.

Most students receive considerably more than the minimum guaranteed funding amount. During the past three years, average annual funding from all sources for doctoral students was $24,000/year. For Master's students, during the past three years, average total funding from all sources received during their program was $36,600.

Importantly, the guaranteed minimum stipend is meant to support the costs of living and tuition. Advisors normally provide funding over and above the guaranteed minimum stipend to support laboratory and field research.

Sources of Funding

Sources of funding that contribute to the guaranteed minimum funding package include Graduate Teaching Assistantships (GTAs); Graduate Research Assistantships (GRAs); major internal and external scholarships that students secure; and other paid employment in the Department as may become available.

The specific composition of each student's funding package is determined based on factors such as their success in acquiring major scholarships, the value of any GRA(s) provided by their advisor, and their eligibility for GTAs.

Awards and Scholarships

Graduate students are expected to make a reasonable effort to apply for awards and scholarships. Certain awards and scholarships will count towards the minimum funding guarantee, while others will be over and above the guaranteed amount.

  • Awards and scholarships students win which are worth less than the current value of a GTA and entrance awards and other bonuses identified in the Departmental offer letter, are considered a reward for academic excellence. They do not count towards the minimum guaranteed funding package.
  • If students win a scholarship or award worth as much or more than the current value of a GTA, then the contributions of the Department and the student's Advisor to the guaranteed minimum funding package may be reduced. Under no circumstances will students receive less than their minimum funding guarantee because they have won a major award.

Conditions

In order for the minimum financial support guarantee to apply, students must meet the following conditions:

  • They must maintain full time status and satisfactory academic standing.
  • They must be available to perform duties relating to GTAs in GRA through regular attendance in the department as required. Students who decline a GTA or GRA are not guaranteed replacement financial support from other sources.
  • Students are expected to make a reasonable effort to apply for pertinent internal and external scholarships for which they are eligible.
  • Finally, students are expected to negotiate a research topic with their advisor, and to conduct research consistent with that topic. Students who significantly reorient their research focus post admission without the support of their Advisor are not guaranteed the minimum stipend.