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Becoming a Golden Hawk means more than just cheering on our (really good) varsity teams – it means being a student who cares about your community, who works hard in the classroom, and who takes advantage of all the learning opportunities that can happen outside the classroom, too.

Environmental Studies (MES)

Environmental Studies (MES)

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Our Master of Environmental Studies (MES) is a two-year program offered by the Waterloo-Laurier Graduate Program in Geography. The collaboration between our universities makes us the third-largest graduate geography program in Canada, and our program is enhanced by a number of research centres and groups, including the Laurier Institute for Water Science, the Cold Regions Research Centre and the International Migration Research Centre.

You can benefit from the breadth and depth of the expertise of our faculty and your fellow graduate students in this rich intellectual environment. Our joint program allows you to explore a range of research interests, from the analysis of pressing social and environmental problems to theoretical questions of philosophical and technical importance.  

The MES program is ideal if you’re interested in environmental and resource management, or some aspects of human geography or environmental applications of geomatics. We also offer a Master of Arts in Geography and a Master of Science in Geography.

Program Options

The thesis option requires you to complete nine units of credit: five courses and the thesis (four credits). The thesis option is normally completed in six terms (two years).

The research paper option requires you to complete 10 units of credit: eight courses and the research paper (two credits). The research paper option is normally completed in three terms (one year).

Either option is available both full- and part-time students.


More information can be found on the International Applicants page.

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Contact Us:

General Inquiries

T: 519.884.0710 x2325

Margaret Walton-Roberts, Graduate Coordinator

T: 519.884.0710 x2967

Faculty and Staff


  • Winners of major external awards (OGS, QEII and Tri-Council) may be eligible for top-up funding which includes the Dean’s Graduate Scholarship (total value exceeds $10,000). 
  • Eligible domestic students admitted to study on a full-time basis receive an average of $14,500 a year. This support may be made up of teaching assistantships, internal/external scholarships, and/or faculty-funded studentships or research assistantships.
  • A list of all funding opportunities available to Laurier graduate students, including information about OGS, QEII and Tri-Council, is available on our graduate funding webpage.

Research Focus

Faculty teaching in our MES program support a wide range of research interests, such as:

  • policy formulation and evaluation, sustainable development, and environmental management
  • water resources
  • energy resources
  • protected areas
  • provincial and national parks
  • recreation
  • tourism
  • natural and human-induced hazards.


  • A four-year (honours) undergraduate degree (or equivalent) in geography or related program.
  • A minimum B average.
  • Applications are reviewed by the graduate program committee, which considers all prior university grades, a statement of research interests, a writing sample and letters of reference.


MES students who recently completed the program are employed by/as:

  • municipal governments (Thunder Bay, Calgary)
  • provincial government departments (Alberta Environment)
  • federal government departments (Fisheries and Oceans)
  • conservation authorities (Halton Hills)
  • market and GIS analysts and technicians in industry (Loblaws, de Beers, BMO Financial, MDA, Central Southern China Electric Power Design Institute, China Railway First Survey and Design Institute, Cogeco, Ecopia Tech, InferUrban)
  • lab technicians, research assistants (University of Waterloo)
  • independent consultants with international organizations (United Nations Development Programme)

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