Physical Geography is the scientific study of processes and patterns at the Earth's surface. It uses field and laboratory measurements and spatial data to evaluate our world's changing climates, water, land, plants and animals. Physical geographers are trained to synthesize environmental knowledge and apply it to real-world problems such as coastal erosion or loss of habitat. Solving these problems also requires the collection, management and computer analysis of the vast amounts of spatial data now available, which is the domain of Geomatics.

Students in the BSc Major in Physical Geography and Geomatics at the University of Ottawa learn to use the full range of geospatial technologies (drones/UAVs, global positioning systems, geographic information systems, satellite imaging, spatial analysis) to study environments ranging from the mountains of the Yukon to the coral reefs of Zanzibar. Graduates from the program will have the scientific knowledge and the technical skills to become leaders in these growing fields.

The program is offered in English and in French.

The table below includes only the discipline-specific courses. Please refer to the Academic Regulations for information on the Honours bachelor's with double major and the Honours bachelor's with major and minor.

Co-operative education is available when taken as part of an honours degree.

The extended French stream is available with this program.

This program cannot be combined with the Minor in Geomatics.

This program satisfies the academic requirements of the Association of Professional Geoscientists of Ontario. 

Compulsory courses at the 1000 level
GEG 1301The Physical Environment3 Units
ITI 1120Introduction to Computing I3 Units
Compulsory courses at the 2000 level
GEG 2301Geomorphology3 Units
GEG 2304Climatology3 Units
GEG 2320Introduction to Geomatics3 Units
GEG 2918Field Camp I3 Units
Compulsory courses at the 3000 level
GEG 3105Remote Sensing3 Units
GEG 3312Advanced GIS3 Units
Compulsory courses at the 4000 level
GEG 4301Advanced Geomatics3 Units
Optional courses
9 optional course units from:9 Units
Introduction to Organismal Biology
Principles of Chemistry
Introduction to Earth Systems
Introduction to Earth Materials
Principles of Physics I
6 optional course units from one of the following options:6 Units
Option 1
Calculus I
Calculus II
Option 2
Calculus for the Life Sciences I
Calculus for the Life Sciences II
3 optional course units from: 13 Units
Field Research
Northern Field Research
Glaciology
Physical Geography Field Camp
15 optional course units from:15 Units
Advanced Geomorphology
Hydrology
Biogeography
Selected Topics in Physical Geography
Quaternary Paleogeography
Histoire de la géographie
Field Research
Northern Field Research
Permafrost Environments
GIS and Numerical Spatial Analysis
Applications of GIS in Natural and Social Sciences
Seminar in Physical Geography
Global Climate Change
Paléoenvironnements du quaternaire
Total: 60 Units