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Geography (PhD)

Geography (PhD)

waterloo  waterloo

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Our PhD in Geography is a four-year program offered by the Waterloo-Laurier Graduate Program in Geography. The collaboration between our universities makes us the third-largest graduate geography program in Canada, and our program is enhanced by a number of research centres and groups, including the Laurier Institute for Water Science, the Cold Regions Research Centre and the International Migration Research Centre.

You can benefit from the breadth and depth of the expertise of our faculty and your fellow graduate students in this rich intellectual environment. Our joint program allows you to explore a range of research interests, from the analysis of pressing social and environmental problems to theoretical questions of philosophical and technical importance.  

The objective of our PhD in Geography is to provide you with a broad knowledge of theoretical and practical geography through courses and seminars, instructional experience through teaching assistantships and lectures, as well as basic research training and technical expertise through independent projects and research assistantships. As a result, our graduates acquire autonomy in their ability to teach, conduct research and prepare scholarly publications.

Program Structure

This is a full-time program with guaranteed funding for four years. You must satisfactorily complete the required coursework and comprehensive examination, and successfully defend your dissertation.

Are You an International Students?

More information can be found on the International Applicants page.

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Contact Us:

General Inquiries

T: 519.884.0710 x2325

Margaret Walton-Roberts, Graduate Coordinator

T: 519.884.0710 x2967

Faculty and Staff


  • Winners of major external awards (OGS, QEII and Tri-Council) may be eligible for top-up funding which includes the Dean’s Graduate Scholarship (total value exceeds $10,000).
  • Eligible domestic students admitted to study on a full-time basis receive, on average, $20,000-$25,000 a year. This support may be made up of teaching assistantships, internal/external scholarships, and/or faculty-funded studentships or research assistantships.
  • A list of all funding opportunities available to Laurier graduate students, including information about OGS, QEII and Tri-Council, is available on our graduate funding webpage.

Research Focus

Potential faculty supervisors support a wide range of research interests in four fields of specialization:

  • Environmental and resource management,
  • Environmental science,
  • Geomatics, and
  • Human geography


  • A master’s degree in geography, or a related field, with a minimum A- standing.
  • Applications are reviewed by the graduate program committee, which considers all prior university grades, a statement of research interests and letters of reference.
  • Exceptional students may obtain early entry to our PhD program from our master’s program.
  • Contact a prospective adviser prior to submitting your application.


Our PhD graduates have obtained academic positions (e.g. University of Toronto – Mississauga, University of Winnipeg, University of Ottawa, York University, Brock University, Okanagan College, University of Saskatchewan), administrative positions at universities, postdoctoral positions, and full-time research positions (e.g. American Association of Geographers, conservation authorities, Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources).

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