MA and MSc Programs
Richard Kuhn (118A Hutt, Ext. 56722)
Ray Kostaschuk (123 Hutt, Ext.58189)
Marilyn Klatt (129A Hutt, Ext.56721)
BA, MA Wayne State, PhD Wilfrid Laurier - Assistant Professor
Lorne P. Bennett
BA, MSc Guelph, PhD Ottawa - Assistant Professor
Gerald T. Bloomfield
BA, PhD Nottingham - Professor
Robin G.D. Davidson-Arnott
BA, MA, PhD Toronto - Professor
Robert C. de Loë
BA Ottawa, MA , PhD Waterloo - Associate Professor
Alun E. Joseph BA Liverpool
MA Queen's, PhD McMaster - Professor and Dean of the College of Social
and Applied Human Sciences
David B. Knight
BA Macalester, MA Eastern Michigan, PhD Chicago, FRCGS - Professor
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
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
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
BSc Hubei, MSc Chinese Academy of Sciences, PhD Illinois - Assistant
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. Applicants
must submit a statement of their research interests with their application.
They are encouraged to contact potential advisors prior to submission
of an application. Students are admitted in September and applications
should be completed by January 30 for consideration for admission
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
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. Students are admitted in September
and applications should be completed by January 30 for consideration
for admission and funding.
All students in the PhD program are required
to complete the Geographic Scholarship and Research course during
the first two semesters 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 and submit a satisfactory research
proposal by the end of the fourth semester of study.
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 School of Rural Planning and
Development (SRPD). Within this shared program both MA and MSc degrees
Course requirements for shared Geography/SRPD
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 SRPD, 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 SRPD, 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)
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.
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.
Global Hydrology (0.5)
||An examination of global environmental hydrology including precipitation,
evaporation, subsurface water and runoff. Physical processes,
measurement, analytical techniques and modelling strategies will
be considered in the context of global change.
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
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
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. This course extends over two
semesters (fall and winter)
Geographic Scholarship and Research (0.5)
|F and W
||A review of geographic scholarship including conceptual, theoretical
and methodological issues in resource assessment, biophysical
resources and rural socio-economic resources. The course extends
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.