Geography, Planning and Environment
Are you curious about our impact on the environment? Are you concerned about our fragile planet, climate change or the impact of growing populations, industries and cities on sustainability? Do you like both natural and social sciences? Do you like to gather and analyze data, look at maps, think about solutions and learn the most cutting-edge computer graphic analytical techniques? Do you want to make a difference to the quality of our natural and built environment? If so, then Geography, Planning and Environment may be for you. The curriculum reflects balance among the theoretical, technical and applied aspects of its three components — Geography, Urban Studies and Environmental Science — and promotes environmental awareness and spatial literacy. It is our aim to produce articulate and informed graduates who are committed to improving the quality and sustainability of the natural and built environments.
Geography explores the complexity of, and the relations between, cultural and natural systems. It examines the ongoing radical transformation of the earth and space by human action, and focuses on the meaning that people attach to community, space, place and landscape. In addition to learning a variety of technical skills (cartography, statistical methods, and computer-based geographic information systems), students acquire a better understanding of the world (from the local community, to regional and global scales), the place of humans in it, and how to promote effective and efficient policies for managing our environment. All programs have a common core at the introductory and intermediate levels.
Honours in the Human Environment — 60 credits
Designed for students planning to go on to graduate school or a career in research in the public or private sector. Building on a strong basic core, students develop high-order skills in small advanced-level seminar and laboratory courses and work one-on-one with a faculty member to develop a research project, collect and analyse data, write up the results and present them to their peers and faculty. A high level of performance is required to enter and remain in this program.
Specialization in the Human Environment — 60 credits
Designed for students who want to specialize in applying their basic geographical and environmental knowledge in small advanced seminar and laboratory classes, while developing research, analytical and synthetic skills in an interactive and hands-on manner. These advanced courses are applied or highly specialized and integrate biophysical and social sciences. Students with strong grades have the option of doing an internship.
Major in the Human Environment — 42 credits
Provides a basic, thorough background to those who are interested in the environment, but do not necessarily wish to follow a career in research. Students acquire useful and highly transferable analytical, synthetic, research and writing skills, as well as technical skills in geographic information systems (GIS), spatial analysis and statistics.
Minor in the Human Environment — 30 credits
A useful complement for students interested in the environment with a major or specialization in a related discipline such as Political Science, Economics, Sociology/Anthropology, Education, or as a second teachable subject for those interested in teaching.
Human Environment (BA - Honours/Specialization/Major/Minor) requirements: Minimum cut-off averages, admission statistics and program requirements.
For students with a science background from Cegep or high school, the program allows greater concentration on the biogeophysical environment, while maintaining a strong grounding in human interventions, policy and management.
Major in Environmental Geography — 45 credits
Designed for students with a strong interest in the environment and geography who do not intend to pursue a research career or go on to graduate school.
Minor in Environmental Geography — 24 credits
Designed primarily for students interested in a broad understanding of the environment who are following complementary Science degrees in Biology, Ecology or in Environmental Engineering.
Environmental Geography (BSc - Major/Minor) requirements: Minimum cut-off averages, admission statistics and program requirements.
Designed for students with a strong science background, these rigorous and multidisciplinary programs provide students with excellent training for careers in the environment by providing a multidisciplinary approach to questions related to life on the Earth, degradation caused by pollution and disturbance, the sustainability of resource use, and the endangerment of species and natural systems. They are structured to provide basic skills and allow maximum flexibility for specific student interest. They have three loose streams: ecology, hydrosphere, and earth or geoscience.
Honours in Environmental Science — 69 credits
Designed for students who plan to go on to graduate school or a career in research. Students develop skills in small advanced-level seminar and laboratory courses, and work one-on-one with a faculty member to develop a research project, collect and analyze the data, write up the results, and present them to their peers and faculty. Students are involved through their thesis, courses, and summer employment in the Department’s research labs in forest management, river management, environmental climate change, air emissions, and landscape fragmentation.
Specialization in Environmental Science — 69 credits
Students specialize in applying basic geographical and environmental knowledge in small advanced seminar and laboratory classes that develop observation, analysis and interpretation skills in an interactive and hands-on manner. Students have the opportunity through their courses or summer employment to work in the Department’s research labs in forest management, river management, environmental climate change, air emissions, and landscape fragmentation.
Environmental Science (BSc - Honours/Specialization) requirements: Minimum cut-off averages, admission statistics and program requirements.
This multidisciplinary program is designed to introduce students to the processes of planned change in urban environments. Urban Studies provides a core of urban-planning courses involving field studies, planning projects, and the acquisition of technical skills. Complementary courses in Sociology, Political Science, Economics and Geography provide the necessary approaches and understanding from which to consider complex urban development.
Honours in Urban Planning — 66 credits
Designed for students who intend to work in some area of the planning field or continue with graduate-level studies. In addition to the planning studios (see specialization), students work on a one-on-one basis with a faculty member to develop a research project, collect and analyze the data, write up the results and present them orally to their peers and faculty. A high level of performance is required to enter and remain in this program.
Specialization in Urban Planning — 63 credits
Students benefit from hands-on experience in year-long planning studios at the intermediate and advanced level, in which they work on planning projects to improve the local built environment, while actively liaising with community groups and planners.
Major in Urban Studies — 42 credits
Designed for students interested in policy analysis and public administration, which require a broad background in Urban Studies. Students acquire analytical skills using computer mapping and geographical information systems (GIS) and learn to assess urban landscapes, architectural heritage and transportation risks. All courses involve the development of analytical skills useful in a great number of work areas.
Minor in Urban Studies — 30 credits
Designed for students interested in cities, urban issues or urban/regional planning who are specializing in related disciplines such as Economics, Political Science, the School of Community and Public Affairs, or Sociology.
Minimum cut-off averages, admission statistics and program requirements.
Sample courses include:
Geography and Environment
The Human Environment: Place, Space, and Identity
The Natural Environment: Air and Water/Land and Life
Water Resource Management
Geography and Public Policy
Introduction to Environmental Geology
Representation Methods in Urban Studies
Neighbourhood and Community Planning
Law and Regulation in Urban Planning
Urban Planning in the Developing World
Researcher with Environment Canada, the UN Commission for Biodiversity, forest manager, parks manager, hazardous waste planner, GIS and remote sensing analyst, environmental science, earth science, hydrology and ecology planning, real estate, social service forest management, river management, environmental climate change, air emissions, landscape fragmentation, parks ranger, forest manager, geographic branch of Statistics Canada, provincial departments of agriculture or forestry, environmental manager, international business expert, transport planner, or location or market specialists.
Undergraduate admissions guidelines: For information on international admission, required documents, proof of language proficiency, the university admissions timetable, selection and notification process.