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Geography Honours

Entrance requirements

Once a student has completed 90 credits (approximately three years) of coursework, including at least 26 credits in geography, with a minimum 3.33 GPA, they are eligible to apply for entry into the Geography Honours program.

Interested students are encouraged to seek out information and advice on the honours program from Geography faculty or an Arts Advisor as early as possible in their coursework, and to apply to the honours program at the earliest possible entry date.

In order to submit an application, students will need to provide the following:

• A Geography Honours program application form (available from the Department Assistant).
• A completed checklist (available from the Department Assistant) demonstrating successful completion of coursework in geography.
• A copy of their transcripts (these do not need to be official transcripts).
• A portfolio that includes coursework (labs, papers, etc.) from their geography courses. Portfolio guidelines are available from the department.

The purpose of the portfolio is two-fold. First, it provides the student with an exercise in developing a presentation of prior work, which may be useful in applying for employment or graduate school. Second, the portfolio is a tool to be used by the student, department Honours Advisory Committee, and faculty project advisor to identify areas of improvement, potential project topics, and writing and research strengths and weaknesses.

Students should submit their application materials to the department assistant. A department Honours Advisory Committee (HAC) will then identify a potential project supervisor, if one has not already been selected. Students are encouraged to approach a departmental faculty member appropriate to their research interests on their own by the end of the third year of their Geography program. This faculty member can in turn serve as their honours supervisor.

Other requirements

Course requirements

In addition to the requirements for the Geography major, candidates must complete an additional 20 upper-division credits, including GEOG 354, GEOG 492, and 12 credits obtained in a single, related field outside of geography (biology, SCMS, history, physics, etc.).


Prior to enrolling in GEOG 492 (Honours Research Project), each honours candidate will need to meet with their honours supervisor to assess their progress in the honours program. At this time, the candidate should submit an updated transcript to their supervisor for review.

Successful completion of a research project is required prior to graduation. This project, which will be developed in consultation with a faculty supervisor, will demonstrate a student’s skill and knowledge in a given area of geographic study. 

Each honours applicant will then be required to present the findings of their research at a professional or university conference or in an existing geography course (in consultation with the instructor of that course). Alternative presentation arrangements may be made in consultation with the honours supervisor and the HAC.

Following project completion and presentation, the honours supervisor will recommend a letter grade. The HAC will choose whether or not to accept this grade based on further review of the student’s work in Geography 492.

GPA requirements

The student’s final CGPA must be at least 3.3, including the mark awarded for the final research project, in order for an honours designation to be awarded.


Students can choose to complete an Honours designation in Geography with a selected concentration. Students seeking an Honours designation will need to apply to the Honours program and complete the requirements of the Honours program in addition to those required for the selected concentration.

Program outline

This section specifies the honours requirements only. Information on additional Bachelor of Arts requirements can be found here.

Lower-level requirements: 22 credits

Course Title Credits
GEOG 101 Weather and Climate 4
GEOG 102 Evolution of the Earth’s Surface 4
GEOG 140 Introduction to Human Geography 3
GEOG 201 Introduction to Climatology  
 or GEOG 202 Introduction to Geomorphology 4
GEOG 241 Social Geography  
 or GEOG 242 Economic Geography 3
GEOG 253 Introduction to Geographic Information Systems 4

Note: One of MATH 104, MATH 106, or PSYC 110 is required for GEOG 352; students should plan accordingly.

Upper-level requirements: 51-53 credits

Course Title Credits
GEOG 352 Explanation in Geography: Quantitative Methods 4
GEOG 354 Approaches in Human Geography 4
One course: Physical geography (GEOG 302, 304, 307, 308, 317, 401, 402, 410, 417) 4
One course: Human geography (GEOG 311, 312 341, 343, 344, 345, 346, 360, 362, 411, 443, 444, 445, 447, 460) 4
GEOG 433 Geography of Selected Regions 4
GEOG 452 Field Methods and Techniques  
 or GEOG 470 Field Studies in Geography 4-5
GEOG 492 Honours Research Project 4
Electives Upper-level Geography (3 courses) 11-12
Upper-level Arts/Sciences credits to be completed in a single discipline, such as biology, history, sociology, etc. 12

Note: No more than eight credits of Directed Studies/Directed Readings (GEOG 480, GEOG 482, GEOG 483, GEOG 484) will count toward the degree.

Fees and additional costs

See the Fees and Other Costs section. Additional fees for course field trips and miscellaneous lab materials will apply to all students enrolled in Geography programs.

Course listings

For complete details on courses see the course descriptions section.

Return to main Geography page