The objectives of the Department are to foster awareness of the field of Geography, and to add to the body of geographic knowledge and methodology through teaching and research. The Department also endeavors to prepare specialized teachers and researchers to meet the demands of the teaching profession and of various public and private agencies. The Department of Geography offers a master of arts (with thesis), a master of science (with thesis), and a PhD in geography. In certain cases, students may be admitted to the master's in geography on a part-time basis.**

The MA in Geography and MSc in Geography are two programs participating in the collaborative program in Environmental Sustainability as well as in the collaborative program in Science, Society and Policy (at the master's level only). The department participates in a collaborative program in Canadian Studies at the PhD level. For more information on this program, see “Admission Requirements.”

Because of its strength in relevant areas, its bilingual character and its location in the national capital, the University of Ottawa is uniquely positioned to offer a collaborative program leading to a specialization in Canadian Studies at the doctoral level. The program is especially designed for doctoral students in selected programs in the humanities and the social sciences who wish to enrich their training in a particular discipline by including an interdisciplinary component. 

The programs are governed by the general regulations in effect for graduate studies. 

**Part-time students must normally complete course requirements, except the thesis, within a period of not more than 24 months. For more information consult the department.

For the most accurate and up to date information on application deadlines, language tests and other admission requirements, please visit the specific requirements webpage.

Students must meet the admission requirements outlined in the general regulations in effect for graduate studies, as well as the specific requirements of the department.

Students may be admitted to the PhD program on the basis of a master's degree or its equivalent in geography or a related discipline, with an academic record indicating at least a (B+) average or the equivalent.

Students are required to spend at least six terms of full-time enrollment at the University. For a definition of full-time enrollment, please see Section C "Enrollment" of the general regulations in effect for graduate studies. 

Additional Coursework

The Admissions Committee may, depending on the candidates’ background, require them to successfully complete additional courses, including language courses, beyond the basic MA degree requirements.

Application Deadline

To find the application deadline, please check the program-specific requirements under Application Procedures and Information at the following address:

Transfer from Master’s to PhD 

Students enrolled in the MA or MSc program in geography at the University of Ottawa who have obtained excellent results may be admitted into the PhD program without completing a master's thesis. To take advantage of this option, they must meet, in sequence, the following conditions:

  1. obtain a minimum average of A- in three master's courses;
  2. have the department's approval;
  3. successfully complete GEG 7906; and
  4. demonstrate satisfactory progress in the research program.

The course GEG 7906 will provide six units that may be used toward the fulfillment of the PhD course requirements, thus leaving one three-unit course to be completed. Please note that the minimal admission average requirements for the doctoral program must also be met.

Collaborative Program

The Department of Geography is one of the participating units in the collaborative programs in Canadian Studies (PhD level only). Students should indicate in their initial application for admission that they wish to be accepted into one of the collaborative programs. 

Admission to the collaborative program in Canadian Studies at the doctoral level is determined by the coordination committee and will normally take place before the end of the first year of enrollment in the doctoral program. Students must meet the following conditions to be accepted:

  • Enrollment in the doctoral program of one of the participating units.
  • Enrollment in, or successful completion of, at least one course with Canadian content in the participating unit where the student is enrolled.
  • Selection of the thesis topic with Canadian content. The coordination committee will determine, in consultation with the thesis director, if the Canadian content of the thesis meets the requirements of the collaborative program.

The title of the degree will in each case specify the discipline of the participating unit with specialization in Canadian Studies.

Language Requirements

Students should be able to understand and read both official languages of Canada in order to participate in the bilingual interdisciplinary seminar CDN 6910.

Additional Information

For additional information, refer to the Department of Geography's website.

The requirements of this program are as follows:

Compulsory Courses:
9 optional course units in geography (GEG) at the graduate level 19 Units
Second Language Proficiency Test 2
Comprehensive Examination:
GEG 9998Comprehensive Examination
Thesis Project:
GEG 9001Preparation of Ph.D. Thesis Project6 Units
THD 9999Doctoral Thesis


Collaborative Program in Canadian Studies

Students enrolled in the collaborative program will be asked to meet both the requirements of their primary program and those of the collaborative program. The requirements of the collaborative program will serve as partial fulfilment of the requirements of their primary program.

Compulsory Courses:
3 course units from:3 Units
Séminaire sur la francophonie canadienne 1
Seminar in Canadian Studies

Submission and successful defence of a thesis on a Canadian topic in the participating unit.

The proposed topic must be approved by both the participating unit and the Canadian Studies Graduate Committee. At least one of the examiners of the thesis must be a person chosen in consultation with the executive committee of the Institute of Canadian and Aboriginal Studies.


Minimum Standards

The passing grade in all courses is C+. Students who fail two courses (equivalent to 6 units) must withdraw from the program.

Duration of Program

The requirements of the program are usually fulfilled within four years. The maximum time permitted is six years from the date of initial enrollment in the program.

Thesis Advisory Committee

During the first term of the program, a thesis advisory committee (TAC) is formed for the candidate. The Committee’s membership will be determined by the specific interests of the candidate. It will be composed of the supervisor and 2-3 additional professors. At least one member of the thesis committee, in addition to the supervisor, must be form the Faculty of Medecine. The TAC is responsible for guiding the student throughout the program, including course selection, the comprehensive examination, thesis proposal, and thesis defense.

A meeting between the student and the Thesis Advisory Committee will take place at least once per term. The thesis examining board may include members who are not part of the TAC.

Research Fields & Facilities

Located in the heart of Canada’s capital, a few steps away from Parliament Hill, the University of Ottawa is among Canada’s top 10 research universities.

uOttawa focuses research strengths and efforts in four Strategic Areas of Development in Research (SADRs):

  • Canada and the World
  • Health
  • e-Society
  • Molecular and Environmental Sciences

With cutting-edge research, our graduate students, researchers and educators strongly influence national and international priorities.

Research at the Faculty of Arts

The Faculty of Arts is proud of the state of the art research conducted by its professors. In the spirit of showcasing its research to the university community as well as to the general public, the Faculty has created three activities: Dean's Lecture Series, Treasures of the Library, and Excellence Lectures.

Facilities, Research Centres and Institutes at the Faculty of Arts

Centre de recherche en civilisation canadienne-française, Institute of Canadian and Aboriginal Studies, Institute for Science, Society and Policy, Official Languages and Bilingualism Institute (OLBI) and Morisset Library.

For more information, refer to the list of faculty members and their research fields on Uniweb

IMPORTANT: Candidates and students looking for professors to supervise their thesis or research project can also consult the website of the faculty or department of their program of choice. Uniweb does not list all professors authorized to supervise research projects at the University of Ottawa.

GEG 5105 Selected Topics in Human Geography (3 units)

In-depth examination of a question or topic linked to new trends or research areas in human geography.

Course Component: Seminar

GEG 5109 Place and Social Transformations (3 units)

Interplay between social and spatial transformations and its implications for meanings and representations from global to local scales.

Course Component: Seminar

GEG 5310 Selected Topics in Physical Geography (3 units)

Course Component: Seminar

GEG 5311 Environmental Change in Cold Regions (3 units)

Dynamics of cold environments with particular emphasis on their sensitivity to climate variability and climate change, natural and anthropogenically induced.

Course Component: Seminar

GEG 5505 Thèmes choisis en géographie humaine (3 crédits)

Volet : Séminaire

GEG 5510 Espaces et lieux entre société et culture (3 crédits)

Espaces de référence, lieux d'appartenance et territoire dans le contexte des mutations sociales contemporaines et de la fragmentation des identités culturelles.

Volet : Séminaire

GEG 5707 Milieux nordiques (3 crédits)

Les milieux glaciaires ou périglaciaires, anciens ou actuels. Approches géomorphologique, hydrologique et paléobotanique.

Volet : Séminaire

GEG 5710 Thèmes choisis en géographie physique (3 crédits)

Volet : Séminaire

GEG 5914 Problèmes géographiques du Canada de l'Est / Geographical Problems of Eastern Canada (2 crédits / 2 units)

Volet / Course Component: Séminaire / Seminar

GEG 5970 Lectures dirigées / Directed Readings I (3 crédits / 3 units)

Volet / Course Component: Recherche / Research

GEG 5973 Élaboration du projet de thèse (3 crédits / 3 units)

Volet / Course Component: Recherche / Research

GEG 6101 Data Analysis and Modelling (3 units)

Techniques of analysis of empirical data: quantitative, semi-quantitative and qualitative. Multivariate and time-series data analysis.

Course Component: Seminar

GEG 6102 Advanced Geomatics (3 units)

Concepts and themes in advanced geomatics: geographical information systems, computer cartography and remote sensing.

Course Component: Seminar

GEG 6103 Spatial Data Analysis (3 units)

Visualisation and analysis of spatial data: point-pattern analysis, spatial interpolation and estimation, spatial autocorrelation. Analysis of spatial interaction and spatio-temporal dynamics.

Course Component: Seminar

GEG 6501 Analyse de données et modélisation (3 crédits)

Modes de traitement appropriés à différents types de données empiriques : quantitatives, semi-quantitatives et qualitatives. Examen des méthodes d'analyse multivariées et temporelles.

Volet : Séminaire

GEG 6502 Géomatique avancée (3 crédits)

Concepts et thèmes en géomatique avancée : systèmes d'information géographique, cartographie digitale et télédétection.

Volet : Séminaire

GEG 6503 Analyse des données spatiales (3 crédits)

Visualisation et analyse de données spatiales : analyse de configurations spatiales, interpolation et estimation spatiales, autocorrélation spatiale. Analyse des interactions dans l'espace et de la dynamique spatiotemporelle.

Volet : Séminaire

GEG 7906 Recherche dirigée / Directed Research (6 crédits / 6 units)

Recherche dirigée pendant une session, évaluée par trois membres de la Faculté des études supérieures et postdoctorales. L'inscription à temps plein est obligatoire. La note donnée sera S (satisfaisant) ou NS (non satisfaisant). N.B. Inscription limitée aux étudiants désirant transférer de la maîtrise au doctorat. / One session of directed research, evaluated by three members of the Faculty of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies. The student must be enrolled full-time for this session. The course will be graded S (satisfactory) / NS (Not satisfactory). NOTE: Restricted to students intending to transfer from master's to PhD.

Volet / Course Component: Recherche / Research

GEG 7910 Lectures dirigées / Directed Readings (3 crédits / 3 units)

Volet / Course Component: Recherche / Research

Permission du Département est requise. / Permission of the Department is required.

GEG 7996 Élaboration et présentation du projet de thèse de maîtrise ès sciences / Preparation and Presentation of the MSc Thesis Project (3 crédits / 3 units)

Le projet de recherche doit normalement s'inscrire dans un champ d'études reconnu par le CRSNG. / The research project must normally be in a research field recognized by NSERC.

Volet / Course Component: Recherche / Research

GEG 7998 Élaboration et présentation du projet de thèse de maîtrise ès arts / Preparation and Presentation of the M.A. Thesis Project (3 crédits / 3 units)

Le projet de recherche doit normalement s'inscrire dans un champ d'études reconnu par le CRSHC. / The research project must normally be in a research field recognized by SSRHC.

Volet / Course Component: Recherche / Research

GEG 8900 Lectures dirigées / Directed Readings (3 crédits / 3 units)

Volet / Course Component: Recherche / Research

Permission du Département est requise. / Permission of the Department is required.

GEG 9001 Élaboration du projet de thèse de doctorat / Preparation of Ph.D. Thesis Project (6 crédits / 6 units)

Volet / Course Component: Recherche / Research

GEG 9998 Examen de synthèse / Comprehensive Examination

Volet / Course Component: Recherche / Research

CDN 6520 Séminaire sur la francophonie canadienne (3 crédits)

Séminaire sur des thèmes se rapportant à la francophonie canadienne, particulièrement les francophones vivant en situation minoritaire.

Volet : Séminaire

CDN 6910 Séminaire en études canadiennes / Seminar in Canadian Studies (3 crédits / 3 units)

Séminaire interdisciplinaire bilingue sur des sujets se rapportant au Canada. Les thèmes seront choisis en consultation avec les unités participantes, en tenant compte du nombre d'étudiants, de l'orientation de leur recherches et celles des unités participantes. / Bilingual interdisciplinary seminar on issues related to the study of Canada. Tipics to be selected in consultation with participating units, taking into consideration the number of students, their research interests and those of the participating units.

Volet / Course Component: Séminaire / Seminar