Geography Program

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). There is also a Master of Arts in Geography program.

Geography Courses

Courses in Geography are organized in four groups: Human Geography (A), Physical Geography (B), Techniques (C), and Integrative (D).

Experiential Learning Opportunities

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

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 approached from an integrative perspective.
  • Tangible field and lab experience.

What Our Students Are Saying

The department is filled with knowledgeable professors who are at the cutting edge of their respective research fields...they encouraged me to seize opportunities for personal growth and learning that I would not otherwise have taken. They provided me with the knowledge and the opportunity to study what I love!

Amber Silver BSc'10

The Department of Geography and Environmental Studies provided me with an exciting learning environment through a network of established and devoted researchers. I enjoyed access to seminars and conferences, as well as opportunities to work in the field. SMU Geography helped me realize my full potential and fostered real-world connections.

Casey O’Laughlin BSc'07 MSc'12

My program in Geography introduced me to a world I did not know existed. The professors have such a passion for what they teach so you learn what drives someone to study in this field as well as what it takes to succeed. I was able to study specific areas that I was interested in through directed studies courses which enabled me to really explore what excited me most about the world. Through this guidance and training, I was led down the right path and everyone in the department helped me make the best decisions for the career I wanted.

Niccole Murphy BA'13
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