2006-2007 University of Guelph Graduate Calendar

VIII. Graduate Programs


PhD Program

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.

Admission Requirements

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 advisors 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.

Degree Requirements

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.