Geography: Human Geography

at UBC's

Vancouver Campus

Human Geography covers a wide set of sub-disciplines that share in common the study of the human use and experience of the world. You'll study such broad territory as the relations between nature and society, place and human identity, and the spatial basis of economies and societies.

This program is also offered at UBC's Okanagan Campus
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Why this program?

  • Prepare for careers in policy, urban studies, government, academia, or the private sector.
  • Study in UBC's Geography Department, which is consistently ranked in the top 10 Geography departments worldwide.
  • Take newly redesigned courses developed by award-winning research and teaching faculty.
  • Join an inclusive, engaging, multidisciplinary academic community of 600+ undergraduate students, 100+ graduate students, and 30+ faculty.
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Program information

  • Campus: Vancouver
  • Faculty: Faculty of Arts
  • Degree: Bachelor of Arts
  • Length 4 yrs
  • Co-op Yes
    You can combine your studies with full-time, paid work at top local and international organizations.
  • Honours Yes
    You can study intense specialization in a single field.

Human Geography covers a wide set of sub-disciplines that share in common the study of the human use and experience of the world. It covers such broad territory as the relations between nature and society, place and human identity, and the spatial basis of economies and societies. Human Geographers make contributions to the private and public sectors in such professional fields as education, physical and social planning, urban development, environmental and resource fields, industrial location, economic development, tourism, regional specialties, cartography, and Geographical Information Science (GIS).

You will explore four main study areas: Culture and places; cities and globalization; nature and society; and research and methods.

Campus features

The Department of Geography is housed in the Geography Building, a hub for researching, teaching, learning, and community.  The Geography Building includes multiple study spaces, an undergraduate lounge, and two state-of-the art geomatics computer labs, for you to work on Geography laboratory assignments and projects. The Department also houses the Geographic Information Centre (GIC), which is a library, reading room, and research space. Holdings include maps specializing in BC and Canada, atlases, books, and journals with geographical content, videos, course reserves, and BC’s largest aerial photo collection.

The Department of Geography also includes labs and research spaces in the Geography Building, around UBC, and beyond.  The Geography building houses the Lab for Advanced Spatial Analytics, the Surfaces Processes Lab, and the Urban Studies Research Commons, to name a few. As an undergraduate student, you can experience these spaces through your Geography and Geographical Sciences coursework, or even through individual directed studies research projects with Geography faculty.

Life at UBC's Vancouver campus

Learn from world-renowned faculty members, whose research and teaching are at the cutting edge of their disciplines. Whether your goal is a career or graduate school, your academic adventure begins in the Department of Geography.

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Your future

Human Geographers are everywhere – in government, policy groups, consultancies, academia, NGOs, and beyond. By exploring the intricacies of humanity’s place in a global context, Human Geography students frequently tackle complex, multifaceted questions that have unpredictable, long-term results. By engaging in coursework across a wide spectrum of geographic topics, graduates are prepared to engage with these interrelated concerns.

Program graduates

  • Analyst, HR&A Advisors
  • Residential Land Development, Transportation and Community Planning, StreetSide Developments.
  • Assistant Planner, Urban Regeneration, Christchurch City Council, New Zealand
  • Research Assistant, Global Reporting Centre
  • Marketing and communications specialist, Aritzia
  • Junior policy analyst, Nunavut Housing Corporation
Cecilia Montauban

UBC stories

Double major Cecilia talks about her UBC highlights, chasing her goals, and plans for the future

Cecilia Montauban, Environmental Science and Human Geography Read the full story

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: Arts

  • No specific courses required beyond those needed for general admission

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
  • Second Languages
  • Social Studies
  • Visual and Performing Arts
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