The program information below is valid for the spring 2020 term (May 1, 2020 - August 31, 2020).

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.

  • Admit term(s) 
    • Fall
    • Winter
  • Delivery mode 
    • On-campus
  • Length of program 
    • Thesis option:
      • Full-time: limit of six terms
      • Part-time: limit of twelve terms
    • Master’s Research Paper option:
      • Full-time: limit of three terms
      • Part-time: limit of six terms
  • Program type 
    • Collaborative
    • Master's
    • Research
  • Registration option(s) 
    • Full-time
    • Part-time
  • Study option(s) 
  • Minimum requirements 
    • An undergraduate honours degree or equivalent with at least a 75% average. Normally, the undergraduate degree will be in Geography, but applications are welcomed from superior students regardless of background. However, students must demonstrate that they have the necessary background to pursue graduate work in their field of specialization.
  • 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:

    The Thesis option requires the successful completion of 9 units of credit comprised as follows:

  • Graduate Academic Integrity Module (Graduate AIM)
  • Courses 
    • 1 Research Seminar selected from the following list (1 unit):
      • 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
    • GEOG 691 Graduate Student and Faculty Seminar in Geography (1 unit).
    • 3 electives (3 units).
    • Note: 1 GEOG 675 Selected Topics in Geography course can be taken for credit.
    • Water core courses:
      • WATER 601 Integrated Water Management
      • WATER 602 Integrated Water Management Project
    • This degree is offered through the Collaborative Water Program. This program, jointly offered by a range of departments across several academic faculties, promotes the development of interdisciplinary perspectives on water. Collaborative Water Program students complete their specialist training in their respective home departments, while working with colleagues from a variety of other departments in core interdisciplinary courses (WATER 601 and WATER 602).
    • The Water core courses (WATER 601 and WATER 602) can be used as electives to meet the degree requirements.
    • Failure to obtain a grade of 70% 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
  • Collaborative Research Seminar I
    • Students are required to present a seminar on their thesis or major paper research proposal and, if appropriate, early stage results to current and past Water students and Water Institute faculty members. Seminars will normally occur following the completion of WATER 601 and WATER 602. Seminars will provide the opportunity for students to discuss how learnings from Water courses were applied in, or influenced, research proposals or research work in the student’s home department. Seminars will normally be poster presentations at Water Institute organized events. The seminar is not an oral examination of the thesis or paper; rather, its purpose is to develop the student's ability to communicate their research in an organized and informative manner.
  • Master’s Thesis
    • Students will automatically be enrolled in the Master's Thesis (4 units) during the first term of their graduate program.
    • Each student will have a Supervisor and a Committee Member. The student will develop a research proposal for approval by their Supervisor and Committee Member prior to the end of the first term.
  • Other requirements 
    • If a student wishes to switch from the Thesis option to the Master’s Research Paper option or vice versa, the change must receive approval by the Waterloo-Laurier Graduate Program in Geography (W-LGPIG) Executive Committee by the end of the first term after initial enrollment.
  • Master's Research Paper option:

    The Master’s Research Paper option requires the successful completion of 10 units of credit comprised as follows:

  • Graduate Academic Integrity Module (Graduate AIM)
  • Courses 
    • 2 Research Seminars selected from the following list (2 units):
      • 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
    • GEOG 691 Graduate Student and Faculty Seminar in Geography (1 unit).
    • 5 electives (5 units).
    • Note: 2 GEOG 675 Selected Topics in Geography courses can be taken for credit.
    • Water core courses:
      • WATER 601 Integrated Water Management
      • WATER 602 Integrated Water Management Project
    • This degree is offered through the Collaborative Water Program. This program, jointly offered by a range of departments across several academic faculties, promotes the development of interdisciplinary perspectives on water. Collaborative Water Program students complete their specialist training in their respective home departments, while working with colleagues from a variety of other departments in core interdisciplinary courses (WATER 601 and WATER 602).
    • The Water core courses (WATER 601 and WATER 602) can be used as electives to meet the degree requirements.
    • Failure to obtain a grade of 70% 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
  • Collaborative Research Seminar I
    • Students are required to present a seminar on their thesis or major paper research proposal and, if appropriate, early stage results to current and past Water students and Water Institute faculty members. Seminars will normally occur following the completion of WATER 601 and WATER 602. Seminars will provide the opportunity for students to discuss how learnings from Water courses were applied in, or influenced, research proposals or research work in the student’s home department. Seminars will normally be poster presentations at Water Institute organized events. The seminar is not an oral examination of the thesis or paper; rather, its purpose is to develop the student's ability to communicate their research in an organized and informative manner.
  • Master’s Research Paper
    • Students will automatically be enrolled in the Master’s Research Paper (2 units) during the first term of their graduate program.
    • Each student will have a Supervisor and a Committee Member. The student will develop a research proposal for approval by their Supervisor and Committee Member prior to the end of the first term. The research paper will normally be completed in the Spring (third) term. The paper should be approximately 12,000 words/50 pages in length, and include clearly defined sections on 1) problem statement, 2) status of research, 3) research procedure, 4) findings, and 5) conclusions.
  • Other requirements 
    • If a student wishes to switch from the Thesis option to the Master’s Research Paper option or vice versa, the change must receive approval by the Waterloo-Laurier Graduate Program in Geography (W-LGPIG) Executive Committee by the end of the first term after initial enrollment.