About Program Admission Requirements

Study in one of the largest Geography programs in any university in Canada. Whether you're pursuing your Bachelor of Science and focusing on physical geography or gaining expertise about human geography through a Bachelor of Arts, York's program offers you the world at your doorstep.

Geography is the science of place and space. Geographers ask where things are located on the surface of the earth, why they are located where they are, how places differ from one another, and how people interact with the environment. There are two main branches of geography: human geography and physical geography.

Geographers also study the linkages between human activity and natural systems. Geographers were, in fact, among the first scientists to sound the alarm that human-induced changes to the environment were beginning to threaten the balance of life itself. They are active in the study of global warming, desertification, deforestation, loss of biodiversity, groundwater pollution, and flooding.

In the Faculty of Liberal Arts & Professional Studies, the Bachelor of Arts (BA) Geography program focuses on human geography - how people and their activities are distributed across the globe and how people create and sustain the places that make up the earth's surface. You'll learn how to use geographical theory and methodology to solve real-world problems that have a geographical dimension — urban and regional planning, transportation, tourism and international relations and more. Human geographers work in the fields of urban and regional planning, transportation, marketing, real estate, tourism, and international business.

In the Faculty of Science, the Bachelor of Science (BSc) degree emphasizes physical geography, which examines the physical, chemical and biological processes that occur in the immediate vicinity of the Earth's surface. Physical geographers study patterns of climates, land forms, vegetation, soils, and water. They forecast the weather, manage land and water resources, and analyze and plan for forests, rangelands, and wetlands. Many human and physical geographers have skills in cartography and geographic information systems. Field work is also emphasized, including outdoor laboratory sessions, field trips and periodic field courses in Southern Ontario as well as to remote and exotic regions.

  • We are addressing some of the most pressing issues facing human kind today.
  • We are committed to hands-on learning, using modern technologies and doing field work to get the facts on the ground, whether they are on the streets of Toronto or in the streams of the Arctic.
  • You will be able to use our range of impressive facilities for computing and research. For example, the Geoinformatics Research Lab, the climate laboratory and a web development facility.
  • You'll also have the opportunity to immerse yourself in our extensive map library.
  • Why not check out the Undergraduate Geography Students Club and take advantage of Alumni Career events during the school year.

Sample First-year Schedule

  • Physical Geography
  • Introduction to World Geography or Human Geography
  • Humanities or Social Science General Education course
  • Natural Science General Education course
  • Course outside the major

Possible Career Paths

Explore what you can do with your degree
  • Environmental assessor
  • GIS technician
  • Housing and transportation policy analyst
  • Market researcher
  • Regional and community development officer

Internationalize your degree

The iBA degree program reflects York's commitment to internationalization and requires you to acquire an international language and to gain international experience on exchange at one of York University's partner institutions abroad. You will benefit from enhanced interdisciplinary and cross-cultural knowledge, which are important components of the department's academic focus. Visit the International program page for more information.

You are required to provide official evidence of academic achievement in secondary education. This can be demonstrated through:

  • Final grades under the Ontario curriculum (obtained through correspondence, night school or through TVO)
  • Credentials through other curricula, such as results from Advanced Placement (AP) or Advanced-level courses in the General Certificate of Education (GCE). (Students may register to sit for the AP and GCE examinations as private candidates.)

In the absence of final grades in courses:

  • You must submit the results of standardized tests such as the Scholastic Aptitude Test (SAT) with a minimum combined total of 1170 on the Critical Reading and Math components or a composite American College Testing (ACT) score of 24.
  • Your application will be reviewed by an admissions sub-committee. If admitted, you will not be eligible for entrance scholarships. You will be considered for continuing student scholarships at the end of your first year of study, if you satisfy those criteria.

You may also be required to provide proof of language proficiency. You will be considered for entrance scholarships on the basis of your overall averages in the six 4U/4M (Ontario curriculum) or equivalent courses.

We are adding to our database of admission requirements by country. Please check back in October for additional admission requirements by country. General requirements are currently available by country — note that program-specific requirements may apply in addition to general requirements.