Skip to main content
Degree Awarded: Bachelor of Arts (Honours)
Program Website: ryerson.ca/geography/ga
Administered by: Department of Geography and Environmental Studies
Program Format: Full-time, four-year program.

Exploring and analyzing the complex interconnections between people and their natural and built environments is the focus of geographic inquiry. Ryerson's Geographic Analysis program is uniquely positioned to prepare students for the professional workplace using state-of-the-art technology in geographic information systems (GIS). Through a combination of classroom lectures, geotechnology training, field study, and a mandatory work placement, students develop the ability to provide real-world solutions in areas including business location, real-estate development, urban poverty, public health, crime prevention, as well as environment and pollution.

Admission Information

O.S.S.D. with six Grade 12 U/M courses, including Grade 12 U English.

Notes: 

  1. ENG4U/EAE4U is the preferred English.
  2. A grade of 70 percent or higher will be required in Grade 12 U English.
  3. Subject to competition, candidates may be required to present averages/grades above the minimum.
Program Overview/Curriculum Information

Program courses offer students flexibility and depth by familiarizing them with both physical and human aspects of geography and their inter-relationships, and with various spatial methodologies and research designs.  In particular, students are encouraged to become competent in the use of Geographic Information Systems (GIS), which employ computer-based software to collect, manage, analyze, and map spatial data, and which provide a conceptual and technical foundation for geographic analysis.

There are three broad areas of study:

  • Location analysis which focuses on the issues that must be considered in determining the location and development of retail activities at local, regional, national and international levels;
  • Urban analysis, which examines the factors that combine to create the structure of an urban environment (including residential patterns, business and industrial developments, transportation systems, and social services), and the dynamics of these factors in the state and growth of an urban centre, and;
  • Environmental analysis, which emphasizes the study of management and planning policies of natural resources that address issues involving conflicts between society's economic and environmental goals.

To these broad areas of study, students can add specialties in health and demography, locational analysis, recreation and tourism, resource management, spatial analytical techniques and geotechnologies. Two fully equipped state-of-the-art computer laboratories ensure that students are able to receive practical training on major statistical, database, GIS and remote sensing software using real world data.

Semesters One and Two: During the first year, which is shared with the Criminology, English, Environment and Urban Sustainability, History, Language and Intercultural Relations, Politics and Governance, Philosophy, Psychology and Sociology programs, students in Geographic Analysis take three Geography courses, which show how geographers approach current issues in the physical and human environments and how geographers use GIS in their analysis.  Like other students in the Faculty of Arts, students also take Social Science and Humanities courses to broaden their understanding and approaches, courses in critical thinking and writing, and a non-Arts elective which may be the basis of a Minor if so desired.

Semesters Three to Eight: In second year, students are able to select courses which focus on their areas of interest in retail location, urban and/or environmental analysis.  They develop their knowledge and skills about the tools and methods of professional geographers through required courses on statistics, cartography and Geographic Information Science.

In third and fourth years, students select advanced professional courses to build on their expertise in one or more of the three broad areas, to add to their understanding with courses in areas such as physical, economic, health, rural or recreation geography, and to enhance their competencies in analytical and spatial methods.  They are able to apply their knowledge in the workplace through an internship between third and fourth years (see Required Practicum section below).  In their final year, students take capstone courses to solidify their expertise before going out into the workplace or on to graduate study.  In their course of study, students also select Professionally-Related courses and liberal studies courses.

Possibilities for a Minor exist with the careful planning of Professionally-Related courses.  In particular, Geographic Analysis students participate in Minors in Law, Marketing, Environment and Urban Sustainability, Politics, Public Administration, Criminal Justice, Economics, Sociology, Human Resources, Entrepreneurship and Innovation, and Psychology.

Graduates of the Geographic Analysis program pursue widely varied careers throughout the public and private sectors. Courses emphasizing concepts, issues, techniques and decision processes combined with practical work experience in the context of a co-operative education environment lead to employment opportunities in banking, real estate, property development, retailing, police departments, health departments, environmental consulting, GIS firms, universities, municipalities, marketing firms, environmental NGOs, social NGOs, and conservation authorities, with job titles such as analyst, location analyst, business development officer, market research analyst, GIS specialist, GIS conservation analyst, crime analyst, resource planner, and consultant.

Integral to the degree is an opportunity for students to apply their knowledge and skills in the workplace. Students in Geographic Analysis are required to participate in a three-month practicum normally between their third and fourth years of the program. Students have an opportunity to gain employment and create professional contacts for their future careers. Real world opportunities will provide challenges and practical experience to help students better position themselves for future employment possibilities. Full credit is given for 350 hours of professional work in a workplace setting. This benefits students in the following ways:

  • enhancement of their practical perspective;
  • addition of valuable work experience to their resume;
  • acquisition of specific knowledge of workplace operations;
  • appreciation of the value of their capabilities;
  • introduction to prospective employers; and
  • completion of one course credit (GEO 771) toward their degree.

Students admitted to the Bachelor of Arts programs in Criminology, English, Environment and Urban Sustainability, Geographic Analysis, History, Language and Intercultural Relations, Philosophy, Politics and Governance, Psychology or Sociology may transfer to any one of the other nine programs or to any one of the three approved double major programs (English and History; English and Philosophy; History and Philosophy) for the fall term of their second year of studies. Applications are available through the Program Office and must be submitted by February 2nd. Transfer applications are considered on a competitive basis subject to program capacity, and therefore, program choice cannot be guaranteed.

In order to transfer to Geographic Analysis from any of Criminology, English, Environment and Urban Sustainability, History, Language and Intercultural Relations, Philosophy, Politics and Governance, Psychology, or Sociology, students must:

  1. have a CLEAR Academic Standing at the end of the Winter term of their second semester of studies; and
  2. have successfully completed GEO 131 or GEO 151. It is strongly recommended that students complete both GEO 131 and GEO 151 in first year.

Students must take two lower level liberal studies courses and four upper level liberal studies courses to graduate. Students must not choose courses that are restricted for their program or major.

Please refer to the liberal studies chapter of this calendar for more information on the Liberal Studies Policy. Further information on liberal studies can also be found at the Faculty of Arts' Liberal Studies website.

Table A - Lower Level Restrictions

Geography courses and PHL 214 are not available for credit.

Table B - Upper Level Restrictions

Geography courses are not available for credit.

Students may pursue any Minor offered by Ryerson (with some exceptions). Please refer to the Minors chapter of this calendar for further information on individual Minor requirements and exclusions.

Undergraduate students wishing to pursue a continuing education certificate program should be aware of possible program exclusions. Please refer to the Certificate Registration section of the Curriculum Advising website for complete details.

Full-Time, Four-Year Program

REQUIRED:

GEO 131 Energy, Earth and Ecosystems
GEO 141 Geography and GIS
GEO 151 Location, Location, Location
SSH 105 Critical Thinking I
SSH 205 Academic Writing and Research

REQUIRED GROUP 1: Four courses from Table I.

PROFESSIONALLY-RELATED: One course from Table III.

REQUIRED:

GEO 161 Introductory Analytical Techniques
GEO 241 Cartographic Principles and Practice
GEO 361 Inferential Statistics in Geography
GEO 441 Geographic Information Science

LIBERAL STUDIES: Two courses from Table A - Lower Level Liberal Studies.

PROFESSIONAL: Three courses from the following:

GEO 221 Location Analysis
GEO 231 Principles of Demography
GEO 313 Geography of the Physical Environment
GEO 351 Internal Structure of the City
GEO 411 Resource and Environmental Planning
GEO 421 Geography of Retailing

PROFESSIONALLY-RELATED: One course from Table I, Table III, or Table IV.

REQUIRED GROUP 1: Two courses from the following:

GEO 521 Geodemographics
GEO 541 GIS Programming
GEO 542 Introduction to Remote Sensing
GEO 561 Multivariate Analytical Techniques
GEO 641 GIS and Decision Support
GEO 642 Advanced Remote Sensing and GIS
GEO 643 Field Methods for Geospatial Data
GEO 644 Spatial Databases

LIBERAL STUDIES: Two courses from Table B - Upper Level Liberal Studies.

PROFESSIONAL: Four courses from Table II.

PROFESSIONALLY-RELATED: Two courses from Table III or Table IV.

REQUIRED:

GEO 771 Practicum

REQUIRED GROUP 1: Two of the following:

GEO 772 Individual Research Paper
GEO 871 The Professional Geographer
GEO 873 Geographic Entrepreneurship and Consulting

LIBERAL STUDIES: Two courses from Table B - Upper Level Liberal Studies.

PROFESSIONAL: Four courses from Table II.

PROFESSIONALLY-RELATED: Two courses from Table III or Table IV.

Program Advisory Council

A Program Advisory Council (PAC) is a group of volunteers that provides expert advice to a school or department on program related matters such as curriculum, program review, technology and trends in the industry, discipline or profession. For more information, see Senate Policy #158 (Program Advisory Councils).

Arthur Berrill
Senior Advisor, Data and Analytics Strategy

Scotiabank

Bill Bilkas
Vice President of Development 

Plaza Retail REIT

Wendy Correoso
Director of Sales

Pitney Bowes Software

Ricardo Gomez-Insausti, PhD
Vice-President,
Research & Respondant Contact Centres
Numeris

Jan Kestle 
President

Environics Analytics

Nargis Ladha 
Former Program Manager - ADS & Geospatial Systems 
Information Solutions Division
Hydro One

David Layton
Vice President,
Asset Development & Real Estate
YMCA of Greater Toronto

Ewan Geddes
Geography and Spatial Technologies Instructional Leader

Toronto District School Board

Andrew Lyszkiewicz
Former Program Manager, Information and Technology Division  

City of Toronto

Alex Miller
President

Esri Canada

Peter Moore
Project Manager,
City Planning Division
City of Toronto

Max Sherman
President
Macroplan Limited

Mario J. Silva MCIP RRP
Comptroller, Planning & Development

Toronto District School Board