Bachelor of Arts Geography

What is Geography?

Geography is the study of the dynamic character, spatial organization, and interrelationships among the human and physical characteristics at, and near the Earth’s surface. A central tenet of geography is that location and spatial interactions are important for understanding a wide variety of physical and human events and processes. Geography thus brings together a large variety of phenomena and processes in a spatial context that other disciplines treat in isolation.


What do Geographers do?

Geographers want to know how physical processes and systems shape the land, air, water, flora and fauna around them and how these are influenced by human activity. They try to understand how human societies, cultures and economies work, and how these systems are interdependent with each other and natural systems. Geographers study topics as wide- ranging as: weather and climate, population distribution, agricultural systems, globalization, landforms, environmental perceptions, natural hazards, health and healthcare, and biogeography.


Human Geography

Examines human activity including, cultural and social conditions, demographics, consumption, sustainability, land use, settlement patterns and economics.


Physical Geography

Examines the physical or natural environment, through aspects of atmospheric science, geomorphology, biogeography, and hydrology.


Area Studies

Often referred to as Regional Geography, involves the integration of the physical and human geographical components of different areas of the world.
There are four broad categories of courses in the Geography discipline: physical geography is concerned with physical features on and over the globe; human geography examines the products of human activity; regional geography attempts to achieve a synthesis of physical and human geography of a particular place; and techniques in geography focus on analytical methods.

The attraction of Geography as a discipline lies in its diverse interests and approaches to knowledge building while being centered on the fundamental concepts of human-environment relations, location/place and space/distance. Geographers see the world and want to know how physical processes and systems shape the land, air, water, flora and fauna around them and how these are influenced by human activity. We want to know how human societies, cultures, and economies work, and how these human systems are interdependent with each other and with natural systems. We work at a variety of geographic scales, from the micro-scale of local communities and regions, through the macro-scale of global human and physical systems. Geography embraces the study of topics as wide-ranging as: weather and climate, population distribution, agricultural systems, globalization, landforms and geomorphology, environmental perceptions, health and healthcare, and biogeography. Therefore, by selecting courses from within the department, as well as complementary courses from other academic units of the University, students can develop fascinating, focused, and challenging degree programs that will prepare them for careers in a variety of areas.


Degrees Offered

Bachelor of Arts in Geography (B.A.)    

  • Minimum time to graduation: Three years (University 1, plus two years). There is no time limit to complete the degree.
  • Requires the completion of 90 credit hours of coursework and provides students with a basic level of understanding of Geography.
  • This degree can be completed entirely through Distance Education.

Bachelor of Arts in Geography (Advanced)

  • Minimum time to graduation: Four years (University 1, plus three years). There is no time limit to complete the degree.
  • A 120 credit hour program that provides a broad geographical education, but allows for specialization, in a particular field of interest to the student.

Bachelor of Arts in Geography (Honours)

  • Minimum time to graduation: Four years (University 1, plus three years).There is no time limit to complete the degree.
  • Involves 120 credit hours of course work. Including the completion of an Honours Thesis. Recommended for students planning a professional career, or post graduate studies.  


Please visit the Academic Calendar for detailed program information:
B.A. Geography Program Chart


Contact Information

For any additional information please contact aStudent Advisor in the Clayton H. Riddell Faculty of Environment, Earth, and Resources . Student Advisors are located in the Dean's office, 440 Wallace Building.
All students are advised to examine their interests and future goals carefully to make appropriate program choices.