University of Calgary : Geography - GEOG


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Graduate Studies Calendar 2018-2019 Program Descriptions Geography GEOG
Geography - GEOG
Contact Information

Location: Earth Sciences Building, Room 356
Program number: 403.220.5584
Fax: 403.282.6561
Email address: geograd@ucalgary.ca
Web page URL: geog.ucalgary.ca

1. Degrees and Specializations Offered

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)
Master of Arts (MA), thesis-based
Master of Science (MSc), thesis-based
Master of Geographic Information Systems (MGIS), course-based with research component

2. Admission Requirements

In addition to Faculties of Graduate Studies and Arts requirements, the Department of Geography requires all MA/MSc and PhD applicants to submit:

a) A proposal describing applicant’s intended research area.

b) A current curriculum vitae or résumé.

c) Two reference letters.

For MGIS applicants the Department requires:

a) A statement of interest outlining the applicant’s goals, motivation for applying to the program, and research area of interest.

b) A current curriculum vitae or résumé.

c) Two reference letters.

For the academic background requirements for the MGIS program, the Department will accept a four-year BA or BSc degree in Geography or in any related field that makes use of spatial data. Examples include, but are not limited to: Anthropology, Archaeology, Biological Sciences, Computer Science, Ecology, Environmental Science, Geology/Geophysics, Geomatics Engineering, History, Management, Mathematics, Political Science, Psychology, Tourism, Transportation Studies or Engineering, and Urban Studies.

4. Advanced Credit

The applicant must make advanced credit requests as part of the admission process. Credit will not be given for course work taken as part of another completed degree/diploma or for courses taken to bring the grade point average to a required level for admission.

5. Program/Course Requirements

In addition to Faculties of Graduate Studies and Arts requirements, the Department requires the following:

Master of Geographic Information Systems

Thirty units (5.0 full-course equivalents) must be completed while in the program. At least 24 units (4.0 full-course equivalents) of these must be at the 600 level or higher; the remaining 6 units (1.0 full-course equivalent) may be at the 500 level. These will include:

a) Three core courses in Geographic Information Sciences in the areas of Remote Sensing, Spatial Analysis and Geographic Information Systems:

Geography 633 Research and Applications in Remote Sensing
Geography 639 Advanced Spatial Analysis and Modelling
Geography 647 Advanced Research and Applications in Geographic Information Systems

Each course assumes that the student has two undergraduate courses in the areas of Remote Sensing, analytical methods in Geography (or inferential statistics) and Geographic Information Systems, respectively.

b) Two research-based courses related to the area of Geographic Information Science:

Geography 681 GIS Project: Theoretical Issues
Geography 683 GIS Project: Application

These courses will be on a topic mutually agreed upon between the student and the supervisor. The first course will be concerned with gathering information and literature on the research topic and will provide a critical assessment of this literature. This will be written up as a course paper that will equate to the literature review chapter of a traditional thesis. The second research course will be concerned with carrying out a program of analysis in the chosen research area using the Geographic Information Science tools discussed in the core courses. The final paper produced for this course will equate to the analysis and discussion chapters of a traditional thesis.

c) Fifteen units (2.5 full-course equivalents) of additional courses chosen by mutual agreement between the student and the supervisor. These courses will support the student's chosen research project and understanding of the Geographic Information Sciences.

The MGIS program may be completed on a full-time or a part-time basis.

Master of Arts, Master of Science

a) Twelve units (2.0 full-course equivalents) in a two-year period, including History and Philosophy of Physical or Human Geography, and at least one graduate-level methods course in Geography.

b) Four semesters of Geography 601 (Graduate Research Seminars). Students may be exempted from a portion of this requirement by the Graduate Program Director.

c) An approved thesis proposal completed within the first year of the program.
For detailed information on courses and program requirements please refer to: geog.ucalgary.ca.

Full-time status is expected. In some situations thesis programs may be completed on a part-time basis with approval from the Graduate Program Director.

Doctor of Philosophy

a) Six units (1.0 full-course equivalent) during the first two years in program, including History and Philosophy of Physical or Human Geography.

b) Four semesters of Geography 601 (Graduate Research Seminars). Students may be exempted from a portion of this requirement by the Graduate Program Director.

c) An approved thesis proposal completed within the first 20 months of the program.

d) A candidacy exam completed within the first 24 months of the program.

For detailed information on courses and program requirements please refer to: geog.ucalgary.ca.

Full-time status is expected. In some situations thesis programs may be completed on a part-time basis with approval from the Graduate Program Director.

6. Additional Requirements

For thesis programs: participation in the graduate research seminar series and the annual Department Conference.

For MGIS students: participation in the annual graduate student Department conference (oral presentation or development of an academic poster of their project work for presentation/display).

Departures from regular departmental program/course requirements may be recommended on an individual basis by the interim advisor or supervisor with approval from the Graduate Program Director.

7. Credit for Undergraduate Courses

No more than one half of a regular thesis graduate student’s coursework can be at the undergraduate level. Programs requiring a larger ratio of undergraduate courses must receive approval of the Dean of Graduate Studies at the time of admission. MGIS students are allowed a maximum of 6 units (1.0 full-course equivalent) credit at the 500 level.

8. Time Limit

Expected completion time is two years in MA/MSc programs and four years in the PhD program. Maximum completion time is four years for MA/MSc programs and six years for the PhD program. For the MGIS Program, minimum completion time is one year and maximum completion time is six years.

9. Supervisory Assignments

Each graduate student has a supervisor appointed within the first term in program. For PhD students, a supervisory committee should be appointed within three months of the appointment of supervisor.

10. Required Examinations

The following program-specific requirements supplement the Faculty of Graduate Studies requirements:

Comprehensive Examination

MGIS oral comprehensive examinations will be based on project and course work. MGIS students will be examined on their comprehensive understanding of course material and their integrated professional knowledge/conception of geographic information science. The examination committee will consist of at least three examiners, including the graduate student advisor, but with no requirement for an external examiner.

Candidacy

PhD candidacy requirements include a written and an oral Field of Study examination. Specific details of the examination format and other candidacy requirements can be found on the Geography website at https://geog.ucalgary.ca/graduate/regulations.

Thesis Examination

Thesis examinations are open.

Scheduling of the Examination

All members of the Supervisory Committee must have reviewed the student’s research, including a relevant written sample of the materials related to the thesis, before an examination can be scheduled.

Normally, the review of the research by the Supervisory Committee will be by presentation and discussion of the student’s thesis research at a Supervisory Committee Meeting supported by a relevant written sample of the materials related to the thesis. For master’s students that do not have a Supervisory Committee, the Supervisor will review the research.

Composition of the Committee

The Internal Examiner must be external to the home program.

11. Research Proposal Requirements

See Program/Course Requirements.

12. Financial Assistance

Department funding is available to highly ranked thesis students. Financial assistance may be available to qualified thesis students. For information on awards, see the Awards and Financial Assistance section of this Calendar or check the Graduate Awards Database: grad.ucalgary.ca/awards.

Unless otherwise stated, awards are made only to full-time students in thesis programs.