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Department of Geography | Faculty of Environment Simon Fraser University Calendar | Spring 2023


Master of Arts

The Department of Geography offers a master of arts (MA) focused on human geography including studies of cities, health, labour, environment, political economy, and geographic information science.

Admission Requirements

Applicants must satisfy the university admission requirements as stated in Graduate General Regulations 1.3 in the SFU Calendar. Typically, candidates should have a bachelor of arts (BA) degree with a 3.25 cumulative grade point average (CGPA) in geography or a related discipline to be considered for entry to the MA in geography.

Program Requirements

This program consists of two introductory seminars, three graduate geography courses, a thesis proposal and a thesis, for a minimum of 30 units. Those admitted without an appropriate academic background may be required to complete additional coursework.

Students must complete both of

GEOG 600 - Introduction to Graduate Studies: Fall Semester (1)

Introduction to graduate studies in the Department of Geography at Simon Fraser University, covering formal requirements and practical considerations. Graded on a satisfactory/unsatisfactory basis. Students with credit for GEOG 700 may not take this course for further credit.

GEOG 601 - Introduction to Graduate Studies: Spring Semester (1)

Completion of GEOG 600, with an emphasis on the preparation and presentation of the research proposal. Graded on a satisfactory/unsatisfactory basis. Students with credit for GEOG 701 may not take this course for further credit.

Section Instructor Day/Time Location
G100 Kirsten Zickfeld
Tu 12:30 PM – 2:20 PM
RCB 6100, Burnaby


GEOG 603 - Theory and Methods for Human Geographers (5)

Exploring the theoretical frameworks and methods for human geography research. Students with credit for GEOG 604 and GEOG 605 may not take this course for further credit.

and two of*

GEOG 620 - Selected Topics: Economy, Environment and Development (4)

Geographic perspectives on selected topics in economy and environment in Canadian and international contexts.

GEOG 621 - Advanced Geographical Political Economy (4)

Examines the historical development of the material spaces and places affected by changing capitalist dynamics and the dominant theories through which they are explained, legitimized, and criticized, from a geographical perspective. Special attention is given to interdisciplinary challenges posed by the combination of geographic, political and economic theoretical and methodological traditions.

GEOG 640 - Selected Topics in Social and Urban Geography (4)

Geographic perspectives on society and the city in Canadian and international contexts.

GEOG 651 - Advanced Spatial Analysis and Modeling (4)

Perspectives on the description, analysis and prediction of geographical processes using spatial modeling and decision-making in a GIS environment. Equivalent Courses: GEOG714.

Section Instructor Day/Time Location
G100 Suzana Dragicevic
Th 2:30 PM – 4:20 PM
AQ 3150, Burnaby
G101 Th 4:30 PM – 6:20 PM
AQ 2111, Burnaby
G200 Suzana Dragicevic
GEOG 653 - Remote Sensing of Environment (4)

Selected principles and applications of remote sensing for the study of natural and human environments.

GEOG 655 - Advanced Principles of Geographic Information Science (4)

Examines data, data structures and computational methods that underlie GIS description and analysis. Illustrates the social science and science links between computers and geography. Equivalent Courses: GEOG715.

GEOG 657 - Geovisualization Interfaces (4)

The concepts, theories and technology behind 3D representation and 3D geovisualization of complex spatial phenomena using emerging interactive, immersive and ubiquitous interface technologies. Combines geovisualization, geospatial interface research, geovirtual environments, GIScience, and spatial knowledge acquisition perspectives. Prerequisite: Enrolment in any graduate program plus permission of the instructor. Graduate students from other disciplines are welcome to take this course.

Section Instructor Day/Time Location
G100 Nicholas Hedley
G101 Nicholas Hedley
GEOG 665 - Relational Geographies of Conquest and Liberation (4)

An exploration of theories and geographies of conquest and liberation to analyze present-day struggles for abolition and decolonization. We will weave epistemologies from across the globe understand how different struggles for liberation are spatially connected amid colonialism, racial capitalism and empire.

GEOG 681 - Law and the Geographies of Power (4)

Case studies of the inter-relations between the social and political construction of law and space. Equivalent Courses: GEOG755.

GEOG 686 - Advanced Health Geography (4)

Multiple approaches to relationships between health and place are discussed. This includes exploring underlying theories, concepts, and methods used by health geographers for traditional and contemporary research. Students who have taken GEOG 486 may not take this course for further credit.

GEOG 691 - Directed Readings (4)

Students may only take this course once during their program. Equivalent Courses: GEOG791.

Section Instructor Day/Time Location
G100 May Farrales
G200 Eugene McCann

and a thesis proposal

GEOG 678 - MA Thesis Proposal (1)

A one term course that will allow students to complete the Thesis Proposal. Graded on a satisfactory/unsatisfactory basis. Prerequisite: GEOG 600, GEOG 601 and GEOG 603.

Section Instructor Day/Time Location
G100 TBD

and a thesis

GEOG 698 - MA Thesis (18)

Graded on a satisfactory/unsatisfactory basis.

Section Instructor Day/Time Location
G100 TBD

* Course substitutions may be allowed for different graduate geography courses or graduate courses outside of geography subject to approval.


The program requires the submission and successful defence of a thesis. The thesis involves the conceptualization of a problem and the collection, analysis, and interpretation of empirical data. A written proposal is submitted to the supervisory committee, defended in colloquium, and approved by the end of the second term, before substantive research has commenced. The completed thesis is judged by the thesis examining committee at an oral defence.

Program Length

Students are expected to complete the program requirements in six (6) terms.

Other Information

Supervisory Committee

Students work under the guidance of a supervisor, who is normally a faculty member in the department and one other committee member, who may be from outside the department. The committee will be determined by the start of the second term.

Academic Requirements within the Graduate General Regulations

All graduate students must satisfy the academic requirements that are specified in the Graduate General Regulations, as well as the specific requirements for the program in which they are enrolled.