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4.29 Geography
4.29.1 BA in Geography
4.29.2 BSc in Geography
4.29.3 BA Honours Geography
4.29.4 BSc Honours Geography
4.29.5 Minor in Geography
4.29.6 BSc in Earth Science
4.29.7 BSc Honours Earth Science
4.29.8 Minor in Earth Science
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4.29.10 Minor in Urban Studies
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University of Calgary Calendar 2018-2019 Faculty of Arts 4. Program Details 4.29 Geography
4.29 Geography
Overview of Programs and Procedures
Baccalaureate Degrees Offered

Degrees in Geography:

Bachelor of Arts (BA) in Geography

BA in Geography with Co-operative Education

Bachelor of Science (BSc) in Geography

BSc in Geography with Co-operative Education

BA Honours in Geography

BA Honours in Geography with Co-operative Education

BSc Honours in Geography

BSc Honours in Geography with Co-operative Education

Concurrent BA in Geography and Bachelor of Education

Concurrent BSc in Geography and Bachelor of Education

Degrees in Earth Science

Bachelor of Science (BSc) in Earth Science

BSc in Earth Science with Co-operative Education

BSc Honours in Earth Science

BSc Honours in Earth Science with Co-operative Education

Degrees in Urban Studies

Bachelor of Arts (BA) in Urban Studies

BA in Urban Studies with Co-operative Education

Note: Minors are offered in Geography, Earth Science and Urban Studies.


The Department offers programs in Geography, Earth Science and Urban Studies. The Department of Geography also participates in the Environmental Science program, which is housed in the Faculty of Science.


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 things as planning (urban, transportation or tourism, for example), environmental impact, transportation or resource management.

Earth Science

Earth Science is the study of earth materials in addition to the natural and human processes that shape the landscape. Many of the environmental issues facing our planet are related to the interaction between natural systems and our society. The Earth Science Program integrates the strengths of four disciplines to better understand these interactions. Integrating theory and methods from each discipline gives a broader perspective and therefore more powerful problem solving skills. The four disciplines that comprise the Earth Science Program are: Geography, which integrates the natural and the human (social) sciences by stressing how location influences both natural and human phenomenon on the Earth’s surface; Archaeology, which investigates past human activities by analyzing material remains and makes links between cultural changes associated with climate change; Geology, which is the study of the materials and processes that form the Earth; and Geophysics, which uses the laws and techniques of physics to acquire knowledge about the Earth’s dynamic systems and subsurface structures.

Earth Science and APEGA Regulations

The practice of geology and geophysics in Alberta is governed by Provincial law and regulated by the Association of Professional Engineers and Geoscientists of Alberta (APEGA). The Earth Science program is not designed to meet those requirements. Persons intending to pursue geology or geophysics as a profession should obtain a BSc or BSc Honours in Geology or Geophysics.

Urban Studies

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. Understanding the processes that shape cities, as well as the ways in which cities shape processes operating at other scales, lies at the heart of Urban Studies. 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.

Contact Information

Department Office: Earth Sciences 356

Phone: 403.220.5584

Fax: 403.282.6561


Urban Studies Co-ordinator:


For Program Advice

Students should consult a program advisor in the Arts Students’ Centre for information and advice on their overall program requirements.

For more specific advice regarding course selection and requirements in the major field, students should consult the subject advisor located in their home Department (consult Department website for contact information).

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.2 Undergraduate Admission 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 3.4.2 Honours Degrees with a Major Field are applicable and provide the overall framework. The application deadline is February 1.

Overlapping Programs

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.

Field of Earth Sciences

The Interdisciplinary Field of Earth Science consists of the following courses:

Field of Geography

The Field of Geography consists of all courses labelled Geography (GEOG). Geography courses are subdivided as follows:

Human Geography (List A): Geography 251, 253, 321, 341, 351, 361, 365, 367, 371, 377, 381, 397, 421, 425, 429, 451, 463, 465, 470, 479521, 522, 529, 553565, 597; Anthropology/Archaeology 523.

Physical Geography (List B): Geography 211, 305, 307, 313, 315, 403, 407, 411, 413, 415, 417, 503, 507, 509, 516, 519, 567, 599.

Other Geography Courses (List C): Geography 205, 213, 231, 311, 317, 333, 339, 340, 357, 391, 392, 393, 394, 395, 433, 437, 439, 457, 533, 591, 593, 596.

Field of Urban Studies

The Interdisciplinary Field of Urban Studies consists of the following categories and courses:

Core Courses

Urban Studies 253 and 591, Geography 341, 351 and 451.

Anthropology 379, Canadian Studies 355, Economics 365, Geography 521, 553, 565, History 354, Political Science 425, Sociology 353, Urban Studies 311.

Research Methods for Urban Studies

The following Research Methods courses are relevant to the Field of Urban Studies:

A. Qualitative Methods:

Anthropology 411; Communication and Media Studies 313; Communication and Media Studies 371; English 302; Geography 340; History 300; Political Science 357; Sociology 313*, 413

Note: Courses of language instruction in a single language other than English or courses conducted in a single language other than English may be used to fulfil the Qualitative Methods requirement. Students must contact the Urban Studies program co-ordinator for approval.

B. Quantitative Methods:

Economics 395; Geography 339, 439; Political Science 399; Sociology 311, 313*, 315; Courses labelled Statistics

*Sociology 313 is taught as either Qualitative or Quantitative. The Urban Studies Program Co-ordinator will determine the methods list into which the particular section will be counted.

C. Geospatial Methods

Geography 357, 437, 457

Urban Studies Options

All courses labelled Urban Studies; Anthropology 479; Archaeology 325; Geography 429, 463, 465, 470, 479; Greek and Roman Studies 325, 327, 445, 447; Political Science 433, 447, 451; Sociology 355, 375, 453, 467, 471, 499. Students admitted to the Architectural Studies minor may use Architectural Studies 457.01, 457.02 towards this requirement. Up to 6 units (1.0 full-course equivalent) from Geography 394, 395 (Overseas Field Schools) may be considered when content is Urban focused. Sociology 499 (Sociology Field School) may also be considered when content is Urban focused.