Ph.D. Geography

Program Description

The degree of Doctor of Philosophy is granted only upon evidence of general proficiency and of distinctive attainment in a special field. In particular, a recognized ability for independent investigation must be demonstrated by the candidate in a thesis which embodies original research or creative scholarship and is presented with a high degree of literary skill. It is a research degree and is never conferred solely as a result of coursework study.
An essential feature of Ph.D. study is the candidate's demonstration of competence to complete a research project and present the findings. The thesis must constitute a distinct contribution to knowledge in the major field of study and the material must be of sufficient merit to be, in the judgment of the examiners, acceptable for publication.
Students are required to have confirmed an advisor at the time of application to the Ph.D. program. Research opportunities are available in various aspects of environmental sciences and studies, as well as, physical and human geography.

Research Interests

Department research Interests span a wide range of disciplinary and interdisciplinary activities to include: agricultural, cultural, population, rural settlement, urban, and industrial geographies, resource management, energy, and environment, regional development, geography of aging, environmental cognition, climatology, atmospheric science/meteorology, geomorphology, hydrology, and associated studies of natural hazards, and disasters.

Research Facilities

The Ultra-Clean Trace Element Laboratory UCTEL is one of the most advanced ultra-trace analytical facilities in the world; the chemistry and biogeochemistry of trace elements in the environment are studied. The Environmental Conservation Lab focuses on the interface between biological and social sciences and conducts community-centered research, education, and outreach across North America and in the Global South. Faculty and researchers have access to the Centre for Earth Observation Science, a renowned leader in environmental research.


Admission requirements are those of the Faculty of Graduate Studies. Students must be accepted by an advisor prior to submitting an application to enter the program. A 3.5 GPA (or equivalent) in their previous 60 credit hours of course work is normally required. Applicants must be accepted by an advisor prior to submitting an application to enter the program. Please review the academic listing found at the following link and communicate directly with those whose research most closely matches that of your own interests. The department will not consider applications that have not identified a confirmed program supervisor.

Academic Listing

Required documentation and application deadline dates

Program Requirements

In addition to the minimum 12 credit hour course requirement of the Faculty of Graduate Studies found in the Graduate Studies Regulations Section of this calendar, students are required to attend and present their original research at two department seminars. Students are also encouraged to attend and present at academic and/or professional conferences or seminars as approved by their supervisor. These minimum course requirements may be increased on the recommendation of the student’s advisory committee or the departmental Graduate Studies Committee. Students are also required to pass a candidacy exam, and complete and successfully defend a dissertation. The dissertation is to be a distinctive contribution to the field of geography and must be of publishable quality.

The minimum time requirement for the program of study for a Ph.D. is normally four years. The student may be permitted to spend one of these years in an approved program of research study elsewhere. Such permission must be approved by the Dean of Graduate Studies on the recommendation of the student’s advisory committee. Students must fulfill the residency requirement (the equivalent of two terms) where they are devoted to full time postgraduate study at the University of Manitoba. The maximum length of time for the completion of a Ph.D including the course work and thesis is seven years.

Milestones for Completion of PhD :
(order may vary)

Appointment of Advisor
Formation of Advisory Committee
Completion of Coursework
Development of thesis proposal
Thesis proposal defense
Thesis proposal approved
Research Ethics Board approval and other approvals for access from outside agencies as needed
Candidacy examination (no later than one year prior to expected graduation)
Conduct thesis research
Preparation and completion of thesis
Review by advisor/advisory committee to ensure preparedness for examination
Formation of examining committee including external examiner
Submission of thesis to FGS who distributes to examining committee
Upon approval of thesis by Examining committee, the date is set for the Oral Examination
Oral Examination and public defense of thesis is conducted
Further revisions (if applicable)
Revisions approved by the Advisor or examining committee
Submission of the thesis to FGS

Complete supplementary regulations of the program can be found and should be consulted HERE. It is the students' responsibility to read and follow these regulations.



Information For International Students

Faculty of Graduate Studies

For information on requirements or the graduate admission process, please contact the Graduate Program Coordinator:

Celia Mellinger
Graduate Program and Alumni Coordinator
Phone: 204-474-6183

440 Wallace Building
Clayton H. Riddell Faculty of Environment, Earth, and Resources
University of Manitoba