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 (Waterloo is ranked 39 in the Shanghai Academic Ranking of World Universities) – and graduate with 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.
Join Canada's largest university-level professional pilot program
Graduate with your Commercial Pilot Licence
Waterloo ranks in the top 10 geography programs in Canada
Geography and Aviation admission requirements
Ontario students: six Grade 12 U and/or M courses including
- English (ENG4U) (minimum final grade of 70% is required)
- One Grade 12 U Mathematics course (minimum final grade of 70% is required)
Admission average: Low 80s
Qualified applicants will be asked to complete a screening process by the Waterloo-Wellington Flight Centre that includes a program briefing session, Transport Canada Category 1 Medical Certification, and an Aviation Language Proficiency Test (for Permanent Residents and visa students only; the medical certification must be completed prior to writing the test).
We recommend completing the Admission Information Form once you've applied.
Not studying in Ontario? Search our admission requirements.
Geography and Aviation at Waterloo
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Questions? Ask a student!
Contact an Environment student ambassador to learn about their experience.
Ask them questions such as why they chose their program, what the classes are like, and how you can get involved on campus.
First-year courses and beyond
September to December
January to April
Note: This a sample schedule. Courses may be taught in different terms from year to year. Professional Pilot Course II (AVIA 102) is required during the spring term (May to August) following first year.
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 courses
Customize your degree
You can add additional areas of expertise by including one or more of the areas of focusing within the program.
- Climate Change and Environment
- Earth Systems Science
- Economy and Society
What can you do with a degree in aviation?
Graduates often work at airlines and flights centres as either pilots or flight instructors.
- 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
Learn about the future of careers in environment, sustainability, and geography.
Offered by the Faculty of Environment
Apply directly to this program on your application
Earn a Bachelor of Environmental Studies degree
Ready to learn more?
- Read common questions about the aviation program
- Download our program brochure
- Visit the Geography and Aviation website
- Email Graham Barnes, our Environment recruitment co-ordinator, who can answer any questions about the program
- Related programs
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 crucial skills
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.