The program information below is valid for the fall 2019 term (September 1, 2019 - December 31, 2019).

The Graduate Studies Academic Calendar is updated 3 times per year, at the start of each academic term (January 1, May 1, September 1). Graduate Studies Academic Calendars from previous terms can be found in the archives.

Graduate research fields

  • Environmental and Resource Management
  • Environmental Science
  • Geomatics
  • Human Geography
  • Admit term(s) 
    • Fall
    • Winter
  • Delivery mode 
    • On-campus
  • Program type 
    • Doctoral
    • Joint
    • Research
  • Registration option(s) 
    • Full-time
    • Part-time
  • Study option(s) 
  • Minimum requirements 
    • A Master's degree in geography or equivalent, with at least an 80% average in all graduate work.
    • Exceptional students may be allowed to enter the PhD program directly from the Master's program. Such students must have completed all Master of Arts (MA)/Master of Environmental Studies (MES)/Master of Science (MSc) requirements except the thesis, have demonstrated a superior academic record and satisfied other conditions (details of which can be obtained from the Director of the Program).
  • Application materials 
    • Résumé
    • Supplementary information form
    • Transcript(s)
  • References 
    • Number of references:  3
    • Type of references: 

      academic references are required unless a professional reference is specified.

  • English language proficiency (ELP) (if applicable)

    Thesis option:

  • Graduate Academic Integrity Module (Graduate AIM)
  • Courses 
    • GEOG 691 Graduate Student and Faculty Seminar in Geography
      • While in residence, all doctoral candidates are expected to attend colloquia and guest lectures. All doctoral candidates in the Waterloo‐Laurier Geography Graduate program are required to give a seminar in a class setting after completion of the comprehensive examination and before defending their dissertations. Those doctoral candidates who have completed a Master's degree in the Waterloo‐Laurier Joint Program are exempted from GEOG 691.
    • Normally 1 research seminar selected from the following list:
      • GEOG 600 Seminar in Spatial Data Handling
      • GEOG 620 Seminar in Human Geography
      • GEOG 640 Seminar in Physical Geography
      • GEOG 660 Perspectives in Resource and Environmental Management
    • Additional coursework may be assigned subject to the needs of individual candidates.
    • Failure to obtain a grade of 77% or better in each course they take means an automatic review of the student's status in the program. The review committee will consist of the student's advisor, the Program Director, and the Graduate Officer. The review committee may require that the student withdraw from the program.
  • Link(s) to courses
  • PhD Comprehensive Examination
    • Students are required to meet the University-level PhD Comprehensive Examination minimum requirements outlined in the “Minimum requirements for the PhD degree” section of the Graduate Studies Academic Calendar (GSAC).
    • In addition to the University-level PhD Comprehensive Examination minimum requirements, students in the PhD in Geography program are also required to meet the following requirements:

      • The Comprehensive Examination includes both a written and an oral component. Normally the Examination involves the student writing answers to a question or questions over a period of three weeks. The answer(s) will not exceed 10,000 words, excluding the bibliography, abstract, figures and tables. In the oral component of the Examination, which normally lasts no longer than three hours, the student defends the written document. The topics to be covered and the format of the Examination are determined by the student’s Comprehensive Examination Committee, in consultation with the student. With the approval of the Waterloo-Laurier Graduate Program in Geography Committee, alternative formats for the Comprehensive Examination process may be permitted, provided they meet the objectives of the Comprehensive Examination.

      • The Comprehensive Examining Committee will consist of the student’s Advisor and three additional Examiners, one of whom will be from outside the Waterloo-Laurier Graduate Program in Geography (normally, this person will be internal to the University of Waterloo). The committee must contain at least two members of the Waterloo-Laurier Graduate Program in Geography. At least one member of the committee must be from the Geography Department at the University of Waterloo or Wilfred Laurier University.

  • PhD Thesis
    • Students must complete a thesis.