Skip to main content

Geography, Urban and Environmental Studies (PhD)

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

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 details

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.

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)

Please apply online. Read the how-to guide for application procedures. 

1. Your completed application will include:

2. An admission offer will not be issued until a supervisor match has been made. Students are encouraged to review the list of faculty members' field of interests and directly contact those with whom you would like to work. 

Download our Graduate Student Handbook for detailed information.

Geography, Urban and Environmental Studies PhD Feb. 1 n/a n/a

Courses typically offered include:

  • Pedagogical Training
  • Experimental Learning
  • Advanced Qualitative Research Methods
  • Advanced Quantitative Research Methods
  • Research Proposal Seminar

Consult the graduate calendar for a complete list of current courses.

Doctoral students may be eligible for a variety of scholarships and fellowships, Research and Teaching Assistantships, conference travel awards, etc.  Please discuss any funding opportunities with your potential supervisor.

Also, we encourage students seeking admission to our program to apply for funding from external sources in the final year of their Master's studies (e.g. FRQSC, SSHRC).

Please consult Concordia’s graduate funding page and Financial Aid and Awards for additional information.

Our faculty members provide a distinctive and incisive perspective on the world through their research, teaching and graduate training in three core areas: geography, urban studies and urban planning, and environmental science.

Faculty research interests include:

  • climate change
  • community-based conservation
  • cultural geography
  • Geographical Information Systems
  • history of cities and urban planning
  • impact assessment
  • indigenous geographies
  • political ecology
  • political economy
  • public space and urban popular culture
  • regional hydrology
  • social and environmental justice
  • sustainability
  • transportation mobility
  • urban design
  • urban morphogenesis
  • urban planning in the developing world

The David B. Frost GIS Laboratory is a state-of-the-art Geographic Information Systems teaching and individual study computer lab. Computers run the latest version of ArcGIS, as well as support programs for Computer Assisted Design, remote sensing and image editing.

The Transportation Research for Integrated Planning Lab (TRIP) is equipped with high-powered computers and servers for geographical and statistical analysis. TRIP is also home to unique and expansive transportation and land-use data for major urban regions across the country.

Other facilities available to graduate students include a cartography studio, geology and geomedia labs, an urban planning and design studio, and laboratories dedicated to landscape ecology, river management and climate modelling.

Geograds represents all graduate students in the Department of Geography, Planning & Environment at Concordia University. In addition to organizing social events, Geograds co-sponsors seminars, provides informal mentoring for undergraduate students, and works in collaboration with the Geography Undergraduate Student Society and the Urban Planning Association.

Graduate students are also deeply involved in a variety of organizations on campus, including Sustainable Concordia, the Concordia Greenhouse, Loyola Farm, the Hive Café Co-op, Frigo Vert and the People’s Potato.

Our alumni are well positioned to find success in a wide range of professional careers in resource conservation, environmental protection, alternative and sustainable transportation, green services, sustainability planning and urban design, carbon and climate mitigation, and ecotourism.

Graduates are also qualified to pursue academic positions in departments of Geography, Environmental Sciences and Urban Planning.

Learn more about what types of careers geographers pursue after graduation.

Back to top

© Concordia University