Thesis graduate programs

The Department of Geography offers students the opportunity to undertake thesis-based graduate studies leading to MA, MSc and PhD degrees. We also offer international students the opportunity to come to our department as Visiting Students.

Degrees offered

Understanding graduate studies

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Graduate programs in Geography

Dr. Greg McDermid, PhD and Dr. David Laskin

Master of Arts (MA), thesis-based

Thesis-based programs require that you pursue independent and original research culminating in a thesis. You will work under the supervision of a faculty member whose expertise matches your research area.

GEOG professor Brent Else

Master of Science (MSc), thesis-based

Thesis-based programs require that you pursue independent and original research culminating in a thesis. You will work under the supervision of a faculty member whose expertise matches your research area.

Dr. Victoria Fast, PhD, assistant professor in the Department of Geography

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

The aim of this doctoral program is to train research-minded students, already armed with original ideas and initiative, to become inspiring teachers and insightful professional scholars. In our small and vibrant department, you will get the access and attention you need from our faculty of internationally recognized scholars.

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.

Program requirements

In addition to the Faculty of Graduate Studies requirements for the MA, MSc and PhD degrees, satisfactory progress in the department's graduate programs includes the following:

MA & MSc program requirements

  • Completion of 12 units in a two­ year period including one of GEOG 697.01 or GEOG 699.01 and at least one methods course in geography (one of the four courses may be taken outside of Geography). The student shall receive course instruction from at least two Geography faculty members during the first year in the program, and no more than one 600 - 700 level readings course by a single professor may count toward the degree.
  • Completion of an approved thesis proposal on or before the end of the twelfth month in program; within this requirement the student should be proficient in analytical methods relevant to their research area to the level expected following the completion of a half course in analytical methods (GEOG 339 or equivalent).
  • Research Presentation at the annual Department Conference (scheduled for MA / MSc students in the second year of their program in March).
  • The normal duration of an MA / MSc program is 24 months. Full-time status is expected.

PhD program requirements

  • First year students must attend the Geography Department Orientation in their first semester (scheduled prior to the start of Fall or Winter classes).
  • Completion of 6 units in the first two years of the program, including one of GEOG 697.01 or GEOG 699.01.
  • Four semesters of GEOG 601 Graduate Research Seminar.
  • Completion of an approved thesis proposal within the first 20 months of the program.
  • Completion of Field of Study Examination within the first 24 months of the program.
  • Research Presentation at the annual Department Conference scheduled for PhD students in their third year in March.
  • The normal duration of a PhD program is 36-48 months.

Graduate program contacts

Contact us for any questions you may have about the programs we offer in the Department of Geography.

Graduate Program Administrator

Ask me about graduate program advising

Paulina Medori
403.220.4838
geograd@ucalgary.ca »

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