Graduate program

The Master of Arts (MA) Program in Geography offers students an advanced education in geographical approaches to understanding social and human/environment relations.

The program emphasizes spatial relations across a range of scales from the local to the global. Students are trained to develop sophisticated and rigorous understandings of geographical processes, through an examination of various current theoretical perspectives and research methodologies, as well as exposure to diverse empirical material.

Graduates of this program are equipped to pursue doctoral studies or careers in areas where the ability to examine and analyze space in relation to social, human and environmental relations is an asset.

As a small program, we strive to provide an attentive, intimate and nurturing learning environment that is responsive to the intellectual needs of individual students.

Students may expect small class sizes (typically four to eight students per course), lots of one-on-one attention from members of their supervisory committee, and plentiful opportunities for productive formal and informal interactions with other students.

Map library

MA in Geography

View the details below and visit the Faculty of Graduate Studies for more information.

Program information

We have a very diverse faculty and a strong record of placing our graduates into prestigious doctoral schools.

As a small program that admits a select number of students each year, we strive to provide an attentive, intimate and nurturing learning environment that is responsive to the intellectual needs of individual students.

Students may expect small class sizes (typically four to ten students per course), lots of one-on-one attention from members of their supervisory committee, and plentiful opportunities for productive interactions with other students.

Major Research Paper Stream

Program length: 16 months (4 terms) for full-time students

The coursework with major research paper stream provides students with graduate training in a wide range of geographical topics, but with the opportunity to focus on a specific topic through their independent research.

Course and research requirements:

  • Major research paper of 50-70 pages
  • GEOG 5P01 (Theoretical Approaches to the Critical Examination of Geographical Issues)
  • GEOG 5P02 (Methodologies for the Critical Examinations of Geographical Issues) or GEOG 5P03 (Quantitative Analysis in Geography)
  • Five half-credit elective courses

Thesis Stream

Program length: 20 months (5 terms) for full-time students

The coursework with thesis stream provides students with opportunity for sustained, focused, independent research and analysis, while still requiring some breadth through the graduate level coursework.

Course and research requirements:

  • Thesis of 80-120 pages
  • GEOG 5P01 (Theoretical Approaches to the Critical Examination of Geographical Issues)
  • GEOG 5P02 (Methodologies for the Critical Examinations of Geographical Issues) or GEOG 5P03 (Quantitative Analysis in Geography)
  • Three half-credit elective courses
  • A faculty with very diverse backgrounds and research interests
  • A curriculum that stresses critical approaches to geography
  • The size of the program is small, which allows for quality interactions with supervisors and other faculty

Financial support for graduate students is a top priority at Brock University. Brock offers our full-time research based graduate students a funding package for the defined length of the graduate program. Funding packages typically consist of a combination of different sources of funding including graduate fellowships and graduate assistantships. Geography students are eligible for funding for the defined program length noted above. Learn more about graduate student funding.

In addition to funding, graduate students are encouraged to apply for scholarships and awards. Learn more about scholarships and awards available to Brock’s graduate students.

Students are given the opportunity to attend the Mapping the New Knowledges Conference where they gain professional experience presenting their research.

Vitae is another opportunity for students to develop skills through training services, such as workshops and activities. Students develop essential career competencies alongside their academic knowledge and skills.  

We offer an attentive, intimate and nurturing learning environment, which emphasizes strong research skills, provides research-intensive experiences, and is responsive to individual students’ intellectual needs.

Mentorship: Our faculty members are recognized for their research and are dedicated to ensuring that our graduate students are successful at Brock and beyond. They work closely with students in their courses and on their supervisory committees to prepare them for further graduate studies and/or the workforce.

Facilities and equipment: Students are provided with office and lounge space, and access to labs and other relevant facilities, including physical geography and GIS labs, and remote sensing equipment. The Department of Geography and Tourism Studies is adjacent to the University Maps, Data & GIS Library, which contains the largest and most comprehensive map and air photo collection in the Niagara Region, as well as up-to-date electronic, digital data and online resources. 

Events: A Geography seminar series exposes students to current research by faculty, former students, alumni, and visiting researchers. Students are also encouraged to take advantage of research development events and activities hosted by the Faculty of Graduate Studies and the Office of Research Services. 

Location: Brock University is located in Niagara Region, close to wineries and tourist attractions, Niagara Falls, the Niagara Escarpment and Short Hills, the US border, and many sites of historical and cultural interest. We are also close to major cities like Toronto, Buffalo and Hamilton, as well a variety of rural landscapes, which provide exciting opportunities for geographical field research and analysis.

A full list of theses and major research papers by Geography graduate students is available on our Graduate student research page.

The Graduate Admissions Committee will review all applications and recommend admission for a limited number of suitable candidates.

Entry: September

Application deadline: February 15
*Please note that applications are accepted until the program is full.

Admission requirements:
Successful completion of a four-year Bachelor’s degree or equivalent, in Geography or a closely-related discipline, with a minimum average of 75% B.

  1. Check the university requirements and the program requirements.
  2. Complete the online application and submit the non-refundable application fee.
  3. You will need to submit your transcripts as well as the following program-specific materials:
    • Three references are required.
    • A two-page statement of interest that outlines your academic and other background information, and provides an indication of your research interests as well as intermediate and long-term goals. You are invited to indicate potential links between your own research interests and goals and the research interests of faculty participating in the program.
    • A current resume

Part-time studies are available for students who require more flexibility in their studies. Individuals interested in part-time study should contact the Graduate Program Director.

David Butz
Graduate Program Director & Professor
Office: MC C315
905-688-5550 x3205
dbutz@brocku.ca

Virginia Wagg
Administrative Coordinator & Academic Advisor, Graduate and Undergraduate Programs 
Office: MC C322
905-688-5550 x3484 
vwagg@brocku.ca

Learn more about our graduate students and their research here.