When thinking about what degree to pursue in college, it’s essential that you know the different courses you need to take before you earn that degree. These courses give you an idea on whether or not you’re really interested in the program. 

For geography, the courses are pretty diverse considering that there are two branches—human geography and physical geography. 

Human geography is mainly concerned with human societies and relationships between people and the world. On the other hand, physical geography is mainly concerned with the physical and natural environment. 

In the next section, you’ll read about the common courses under geography and their respective descriptions. Plus, if you plan on studying in Vancouver, you can also check out the list of institutions in the city that offer geography programs.

Courses Under Geography

There are a lot of factors to consider when studying geography; hence, the courses under this program can be quite diverse and varied. But don’t worry, these courses all give you comprehensive knowledge that will help you in your future career. 

Listed below are the common courses offered under geography programs: 

Cultural Geography

Culturally geography pertains to the study of cultural traditions, developments, customs, and their respective relationships to the natural environment. It’s a major field under human geography that allows students to look at the effects of various global issues. 

Students can also have an international or regional focus, specifically in cultures, religions, gender, language, and consumption of certain regions. 

Geographic Information Systems 

Another course under geography is Geographic Information Systems, commonly known as GIS. This course focuses on the applications of GIS, data collection and mining, spatial analysis, and digital mapping. 

It only gained popularity just recently because of its frequent usage in mapping and cartography, two common career paths for geographers. 

Environmental Geography

This course mainly studies the changes in the environment, the various fundamentals of environment science, energy consumption, water and forest resources, biodiversity, and environmental data collection. 

Since geographers deal with global issues such as pollution, field work is a common activity, so expect real-world applications when taking up this course. 

Urban Geography

Studies and analyses of the development and internal spatial structures of cities are covered by this course. Moreover, you’ll also learn about the different evolving patterns of cities, distribution of people and resources, and changes in transportation and communication technology. 

Discussions will mostly be about problems in urban areas such as public space usage, unequal investments, and segregation. You can also expect field work under this course. 

Medical Geography 

The rise of global health issues and their implications have given this course great importance. Through this course, you will examine different public health issues, both global and domestic. You also get to understand how certain places influence an individual’s health. 

Moreover, you will see the relationships between economic development, demographic change, and the general population’s health in this course. 

Geography Programs in Vancouver

Known as the coastal city in West Canada, Vancouver attracts both tourists and professionals from all over the globe. The myriad of opportunities in this city has made it a top choice when it comes to building one’s career. 

Moreover, the quality of education that institutions in this city offer have been recognized worldwide which makes it one of the best places to study geography in. Without further ado, here’s a list of geography programs in the city:

Environmental Geography Courses in Vancouver
Environmental Geography Courses in Vancouver. Source: Stockvault

University of British Columbia

Securing a spot in the top 20 public universities in the world, the University of British Columbia is a global leader for learning, teaching, and research. It’s also considered to be one of the most international universities in the entire North America.

This university was established in 1915 and has since been committed to give students the necessary support to shape a better world. Innovations are highly encouraged and the status quos are often challenged in this university. 

If you’re a bold thinker, curious, and a self-starter, this university is for you. 

The Department of Geography was the first university to have a Geography division back in 1922. The department is divided into three fields: technical, human, and physical. All degrees offer a wide range of courses, including technical ones. 

The programs offered are as follows:

  • Bachelor of Science in Environment and Sustainability
  • Bachelor of Science in Geographical Sciences
  • Bachelor of Science in Human Geography

They also offer Masters of Arts and Masters of Science in Geography, with thesis and non-thesis programs for each. 

  • Geography Master of Arts
  • Geography Master of Science
  • Geography Doctor of Philosophy

If you want to pursue higher studies in a different city, you might want to consider studying in Montréal. University of Montréal offers similar masters and doctorate degrees and is a world-renowned institution. 

Langara College

Established as an independent public college in 1994, Langara College has since been known as the house of teachings—a name given by the Musqueam First Nation, whose traditional territory houses the college.

The college is one of the leading undergraduate institutions in the city and offers undergraduate programs, continuing studies, and career studies to more than 21,000 students each year. 

Their Department of Geography & Geology is under the Social Sciences division and has 2-year undergraduate programs. Students can opt to start in January, September, or May. 

Currently, they offer an Associate of Arts Degree in Geography which requires students to finish a minimum of 60 credits. Some of the courses under this program include: urban geography, economic geography, and cultural geography. 

If you’re looking to study in Toronto, you can also check out York University. This university offers a similar geography program that focuses on how people create and sustain the places they live in. 

Vancouver Island University

Vancouver Island University focuses on giving fair access and acknowledgement to students to create a caring and nurturing environment. For the university, this is an essential factor in pushing forward a values-based education for students. 

Moreover, the university also strives to create a balanced academic environment by providing several opportunities for students to develop their social and relationship skills. Through this strategy, they believe that they’ll be able to help students make a difference in the world.

Their Bachelor of Science, Minor in Geography gives students an introduction to geographical information systems (GIS) and provides a foundation in physical geography. It will also focus on the distribution of biophysical phenomena and the processes that affect these. 

Students can expect to develop skills in research, geographic communication, analysis and production of maps using GIS. For those who are interested in pursuing further studies in environmental science, this program is definitely suited for you. 

Algonquin College in Ottawa offers a Certificate in Geographic Information Systems. If you want to study in the capital city, feel free to visit their website for more information!

Douglas College

Douglas College is one of the most unique institutions in the country. Students have the option of starting their education at Douglas and eventually transferring to another university or institution to finish their studies. 

This option is available for several arts and humanities, science, and commerce and business programs. They also have post-degree, post-baccalaureate, and graduate diplomas for people who want to pursue higher studies. 

But if you’re still unsure of which program to take, you can participate in their guided tours and get an orientation for your program choices. 

As for geography programs, they offer an Associate Degree in Geography and the Environment.  Physical and social features of the earth will be tackled, along with the relationships of people between natural and human-built environments. 

Open labs, field trips to natural and human-built environments, and field work will provide hands-on experience before you graduate. Should you decide to transfer to a different institution, you can during your third year in college. 

Studying Geography in Vancouver
Studying Geography in Vancouver. Source: Pixabay

Private Geography Tutors in Vancouver

Geography isn’t the easiest program to study, but it’s definitely one of the most interesting. There’s no shame in encountering challenges when you’re a student of this program, especially when you start to study more complex concepts and theories. 

That’s why there are tons of professionals willing to help students through tutorial services. These professionals are geographers or professionals in similar fields who can help you understand the concepts better or even learn something not taught in school. 

One of the easiest ways to find your own private geography tutor is through an online tutoring platform called Superprof. On this online platform, you’ll see a list of tutors near you once you input your locationwhether you’re in Vancouver, Calgary, or any other Canadian city. 

You’ll also see their rates, descriptions, and reviews made by former students so you can make an informed decision when hiring a tutor. 

Fret no more about challenging subjects and find your geography tutor today! 


Courses give you a glimpse of what the program will be like once you become a student. These courses will help you decide on whether or not you actually want to pursue the degree or find something else. 

The courses listed above and the programs offered in Vancouver might help you decide if this is really the career you want to have in the future. And if you do pursue geography, you can also find a geography tutor to help if you ever encounter challenges while studying. 

If you’re looking for more geography programs, feel free to check out the institutions in Edmonton. You might be interested in studying in this northern city.

Need a Geography teacher?

Enjoyed this article?

5.00/5 - 1 review(s)

Mike is a freelance writer with a passion for continuous learning, self-improvement, and helping others through education.