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About the University of Calgary
Graduate Studies Calendar 2019-2020 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. Credentials Offered

Degrees

  • 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

Certificate

  • Graduate Certificate in Geospatial Information Technology
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 applicants to the MGIS program or the Graduate Certificate in Geospatial Information Technology, 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 or the Graduate Certificate in Geospatial Information Technology, 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.

3. Application Deadline

Deadlines for submission of complete applications are available on the Future Students website:

Master of Arts: ucalgary.ca/future-students/graduate/explore-programs/geography-master-arts-thesis-based

Master of Science: ucalgary.ca/future-students/graduate/explore-programs/geography-master-science-thesis-based

Doctor of Philosophy: ucalgary.ca/future-students/graduate/explore-programs/geography-doctor-philosophy-thesis-based

MGIS: ucalgary.ca/future-students/graduate/explore-programs/geography-master-geographic-information-systems-course-based

Graduate Certificate in Geospatial Information Technology: This program will start in Fall 2020. Application deadlines will be posted on the website ucalgary.ca/future-students/graduate/explore-programs by Winter 2020.

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. See Advanced Credit.

5. Program/Course Requirements

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

Graduate Certificate in Geospatial Information Technology

Twelve units as follows:

Master of Geographic Information Systems

Thirty units must be completed while in the program. At least 24 units of these must be at the 600 level or higher; the remaining 6 units 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:

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:

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 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 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 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 credit at the 500 level.

No credit will be given for undergraduate courses towards the Graduate Certificate in Geospatial Information Technology.

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.

The expected time to completion for the Graduate Certificate in Geospatial Information Technology is one year, and the maximum completion time is two 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.

Graduate Certificate in Geospatial Information Systems program will be appointed a faculty member who will act as an academic advisor.

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 available only to full-time students in thesis programs.