Geography Program

An aerial shot of the community of Blue Rocks, showing its rugged coastline and fishing buildings.

Why Study Geography?

Geography is the study of the Earth's surface, and of the spatial distribution and patterns of its physical and human characteristics. Geographers study how natural and cultural processes work to create distinct spaces, places, landscapes, and regions.

Geography is a subject of practical importance in such fields as urban and regional planning, industrial location, marketing, resource development, environmental monitoring and management, and geomatics.

In addition to preparing you for a rewarding career, completing a geography program equips you for a more informed life in a world where everything you do affects someone or something — not just locally, but globally.

Available Programs in Geography

Saint Mary’s is home to the only degree programs in geography in Nova Scotia. We offer Geography undergraduate programs (Major, Honours, Minor, and Concentration) as part of both a Bachelor of Arts degree or a Bachelor of Science degree (including Major and Honours in Combined Geology and Geography). A Minor in Geography may be completed as part of a Bachelor of Environmental Studies or Bachelor of Commerce degree. There is also a Master of Arts in Geography program.

Geography Courses

Courses in Geography are organized in four groups:

Group A - Human Geography (with themes in economic, urban, and cultural geography)

Group B - Physical Geography (biogeography, weather and climate, geomorphology [landforms and landscapes] and natural hazards)

Group C - Techniques (geospatial concepts, geographic information systems, statistical methods and qualitative methods)

Group D - Integrative (includes regional geography, environmental management, oceans, field schools and more)

Titles and descriptions can be found on our course listings page.

Experiential Learning Opportunities

Many Geography courses have lab periods and field trips that emphasize hands-on learning activities, and we regularly offer field school courses in regional and international locations.

Independent research may be conducted by completing an Honours thesis project, and there are frequent opportunities to work as a research assistant for a faculty member.

Preparing for a Career

Geographers develop many essential skills that are valuable to employers, allowing students who complete a geography degree to pursue a wide range of careers. These essential skills include:

  • Demonstrated capacity for spatial thinking and analysis at multiple scales.
  • Critical understanding of the complex interactions between humans and the environment.
  • Practical skills and knowledge in geographic information systems (GIS), geomatics and cartography.
  • Problem-solving strategies are approached from an integrative perspective.
  • Tangible field and lab experience.

The Canadian Association of Geographers shows examples of how these skills can be applied by profiling 40 professional geographers in a wide range of careers.

What Our Students are Saying 

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