MA or MSc in Geography (Environment and Sustainability)

This page refers to the research-based collaborative program, not the course-based program.  The latter is administered by Environment and Sustainability alone.

See also the PhD in Environment and Sustainability


The MA or MSc in Geography (Environment and Sustainability) is an interdisciplinary degree offered within Geography in collaboration with the Environment and Sustainability Program.  The degree consists of all mandatory program components in Geography along with the mandatory program components required by Environment and Sustainability.  The program blends formal instruction and seminars with individual supervision and research experience, and provides the opportunity to improve and practice research skills, communication and teaching.  The program provides an opportunity for interaction with students, and supervision by faculty, from a wide range of other disciplines engaged in environmental science research. 


Geography students enrolled in Environment and Sustainability receive no change in funding from Geography once they identify the addition of the Environment and Sustainability component to their degree, however they are eligible for funding that is specific to Environment and Sustainability.

Admission Requirements

Eligibility for funding in the form of teaching assistantships and internal scholarships requires a minimum of 78% for domestic students (Canadian or Permanent Residents) and 80% for international students. With few exceptions, only those students eligible for funding are admitted. Similarly, exceptionally strong Masters students may be considered for promotion to the Ph.D. without completing the Masters degree. Students who want to enter the Environment and Sustainability Program apply for graduate admission to Geography and subsequently (typically) apply to Environment and Sustainability early in their first term in the program.

Evidence of proficiency in English is required for applicants born outside Canada whose first language is not English. The required level of proficiency can best be demonstrated by the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL), which must have been administered within the last two years.  An Official Examiner's Score can be submitted directly to Western by the Educational Testing Service.  Western's TOEFL ID is 0984.  The minimum total score for the internet-based test is 88, with individual minimum section requirements as follows:  reading - 22; listening - 20; speaking - 22; writing - 24.  If submitted in lieu of TOEFL, the minimum IELTS (International English Language Testing Service) score is 7.

The Department of Geography does not require applicants to submit GRE scores, although this can be submitted in support of an application.

Degree Requirements

The degree consists of all mandatory program components in Geography along with the mandatory program components required by Environment and Sustainability


MA/Sc students are supervised through an Advisory Committee of at least two, consisting of the Supervisor and another faculty member knowledgeable in the area of research. The thesis supervisor must be listed as a member of the Environment and Sustainability's "Core Faculty". The Supervisor is responsible for overseeing all aspects of the student's academic program, especially the thesis research and thesis preparation. 

Upgrade to PhD

Exceptional students who have completed their Masters coursework may potentially
upgrade to a PhD.


Please contact the Program Administrator in the Environment and Sustainability program with any questions regarding the collaborative program.

Phone: 519-850-2570


Program requirements, course offerings and funding can change due to unforeseen circumstances.