Geography bridges the natural sciences, the social sciences and the humanities. The discipline is distinguished more by how its practitioners investigate problems than by the substance of the problems examined. Geographic education prepares students to approach problems from ecological and spatial perspectives. An ecological perspective is useful for investigating many environmental and resource management questions that focus upon relationships between humans and the natural environment. Alternatively a spatial perspective is concerned with understanding locational choices and locational relationships underlying human (social, cultural, historical, economic or political) behaviour at geographic scales ranging from the local to the global.
Despite the breadth of the discipline there are common first year courses for all students which emphasizes the interdependence and links between natural systems (biological, geomorphological, hydrological, meteorological) and human behaviour (social, economic, historical, cultural, political). In second year, students who wish to emphasize the natural science aspects of Geography begin streaming into B.Sc. programs and can elect to pursue degrees in either Physical Geography or Earth Systems Science (the Geography option within Environmental Science). Students who wish to emphasize Human Geography stream into B.A. programs where the geography of urbanization, development, cultural change, historical geography, environmental studies are illustrative of the topics studied. The department's internationally-oriented curriculum includes courses in the regional geography of Europe, Central America, and Tropical Africa as well as Canada. All students learn a variety of research methods such as geographic information systems, statistical analysis, computer mapping and satellite remote sensing which are essential tools for studying geographic problems.
University level geography can help open a wide range of career opportunities and has proven to be excellent preparation for students moving toward a variety of professional programs such as planning, business administration, public administration, industrial relations, law or a range of programs dealing with environmental and resource issues.
Arts (BA) concentrations: No specific high school course is required to pursue a BA or BA (Honours) program in Geography
Science (BSc) concentrations: At least two of 4U Advanced Functions and Introductory Calculus, Chemistry Physics or recognized equivalents required; subjects of specialization concentrations require all three. Any Grade 4U or M Geography or recognized equivalent is recommended.
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