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Geography and Environmental Studies Major, Bachelor of Arts

Develop yourself as a social and natural scientist who actively participates in our current and future world as a global citizen.

The current environmental, social and physical climate of our globalized world means that geography matters more today than ever before. Connections you form with other humans, next to you and across the world—for business matters or policy changes—shape societies.

Counteraction to global crises that range from climate change to pandemics, extinction to unforeseen migration, need your expertise. But you know that learning about challenges isn’t enough; we have to take action to solve them.

We are all connected in human geography and through the environment. With an understanding of the relationships that exist between cultures and the physical environment, you see order in what appears to be random. Get ready to work on the puzzle known as Earth.

Why pursue a Bachelor of Arts, Geography and Environmental Studies?

Employers overwhelmingly identify a deficit in critical thinking and problem-solving skills and are in need of employees with good oral communication skills, able to effectively work with others.

Future Proof

You will cultivate the skills that employers are looking for in communication, decision-making, critical thinking, problem-solving, self-learning, working with groups, leadership, global competency, ethics and the ability to apply knowledge in real-world settings.

Experiential Learning

And because employers want entry-level candidates with some work experience, you have opportunities in undergraduate research, co-op work placements, practicums, field schools, service learning and study abroad.

Expansive Choice

You can explore environmental science, hydrology, cultural geography, geomatics, physical geography, history, geographical methods and urban geography all within one program.

Collaborative Faculty

Your lecturers approach teaching with compassion for their students and truly foster a productive learning environment. Enjoy class with enthusiastic professors, and active listening in small class settings.

Student sitting by a computer

Change through education is at the centre of our Geography and Environmental Studies Major. By participating in classroom discussions, readings, field study, co-op placements, guided research and independent study, you will gain a comprehensive understanding of the tools needed to analyze biophysical processes, environmental issues, land use policies, geographical practices and more.

What will I learn?

Explore past relationships between Indigenous and non-Indigenous peoples of this province, examine issues and policies relevant to small cities and adjacent rural areas and analyze advances in hydrological science. A vast array of courses in environmental studies, human geography, physical geography and geographical methods are available for you to pore over.

As a Bachelor of Arts student, you must declare a major in geography and environmental studies before entering your third year of the BA program. Contact your BA Advisor to inform them of your decision to declare your Major in Geography and Environmental Studies.

You will need to meet with a Geography and Environmental Studies program advisor to ensure that you qualify and select appropriate courses.

There are three program options to select from:

  • Geography and Environmental Studies Major
  • Geography and Environmental Studies – Physical Geography Major
  • Geography and Environmental Studies Honours Major

The lower level courses are the same for all three program options. Specific course requirements differ in upper level courses.

Course list
Lower level

(Applicable to all three program options)

  • GEOG 1010, People, Places and Landscapes: Introducing Human Geography (3)
    or
    GEOG 1110, World Regional Geography (3)
  • GEOG 1000, Planet Earth: An Introduction to Earth System Science (3)
  • GEOG 2020, Weather, Climate and Global Environmental Change (3)
    or
    GEOG 2050, Introduction to Hydrology (3)
  • GEOG 2400, Geographic Thought (3)
  • GEOG 2700, Introduction to Geographical Analysis (3)
  • GEOG 2740, Geodesy and the Visualization of Geographic Data
  • GEOG 2750, Geographic Information Systems (3)
  • One of:
    • GEOG 1100, Introduction to Environmental Studies and Sustainability (3)
    • GEOG 2110, Geography of the Economic Landscape (3)
    • GEOG 2120-Geography of Urban and Regional Planning (3)
    • GEOG 2220, Regional Geography of Canada (3)
    • GEOG 2221, Regional Geography of Canada (3)
    • GEOG 2230, The Regional Geography of British Columbia and Yukon (3)
    • GEOG 2231, Geography of British Columbia (3)
    • GEOG 2649, Canadian Cities (3)
    • or any of the following courses that were not chosen from the other optional courses including GEOG 1010, 1110, 2020 or 2050
Upper level

As you move into upper level courses you can choose between three Major options including:

  • Geography and Environmental Studies Major
  • Geography and Environmental Studies Physical Geography Major
  • Geography and Environmental Studies Honours Major
Majors
Geography and Environmental Studies Major

Course requirements include:

Thirty 3000- or 4000-level GEOG credits

Please note:

  • At least three credits must be from 4000-level GEOG courses.
  • You must select at least three credits from each of the four course groups listed below including: Environmental Studies, Human Geography, Physical Geography and Geographical Methods.
  • You can complete your remaining 18 upper-level GEOG credits by combining courses from any of the four groups, including any one of GEOG 3990, 4480 or 4990.
Geography and Environmental Studies Physical Geography

Course requirements include:

Thirty 3000- or 4000-level GEOG credits

Please note:

  • At least three credits must be from 4000-level GEOG courses.
  • You must select at least 15 credits from the Physical Geography course group as listed below
  • You must select at least three credits from the other three course groups listed below including: Environmental Studies, Human Geography and Geographical Methods.
  • You can complete your remaining six upper-level GEOG credits by combining courses from any of the four groups, including any one of GEOG 3990, 4480 or 4990.
Geography and Environmental Studies Honours Major*

In order to enter the Honours program, you must maintain a minimum GPA of 3.00 in all of the lower-level course requirements.

Course requirements include:

Forty-two 3000- or 4000-level GEOG credits

Please note:

  • You must select at least three credits from each of the four course groups listed below including: Environmental Studies, Human Geography, Physical Geography and Geographical Methods.
  • At least nine credits must be selected from any of the 4000-level GEOG courses listed in any of the four course groups listed below or you may select either GEOG 4480 or 4990.
  • You can complete your remaining 21 upper-level GEOG credits by combining courses from any of the four groups, including GEOG 3990.
  • You will need to maintain a Grade Point Average of 3.00 in all 42 upper-level GEOG credits and must not receive a grade below B- (2.67) in any three credits from the total 42 credits required for the Honours Major.
  • You may retake a course once in order to reach the grade requirement.
Upper-level GEOG Course Groups
Environmental Studies
  • ENVS 3991, Environmental Studies: Sustainability
  • GEOG 3100, Environment and Resources
  • GEOG 3650, Geography of Consumption
  • GEOG 3991, Global Climate Change and Regional Impacts
  • GEOG 4230, Attitudes Toward the Environment
  • GEOG 4510, Sustainable Rural Systems
  • GEOG 4800, Environmental Issues and Policies
Human Geography
  • GEOG 3200, Introduction to Cultural Geography
  • GEOG 3210, Historical Geography of Urbanization
  • GEOG 3230, Geographies of Gender
  • GEOG 3270, Historical Geography of Canada I: Canada before 1850
  • GEOG 3280, Historical Geography of Canada II: Canada after 1850
  • GEOG 3500, Introduction to Urban Geography
  • GEOG 3510, Rural Geography
  • GEOG 3550, Geography of the Urban-Rural Fringe
  • GEOG 3570, Introduction to Social and Behavioural Geography
  • GEOG 3610, Themes in Economic Geography
  • GEOG 3900, Geography of a Selected Regional
  • GEOG 4240, Geography of Tourism
  • GEOG 4500, Urban Analysis
  • GEOG 4800, Environmental Issues and Policies
  • GEOG 4810, Geography of Small Cities
  • GEOG 4840, Postcolonial Geographies
  • GEOG 4850, Geographies of First Nations Issues in British Columbia
Physical Geography
  • GEOG 3040, Environment Climatology and Meteorology
  • GEOG 3050, Physical Hydrology
  • GEOG 3060, Groundwater Hydrology
  • GEOG 3070, Biogeography
  • GEOG 3080, Geomorphology
  • GEOG 3129, Geography of Natural Hazards
  • GEOG 4050, Fluvial Geomorphology
  • GEOG 4060, Advances in Hydrology
  • GEOG 4820, Urban Biophysical Systems
Geographical Methods
  • GEOG 3700, Field Methods in Geography
  • GEOG 3740, Remote Sensing of the Environment
  • GEOG 3750, Applications of Geographical Information Systems
  • GEOG 3770, GIS for Water Resources Systems Analysis
  • GEOG 4740, Spatiotemporal Analysis
  • GEOG 4750, Advances in Geomatics

Apply to Bachelor of Arts

  • Grade 12 (or equivalent) or mature student status
  • English Studies 12/English First Peoples 12 with a minimum of 73% (or equivalent)

Admission to each major program may have specific requirements.

Recommended: Foundations of Mathematics 11 or higher is strongly recommended for students pursuing Education or a major in Geography and Environmental Studies, Sociology or Psychology

If you don't meet the requirements

High school graduates can apply and be admitted to this program while upgrading at TRU.

Mature students without a high school diploma (or equivalent) can work towards completing their BC High School Graduation Diploma while in this program through TRU courses.

Students who do not qualify for mature student status can apply for the TRU University Preparation program to complete their BC High School Graduation Diploma.

Talk to a student recruiter about your options and learn more about the potential for free tuition or the opportunity to upgrade.

Career Options / Laddering options

Where will this degree take me?

Global development and climate change require government agencies develop a greater understanding of the places, people and natural systems that affect our planet.

Majoring in geography and environmental studies is exceptional preparation for careers in the public sector and in non-governmental organizations, particularly with policy makers and consulting agencies.

Geography and environmental graduates pursue the following careers

  • Natural resources manager
  • Community developer
  • Land manager
  • Policy researcher
  • Non-profit consultant
  • Cartographer
  • Urban planner
  • Conservation officer
  • Landscape architect
  • Teacher or lecturer
  • Geographic information systems (GIS) specialist

You can also leverage your solid research, critical thinking and writing skills acquired as part of your degree into other careers. Graduates find added pathways in education, tourism, publishing, market research, transportation, logistics and more.

If you are interested in furthering your education, urban and regional planning, environmental consulting, policy development, environmental law, water resources research, mine reclamation, environmental assessment, and earth science, including hydrology, meteorology and geomorphology graduate school options are there for you.

Laddering options

“Kamloops was a great place to go to school. It’s a friendly city and the university is no exception. Because of the small class sizes, you really get to know the faculty and other students, not just in a classroom setting. If you’re passionate about the earth and sustainable development, take geography to gain a better idea of what can be done to help the planet.”

—Sarah Cooke, Bachelor of Arts in Geography and Environmental Studies, 2016 grad

“I was intrigued that I could study environmental science, cultural/historical geography, geomatics, geography of First Nations, hydrology, and urban geography (among many others) all within one program. I’m currently in a project management role, where I constantly pull from the skills and knowledge I obtained throughout my university career.”

—Steven Lee, Bachelor of Arts in Geography and Environmental Studies

“The strengths of the department came from the faculty. They have amazing compassion for students and truly value the learning environment. My degree guided me to be an active listener, a connector of ideas and thought, and a collaborator for multiple disciplines, all grounded by strong project management practices and critical thinking skills.”

—Jen Casorso, Bachelor of Arts in Geography and Environmental Studies

“What I benefited most from at TRU were the knowledgeable and friendly geography professors that would go out of their way and take time with students to help us grasp the concepts being taught. The professors in the geography department made a huge positive difference on my learning experience.”

—Joey Tasker, Bachelor of Arts in Geography with a minor in environmental economics and sustainable development, 2019 grad

State-of-the-art sensors take flight over BC grasslands

Dr. David Hill will be keeping a close eye on BC’s fragile rangelands, thanks to a $200,000 boost to his research program from the Canada Foundation for Innovation’s (CFI) John R. Evans Leaders Fund.

Research investigates crisis communication during flooding, fires

Together with Dr. Wendy Gardner and Dr. Wendy McKenzie, and with support from TRU and BC WildFire Service, Dr. Michael Mehta is leading research to better understand old models of risk communication in order to create agile processes that better align with modern needs.

Rain research: Mitigating floods, examining climate change

When a raindrop falls alone in a forest, and nobody is around to see it, where does it go? And how much builds up? Arts faculty member Dr. Darryl Carlyle-Moses’s research focuses on that and most other things relating to rain and trees. The amount of water that runs down a tree trunk and collects at the base is called stemflow, and that’s his specialty.

Program Details

Credential
Bachelor of Arts, Major in Geography and Environmental Studies
Delivery
Kamloops
Length
Four years
Intake dates
September, January, May
Applications
Now accepting applications
International
Open to international applicants

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Requirements

Admission requirements

Faculty Highlights

Tuition & Fees

Cost for this program per semester:

  • Canadian
  • International
Choose the number of courses:
Tuition $0.00
Fees $0.00
Books and supplies
Typically about $150 per course
$0.00
Total (CDN) $0.00

Does not include a lab fee of $21.71 that may apply to some courses.

These are only estimates - your actual cost may vary.

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Canadian students
Phone: 250-828-5006
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International Students
Email: welcome@tru.ca
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