Completion of the Practicum (course credit GEO 771), also known as "the internship", is a degree requirement. It ensures that every graduate of the Geographic Analysis program has successfully completed a work term in addition to their formal education on campus and on field trips. To qualify, positions must entail the utilization of the key theories, concepts, models, and tools studied in the classroom and labs.
The internship has been a part of the program since the 1970s, and has proven to be extremely valuable for both, graduates and employers. Students participate in work-integrated learning and gain practical experience with data collection, processing, management, analysis, visualization, and reporting. Meanwhile, the government, business, and non-profit community benefits from the interaction with potential future employees and collaborators who have made the academic commitment to pursuing a career in Geographic Analysis.
The placement is normally completed as a fulltime, paid internship during the summer between third and fourth year. Although it is equivalent to a one-term co-op placement, it does not normally extend the student's time in the program. Enrolment in the practicum course normally occurs in the fall term of the student's fourth year, after completion of at least 350 hours of career-related placement(s). The course includes a reflection on the placement experience and provides the required credit.
Examples of Recent Work Placements
- Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario
- Canadian Out-of-Home Measurement Bureau
- Canadian Tire
- Cara Foods
- Centre for the Study of Commercial Activity
- City of Toronto
- CoStar Group
- Halton Region Conservation Authority
- Ivanhoe Cambridge
- Ministry of the Environment
- Ministry of Natural Resources
- Municipal Property Assessment Corporation
- Pizza Pizza
- Post Media
- Royal Bank of Canada
- Toronto District School Board
- Toronto and Region Conservation Authority
- Yum! Brands
The application of classroom learning in practice, and the reflection on "doing geography", is at the core of the Geographic Analysis program. Experiential learning is integrated in a number of program components:
- Field studies - in-person observation and interaction with the human and natural environment (GEO 131, 141, 643, 773)
- Lab assignments - hands-on application of geospatial theories and concepts, development of technical research skills (all GEO x4x courses)
- Service teaching - student groups work for external clients from industry, government, and non-profits (GEO 873)
- Research training - students work on an individual research paper (GEO 772) or participate in faculty research through paid research assistant positions
Students also have an opportunity to spend one or two terms on international exchange. The Geographic Analysis program has partnered with Manchester Metropolitan University, England, the University of Stirling, Scotland, and Wageningen University in the Netherlands. More information on studying and working abroad is available through the Faculty of Arts Student Experience Centre, opens in new window.