Guidelines for MGIS Students

Department of Geography Graduate Program

Departmental regulations

This information concerning the course-based Masters of GIS graduate degree program supplements the Academic Regulations detailed in the graduate calendar. The graduate calendar defines common rules and regulations for all graduate students at the University of Calgary. The additional regulations below are specific to students enrolled in the MGIS Program in the Department of Geography.

The MGIS graduate program is administered by the Department Head and the Graduate Program Director (Course based programs) in the Department of Geography.


Course-based program

MGIS students are required to take ten courses in their program. These ten courses must include the five core courses (see below). The remaining five options will be chosen by the student with approval from their Graduate Program Director, and will generally either build on the student's GIS skills or enhance their knowledge of their application specialty.


To enter the Core Courses (GIS: GEOG 647, Remote Sensing: GEOG 633, Spatial Modelling/Statistics: GEOG 639) the student must possess a strong background (e.g., minimum of one intermediate-level undergraduate course) and hands-on experience with the topics. The equivalent prerequisite would be two undergraduate courses for each core course topic area. If this background is lacking, the student must complete the "upgrade" course before enrolling in the advanced core course. These upgrade courses will count toward the ten courses taken in the program.

Core courses

The five mandatory "core" courses that each student in the MGIS program must take are:

  • Geog 647: Advanced Research and Applications in GIS
  • Geog 633: Research and Applications on Remote Sensing
  • Geog 639: Advanced Spatial Analysis and Modelling
  • Geog 681: MGIS Project: Theoretical Issues
  • Geog 683: MGIS Project: Application

Upgrade courses

Students without a strong GIS or remote sensing background will use their option courses to build their spatial analysis skills and experience.

  • Geog 684: Fundamentals of Remote Sensing
  • Geog 686: Applied Statistics and Geospatial Analysis
  • Geog 682: Fundamentals of Geospatial Information Science

Appeal policies and procedures

All students have the right to appeal decisions regarding their program requirements. In all cases of appeal the student must first consult the supervisor for guidance. If the concern cannot be resolved with the supervisor, students may submit a written appeal to the Graduate Program Director or Head of the Department. Written appeals must clearly articulate why the student believes a decision was unfair or made in error and must be supported with evidence. The department will respond to student appeals within 10 business days. If the student is not satisfied with the judgement by the department, they may advance their appeal to the faculty (students should consult the Graduate Calendar for details on appeals processes).

Other information

Office space

The student's supervisor is responsible for providing office space to thesis-based graduate students who require it for the program-related activities. Normally, thesis-based students are provided office space within their supervisor’s research space. 

Keys / lab access

Access is provided to office/lab space as required.

Long distance calls

The department absorbs the cost of monthly rental on the office telephones. All long-distance calls are considered as personal charges. For information regarding long distance access, please contact the Department Manager.

Postal services

Graduate students have a shared space for incoming mail in the Geography Main Office. Incoming mail can be addressed to you, c/o Department of Geography, University of Calgary, 2500 University Drive NW, Calgary, Alberta T2N 1N4. All incoming mail should be related to program activities.

Graduate program contacts

Questions about our programs?

Advising questions

Contact the Graduate Program Advisors

Requirements: thesis-based

Contact the Graduate Program Director

Dr. Eliot Tretter


Requirements: course-based

Contact the Graduate Program Director

Dr. Victoria Fast