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


Master of Science

The Department of Geography offers a master of science (MSc) designed for research in geomorphology, hydrology, climatology, limnology, soil science, geographic information science, and health.

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 science (BSc) degree with a 3.25 cumulative grade point average (CGPA) in geography or a related discipline to be considered for entry to the MSc 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 606 - Research Design and Analytical Techniques in Physical Geography (5)

Research design, data collection and quantitative methods in physical geography. Equivalent Courses: GEOG706.

and two of*

GEOG 611 - Hydrology (4)

Conceptual and methodological bases of current hydrologic research. Equivalent Courses: GEOG731.

GEOG 612 - Glacial Geomorphology (4)

Glacial landform-process models; field study of glacial landforms and sediments. Equivalent Courses: GEOG728.

GEOG 613 - Fluvial Geomorphology (4)

An examination of current conceptual and methodological issues in fluvial geomorphology based on analyses of the primary research literature. Equivalent Courses: GEOG726.

GEOG 614 - Climatology (4)

Recent theoretical developments in physical climatology. Equivalent Courses: GEOG723.

GEOG 617 - Soil Science (4)

Soil physics, soil chemistry, soil biology and/or forest soils. Equivalent Courses: GEOG718.

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 658 - Advanced Ecohydrology (4)

Interdisciplinary exploration of the interactions between plants and hydrologic processes, with an emphasis on primary literature. Topics covered include evapotranspiration, subsurface water storage in time and space, plant water relations, isotopes in water, biogeographical patterns, modeling, field methods, and the role of ecohydrology in Earth’s climate system. Mandatory field trip. Prerequisite: Enrolled in a graduate program. Students with credit for GEOG 418 may not take this course for further credit.

Section Instructor Day/Time Location
G100 Willam Hahm
Mo 2:30 PM – 4:20 PM
BLU 10031, Burnaby
G101 Mo 4:30 PM – 6:20 PM
AQ 5051, Burnaby
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 677 - Msc 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 606.

Section Instructor Day/Time Location
G100 TBD

and a thesis

GEOG 697 - MSc 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, and before substantive research has commenced. The completed thesis is assessed 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.