Stock photo of Kananaskis Mountains on a partly cloudy day

Explore our graduate programs

in the Department of Geography

What is thesis-based study?

Pursue independent research guided by a supervisor who shares your research interests. If you want to advance your knowledge or expand your expertise in a specific field or research area, our thesis-based programs are for you.

What is course-based study?

Ideal for students seeking to advance their careers, our course-based programs offer research, project and group work components in a wide variety of delivery methods.

What is a supervisor?

A supervisor is a faculty member who oversees your research and the development of your thesis.

The Department of Geography Graduate Studies

We facilitate flexibility and creativity in advanced geographical inquiry to develop research expertise among graduate students. 

Our faculty members have extensive expertise in physical and human geography and geographic methods.

Our programs draw upon the extensive opportunities for research in our vast regional laboratory and the specialized research foci of our academic staff who offer personalized supervision and small graduate seminars.

Graduate programs

Find the program that's right for you.

Thesis-based graduate programs

Master of Arts (MA) / Master of Science (MSc) / Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

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Course-based graduate program

Master of Geographic Information Systems (MGIS)

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Certificate program

Course-based Certificate in Geospatial Information Technology

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Research interests

The below research interests listed are not comprehensive. Meet our faculty and learn more about those working in your area of interest.

Human geography

  • Local environmental problems concerning protected areas management, global environmental policy issues and environment-development conflicts;
  • urban and political processes and power relations that shape cities and regions, linking processes from the local to the global;
  • development, power and justice processes and linkages between economic and social development, power relations and justice issues;
  • smart cities;
  • critical food studies, housing, urban social movement, and public engagement.

Physical geography

  • Climate research into permafrost, sea ice, glaciology, and alpine weather and climate;
  • Earth surface topics as varied as wildfire ecology and slope stability, melting of permafrost and hydrology, northern soils and links to carbon dioxide/methane exchange, and the erosional and depositional legacy of ice age glaciers;
  • environmental processes and natural resources including satellite-based forest monitoring and landcover mapping, ecohydrology of wetlands, landscape ecology,  and the conservation of sensitive species;
  • forest ecology.

Geospatial methods

  • Novel algorithm and tool/model development as well as the analysis of data as diverse as airborne thermal imagery to quantify urban waste heat;
  • interferometric SAR to monitor glacial ice movement;
  • hyperspectral optical imagery to evaluate temporal vegetation phenology;
  • high-resolution weather data to characterize the spatial-temporal patterns of meteorological variability;
  • LiDAR to quantify forest biomass and above-ground-carbon;
  • multispectral optical imagery to map and model grizzly bear habitat;
  • and understanding the relationships between disease and socio-economic variables;
  • Urban GIS and web mapping.

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. Yvonne Martin