Graduate Degree Programs

Geography and Planning offers a Master of Arts or Master of Science and a Doctoral program. The MA can be taken as a one- or two-year program, MSc degrees are generally two-year programs, and the PhD is typically completed in four years.  We also offer a two-year professionally-accredited Masters of Urban and Regional Planning (MPL) through our School of Urban and Regional Planning.


The following program of study options are available for Master's students:

Master of Arts (MA)

  1. Completion of four graduate term-length courses and a full thesis (two-year program); or
  2. Completion of six graduate term-length courses and a half thesis (one-year program). Possible formats of the half thesis are listed in Section D of our MA and MSc Requirements and Regulations.

Master of Science (MSC)

  1. Completion of four graduate term-length courses and a full thesis (two-year program).

GPHY-857* is required for all Master's students in addition to the standard course load.

The Master's program may be completed in one year as described above, but the normal timeline for completion is two years (or five terms).

We also offer a Combined Degree Program (BAH/MA; BSCH/MSC) that allows Geography undergraduate students to take Geography graduate courses as part of their undergraduate program.

These courses (two maximum) will count towards the requirements of both their undergraduate and graduate Geography degrees. Students apply late in their third year or early in the fourth year of their undergraduate program.  

For details, or to apply, please contact our main office.

Admission is based upon the completion of a Master's degree or its equivalent at a superior level at a recognized university. In exceptional circumstances, resident Master's students may be accelerated into the Ph.D. program.

The program involves satisfying the following requirements:

  1. Course work. Satisfactory completion of a minimum of three graduate one-term courses including GPHY 801 (a one-term equivalent Ph.D. Research Seminar) beyond the Master's degree.
  2. Qualifying Examination. Undertaken upon completion of all coursework, usually during the fall term of the second year of study. The examination focuses on the preparation and defence of a thesis proposal and its field of study.
  3. Dissertation. Completion and oral defence of a doctoral dissertation.

The program may be completed within three years of full-time study. Students are eligible for funding for the first four years of the program.