Geography (BSc)

Study the history of how humans have modified urban and natural systems to intervene and create a more sustainable future. Study physical geography while you also learn the technologies that are offered by the Bachelor of Arts (BA) in Geography program. Study weather, climate and the changing surface of Earth. This program prepares you to seek professional registration as an environmental geoscientist (PGeo).

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Apply Your Learning

Opportunities exist for senior undergraduate students to participate in fieldwork in a variety of subdisciplines in Geography. These experiences range from working in the Northwest Territories studying impacts of a warming climate on permafrost to studying sand dune restoration and the ecological impacts of controlled burning at Pinery Provincial Park on the shore of Lake Huron.

While these field courses provide outstanding opportunities for a high-impact engaged learning experience, they also provide a chance for Geography students to bond together as a community. These experiences are often the most memorable for our students and reflect our department’s commitment to hands-on research training and learning in the field.

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: UHG
Ontario High School Admission Requirements
  • Minimum admission range: low 70s
  • Competitive admission range based on last year’s admitted students: mid 80s
  • English at 60%
  • Advanced Functions at 60%
  • Two of Biology, Chemistry or Physics at 60%
  • All prerequisite courses calculated in admissions average
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:

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

Completed a two to three-year advanced diploma:

  • Minimum admission average of 75% for full-time studies in a BA program.
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 Science in Geography

Geographers examine interactions between humans and their environment. Over the past few hundred years, humans have modified urban and natural systems at a staggering rate. As the human population continues to increase and the demand for space becomes more competitive, graduates of Geography will have a sound basis for understanding these pressing issues.

Our Bachelor of Science (BSc) in Geography offers you the opportunity to focus on the field of physical geography. Physical geography includes the sub-disciplines of geomorphology, climatology, biogeography and hydrology, and focuses on 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.

The BSc in Geography program prepares you to seek professional registration as an environmental geoscientist (PGeo).

Professional registration allows you to practice geoscience in the province of Ontario. The work involves analysis of different Earth systems and geoscientific situations in natural settings, so geoscientists need to gather on-site data and make direct field observations. Worksite locations can be remote and physically challenging. As a BSc in Geography graduate, you'll be able to confidently apply to seek professional registration.

Specialize in Your Passion

In addition to our general BSc in Geography, we offer several specialized, direct-entry programs:

  • Our BSc in Geography and Geomatics focuses on the use of technology to gather, analyze interpret and distribute geographic information.
  • Our BSc in Geography with the Environmental Science Option will have you exploring the ways to address problems caused by human activities. The study of organisms, geochemical and physical environmental interactions are essential to this understanding.
  • Our BSc in Water Science and Environmental Health applies underlying scientific principles pertaining to the physical, chemical and biological properties of water as well as water conservation and management.
  • Our BSc in Geography combined with Archaeology and Heritage Studies allows you to pursue aspects of archaeology that combine environmental approaches and geographical studies of the landscape, which employ the latest remote sensing techniques.
Geography is also available as a Bachelor of Arts (BA) degree, which focuses on the area of human geography and investigates complex issues in areas such as urban planning, travel, health and food systems.

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

  • The Anatomy of Earth
  • Calculus I for the Natural Sciences
  • Introduction to Human Geography
  • Introduction to Physical Geography
  • Introductory Calculus for the Natural Sciences
  • The Surface of Earth
  • Choice of four of the following courses:
    • Biological Diversity and Evolution
    • Fundamentals of Chemistry I
    • Fundamentals of Chemistry II
    • Mechanics
    • Mechanics for the Life Sciences
    • Thermodynamics and Waves
    • Thermodynamics and Waves for the Life Sciences
    • Unifying Life Processes

Sample Upper-Year Courses

  • Field Surveying
  • Hydrology
  • Introductory Physical Climatology
  • Sedimentation

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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"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
  • ecologist
  • environmental geoscientist (PGeo)
  • GIS applications specialist
  • hydrographer
  • industrial meteorologist
  • public policy analyst
  • sustainability officer
  • teacher/educator

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.