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Graduate Program in Spatial Analysis


By completion of this program, students will

·    demonstrate a critical awareness and systematic understanding of key theories, concepts, models, and emerging trends in spatial analysis;

·    demonstrate professional competence in selecting and applying spatial analysis methods to address complex geographic issues and problems in the business, environmental, or social field;

·    demonstrate depth of knowledge of the capabilities and limitations of geographic information systems and other spatial analysis tool;

·    apply the standards of professional practice to the input, management, analysis, and presentation of geospatial and spatio-temporal data;

·    be able to select, process, and critically evaluate information, as well as formulate and defend a sustained written argument;

·    communicate accurately and effectively in oral, written, and geographical form (e.g., maps, charts, visualizations) for academic, professional, and general audiences;

·    work independently and in teams, exhibiting initiative, responsibility, accountability, time management and project organization skills, as well as exemplary work ethic;

·    be able to transfer knowledge and skills to new professional contexts and areas of application of spatial analysis, and pursue continuing professional development.

The MSA degree prepares graduates for careers in various types of public and private sector organizations. MSA graduates have secured jobs with organizations such as the following:

  • Aecom
  • Avenza
  • Aviva Canada Insurance
  • Barrick Gold
  • BC Interior Health Authority
  • BC Ministry of Agriculture and Lands
  • Bell Mobility
  • CanACRE
  • Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC)
  • Canadian Tire
  • Canadian Urban Institute
  • Cancer Care Ontario
  • CIBC
  • Cineplex
  • City of Brantford
  • City of Toronto Employment and Social Services, City of Toronto Water, City of Toronto Waste Management
  • Colliers International
  • Credit Valey Conservation Authority
  • DMTI Spatial
  • Durham Regional Police Service
  • Edmonton Police Service
  • Enbridge Gas Distribution
  • Environics Analytics
  • Environment Canada
  • Esri Canada
  • Geomedia
  • Halton Regional Police Service
  • Helios Energy
  • Hudson's Bay Company
  • Institute for Clinical and Evaluative Sciences
  • Intergraph
  • Interstratics Consultants
  • Kawartha Heritage Conservancy
  • KFL&A Public Health
  • Loblaw Properties Limited
  • McDonald's Restaurants
  • Metro
  • Metroland Media Group
  • National Capital Commission
  • Natural Resources Canada
  • Niagara Region
  • Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs
  • Ontario Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care
  • Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources
  • Ontario Ministry of the Environment
  • Ottawa Police Service
  • Oxford Properties Group
  • Parks Canada
  • Peel Region Planning, Peel Region Public Health
  • Peel Regional Police
  • Pitney Bowes MapInfo
  • RCMP
  • Rogers Communications
  • Royal Bank of Canada
  • Ryerson University
  • Scotiabank
  • Sears Canada
  • Senes Consulting
  • Shopper's Drugmart
  • Simon Fraser University
  • Spatial Geo-Link
  • St. Michael's Hospital
  • Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre
  • Targeo
  • TD Canada Trust
  • Telus
  • Tembec Forestry
  • Tim Horton’s
  • Toronto and Region Conservation Authority
  • Toronto District School Board
  • Toronto Police Service
  • Toronto Public Health
  • Toronto Star
  • Toronto Transit Commission
  • Trillium Gift Of Life Network
  • Wal-Mart Canada
  • Waterloo Regional Police Service
  • WWF Canada
  • York Catholic District School Board
  • York Region Geomatics

Selected MSA graduates chose to continue their academic education pursuing another Master's or a PhD degree at one of the following institutions:

  • McMaster University
  • Ontario College of Teachers
  • Queen's University
  • Ryerson University
  • University of Toronto
  • University of Western Ontario
  • Wilfrid-Laurier University
  • York University


Spatial Analysis:
Program Details
Program-Related News

27 August 2019 - Orientation event for a new class of 22 MSA in Spatial Analysis candidates: Welcome to Toronto, Ryerson, and the Department of Geography and Environmental Studies!

10 July 2019 - MSA thesis student Arsh Grewal presents his research with MSA faculty members Drs. Stephanie Melles and Claire Oswald on “Source, Transport and Fate of Cohesive Sediment in Aquatic Systems: Implications for Water Quality and Ecosystem Health” at the 27th IUGG General Assembly in Montreal.

30 May 2019 - Congratulations to MSA faculty member Dr. Claire Oswald, winner of Water’s Next academic leader award for her work on road salt and the impact on surface waters!

4 April 2019 - MSA student Selasi Dorkenoo presented in the Geospatial Health Research Poster Session at the 2019 Annual Meeting of the AAG. Her topic “Accessing informal and formal social supports among older immigrants in Canada: A mixed-methods approach” is part of a collaboration of MSA faculty member Dr. Lu Wang with researchers at Ryerson and three other Ontario universities.

1 February 2019 - Are you interested in impervious land-use feature classification? Check out the new paper by MSA graduate Ela Lichtblau and MSA faculty member Dr. Claire Oswald, “Classification of impervious land-use features using object-based image analysis and data fusion”,

29 January 2019 - MSA faculty member Dr. Lu Wang, Gabby Lee, MSA ‘17, and Ian Williams, MSA ’09, and Head of Analytics & Innovation at the Toronto Police Service, co-authored a paper on “The Spatial and Social Patterning of Property and Violent Crime in Toronto Neighbourhoods: A Spatial-Quantitative Approach”, which is available at

14 November 2018 - GIS Day2018 event in collaboration with Ryerson University Library and Archives and Esri Canada includes a presentation on big data in retail analytics by MSA faculty member Dr. Tony Hernandez and Joe Aversa, MSA ’10 and PhD cand. at Wilfred Laurier University. The Department of Geography and Environmental Studies will also participate in the City of Toronto’s GIS Day event on November 20th with a presentation of select MSA student work.

13 November 2018 - Thank you, Environics Analytics, for allowing 25 MSA students to present their cool cartography and geovisualization course projects at the 2018 EA User Conference!

11 October 2018 - Congratulations, MSA class of 2018 on today’s convocation ceremony!

11 June 2018 - MSA student Krystal Siebert presented her research on “Use of Wetland-to-Lake Hydrologic Connectivity Metrics to Better Understand Broad-Scale Patterns in Lake Dissolved Organic Carbon Concentrations” at 2018 meeting of the Canadian Geophysical Union.

1 June 2018 - At the 2018 meeting of the Canadian Cartographic Association (CCA), MSA student Melanie MacDonald reported on her course project on mapping informal settlements in Nairobi, Kenya, using OpenStreetMap with an associated story map and some artwork too. Congrats, Melanie, on being selected for the CCA’s best student paper/presentation award at the conference!

17 May 2018 - Andy Charles, MSA '01, who served as Analyst and Retail Consultant at Scotiabank, and Sears Canada, and now is Senior Manager of Strategy, Analytics, and Insights at Loblaw Co, was profiled for Ryerson University’s 70/25-year anniversary. Andy was among the first eight Ryerson students to ever receive a graduate degree - see him cross the stage at Fall 2001 convocation at

3 May 2018 - At the MSA Poster Day, 19 students presented their major research paper or thesis research plans. The photo at shows faculty, staff, prospective MSA students, and industry representatives listening attentively to the student’s presentation across an extraordinary range of topics.

28 March 2018 - Sean Marshall, MSA ’05, spoke to an undergraduate Geographic Analysis class today about potential campus locations in Brampton. In addition to his day job as Geospatial Health Analyst, Sean blogs about urban transportation issues and is a contributing writer for Spacing Magazine and TVO.

14 March 2018 - Taking a daily dive into Data Lake… For International Women’s Day, Scotiabank’s Digital Factory profiled the work of Margaret Woo, MSA ’01, and Senior Manager, Applied Analytics at the bank.

2 March 2018 - Ryerson’s “Alumni of Grad Studies” series features a portrait of Amanda Maze, MSA '04, and Director of Spatial Strategy and Real Estate Insights at Walmart Canada. The Master of Spatial Analysis is one of Ryerson’s longest-running graduate degrees with extraordinary career opportunities in geography, GIS, retail, marketing, banking, and real estate.

10 February 2018 - New article by a group of MSA faculty and students: K. Wayne Forsythe et al., “Assessing fine particulate matter concentrations and trends in southern Ontario, Canada, 2003-2012.” Get your open access copy at

2 February 2018 - Ryerson Today  article on “Why your geography degree will get you a job”, highlighting the transferable skills acquired in the MSA program: “From retail to crime analytics to public health, geography is in high demand”, citing the experience of MSA alumni Heather Hart and Joe Aversa.

23 November 2017 - Celebrating the Centre for the Study of Commercial Activity's (CSCA) 25th anniversary with an evening event around Canadian retail, real estate, and consumer behaviour trends. The CSCA is a founding partner of the MSA program and has hosted numerous MSA student research projects.

13 November 2017 - GIS Day event in the MSA lab. Students presented their completed Geovisualization projects, ranging from interactive and animated maps to 3D prints and other physical models.

19 October 2017 - The annual MSA practicum host reception showcases experiential learning at its best. Quotes from placement hosts overheard at the reception: MSA students make “maps that really change the conversation” about city planning and are “fully involved in our work group”, not just given a project to go off with. In other organizations, MSA students use GIS to help estimate mortgage risk, and employ location intelligence in environmental conservation. In retail network planning, MSA students consult on store cannibalization. As information designers at a major consultancy, MSA students will contribute to turning analytics into actionable decisions. MSA placement students will also participate in addressing police accountability and cost using geospatial data analysis. There even was a bit of competition between hosts about which is the coolest placement in conservation!

12 October 2017 - Congratulations, Master of Spatial Analysis (MSA) class of 2017 @RyersonU! Eggy, the mascot, likes #Geography #GIS and #WomenInAnalytics, see our tweet at

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