Geography is the study of people, places and patterns on the Earth's surface. Students learn how to analyze the meaning of patterns formed on the Earth's surface by natural processes and human activity. Geographers apply these concepts and information to manage and use Earth's resources to advance human civilization in a sustainable manner. Geography has many facets, and undergraduates learn about all of them: human geography, physical geography, and techniques and methods. They also learn the basics of how to conduct research to answer the many unsolved questions in Geography. Because Geography is so broad in scope, geographers work in a wide variety of jobs. They are, above all, specialists in putting together information from a wide variety of disciplines to arrive at solutions to problems involving location and spatial relationships - such as planning (urban, transportation or tourism, for example), environmental impact, transportation or resource management.
Urban Studies is a broad interdisciplinary program designed to provide an integrated understanding of the social, political, economic, cultural, and geographic processes that shape urban life. Cities are sites of great cultural and ethnic diversity, economic innovation, cultural expression, resource consumption, wealth generation, and political conflict and co-operation. Today most developed societies are predominantly urban, even as global processes increasingly shape them. The processes that shape urban life play a critical role in shaping the sustainability of societies. Indeed, it is impossible to understand sustainability issues without understanding the organization of cities. The Urban Studies program provides a strong background for students interested in working in public and private sector fields including urban and regional planning, architecture, environmental design, economic development, city administration, social services and policy, cultural programming, urban politics, and education.
Students should consult an undergraduate program advisor in the Arts Students’ Centre for information and advice on their overall program requirements. Advising contact information can be found online: arts.ucalgary.ca/advising.
Admission to the Major
Prospective students wishing to enter the BA or BSc (Geography) Program, the BSc (Earth Science) Program or the BA (Urban Studies) Program must meet the criteria listed in section A.5 Undergraduate Admission Requirements of this Calendar.
Admission to Honours
The Faculty of Arts procedures for admission to the BA or BSc Honours (Geography) and the BSc Honours (Earth Science) are established in section 3.3.2 Honours Degrees are applicable and provide the overall framework. Students wishing to apply to an Honours program must apply through their Student Centre for a change of program to Honours by February 1.
Programs in Geography cannot be taken in conjunction with programs in: Earth Science; Environmental Science or Urban Studies. This restriction applies to Major-plus-Minor combinations, Double Majors, Combined Degrees and Second Baccalaureate Degrees.
Programs in Earth Science can be taken in conjunction with Environmental Science, Geology, Applied and Environmental Geology or Geophysics with approval from the Faculty of Arts. Consent is required for Major-plus-Minor combinations, Double Majors, Combined Degrees and Second Baccalaureate Degrees.
*Up to 6 units from Geography Overseas Field Schools may be considered when content is Urban focused
**Subject to approval by the Program Co-ordinator when topic content is Urban focused
***Students admitted to the Architectural Studies minor