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Geography, Urban and Environmental Studies (PhD)

Program type
Primary campus
Sir George Williams (SGW)
4 years
90 credits
Start term

Program overview

The PhD in Geography, Urban and Environmental Studies deepens your understanding of how humans interact with the world around them, examining the socio-cultural and environmental dimensions of human settlements as they evolve. The degree examines the complex nature of interactions between humans and the environment and looks at how to develop more sustainable livelihoods and settlements. Course materials draw on a variety of social science perspectives and GIS mapping to address issues that arise while developing the natural environment. Students gain invaluable experience in their field of research through a 200-hour work placement in the private sector, research labs, non-profit organizations or the government. Students are required to give lectures after completing a teaching seminar with the Centre for Teaching and Learning. Our faculty have received the highest honours from the Royal Society of Canada’s College of New Scholars and the Canada Research Chairs Program, and have expertise in the natural sciences, social sciences and humanities.

Program structure

Degree Requirements

Fully-qualified candidates are required to complete a minimum of 90 credits.

Please see the Geography, Planning and Environment Courses page for course descriptions.

Geography, Urban Environmental Studies PhD (90 credits)


credits of Required Courses:

HENV 801 Pedagogical Training (3.00)
HENV 802 Experiential Learning (3.00)
HENV 805 Research Proposal Seminar (3.00)


credits of Elective Courses:

HENV 605 Advanced Qualitative Research Methods (3.00)
HENV 660 Climate Change and Sustainability (3.00)
HENV 665 Special Topics Seminar (3.00)
HENV 675 Community-Based Conservation (3.00)
HENV 680 Advanced Seminar in Environmental Science (3.00)
HENV 690 Seminar in Social and Cultural Geography (3.00)
HENV 610 Advanced Quantitative Research Methods (3.00)
HENV 620 Sustainable Transportation (3.00)
HENV 625 Sustainable Resource Management (3.00)
HENV 630 Theories of Society and Space (3.00)
HENV 635 Spatial Analysis (3.00)
HENV 640 (Re)shaping the City (3.00)
HENV 645 Behaviour and the Urban Environment (3.00)
HENV 650 The Political Economy of the City (3.00)
HENV 655 Environmental Modelling (3.00)
HENV 670 Environmental Governance (3.00)



HENV 810 Thesis Proposal (3.00)



HENV 885 Comprehensive Exam (6.00)



HENV 895 Research and Thesis (66.00)

Admission requirements

Admission Requirements

  • MA or MSc in Geography, Urban Planning, Environmental Science, or a related field of study from a recognized university.
  • Admission is contingent on the availability of an appropriate faculty member in the Department to serve as supervisor.
  • Proficiency in English. Applicants whose primary language is not English must demonstrate that their knowledge of English is sufficient to pursue graduate studies in their chosen field. Please refer to the English language proficiency page for further information on requirements and exemptions.

Application process

Application deadlines


February 1





Priority will be given to complete applications submitted by the deadline. In some cases, programs may continue to accept applications as long as there is space available.

International students: Considering the waiting period involved in meeting the entry requirements to Canada and Quebec, we strongly encourage international applicants to apply early and submit supporting documents prior to the deadline.

Tuition & funding

Tuition and fees

Tuition and fees of the program may depend on your student status, among other key factors. Estimate these costs based on the most common situations.

Awards and funding

Funding packages are generally available for students in thesis-based programs. They come in the form of awards, teaching and research assistantships are offered at the time of admission to most students to allow them to focus on their research and studies. Research and thesis-based students are automatically considered for all entrance graduate awards when they apply to Concordia, provided they meet eligibility criteria. No separate application is required.

The Quebec and Canadian governments offer a number of competitive graduate scholarships. We encourage you to apply for these awards at the same time you are preparing your application.

Other programs of interest

Environmental Assessment (DEA) (GrDip)

Develop a sound understanding of the processes and methodologies of environmental assessment in the fields of environmental planning, sustainable development and resource decision-making.



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