Geography and Aviation

Launch a high-flying career in the aviation industry.

Do you dream of being a pilot? Take to the skies with the largest university-level aviation program in Canada.

You’ll earn a Bachelor of Environmental Studies from one of the country’s top-ranked geography departments, plus your Commercial Pilot Licence.

There’s no better way to appreciate geography than from several thousand feet above the ground. And your knowledge of geography will be an asset when you’re navigating across continents.

Between the classroom and the cockpit, you’ll gain a deep understanding of landforms, weather patterns, and the computer technology behind tools such as geographic information systems (GIS) and remote sensing.

Log 200+ flight hours

Through a partnership with the Waterloo Wellington Flight Centre, you'll receive at least 200 hours of in-the-air experience at one of Canada's largest flight training centres.

Build an awesome résumé

As well as learning to fly, you’ll obtain your multi-engine and multi-instrument ratings, giving you the skills you need to handle twin-engine aircraft and rough weather.


Chelsea-Anne, a Waterloo Aviation student, recalls her first time flying on her own, her first time flying with her Mom, and shares a glimpse into the life of an aviation student.

About the Geography and Aviation program

BreifCaseGraduate with your
Commercial Pilot Licence

ClickApply directly to this program on your application

Graduation Cap Earn a Bachelor of Environmental Studies degree


TrophyWaterloo ranks in the top 10 geography programs in Canada

EnvironmentOffered by the Faculty of Environment

RibbonJoin Canada's largest university-level professional pilot program


Geography and Aviation admission requirements

First-year Geography and Aviation courses

September to December

AVIA 100 - Introduction to Aviation
GEOG 101 - Human Geographies: People, Space and Change
GEOG 181 - Designing Effective Maps
CS 100 - Introduction to Computing
One of:
ENGL 109 - Introduction to Academic Writing
ENGL 129R Written Academic English

January to April

GEOG 102 - Global Environmental Systems: Process and Change
ENVS 178 - Environmental Applications of Data Management and Statistics
AVIA 101 - Professional Pilot Program Course
• 1 elective


Note: AVIA 102 - Professional Pilot Course II is required during the spring term following first year (May to August).

After first year

About half of the classes you’ll take will be Geography courses, while the other half will be Aviation courses. With your remaining classes, you can choose electives from many of the 100 subject areas at Waterloo.

View a list of all the courses required for your degree.

Sample upper-year Geography and Aviation courses

AVIA 270 – Remotely Piloted Aircraft Systems (RPAS) Knowledge Requirements
GEOG 271 – Earth from Space Using Remote Sensing
AVIA 310 – Human Factors in Aviation
AVIA 320 – Aviation Safety


Customize your Geography and Aviation degree

You can also add additional areas of interest and expertise by including a minor (or minors) as part of your degree.

Specializations available in:

  • Climate Change and Environment
  • Earth Systems Science
  • Economy and Society
  • Geomatics​​

What can you do with a degree in Geography and Aviation?

Waterloo Geography and Aviation graduates often work at airlines and flights centres as either pilots or flight instructors.

Recent graduates

  • Pilot – WestJet Airlines
  • Pilot, First Officer – Sunwing Airlines
  • Flight Instructor – Waterloo-Wellington Flight Centre
  • First Officer – Sunwing Airlines
  • Flight Instructor – Brampton Flight Centre
  • Pilot – Air Canada

Possible professional designation

Students graduate with a Commercial Pilot Licence

Learn more about Geography and Aviation