MA and MSc Programs
Robin G.D. Davidson-Arnott (343 Hutt, Ext. 3011)
Kiyoko Miyanishi (346 Hutt, Ext. 2177)
Marilyn Klatt (129A Hutt, Ext. 6721)
Gerald T. Bloomfield
Associated Graduate Faculty
BA, PhD Nottingham - Professor
Fredric A. Dahms
BA, MA Western Ontario, PhD Auckland - Professor
Robin G.D. Davidson-Arnott
BA, MA, PhD Toronto - Professor
Alun E. Joseph BA Liverpool
MA Queen's, PhD McMaster - Professor and Dean of the College of Social and Applied Human Sciences
Robert C. de Loë
BA Ottawa, MA , PhD Waterloo - Assistant Professor
David B. Knight
BA Macalester, MA Eastern Michigan, PhD Chicago, FRCGS - Professor and Dean of Social Science
Ray A. Kostaschuk
BA Simon Fraser, MSc Calgary, PhD McMaster - Professor
Reid D. Kreutzwiser
BES, MA Waterloo, PhD Western Ontario - Professor
Richard G. Kuhn
BA Concordia, MA Victoria, PhD Alberta - Associate Professor
Julius A. Mage
BA Waterloo, MA McMaster, PhD Waterloo - Associate Professor
Janet E. Mersey
BA Mount Allison, MSc, PhD Wisconsin - Associate Professor
BA Manitoba, MSc Western Ontario, PhD York - Associate Professor
Michael R. Moss
BSc Leeds, PhD Sheffield - Professor and Associate Dean of Environmental Sciences
William G. Nickling
BA McMaster, MA Carleton, PhD Ottawa - Professor
BA, MA Auckland, PhD McMaster - Professor
John A. Smithers
BA Western Ontario, MA, PhD Guelph - Assistant Professor
BA Nanyang, MA Western Ontario, PhD London
- Associate Professor
Special Graduate Faculty
BSc London, MA Manitoba - Professor, Ryerson Polytechnic
Philip D. Keddie
BA Manitoba, MA Wisconsin, PhD Waterloo - Retired
Houston C. Saunderson
BA Queen's (Belfast), MA, PhD Toronto - Professor, Wilfrid Laurier University
Michael PuddisterBES Waterloo, MA Guelph - Senior Planner, Credit Valley Conservation Authority
BSC, MA East China Normal (Shanghai), MA, PhD Guelph - Research
The Department of Geography offers programs of study leading to the degrees of MA, MSc and PhD. Students may register in this department to undertake the MA and MSc programs in Collaborative International Development Studies and shared MA and MSc programs with the University School of Rural Planning and Development.
MA and MSc Programs
The Department of Geography offers both MA and MSc degrees, with specializations in resource assessment, biophysical processes, rural studies and international development. The MA program offers a specialization in rural studies, with an emphasis on rural land use, population dynamics and settlement. The MSc program stresses an experimental approach to geomorphic, biotic and landscape processes. The resource assessment specialization, focusing on opportunities, constraints and impacts in the human use of biophysical systems, and the international development specialization are available through either the MA or the MSc degree.
To be considered for admission, applicants should meet the minimum requirements of a four-year honours degree with a 73% ('B') average during the final two years of study. Prospective students should write to the graduate co-ordinator to obtain additional information on admission procedures and an application form. Students are generally admitted in September and applications should be completed by March for consideration for admission and funding.
Students may undertake an MA or an MSc program in geography by thesis or by research project (the non-thesis option).
Students taking the thesis option are required to complete an acceptable thesis and the Research Methods course. In addition, students must take four courses (2.0 credits), three of which must be from the Department of Geography, and these must include courses from at least two of the biophysical processes, rural studies and resource assessment course groupings (see Courses section below). For the MA degree, students must complete at least two courses from the rural studies and the resource assessment groupings combined. For the MSc degree, students must complete at least two courses in biophysical processes, one of which may be outside the department, as approved by the student's advisory committee.
Students taking the non-thesis option must complete the Research Methods course and the Research Project course. In addition, six other courses (3.0 credits) are required, at least four of which must be from the Department of Geography, and these must include courses from at least two of the biophysical processes, rural studies and resource assessment course groupings. MA students must complete at least two courses from the rural studies and the resource assessment groupings combined. MSc students must complete at least two courses in biophysical processes, one of which may be outside the Department, as approved by the student's advisory committee.
The objective of the PhD program is to offer opportunities for advanced research in the fields of rural resource evaluation and environmental analysis. These fields are part of a broader domain which encompasses theoretical and empirical investigations of the dynamic interrelationships between land, water and biological processes and the social and economic contexts in which these processes occur. These socio-environmental relationships can be addressed at various geographic scales, from the local to the global. The unifying theme is the focus on integration and evaluation.
The fields of rural resource evaluation and environmental analysis include three overlapping areas of specialization:
- Biophysical Processes encompasses the analysis of geomorphic and biotic phenomena and processes.
- Rural Studies embraces the spatial organization of human activity in the rural milieu.
- Resource Assessment centres on the evaluation of constraints, opportunities and impacts in the human use of biophysical systems.
Applicants for the PhD program should have a recognized master's degree with an 80% ('A-') average in their postgraduate studies. Applicants must submit a statement of their research interests including some evidence of experience in their chosen research area. They are encouraged to contact potential advisers in the department prior to submission of an application.
All students in the PhD program are required to complete the Human-Environment Systems Analysis course during their first semester of study. The advisory committee may prescribe additional courses to help the student prepare for the qualifying examination and thesis research. All students in the PhD program must complete a qualifying examination by the end of the fourth semester of study, and submit a satisfactory research proposal by the end of the fifth semester.
The qualifying examination has written and oral components and evaluates the student's knowledge of the broader scholarly field as well as the specific theoretical and empirical content of the intended research area. The broader scholarly field must embrace the resource assessment area of specialization and at least one other specialization. Submission and defence of an acceptable thesis on an approved topic complete the requirements of the PhD.
Rural Planning and Development Shared MA and MSc Program
The department offers the opportunity to combine work in the Department of Geography with programs in rural planning and rural development planning in the University School of Rural Planning and Development (USRPD). Within this shared program both MA and MSc degrees are available.
Course requirements for shared Geography/USRPD programs are as follows. Both thesis and non-thesis options are available. Students selecting the thesis option are expected to complete an acceptable thesis, the appropriate four 'core' courses from USRPD, the Research Methods course offered by the Department of Geography, and two other geography courses (1.0 credits) approved by the student's advisory committee. Students selecting the non-thesis option are expected to complete the appropriate four 'core' courses in USRPD, the Research Methods course and Research Project course in Department of Geography, and three other courses (1.5 credits) from geography approved by the student's advisory committee.
Collaborative International Development Studies MA and MSc Programs
The Department of Geography participates in the MA and MSc programs in Collaborative International Development Studies (CIDS). Both thesis and non-thesis options are available. Students selecting the thesis option are expected to complete an acceptable thesis, the five 'core' courses in CIDS, the Research Methods course offered by the Department of Geography, and one other geography course (0.5 credits) approved by the student's advisory committee. Students selecting the non-thesis option are expected to complete the five 'core' courses in CIDS, the Research Methods course and Research Project course in the Department of Geography, and two other geography courses (1.0 credits) approved by the student's advisory committee. Please consult the International Development Studies listing for a detailed description of the MA/MSc collaborative program.
Rural Studies PhD Program
The Department of Geography participates in the PhD program in rural studies in the field of sustainable rural communities. Those faculty members whose research and teaching expertise includes aspects of rural studies may serve as advisers for PhD students.
| Course/(Credit Value)
Sedimentary Processes in Geomorphology (0.5)
||An integrated study of fluid flow and sedimentary processes in water and air, setting key elements of sediment erosion, transport and deposition within a global context.
Biotic Processes and Biophysical Systems (0.5)
||Investigation of biotic processes influencing the composition, structure and distribution of plant and animal communities and of approaches to biophysical systems analysis, focusing on environmental system interaction at the landscape scale.||
Land Use and Agricultural Systems (0.5)
|F or W
||Rural land uses and processes, particularly agricultural systems, their dynamics and interactions with the resource base and competing activities. Theoretical models and analytical methods related to applied questions in agricultural decision making and land use planning.
Rural Community Systems (0.5)
|| Characterization and delineation of rural community systems in Canada with attention to the impact of processes of centralization and diffusion on rural economy, society and settlement. Credit may not be obtained for both GEOG*6270 and 9506020.
Environmental Resource Evaluation (0.5)
||Analysis, evaluation and management of environmental resources. Emphasis is on biophysical and socio-economic concepts and methods which offer a more comprehensive and integrative basis for environmental decisions.
Human-Environment Systems Analysis (0.5)
|| A critical review of philosophies, concepts and analytical methods for analysis and management of systems involving the interaction of environmental processes and human spatial activity.
|International Development Studies
Urbanization and Development (0.5)
||Analysis of the evolution of urban form and pattern in the developing world within the context of the global urban system. Examines national urban systems and implications for dispersed development and rural change.
Political Identities, Territory and Territoriality (0.5)
| (alternate years)
||Group identities at various scales in relation to concepts of territory and territoriality, and their changing impact on the world's political map.
Special Topics in Geography (0.5)
|F or W
||A course on some specific topic not covered by the regular graduate courses for which there are both available faculty and sufficient interest among students.
Research Methods (0.5)
|F and W
||A review of philosophies and research methods in geography. The development and presentation of a context paper and proposal for the thesis or research project.
Geographic Scholarship and Research (0.5)
||A review of geographic scholarship including conceptual, theoretical and methodological issues in resource assessment, biophysical resources and rural socio-economic resources. The course will extend over two semesters (Fall and Winter).
Research Project in Geography (1.0)
|F,W or S
||The preparation and presentation of a report on the research project approved in GEOG*6090.
The Office of Graduate Studies has attempted to ensure the accuracy of this
on-line Graduate Calendar. However, the publication of information in this document does not
bind the university to the provision of courses, programs, schedules of studies, fees, or facilities as
listed herein. Other limitations apply.