In the Department of Geography and Environmental Studies we offer programs of study and research in physical and human geography leading to the degrees of Master of Science, Master of Arts, and Doctor of Philosophy.

In the Department we view the greatest strength of geography, as a discipline, is its ability to integrate and apply knowledge across the interface of the Earth’s social and environmental systems.

We welcome students into the graduate program based on their previous academic work, research interests, letters of reference, and the availability of faculty to act as supervisors. As a student your program of study is based on the interests of you, the individual, although certain courses may be required.  An advisory committee, consisting of the student’s research supervisor and at least one (Masters) or two (Ph.D.) other members of the faculty, is established to monitor progress and provide thesis research guidance.

Masters level

The Masters level provides the opportunity for SPECIALIZATION in a selected sub-field of geography through the choice of thesis topic, with opportunities and requirement for integration across specific sub-fields and across the human-natural environment interface.

Requirements for programs in:

Doctoral level

The Doctoral program emphasizes INTEGRATION, with candidates required to consider the relationship of other sub-fields of geography to their specific research interests. This requirement arises from our belief that most challenges faced by society are multifaceted and require the ability to interrelate across traditional disciplinary boundaries. Geographers who recognize the importance of integration can be very good at addressing such challenges.

  • The Geography of Societal Change
  • The Geography of Environmental Change

Requirements for programs in:

We have funded positions for Master’s and Doctoral students. Funding includes an entrance scholarship (varies with GPA); a teaching assistantship; and in some cases, funding from supervisors’ own research grants. We invite you to visit the rest of our website to learn details about our programs and course offerings. A special invitation is extended for you to investigate the availability of faculty to learn about faculty research interests and expertise.

International Students

Our Geography graduate programs typically have funding to help support one or more international students with demonstrated academic excellence.  This process is highly competitive. We also strongly recommend contacting potential thesis supervisors (see: before applying to discuss research ideas and their availability. Include the name of the faculty member who has indicated an interest in potentially supervising you in your statement of research interest when you apply. A supervisor must be available for a student to be admitted to our Geography programs.

To receive more information on our programs contact:

Graduate Administrator

Graduate Program Supervisor & Advisor

More Information on Carleton’s programs more broadly, visit Carleton’s Customizable Online Viewbook


Excellent research laboratory facilities exist for the study of near surface processes, and the physics, chemistry, and thermodynamics of earth materials, as well as for geomatics (remote sensing, GIS, and computer cartography).  These facilities are supported by highly qualified full-time staff in laboratory instrumentation, cartography, and computing. The Maps, Data and Government Information Centre in the MacOdrum Library houses an extensive collection of geomatics resources, including imagery, topographic and other geo-spatial data.

Carleton’s Location

The university’s location in Canada’s capital city offers students access to important federal resources, such as the National Library, the Public Archives of Canada, the Canada Centre for Remote Sensing, Statistics Canada, and the specialist libraries of many government departments.  Systematic interests of Departmental members are applied to a variety of world regions, although emphasis is given to Canada (including northern studies) and the developing world.

Graduate Professional Development

As a graduate student at Carleton, you have access to a variety of professional development resources. These include skill workshops, one-on-one career and writing consultations, career-oriented events, and even structured programs. Challenge yourself by acquiring new skills that can help you boost your employability. To learn more, visit the Graduate Professional Development website at