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Faculty of Science School Of Geography & Earth Sciences
Faculty of Science

School Of Geography & Earth Sciences

Undergraduate Programs

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The School of Geography & Earth Sciences offers undergraduate degree programs in both The Faculty of Science and Faculty of Social Science:

  • Students who choose to register in the science programs offered by the School of Geography & Earth Sciences may choose 1 of 8 options:

    A. Environmental Sciences, B.Sc. (3 year program)

    The B.Sc. Environmental Sciences is a flexible program which allows students to choose courses from a wide selection of geoscience courses, according to their interests. It is usually intended for students interested by careers in highly interdisciplinary fields, combining environmental sciences/geoscience to another subject, which will require the combination of this degree to another one.

    This program is usually completed in three-years; however students are encouraged to pursue a four-year honours program if they qualify. Students who successfully complete the first three levels of a relevant Honours B.Sc. degree (Honours Earth and Environmental Sciences, Honours Environmental Sciences, Honours Geography and Environmental Sciences) may request permission from the Office of the Associate Dean of Science to transfer to graduate with the three-level B.Sc. Environmental and Sciences degree. Students are advised to seek academic counseling to ensure that their course selections are appropriate. Please refer to the program Progress Chart for further details:

    Resources:

    B.Sc. Environmental Sciences Progress Chart

    Admission Requirements

    First Year Courses

    Please see the Faculty of Science Programs in the Undergraduate calendar for details.

    B. Honours in Earth & Environmental Sciences B.Sc. (4 year program)

    These programs are designed to meet the changing needs of the geoscience and environmental science communities and may allow students to fulfill the academic requirements for professional certification as geoscientists in Ontario. Specific course requirements for courses can be found here.

    All students take a series of core courses that integrate a solid grounding in fundamental sciences including Chemistry, Biology, Physics and Math, with a range of geoscience and environmental science skills including Geographic Information Systems (GIS), fieldwork, laboratory analysis, remote sensing and personal skills development (inquiry, written and oral communication, group work, time management and numeracy).

    Students may follow a basic program which includes courses in earth history, remote sensing, field methods, soils, environmental assessment, earth surface processes, environmental geochemistry and surface water hydrology ( see Course Descriptions). Students in this program can select a number of elective courses of their choice. Please refer to the program Progress Chart for further details To maximize the focus of their elective choices, students may choose to focus their selection of elective courses by choosing courses in a specific concentration in upper years. These concentrations are:

    Aqueous Environmental Geochemistry
    Earth Sciences
    Environmental Hydrology and Climate
    Environmental Policy
    Geographic Information Systems (GIS) and Spatial Analysis

    These concentrations provide students with in-depth knowledge and experience in a specific area and complement the broad science background obtained from their basic program. Students who choose to concentrate their course selection in Earth Sciences take courses in earth surface processes, environmental mineralogy, structural geology, environmental geophysics, plate tectonics and ore deposits, and geochemistry. Those students who concentrate in Aqueous Environmental Geochemistry select courses in aqueous geochemistry: contaminants, freshwater, isotope, microbial; as well in hydrogeology, contaminants hydrogeology, and surface climate processes. In the Environmental Hydrology and Climate concentration, students select courses from surface climate processes and environmental interaction, physical hydrogeology, watershed ecosystem biogeochemistry, advanced physical climatology, physical and chemical processes in freshwater ecosystems, hydrologic modeling and contaminant hydrogeology. In the Environmental Policy concentration students select courses discussing the environmental impacts of human activities. And those Students in the Geographic Information Systems select courses in geographical information science.

    Resources:

    B.Sc. Honours Earth & Environmental Sciences Progress Chart

    Admission Requirements

    First Year Courses

    Please see the Faculty of Science Programs in the Undergraduate calendar for details.

    For students who registered in the Honours in Earth and Environmental Sciences prior to 2010-2011, please see the Faculty of Science Programs in the Undergraduate calendar for details.

    Association of Professional Geoscientists of Ontario - Environmental Geoscience

    Association of Professional Geoscientists of Ontario - Geology

    C. Honours Earth and Environmental Sciences Co-op, B.Sc. (4 year program)

    Enrolment in this program is limited and possession of the published minimum requirements does not guarantee admission. Selection is based on academic achievement and an interview but requires, as a minimum, submission of the on-line application by the stated deadline and completion of Level II Honours Earth and Environmental Sciences with a Cumulative Average of at least 6.0 and completion of several courses. Please see Admission requirements.

    Resources:

    Admission Requirements

    First Year Courses

    Please see the Faculty of Science programs in the Undergraduate calendar for details.

    D. Honours in Environmental Sciences B.Sc. (4 year program)

    The Honours Environmental Sciences is a flexible program providing a solid foundation in environmental sciences while achieving interdisciplinarity, by including select courses in ecology, ecology of inland waters, and plant biodiversity. At Level II, students have a choice of courses including earth history, soils, earth surface processes, environmental geochemistry, surface climate processes and surface water hydrology. At Level II and IV, students may select courses including surface climate processes and environmental interaction, physical hydrogeology, watershed ecosystem biogeochemistry, advanced physical climatology, contaminants geochemistry, freshwater processes, isotope and microbial geochemistry, hydrologic modeling and contaminant hydrogeology. The program also provides a foundation in environmental assessment and policy. Please refer to the program Progress Chart for further details:

    Resources:

    B.Sc. Honours Environmental Sciences Progress Chart

    Admission Requirements

    First Year Courses

    E. Honours Environmental Sciences Co-op, B.Sc. (4 year program)

    Enrolment in this program is limited and possession of the published minimum requirements does not guarantee admission. Selection is based on academic achievement and an interview but requires, as a minimum, submission of the on-line application by the stated deadline and completion of Level II Honours Environmental Sciences with a Cumulative Average of at least 6.0 and completion of several courses. Please see Admission requirements.

    Resources:

    Admission Requirements

    First Year Courses

    Please see the Faculty of Science programs in the Undergraduate calendar for details.

    F. Honours Geography and Environmental Sciences B.Sc. (4 year program)

    Honours in Geography and Environmental Sciences is a flexible program that focuses on interdisciplinary studies among Human Geography and Environmental Sciences. This program enables students to select courses according to their interests; to develop broad knowledge, and understanding of the linkages between societal problems and environmental ones; and to apply these to questions related to human health, transportation, urban planning and environmental policy issues. This program prepares students for graduate studies, careers in industry or government, academic research laboratories, or teaching. Please refer to the program Progress Chart for further details.

    Resources:

    B.Sc. Honours Geography and Environmental Sciences Progress Chart

    Admission Requirements

    First Year Courses

    Please see the Faculty of Science Programs in the Undergraduate calendar for details

    G. Honours Geography and Environmental Sciences Co-op, B.Sc. (4 year program)

    Enrolment in this program is limited and possession of the published minimum requirements does not guarantee admission. Selection is based on academic achievement and an interview but requires, as a minimum, submission of the on-line application by the stated deadline and completion of Level II Honours Geography and Environmental Sciences with a Cumulative Average of at least 6.0 and completion of several courses. Please see Admission requirements.

    Resources:

    Admission Requirements

    First Year Courses

    Please see the Faculty of Science programs in the Undergraduate calendar for details.

    H. Honours Biology & Environmental Sciences B.Sc. (4 year program)

    Honours Biology and Environmental Sciences is a flexible program that focuses on interdisciplinary studies among these two fields. Jointly offered by the Department of Biology and the School of Geography and Earth Sciences, this program enables students to select courses according to their interests; to develop broad knowledge, and understanding of the linkages between biological and environmental processes; and to apply these to questions of biological, biomedical, or environmental interests. This program prepares students for graduate studies, careers in industry or academic research laboratories. Please refer to the program Progress Chart for further details.

    Resources:

    B.Sc. Honours Biology & Environmental Sciences Progress Chart

    Admission Requirements

    First Year Courses

    Please see the Faculty of Science Programs in the Undergraduate calendar for details

  • Students who choose to register in the social science programs offered by the School of Geography & Earth Sciences may choose 1 of 5 options:

    A. Geography B.A. (3 year program)

    This program is usually completed in three years. Students select from a wide range of geography courses at levels II and III

    Resources:

    Geography BA Progress Chart

    Admission Requirements

    First Year Courses

    Please see the Faculty of Social Sciences Programs in the Undergraduate calendar for details.

    B. Honours in Geography B.A. (4 year program)

    The Honours Program in Human Geography encompasses five major subfields or themes: Environment, GIS & Spatial Analysis, Health and Population, Economic Geography, and Urban Geography. For each of these themes, there is an introductory course offered at level II that provides students with an overview of key themes and concepts. At levels III and IV, a series of more advanced courses are offered. For example, the urban geography subfield offers courses in the historical geography of cities, urban planning, residential geographies and the evolution of urban housing. Likewise, the GIS & Spatial Analysis subfield provides courses on remote sensing, raster and vector GIS applications, as well as advanced spatial statistics. It should be noted that each subfield has its own sequence of courses and prerequisites (see the Course Listings section in the Social Science Undergraduate Calendar). Students can elect to take some or all of the upper level courses from different subfields. In addition, there is a core set of courses encompassing research design, data collection and analysis, field work, and the senior thesis or review paper.

    Resources:

    Honours in Geography BA Progress Chart

    Admission Requirements

    First Year Courses

    Please see the Faculty of Social Sciences Programs in the Undergraduate calendar for details.

    C. Honours in Geography & Environmental Studies, B.A. (4 year program)

    Students electing to complete this option take a combination of geography and environmental courses. First year requirements are the same as those for the B.A. Geography program with the addition of one Level I Environmental Science course (Envir Sc 1A03, 1B03 or 1G03). The environmental courses required beyond first year include both science and social science perspectives and emphases. Students graduating from this program are well prepared to study environmental issues from a social science perspective but are able to communicate and understand the science perspective as well.

    Resources:

    Honours Geography & Environmental Studies Progress Chart

    Admission Requirements

    First Year Courses

    Please see the Faculty of Social Sciences Programs in the Undergraduate calendar for details.

    D. Combined Honours in Geography and Another subject B.A. (4 year program)

    E. Honours Arts & Science and Human Geography (4 year program)

    Resources:

    Admission Requirements

    First Year Courses

    Please see the Faculty of Social Sciences Programs in the Undergraduate calendar for details.

  • The School of Geography & Earth Sciences offers 6 minor options. These options are open to students enrolled in any honours undergraduate program at McMaster. The minor options are:

    A. Minor in Earth Sciences

    Resources:

    Earth Science see Faculty of Science

    Admission Requirements

    B. Minor in Environmental Sciences

    Resources:

    Environmental Science see Faculty of Science

    Admission Requirements

    C. Minor in Environmental Studies

    Resources:

    Environmental Studies see Faculty of Science or Social Science

    Admission Requirements

    D. Geography

    E. Geographic Information Systems

    Resources:

    Geographic Information systems (GIS) see Faculty of Science or Social Science

    Admission Requirements

    F. Geography and Earth Sciences

    Resources:

    Geography and Earth Sciences see Faculty of Science or Social Science

    Admission Requirements

Please contact Kara Salvador at ugadmin@mcmaster.ca for more information regarding our courses and programs.

McMaster University - Faculty of Science

Mailing Address

School of Geography and Earth Sciences
McMaster University

General Sciences Building, Room 206
1280 Main Street West
Hamilton, Ontario, Canada
L8S 4K1

Contact Information

Office Hours:
8:30 a.m. - 12:00 p.m.
1:00 p.m. - 4:30 p.m.
Telephone Inquiries:
+1 (905) 525-9140 ext.24535
Email Inquiries:
sges@mcmaster.ca

McMaster University - Faculty of Science

Mailing Address

School of Geography and Earth Sciences
McMaster University

General Sciences Building, Room 206
1280 Main Street West
Hamilton, Ontario, Canada
L8S 4K1

Contact Information

Office Hours:
8:30 a.m. - 12:00 p.m.
1:00 p.m. - 4:30 p.m.
Telephone Inquiries:
(905) 525-9140 ext. 24535
Email Inquiries:
sges@mcmaster.ca