Academic Calendar Winter/Summer 2020

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 GPA of 3.33 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 students, 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.

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.

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 (discontinued)
GEOG 102 Evolution of the Earth's Surface (discontinued)
GEOG 103 The Physical Environment
GEOG 116 Earth Rocks
One of: 3
GDS 100/ GEOG 109 A World of Development  
GEOG 111 Environmental Issues and Strategies
GEOG 140 Introduction to Human Geography
Two of: 8
GEOG 201 Climate and People
GEOG 202 Understanding Your Earth: Landforms and Processes
GEOG 219/ BIO 219 Biogeography
GEOG 211 Environmental Science (discontinued) 3
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
PHYS 101 Introductory General Physics: Mechanics and Fluids 5
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 Advanced Geography of a Selected Region 4
GEOG 491 Honours Research Design and Data Collection (see Note 1) 4
GEOG 493 Honours Research Project in Physical Geography/GIS 4
STAT 315 Applied Regression Analysis 3
Five of (including at least one 400-level course): (see Note 4) 20
GEOG 302 River Geomorphology  
GEOG 303 Environmental Hydrology  
GEOG 304 Coasts and Climate Change  
GEOG 307 Climates of Cities  
GEOG 308 Climate Change and Variability  
GEOG 315 Soilscapes  
GEOG 318 Water Resources Management  
GEOG 319/BIO 319 Swamps and Bogs  
GEOG 335/BIO 335 Methods in Freshwater Ecology  
GEOG 402 Quaternary Geology and Geomorphology  
GEOG 410/BIO 410 Plant Ecology  
GEOG 419/BIO 419 Paleoecology  
GEOG 453 Remote Sensing of the Environment  
One of: 4–6
GEOG 396/ GDS 310/ SOC 396 Canada Internship
GEOG 398/ GDS 311/ SOC 398 International Internship
GEOG 452 Advanced Field Methods and Techniques
GEOG 470 Advanced 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, 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.

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 students' advanced skills and knowledge in a given area of physical geography.

Students will complete this project in two courses. In the first course, students will design and collect data for their projects. 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.

Graduation requirements

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

Course listings

For complete details on courses see the course descriptions section.

Current Students