Think big. Make the world your classroom.
Explore how people shape the planet we live on. Delve into the dynamics of the Earth’s physical systems. Help solve many of the world’s most pressing problems, such as climate change, water scarcity, resource management, global population growth, natural resource sustainability, and more.
Waterloo's Geography and Environmental Management program is one of Canada's largest and is ranked among the world's best geography undergraduate programs (QS Rankings 2018). Choose from more than 70 geography courses, including lots of field studies.
Geography offers the flexibility to focus your degree with a variety of specializations and options or even add another major.
You’ll quickly connect with other students in the Faculty of Environment’s welcoming and close-knit community. And when you graduate, your degree can take you literally anywhere around the globe.
Study in Asia or the U.K.
Gain international experience with environmental issues through field studies in countries such as Nepal, Indonesia, and the U.K.
Hone your technical skills
Learn remote sensing techniques, produce professional-quality maps, and get your hands dirty during field trips.
About the Geography and Environmental Management program
Waterloo ranks in the top 10 geography programs in Canada
Earn a Bachelor of Environmental Studies degree
Apply directly to this program on your application
Offered by the Faculty of Environment
Available and a major and a minor
- Ontario students: 6 Grade 12 U and/or M courses including
- Any Grade 12 U English (minimum final grade of 70% is required)
- Recommended courses
- one or more Grade 12 U or M Geography courses
- any Grade 12 U Mathematics, Earth and Space Science
- Admission averages: Low 80s
- An Admission Information Form is recommended
- Not studying in Ontario? Search our admission requirements
What can you do with a geography degree?
Graduates have found a wide variety of careers in GIS, conservation, consulting, government, environmental monitoring, research and education, environmental science, and much more.
- Conservation Program Supervisor, Brantford Power
- Planner, GIS Specialist, MMM Group
- Project Manager, Waste and Wastewater Systems, Regional Municipality of Halton
- Environmental Assessment Officer, Natural Resources Canada
- Senior Consultant, Ministry of Tourism, Culture and Sport
- Associate, Climate Change & Sustainability Service, Ernst & Young, LLP
- Geography Teacher, Thames Valley District School Board
- Senior Research Analyst, CB Richard Ellis Ltd.
First-year Geography and Environmental Management courses
September to December
GEOG 100 - On Becoming a Geographer
GEOG 101 - Human Geographies: People, Space and Change
GEOG 181 - Designing Effective Maps
ENVS 178 - Environmental Applications of Data Management and Statistics
January to April
GEOG 102 - Global Environmental Systems: Processes and Change
ENVS 278 - Applied Statistics for Environmental Research
• ENGL 109 - Introduction to Academic Writing
• ENGL 129R - Written Academic English
After first year
About half of the classes you’ll take will be Geography 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 geography degree
Within the Geography and Environmental Management program, you can specialize in
- Climate Change and Environment
- Earth Systems Science
- Economy and Society
You can also add additional areas of interest and expertise by including a minor or option as part of your degree.
Gain relevant work experience through co-op
By alternating school terms and paid co-op work terms throughout your degree, you can explore new career areas and types of employers as your career interests evolve.
Sample co-op job titles
- Aquatic research technician
- Forester/forest technician
- Agroclimate analyst
- GIS technician
- Habitat data officer
- Lakewide management support
- Sustainability projects coordinator
Sample co-op employers
- Fisheries and Oceans Canada
- Norfolk County
- The Weather Network
- Environment and Climate Change Canada
- Ontario Power Generation Inc.
Learn more about Geography and Environmental Management
- Email Jay Smith, our Environment recruitment co-ordinator, who can answer any questions
- Visit the Department of Geography and Environmental Management
- Related programs: Geography and Aviation; Geomatics; Environment, Resources and Sustainability