PhD in Geography

The PhD is a four year research degree and the dissertation must contribute original knowledge to the discipline. The program provides a blend of formal instruction, seminar discussions, personal supervision, a wide array of field experiences, and the opportunity to practice and improve communication, teaching and research skills. All students are required to take a course in Philosophies of Geography. Other courses (at least two) are selected by the student in consultation with their supervisor and advisory committee, and should ensure that students have the background required to undertake their thesis research and have the breadth of knowledge necessary to successfully pass the comprehensive exams. For details about courses and other program requirements see the section called Program Components in the Graduate Student Handbook.


PhD students are supervised through a Thesis Supervision Committee consisting of the Supervisor and (at least) two additional advisors, normally from Geography, who are knowledgeable in the field of research. The Advisor/Supervisor is responsible for overseeing all aspects of the student’s academic program, especially the thesis research and thesis presentation. The Supervision Committee provides a formal support system and is required to meet for scheduled diagnostic meetings (please see the Graduate Student Handbook for details), but students are encouraged to draw widely on faculty for informal assistance in their research.

Program Components

The program requirements for the PhD include: 1) attending the orientation and retreat; 2) completion of at least one diagnostic meeting each year with the thesis supervisory committee; 3) completion of three courses** (one mandatory and two others); 4) successful completion of the comprehensive exams and a thesis proposal; 5) thesis research and writing; 6) participation in the Geography Fall Seminar; 7) a conference presentation; 8) thesis defense and final submission. Please see the Graduate Student Handbook for details.

** Returning UWO Masters graduates into the PhD program must take three courses (excluding Geog 9998).

Please see the Future Students section of our website for the application process and requirements as well as the Graduate Student Handbook  for detailed regulations and procedures.


Please contact the Graduate Administrator with any questions regarding the graduate program.
Phone: 519-661-2111, Ext. 85033;