Bachelor of Arts (BA)
Why study Geography at UBC’s Okanagan campus?
Build a broad foundation with a globally recognized UBC degree. Career options in the field of geography are wide-ranging, from climatologist, water resources manager, and environmental impacts assessment specialist to heritage planner and land developer.
Access to professors
Smaller class sizes means that your professors are easily accessible. Visit your prof during office hours, apply to be a research assistant, carry out independent research, or volunteer to assist with research at one of our institutes, centres, or labs.
Work closely with classmates and professors while getting firsthand field experience in locations such as the Canadian Rockies, where students can participate in courses such as management of mountain hazards.
Put your classroom learning to the test with Co-op job placements throughout the region and beyond. Co-op helps you to gain beneficial skills such as how to build your resumé, apply for jobs, expand your professional network, and earn money to pay for tuition.
what you need to know
Get your UBC degree in geography, the study of human and physical landscapes and their interconnections on the surface of the Earth.
Geography is a unique academic discipline because of its ability to integrate ideas and methods from many disciplines. It also concerns “spatial” or areal patterns, relationships, and processes on the Earth’s surface, and has a focus on environmental studies. One of the strengths of geography is to encourage a holistic or “big picture” view of complex human-environmental problems.
The geography program at UBC Okanagan emphasizes the development of theory, methodology, and the practical application of geographical concepts and tools to environmental, economic, social, and cultural problems, with emphasis on issues pertinent to southern BC and Canada.
At UBC Okanagan, you can complete a Bachelor of Arts (BA) with a major or minor in geography.
UBC Okanagan’s geography program offers a wide variety of foundational and advanced courses that cover social, natural, and environmental sciences training.
- GEOG 272 — Cartography and Remote Sensing
- GEOG 316 — Geography of Natural Hazards
- GEOG 353 — Geographies of Migration and Settlement
- GEOG 414 — Applied Climatology
Browse geography courses and descriptions.
For your application to be considered, you will need to:
- meet general requirements (e.g., graduate from secondary school)
- demonstrate a certain level of English competency
- meet specific requirements for the degree you’re applying to
Then, UBC will take a closer look at your application. We’ll read your Personal Profile to get a sense of who you are and what you’ve achieved. We’ll also look at all of your Grade 11 (junior level) and Grade 12 (senior level) courses, paying special attention to the courses that relate to the degree you’re applying to.
Find your specific requirements at https://you.ubc.ca/
WHEN TO DECLARE YOUR MAJOR
Declaring helps you plan your program more effectively, build your education, and stay connected.
Students are encouraged to declare their major in geography at the end of their first year in order to take the prerequisite second-year courses. Refer to the Academic Calendar for admission requirements.
Plan ahead to ensure you meet important deadlines and other target dates listed at you.ubc.ca.
UBC Okanagan’s fees compare favourably with universities of the same high calibre. See Financial Planning for helpful resources, and add up your first-year costs with our Cost Calculator.
Apply to UBC at you.ubc.ca — there are just five steps in the application process. Soon you could be studying at one of the world’s top universities.
Check out the steps to apply to UBC, and be sure to choose “Okanagan campus.”
Or let our Student Recruitment & Advising experts guide you: call 1.877.807.8521.
Your Career Options
Build a broad foundation and great career potential with a UBC degree — respected by employers around the globe. Explore job opportunities ranging from climatologist, water resources manager, and environmental impacts assessment specialist to heritage planner and land developer.
- Air photo interpreter
- Community development specialist
- Cultural resource specialist
- Ecotourism manager
- Emergency management officer
- Environmental impact assessment specialist
- Environmental quality specialist
- Forestry technician
- Hazardous waste planner
- Heritage planner
- Housing specialist
- Land developer/surveyor
- Land economist
- Land-use analyst
- Map curator or editor
- Parks planner
- Park warden
- Photogrammetric technician
- Real estate analyst
- Recreational and tourism planner
- Remote sensing analyst
- Resource economist or planner
- Soil assessment technician
- Transportation planner
- Urban/regional planner/technician
- Water resources manager
- Water use analyst
- Weather and climate specialist
- Wildlife manager
- Waste management specialist
- Federal government departments with portfolios such as Aboriginal affairs, international development, industry and development, environmental and environmental protection, fisheries and oceans, agriculture, foreign affairs, natural resources, elections, and parks
- Municipal governments and regional districts focusing on functions such as planning, recreation and parks, corporate services, and transportation
- Private sector urban and regional planning, geographic information system services, and resource and analysis management firms
- Provincial government agencies such as agriculture and lands, community services, economic development, environment, forests, tourism, housing, assessments, and municipal affairs
Learn and earn with Co-op, a paid opportunity for students to enrich their education with work experience. At UBC’s Okanagan campus, sign up for Co-op to:
- build your resumé with professional experience
- learn valuable tips on how to successfully apply for jobs
- expand your network of industry contacts
- earn money to pay for tuition
Inquire about Co-op by phone at 250.807.9623 or by email.
Gain Valuable Experience
Learning experiences beyond the classroom help prepare you for a career and life after university. Expand your horizons while studying abroad, conducting meaningful research, or working in the community with your UBC colleagues.
- See the world through Go Global, a UBC program for exchange and study with more than 150 international partner institutions. Experience university life abroad as a resident, or earn academic credit while participating in summer group-study courses led by UBC profs.
- Travel to conferences or competitions with financial assistance made available through the Tuum Est Student Initiative Fund, which provides financial support up to $3,500.
Follow your ideas and jump-start your career:
- Pursue innovative and original research as part of the Irving K. Barber School of Arts and Sciences Undergraduate Research Awards.
- Participate in the Irving K. Barber School of Arts and Sciences Undergraduate Research Conference.
- Volunteer as a research assistant or pursue directed studies or honours opportunities, some of the many opportunities for undergraduate students to gain valuable research experience.
- Check out these videos: Students and professors discuss the Undergraduate Research Conference and other undergraduate research opportunities.
Get a financial boost to start your research experience. Pay for travel and other expenses. Win merit-based cash awards that look impressive on your resumé.
- Undergraduate Research Awards: The URA offers an $8,000 salary plus a maximum of $1,500 for research expenses, for a total of up to $9,500 per student. For international students, the IURA offers a $9,000 salary plus a maximum of $1,500 for research expenses, for a total of up to $10,500 per student.
- NSERC Undergraduate Student Research Awards: Minimum $7,500
- Co-op puts your classroom learning to the test, allowing you to explore career options while earning money. Inquire about Co-op by phone at 250.807.9623 or by email.
- Learn through doing, create strong connections, and develop professional skills with a campus job arranged by UBC’s Work Study Program.
- Meet a community need and get practical experience by volunteering for a Community Service Learning project—a life-changing experience.
Meet Your Peers and Profs
Find out what students, faculty, and alumni have to say about UBC Okanagan’s Geography program: ourstories.ok.ubc.ca.
WELCOME TO UBC’S OKANAGAN CAMPUS
The University of British Columbia is a global centre for research and teaching, consistently ranked among the 40 best universities in the world. In the geography program at UBC’s Okanagan campus, you gain all the benefits of attending a globally respected university while studying in a close-knit learning community.
- Get a glimpse into life on UBC’s Okanagan campus at you.ubc.ca.
- Take a virtual tour of our state-of-the-art labs, modern facilities, campus residences.
- Visit the campus for a personal guided tour led by a student ambassador.
- Tour the campus, city and lake with this interactive 360-degree Kelowna From Above* video.
* Best viewed in Chrome and Firefox
On the first day of university, faculties offer “Meet the Faculty” sessions where you can get to know the Dean, professors, and the staff who provide student support. It’s all part of UBC Okanagan’s new student orientation: CREATE.
Attend an orientation tailored to your needs as an aboriginal student, domestic student, international student, or student living in residence. You can even register your parents for an orientation that includes a workshop and campus tour.
- Peer mentors are a great resource — ask questions and learn from students who’ve been there, done that.
- Navigate your studies with the help of a professor, your Program Advisor.
- Use the library which offers print, audiovisual and electronic research materials, a leisure-reading collection, and loaner laptops. It also offers research consultations, instruction and workshops.
- The library’s Writing and Resource Centre can help you articulate your ideas. Pursue your research in a range of subject areas and scholarly genres, including essay writing, grammar, presentation skills, punctuation, thesis development, and coursework.
- Familiarize yourself with resources designed to help you succeed. Student Services offers a variety of academic supports, from study sessions to tutoring and writing workshops.
Take advantage of the many opportunities to get involved and stay active—from workout space in the new Hangar Fitness Centre, to athletic courts, intramurals, fitness classes, and varsity athletics.
Learn more at Sports and Recreation, which includes links to fitness facilities, sport clubs, intramurals and recreation programs, as well as the nationally ranked UBC Okanagan Heat varsity teams that compete in the Canada West Universities Athletics Association.
- Make friends with similar interests and explore tutoring options with the Geography Course Union.
- Join the Women in Science and Engineering (WiSE) Mentoring Program which supports the success of young women transitioning from their undergraduate education to a career in science or engineering.
- Branch out, get involved in student life, and have fun by joining various campus clubs.
Meet new people while living in a study-oriented environment with easy access to academic and personal support.
UBC Okanagan offers modern residence living surrounded by hiking and biking trails. One of the newest residences, Purcell, includes a rooftop patio that offers a panoramic view of the campus and the Okanagan Valley.
Find out more about living in residence at you.ubc.ca.
UBC’s Okanagan campus borders the dynamic city of Kelowna, a hub of economic development with a population of more than 150,000 people—the fourth fastest growing population in Canada. In fact, the Okanagan Valley is rated one of the best communities in Canada to grow your business.
More than 160 buses travel daily from campus to key locations such as Kelowna’s cultural district and thriving downtown waterfront. The campus is two minutes from the Kelowna International Airport, one of the Top 10 busiest airports in Canada.
UBC Okanagan is situated within the First Nations territory of the Okanagan Nation, whose spirit of stewardship for the land is reflected in the university’s respect for sustainability.
A diverse natural region with sandy beaches, beautiful farms, vineyards and orchards, and snow-capped mountains, the Okanagan Valley features sweeping stretches of lakeside and endless mountain trails for biking and hiking.
Explore the Okanagan lifestyle at you.ubc.ca.