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Geographical Sciences

The Department of Geography offers opportunities for study leading to bachelor's, master's, and doctoral degrees.

Geographical Sciences: Students who wish to pursue a B.Sc. in Geography should opt for the Geographical Sciences Major. The program focuses on the fundamental interactions between life (including human societies) and the Earth's atmosphere, hydrosphere, and geosphere. Students in the program will build upon a broad base in the basic sciences by completing at least two of five upper-year "areas" in biogeography, climatology, geographic information science, geomorphology, or hydrology. With appropriately selected electives, this specialization forms a suitable basis for completing the academic requirements for registration as a Professional Geoscientist, which is legally required of all people practising geoscience in Canada. Students are also encouraged to consider biogeoscience related electives in other departments.

For more information contact the Department of Geography, 604.822.2663.

For information on the Bachelor of Arts, see Major in Geography. For information on advanced degrees, see graduate Geography.

Major (3428): Geographical Sciences (GEOS)

To meet Geographical Sciences specialization requirements, students must complete at least 9 credits of GEOS (or GEOB) courses during years 1 and 2, and 18 credits of GEOS (or GEOB) courses at Upper Level (years 3 and 4).

First Year1
Communication Requirement2 6
GEOS (or GEOB) 102 (or BIOL 1213) 3
GEOS (or GEOB) 103 3
Two of CHEM 121,(or 111), CHEM 1234, PHYS 100-level4 6
MATH 100 or 102 or 1045 3
MATH 101 or 103 or 1056 3
DSCI 100 OR CPSC 103 3
Electives4,7 3
Total Credits 30
Second Year1
GEOS (or GEOB) 2008 (or 204) 3
GEOS (or GEOB) 206 (or EOSC 222) 3
GEOS (or GEOB) 207 (or BIOL 230) 3
GEOS (or GEOB) 270 3
One of9 CHEM 205, EOSC 211, CPSC 30110, MATH 200, 221 3
GEOG 211 or ASIC 220 3
Electives7 12
Total Credits 30
Third Year and Fourth Years1
Selections from Geographical Sciences10 18
GEOS (or GEOB) 30911 3
One of GEOG 374, BIOL 300, FRST 231, STAT 200 3
One of GEOS (or GEOB) 370, 373, 409, ATSC 303 3
One of GEOG 310, 311, ISCI 3607 3
One of GEOG 312, 315, 316, 318, 319, ENVR 4107 3
Electives7,12 27
Total Credits 60
Total Credits for Degree 120
Selections in Geographical Sciences
To ensure breadth, students must select a total of 18 credits from at least two of the following sub-disciplinary areas:
Biogeography: GEOS (or GEOB) 302, 303, 307, 400, 407, 449, BIOL 301, 306, 402, 406, 411, 412, 413, 416 (Math 221 recommended)
Climatology: GEOS (or GEOB) 300, 304, 400, 401, 402, 449, ATSC 301, 303, CHEM 302, EOSC 340 (CHEM 205 recommended)
Geographic Information Science: GEOS (or GEOB) 370, 373, 449, one of GEOS (or GEOB) 372, 479, 472 (CPSC 103 recommended)
Geomorphology: GEOS (or GEOB) 308, 405, 406, 449, EOSC 330, 350 (EOSC 211 recommended)
Hydrology: GEOS (or GEOB) 305, 403, 408, 449, EOSC 329, 428, 429, 430, CHEM 301, ENVR 420 (MATH 200 recommended)
1 To meet Geographical Sciences specialization requirements, students must complete at least 9 credits of GEOS (or GEOB) courses during years 1 and 2, and 18 credits of GEOS (or GEOB) courses at upper level (years 3 and 4).
2 A total of 6 credits of coursework is required to meet the Communication Requirement. For a full list of acceptable courses see Communication Requirement.
3 Students without Biology 11 or 12 must take BIOL 111 before taking BIOL 121.
4 CHEM 110 and 115 may substitute for CHEM 111, CHEM 120 and 115 may substitute for CHEM 121, CHEM 130 and 135 may substitute for CHEM 123. If the two-course combination of first year PHYS and CHEM courses exceeds 6 credits, surplus credit may be applied to electives. Students who do not have B.C. High School Chemistry 12 (or its equivalent) must write the UBC Chemistry Basic Skills Test and may be required to take CHEM 100. PHYS chosen from 100-level PHYS courses, excluding PHYS 100. Students without Physics 12 must take PHYS 100 before taking other 100-level PHYS courses. Students may defer taking first year PHYS until second year.
5 MATH 180 or 184 or 120 may substitute for any of the specified differential calculus courses listed by decreasing the electives by 1 credit. MATH 110 may substitute for any of the specified differential calculus courses listed by decreasing the electives by 3 credits.
6 MATH 121 may substitute for any of the specified integral calculus courses listed by decreasing the electives by 1 credit.
7 Students are permitted to move elective credits between years. Elective credits together with required courses must fulfill the Faculty of Science’s:
a) Foundational Requirement;
b) Laboratory Science Requirement;
c) Science Breadth Requirement;
d) Science and Arts Requirements;
e) Upper-level Requirement;
f) General Degree Requirements.
8 GEOS (or GEOB) 200 is required to complete the climatology area.
9 Select the course appropriate to one of your sub-disciplinary areas of interest.
10 See list of selections in sub-disciplinary areas of Geographical Sciences at the start of the footnotes.
11 Field Course must be taken in May preceding fourth year; extra fee to be paid.
12 Students interested in pursuing registration as a Professional Geoscientist in Environmental Geoscience with the Association of Professional Engineers and Geoscientists of BC (APEGBC) should consult the Geography Department science advisor and select their electives accordingly. Students are also encouraged to consider Environmental Geoscience-related courses in other Departments or a minor in a specialization in Earth Ocean and Atmospheric Sciences (EOAS). Please see the Field of Geography.

Page last updated: April 29, 2021

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