Geography at Waterloo leaps up QS rankings to 48th best in the world

Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Chris Hadfield

Geography at the University of Waterloo improved on its global ranking from according to results published today. Last year Geography was ranked in the top 100 by UK firm Quacquarelli Symonds (QS). This year the program vaults into the top 50, at 48.

“Universities know that rankings like these are not a perfect science, but they are a helpful guide to the kind of company that we are keeping,” said Feridun Hamdullahpur, president and vice-chancellor of Waterloo. “These results show that in many disciplines the University of Waterloo is a force for innovation alongside some of the most recognizable world names in academia."

QS Ranking badgeThe QS World University Rankings is regarded as one of the most influential and widely observed international university rankings. QS ranks close to 700 universities worldwide in 36 disciplines. The University of Waterloo is listed amongst the top 200 universities globally for 20 of the 36 subjects evaluated.

“We are thrilled that all of the great work we do in Geography here at Waterloo is being recognized internationally,” said Peter Deadman, department chair for Geography and Environmental Management. “We’ve always taken great pride in the research and teaching we do in critically important areas like climate change, earth systems science, and geomatics. That we have risen steadily in these rankings year after year is proof we’re headed in the right direction."

Geography highlights

  • Researchers from Waterloo unveiled the most complete satellite image of Antarctica in 2014 that is helping scientists all over the world gain new insight into the effects of climate change.
  • Researchers at Waterloo are frequent contributors to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) reports with over 150 citations in Fifth Assessment Report. 
  • In October 2014, Commander Chris Hadfield made his University of Waterloo debut as Professor Hadfield to three packed classrooms of geography and aviation students.
  • Long-time professor in Geography, Jean Andrey, was recently named dean of the Faculty of Environment.
  • Researcher Susan Elliott recently received funding for Canadian Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Scholarships to develop a global wellbeing index (nicknamed GLOWING) similar to the Canadian Index of Wellbeing – a project developed at Waterloo.
  • Esri Canada has selected University of Waterloo as a Centre of Excellence (ECCE) in Geographic Information Systems (GIS).
  • Geography is home to Canada's first Masters in Climate Change program.
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