Department of Geography and Environmental Studies

Master of Arts in Geography

Are you considering graduate studies? 

Saint Mary’s offers a two-year, thesis-based program leading to a Master of Arts in Geography.  

Geography is a holistic field grounded in the spatial processes and structures that govern our world. Saint Mary’s offers broad expertise across the human and physical realms of the discipline. 

Our faculty cover a broad range of research, including:

  • Clandestine migration in West Africa
  • Globalization of the Canadian education industry
  • Heritage tourism and dark tourism in Nova Scotia, and beyond
  • Extracting morphometric information from digital elevation models
  • Coastal climate change vulnerability assessment and adaptation
  • Downtown revitalization through housing and retailing

What Sets Us Apart

We are a small program, typically taking two or three students per year into an intimate learning environment. You’ll work closely with other students and faculty, and have access to a robust set of student services and an active campus life. As a student you will have access to a suite of gematics software, along with a wide range of geospatial tools that you may employ in your research. You are provided a workstation in a dedicated graduate office, and have access to the services of our cartographer and GIS analysts.  


Saint Mary's is located in Halifax, Nova Scotia, the major urban centre in Canada's maritime region. Halifax has a vibrant cityscape with close proximity to parks, beaches, and historic seaside towns. More information here.  

Program Structure

The program is designed to be completed in two years of full-time study, with a part-time study option available. 

In the first year you will take required courses in Research Methods and The History & Philosophy of Geographic Thought, along with two electives. You will also produce a proposal to guide your research project. Typically, you’ll begin research in spring or summer of your first year, and in the second year produce a thesis documenting and contextualizing your results in the established body of knowledge in your field. Throughout, you will work closely with your advisory committee.  


Funding packages are available to top applicants. We generally fund for two years with a combination of fellowships, teaching assistantships, and awards. Some faculty may supplement funding packages with research grants, and we encourage you to apply for external funding—our students have an excellent record of receiving support from the Nova Scotia Graduate Scholarship and Tri-Council agencies. 

Applying for Admission  


Browse faculty profiles detailing backgrounds and areas of expertise.


Contact faculty with whom your research interests align to inquire if they are taking on new students and discuss potential research projects


Contact program coordinator Dr. Mathew Novak ( to advise that you are considering applying and to answer any questions.


Compile your documents and submit your formal application through Saint Mary’s Faculty of Graduate Studies and Research.


 As part of the application we require:

  • CV/Résumé
  • Writing Sample
  • Research Proposal - usually written with guidance from your potential supervisor
  • Three Letters of Reference – academic and professional referees are suitable
  • Official Transcripts 

To ensure full consideration of admission and funding packages, we encourage applying by February 1 to begin the program the following September. We accept students from Geography as well as cognate disciplines including Environmental Science, History, Planning, Economics, and Environmental Studies.

Current Students


Priscilla Armah’s research interests involve the intersection of physical and human geography, with a focus on the triggers of migration, urban housing and migrants, urban planning and climate.  She holds a BA in Geography and Resource Development with a Minor in Economics from the University of Ghana.
Supervisor: Dr. C. Conrad


Originally from Halifax, NS, Marie Fox completed her Bachelor of Environmental Studies at Saint Mary’s University in 2017. Her MA thesis research examines the current narrative of the Acadian Deportation at Grand Pré, a Canadian National Historic site and a UNESCO World Heritage site, located in the Annapolis Valley. She is exploring the utility of the concept of dark tourism in understanding heritage sites, and is employing the use of geographic spatial narratives in her research.

Supervisor: Dr. J. Grek Martin 


Jay Hanlon is from Halifax, Nova Scotia, and has a BA in Geography from Saint Mary’s University.  His research examines the rise of craft breweries in Nova Scotia, including their marketing strategies employing neolocal references.  He is interviewing brewery owners across the province, and enjoys sampling their products in his data collection process. 

Supervisor: Dr. M. Novak



Hyunseo Park comes to Saint Mary’s University from South Korea where she obtained a MA in Geography from the Department of Social Studies Education, Ewha Womans University and a BA in Geography Education; Social Studies Education; and History of Art, from Ewha Womans University. Her research interests are in cultural geography, race, ethnicity and politics of migration, and the geography of food.
Supervisor: Dr. M.J. Kwak 



Ruji Rajbhandari is a first year MA Geography student from Nepal. She holds a Bachelor’s in Architecture from Tribhuvan University, Nepal and a Masters in Community and Regional Planning from University of New Mexico, USA. Her research interests include inner city development, gentrification and neighborhood change, and GIS.
Supervisor:  Dr. M. Novak