Geographical Sciences

at UBC's

Vancouver Campus

Study the fundamental interactions between life – including human societies – and the Earth's atmosphere, hydrosphere, and geosphere. You'll build on a broad base in the basic sciences by completing course in areas such as biogeography, climatology, geographic information science, geomorphology, or hydrology.

Why this program?

  • UBC’s Department of Geography is ranked in the world’s top 10 academic departments.
  • Participate in field research in nearly all upper-level courses to prepare for a career in the geosciences.
  • You'll have the option of a combined honours degree in climatology or geology.
Visit program website

Program information

  • Campus: Vancouver
  • Faculty: Faculty of Science
  • Degree: Bachelor of Science
  • Length 4 yrs
  • Co-op Yes
    You can combine your studies with full-time, paid work at top local and international organizations.
  • Honours No
    You can study intense specialization in a single field.

The Geographical Sciences program focuses on the fundamental interactions between life – including human societies – and the Earth’s atmosphere, hydrosphere, and geosphere. You will build a strong foundation in geosciences disciplines by completing at least two of five upper-year concentrations in biogeography, climatology, geographic information science, geomorphology, or hydrology.

For interests in environmental, cultural-historical, urban, economic, or regional geography, the BA program (with majors in Environment and Sustainability, and Human Geography) is appropriate. Technical courses are incorporated into both the BA and BSc programs.

Experiential learning and research

Field-based research is an integral component of the Geographical Sciences specialization. You will take field trips in nearly all upper-level courses and complete technical training.

Campus features

The Department of Geography has cartographic, computing, and technical services as well as computer labs specifically for the use of undergraduate students.

Life at UBC's Vancouver campus

The Geography Building is home to both the Geographical Sciences BSc and Geography BA programs. Along with classrooms, the building is home to the Geographic Information Centre, undergraduate student lounge and computer labs.

Find out more

Your future

A BSc in Geographical Sciences can lead to employment as a geological technician, geoscientist, surveyor, environmental consultant, cartographer, or GIS specialist. The specialization equips you with the knowledge necessary for success in fields related to geographic science.

With appropriately selected electives, this degree forms a suitable basis for completing the academic requirements for registration as a professional geoscientist, which is legally required of all people practising geoscience in Canada.

Program graduates

  • Senior technical systems analyst, Provincial Health Services Authority
  • Geospatial analyst and cartographer, Roy Northern Land and Environmental
  • GIS and air photograph specialist, UBC Geographic Information Centre
  • Geography laboratory technician, Douglas College
  • Air quality specialist, WSP in Canada
  • Master of Urban Planning student, McGill University

Program requirements

English-language requirements

English is the language of instruction at UBC. All prospective students must demonstrate English-language competency prior to admission. There are numerous ways to meet the English Language Admission Standard.

General admission requirements

IB Diploma Programme

  • Completed IB Diploma, including at least three Higher Level courses.

IB Certificate Courses

  • IB Certificate courses (Standard and Higher Level) may be used in an admissions average if you are graduating from a recognized high school curriculum that can be used as your basis of admission.
  • IB Math Applications and Interpretations SL, or IB Math Studies, do not satisfy the math requirement for admission to UBC’s science-based programs, the Faculty of Management, the UBC Sauder School of Business, or the Vancouver School of Economics.

Degree-specific requirements: Science

  • IB Math Analysis and Approaches SL or HL, or IB Math Applications and Interpretations HL (IB Math Applications and Interpretations SL, or IB Math Studies, are not acceptable)
  • One of IB Biology, IB Chemistry, or IB Physics
  • Grade 11 or equivalent Chemistry, and
  • Grade 11 or equivalent Physics (may be waived with grades of 5 in IB Chemistry and in your IB Mathematics course)

Note: Grade 11 Chemistry and Physics requirements listed are only relevant to students who are not completing the equivalent IB Diploma Chemistry and/or Physics courses.

For students studying outside of Canada, some examples of courses that may be accepted as Grade 11 equivalents are junior-level courses for American students, and IGCSE and O Level for those following British-patterned curricula.

Related courses

The following subject categories are particularly relevant for this degree. Consider taking courses in these areas in your junior year and senior year.

  • Language Arts
  • Mathematics and Computation
  • Sciences
Visit program website