Policy on graduate student funding

Department of Geography Graduate Program

The Department of Geography has various resources at its disposal to support thesis-based graduate students. These include funds that are made available to the Department from the Faculty of Graduate Studies (FGS), the University, and the Government of Alberta. We use these funds in conjunction with student-held external scholarships and individual faculty research grants to support highly-ranked MA, MSc, and PhD students, subject to the availability of qualified supervisory support. Our primary goal in distributing funds is to provide competitive, adequate funding.

Adequate funding means sufficient funds to study full-time, with no need for supplementary employment. At the minimum level of funding it may be difficult to live alone or maintain a car, but it should be possible to meet basic needs. Competitive funding means at a standard that is comparable to or better than graduate level funding at other Canadian universities. This closely parallels the level of NSERC and SSHRC awards.


Departmental funding is available on a competitive basis to outstanding students in the form of teaching assistantships and Faculty of Graduate Studies Scholarships.


  • Minimum funding for MA & MSc students is $20,000 per 12-month period for up to 24 months.


  • Minimum funding for PhD students is $22 000 (domestic) and $24 000 (international) per 12-month period for up to 48 months.


  • Department funding is not awarded to course-based students (CGIT / MGIS).

Learn more

The main sources of funding from the University of Calgary are graduate teaching assistantships (TAs) and Faculty of Graduate Studies scholarships (FGSS). Senior PhD students can also teach a course and receive funding through a graduate teaching fellowship (GTF). Each year the Department is allocated a quota of TA and FGSS funds from the Faculty of Graduate Studies. Our annual allocation is competitive within the University of Calgary; FGS has developed a formula for distributing these funds based on a number of performance metrics. This formula means that our annual allocation fluctuates and there are always uncertainties in our annual budget. 

Graduate program contacts

Contact us for any questions you may have about the programs we offer..

Graduate Program Advisors

Ask me about graduate program advising

For Thesis-based students: Denise Retzlaff

For Course-based students: Federica Gowen


Graduate Program Directors

Ask me about graduate degree requirements

For Thesis-based programs:

Dr. Gwendolyn Blue

For Course-based programs:

Dr. Yvonne Martin



View some commonly asked questions you may have about applying for graduate studies in the Department of Geography.

Find the answers