Academic Calendar Winter/Summer 2019

Geography and the Environment

Physical Geography Honours (for BSc students)

Entrance requirements

Students can apply to the Physical Geography Honours program when they have met the following criteria:

  1. Completion of 90 credits that apply to the Bachelor of Science, including at least 26 credits in geography.
  2. A minimum 3.33 GPA in all courses required for program completion.

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

How to apply

To apply, students will need to provide the following:

  1. An honours program application package (available from the department assistant).
  2. A portfolio that includes coursework (laboratory assignments, written papers, etc.) from select completed geography courses. The portfolio is a tool to be used by the student, the Geography Honours Advisory Committee, and potential faculty project advisor to identify areas of improvement and potential project topics, as well as writing and research strengths and weaknesses. Portfolio guidelines are available from the department.

Students should submit application materials to the department assistant. The Geography Honours Advisory Committee will then arrange for a project supervisor. Interested students are encouraged to approach a departmental faculty member appropriate to their research interests who may serve as their honours supervisor.

Program requirements

In addition to the requirements for the Bachelor of Science and for the Physical Geography major, Physical Geography Honours students will need to complete the following:

  1. 120 credits, including:
    • A minimum of 64 credits of Geography
    • GEOG 354
    • STAT 315
  2. An original research project, completed as part of:
    • One of the following courses: GEOG 400G, 400J, 402, 410, 458, or 491; and
    • GEOG 493.
  3. Minimum CGPA of 3.33.

Research project

Successful completion of a research project is required prior to graduation. This project is developed in consultation with a faculty supervisor and demonstrates a student’s advanced skills and knowledge in a given area of physical geography.

Students will complete this project in two courses. In the first course, the student will design and collect data for their project. This will be completed as part of GEOG 491 (Honours Research Design and Data Collection), or an equivalent third-year internship or fourth-year research-intensive course approved by the department. Students will then register in GEOG 493 (Honours Research Project in Physical Geography/GIS) to complete the data analysis and project write-up.

Each honours student will disseminate their research findings in a presentation to an academic audience (e.g. professional conference or department seminar) as well as through an academic research poster or alternative. Following project completion and presentation, the honours supervisor in consultation with a second reader, will assign a grade for GEOG 493.

GPA requirement

A CGPA of least 3.33 or higher, including the mark awarded for the final research project, must be attained in order for an honours designation to be awarded.

Program outline

This section specifies the honours requirements only. Please refer to the Bachelor of Science section for information on additional requirements.

Lower-level requirements: 45 credits

Course Title Credits
One of: 4
GEOG 101 Weather and Climate
GEOG 102 Evolution of the Earth's Surface
GEOG 103 The Physical Environment
or GEOG 116 Earth Rocks
One of: 3
GDS 100/
GEOG 109
A World of Development  
GEOG 111 Environmental Issues and Strategies
or GEOG 140 Introduction to Human Geography
Two of: 8
GEOG 201 Climate and People
GEOG 202 Understanding Your Earth: Landforms and Processes
or GEOG 219/
BIO 219
Biogeography (formerly GEOG 317/BIO 317)
One of: 3
GEOG 211 Environmental Science
or GEOG 257/
CMNS 257
Environment: Science and Communications
GEOG 252 Explanation in Geography: Quantitative Methods 4
GEOG 253 Introduction to Geographic Information Systems 4
MATH 270/
STAT 270
Introduction to Probability and Statistics 4
One of: 5
PHYS 101 Introductory General Physics: Mechanics and Fluids
or PHYS 111 Mechanics
One pair of: 10
BIO 111 Introductory Biology I
and BIO 112 Introductory Biology II
or CHEM 113 Principles of Chemistry I
and CHEM 114 Principles of Chemistry II

Upper-level requirements: 47-49 credits

Course Title Credits
GEOG 353 GIS Applications 4
GEOG 354 Approaches in Human Geography 4
GEOG 433 Geography of Selected Regions 4
GEOG 491 Honours Research Design and Data Collection (see Note 1) 4
GEOG 493 Honours Research Project in Physical Geography/GIS
STAT 315 (formerly MATH 315) Applied Regression Analysis 3
20 credits (five courses): Physical Geography, including at least one course at the 400-level: GEOG 302, 303, 304, 307, 308, 315, 318, 319/BIO 319 (formerly GEOG 417/BIO 417), 335, 402, 410, 419, 453 (see Note 4) 20
One of: 4-6
GEOG 396/GDS 310/SOC 396 Canada Internship
GEOG 398/GDS 311/SOC 398 International Internship
GEOG 452 Field Methods and Techniques
or GEOG 470 Field Studies in Geography

Note 1: Students are not required to complete GEOG 491 if they have already completed one of the following courses: GEOG 319/BIO 319 (formerly GEOG 417/BIO 417), 400G, 400J, 402, 419, or 458.

Note 2: Students planning to apply for a Bachelor of Science, Physical Geography Honours, with a view to pursuing graduate studies should expect, in consultation with their honours supervisor, to take any additional Mathematics courses deemed applicable to their area of study.

Note 3: No more than eight credits may be in directed studies/directed readings (GEOG 480, 482, 483, 484).

Note 4: GEOG 317 taken prior to 2014 can also be used to satisfy this requirement.

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.

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