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The Geography Major draws on academic material from both the human and physical areas within the discipline. Curriculum emphasis is on the development of both theory and methodology, and on the practical application of geographical concepts to environmental, economic, social, and cultural problems at global to local scales, with emphasis on issues pertinent to southern British Columbia and Canada. The immediate focus of the Geography Major is on solving problems related to the environment, our use of resources, and development. By focusing on these, the Geography Major provides students with a specialized program that addresses issues of increasing concern and interest to Canadians. On entering the program, students should consult with the Geography program advisor to develop a curriculum plan for their last 60 credit hours of study. Before completing the last 30 credit hours of their degree, students should again have their program reviewed by the program advisor.

Program Learning Outcomes 

Upon successful completion of this program, students will be able to:

Geographic Knowledge

  • Explain core geographic ideas including scale, space, place, time, and human-environment interactions.
  • Describe core geographic forms, patterns, and processes.
  • Differentiate the spatial or areal patterns, relationships, and processes of both natural and anthropogenic phenomena on the Earth’s surface.  

Geographic Methods and Application of Knowledge  

  • Apply a justice-based approach to analyze social and environmental topics impacting local to global scales across urban, suburban, rural, remote, and changing contexts.  
  • Articulate how geographic concepts and theories are able to explain social, environmental, cultural, and economic spatial patterns.
  • Acquire, analyze, evaluate, and critically interpret geographic data.
  • Apply geographic theories, concepts, and methods to understand real world issues.
  • Employ critical thinking skills to interrogate spatially-oriented topics over time and place, and demonstrate how diverse values, attitudes, and ideas impact people and places differently.  

Comprehension and Communication of Impacts

  • Effectively communicate (through written, oral, and visual means), analyze, and convey complex problems or “big picture” dynamics impacting human-environmental relationships, recognizing that humans are major agents of change on our planet.
  • Identify and describe the pressures faced by our human and physical landscapes, acknowledging the interconnectedness of all people and places on Earth.    
  • Comprehend and clearly articulate how humans have altered natural processes in the atmosphere, biosphere, hydrosphere, and lithosphere often resulting in environmental degradation. 

Solutions, Action and the Possibilities and Limits to Knowledge

  • Develop solutions or tools to address concerns around resource extraction, development, environmental management, and other issues of increasing concern and interest to Canadians.
  • Reflect on their own positions as producers and consumers of geographic knowledge, demonstrating an ethical and respectful standpoint towards all people and natural environments.
  • Demonstrate a critical understanding of the histories and geographies of settler colonialism in what is now known as Canada. 

Major in Geography

Degree Requirements

Major in GeographyCredits
Foundational Requirements                                                                         21
Distribution Requirements12
Program Requirements48
300/400-level Electives18
Electives any level21
Total Credits120

Note: Some program requirements may be applied to Foundational and Distribution requirements; see B.A. requirements.  

Program Requirements


First and Second YearsCredits
GEOG_O 1083
GEOG_O 1093
GEOG_O 1283
GEOG_O 1293
Total credits                                                                                                     12
Second YearCredits
One of GEOG_O 270, 271, 272                 3
200-level GEOG_O elective3
Total credits                                                                                                        6
Third & Fourth Years Breadth RequirementCredits
Of the 30 300/400 level credits, students must take at least one course from each of the four breadth areas.
Physical Geography:  GEOG_O 301, 304, 307, 314, 317, 341, 356, 367, 414, 422, 436, 466 3
Human Geography: GEOG_O 351, 353, 354, 358, 359, 365, 426, 434, 451, 454, 458, 460, 4803
Methods: GEOG_O 371, 377, 470, 474; GISC_O 380, 381, 480 3
Integrative Themes: GEOG_O 310, 316, 413, 416, 423, 431, 435, 445, 461 3
300/400-level GEOG_O or GISC_O electives 18
Total 300/400-level credits 30
Program Requirement Total Credits 48

Minor in Geography

To complete a Minor in Geography, students must accumulate no fewer than 30 credits in Geography out of the 120 credits required for the B.A. degree. At least 18 of these credits must be numbered 300 or above.

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