Geography (BA)

Examine the characteristics of human and physical features on Earth and the processes that shape them. Focus on human geography and explore patterns of migration, travel behaviour, health, food systems, urban development and sustainability. Learn methods and technologies relevant to geography, including global positioning systems, spatial analyses, crewless aerial vehicles data collection, geographic information systems (GIS) and remote sensing.

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Apply Your Learning

The Capstone Urban Sustainability Project (CUSP) is the perfect fit for students in the BA in Geography program looking to engage with the community – all while earning a course credit.

In CUSP, you'll undertake a yearlong consultation with our community partner, the City of Cambridge. Collaborating with other students in your consulting team, you'll seek to resolve an aspect of urban planning and development with a solution grounded in principles of sustainability and professional practice. Your team will bring together skills in project management, written communication, graphic design, mapping, public speaking, research analysis, and community engagement.

Check out the Geography and Environmental Studies Experience Guide.

 

2020 graduates who secured employment or went on to postgraduate studies

 

Laurier ranks in the top 6 percent of universities worldwide*

 

students who gained hands-on learning experiences at Laurier in 2019/20

*Center for World University Rankings (CWUR)

Admissions

Format: full time or part time      Duration: four years     Start: September (fall term)     OUAC code: UGB
Ontario High School Admission Requirements
  • Minimum admission range: low 70s
  • Competitive admission range based on last year’s admitted students: low 80s
  • English at 60%
Canadian Admission Requirements (Outside of Ontario)

Students applying to this program from a Canadian province outside of Ontario are encouraged to review our course equivalents by province chart. This chart will show you what courses from your province are equivalent to the admission requirements listed under Ontario High School Admission Requirements.

International Admission Requirements

Students applying to this program from an international curriculum are encouraged to review our curriculum-specific requirements; you must also meet all program-specific requirements listed under the Ontario High School Admission Requirements section.

English-Proficiency Requirement

Laurier's language of instruction is English, and so we may require you to provide evidence of your English proficiency to help make sure you experience success in your academic courses.

Your three most recent years of full-time education must be in English without taking any ESL (English as a Second Language) courses. If you do not meet this requirement, you must provide evidence of your English proficiency.

We reserve the right to request an English-language test from any applicant.

If you do not meet Laurier's English proficiency requirement but are academically qualified for your program, you may be eligible for a conditional offer of admission.

Laurier English and Academic Foundation (LEAF) Program

The Laurier English and Academic Foundation (LEAF) program is an academic English program for Laurier applicants who have to prove English proficiency. If you have received an offer to Laurier with a condition to meet our English- proficiency requirement, you can meet that condition by successfully completing the LEAF program.

College Pathways

Completed the first year of a college program:

  • Minimum admission average of 70% for part-time studies in a Bachelor of Arts (BA) program.
  • Minimum admission average of 75% for full-time studies in a BA program.

Completed a two-year diploma or two years of a three-year advanced diploma or a three-year advanced diploma:

  • Minimum admission average of 75% for all Waterloo campus programs.

Note: Possession of the minimum admission average does not guarantee admission. Unless otherwise noted, you are considered for admission into full-time studies.

Other Admission Requirements

Visit our admission requirements section to find specific requirements for university students, indigenous applicants, mature learners, homeschooled applicants, senior citizens, refugees, and more. 

Program Details

About the Bachelor of Arts in Geography

In our Bachelor of Arts (BA) in Geography program, you’ll focus on the area of human geography and investigate issues of the social and natural sciences. You’ll learn to think critically about complex issues in areas such as urban planning, travel, health and food systems.

You'll discover cultural and social dimensions of how we use the world, issues of population change and mobility, and how human behaviour affects the environment. You’ll explore processes of urbanization, transportation and energy use, trends in human developments and sustainability, and patterns of migration.

The program introduces you to all the main aspects of geography in your first and second years, so that in your third and fourth years you'll have the flexibility to specialize in your area of interest and develop advanced skills in research methods and techniques.

Geography is also available as a Bachelor of Science (BSc) degree, which focuses on the field of physical geography and understanding how processes in the natural environment function, such as the changing surface of the earth, weather and climate, or the distribution of water on our planet.

Learn Practical Technologies

Our program offers you the opportunity to explore the methods and techniques used to understand geographic patterns through technologies, such as:

  • Global Positioning Systems (GPS);
  • Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs) data gathering;
  • Geographic Information Systems (GIS); and
  • Spatial analyses and remote sensing.

Understanding these technologies equips you with highly desired practical skills relevant to both private- and public-sector employers.

Program Options and Courses

Options and Minors

These are a few of the many popular academic opportunities which allow you to dive deeper into your major area of study or broaden your knowledge:

  • Community Engagement Option
  • Geomatics Option
  • Sustainability Option

Check out other options to enhance your degree.

First-Year Courses

  • Introduction to Human Geography
  • Introduction to Physical Geography
  • 4.0 elective credits

Sample First-Year Electives

  • Introduction to Criminology
  • Introduction to Psychology I
  • Pirates! A World History

Sample Upper-Year Courses

  • Atmosphere and Hydrosphere
  • Environmental Concepts and Approaches
  • Geographies of Consumption and the Global Economy

Similar Programs

Co-op

Co-op is a way to integrate what you are learning in the classroom with practical experience in your field of study. Build your resume, earn money, develop your network, and graduate with work experience.

You can apply for admission to co-op in your first year and may be eligible for an admission interview early in your second year. As a student in this program, you will be eligible to complete paid work terms lasting 12 to 16 weeks.

Interested? Learn more about co-op.

Tuition and Scholarships

Getting a university education is an investment in your future.

At Laurier, we take financial health seriously by providing a wide variety of funding opportunities for you throughout your degree, such as scholarships and bursaries, and by equipping you with the skills to manage your finances effectively in the years to come.

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"More and more people are moving to larger cities. Infrastructure, transportation, buildings — everything needs to be renewed and the Urban Studies capstone seminar really helps you have that great insight into what might work best for a certain area. It’s this huge project that you work on all term. It prepares you for real life. It prepares you for the job market."

Lucas Pisciuneri, Geography graduate

"During my third year I took Phil Marsh’s hydrology class. Snow hydrology is an important part of this beautiful country and now I’ve found an opportunity to pursue it. Combined with my apparently unusual love for winter/snow, and my curiosity for the Arctic, I’ve found myself at the Trail Valley Creek research station."

Dilshan Kariyawasam, Geography graduate

Your Career Awaits

It’s not only about the journey; it’s about the destination. Let us help you get to where you’re going.

Here are just some examples of our graduates' destinations. What’s yours?

Sample Career Options

Note: Additional training and education may be required.

  • cartographer
  • census geographer/demographer
  • economic development planner
  • GIS specialist
  • land use planner/surveyor
  • public policy analyst
  • surveyor/mapping specialist
  • teacher/educator
  • urban planner

Explore more careers.

Support After Graduation

Alumni for life means that you have access to Career and Employment Support offered at Laurier for your entire career.

Waterloo Campus

The Waterloo campus is tucked into about one city block, so you’re steps away from your classes, food and your new favourite study spot.

There are many ways to tour our Waterloo campus, whether that's on a guided tour with one of our Laurier student ambassadors, on your own using virtual reality, or even on-demand through one of our pre-recorded tours. See our campus spaces and start to picture yourself at Laurier.

Interested in More Info?

Email chooselaurier@wlu.ca, call 519.884.0710 x3385 or see all contact information.