Geography and the Environment
Take the first step to a career as an environmental consultant, urban planner, meteorologist, park ranger, development worker, geoscientist, cartographer, real estate developer, statistician and much more with an Associate of Arts Degree in Geography.
In this program, you’ll study the physical and social features of the earth, and examine people’s relationships with natural and human-built environments. Geography bridges the natural and social sciences, spanning a variety of fields, such as economics, urban studies, policing and law, earth sciences, biology and environmental studies. Thus, geographers are well-equipped to study and help tackle contemporary challenges, including climate change, natural hazards, habitat destruction, food security, waste and resource management, rapid urbanization and refugee movements, to name a few.
Get hands-on experience – before you graduate
Many geography courses include experiential learning opportunities inside our classrooms and open labs, as well as off campus with field trips to local natural and human-built environments. This field work gives you the chance to conduct research, collect data and observe phenomena out in the field using specialized equipment.
This program is also eligible for the Co-operative Education Program, which alternates semesters of study with paid, full-time work in your field. You’ll earn money while gaining experience, building your resume and getting an employer reference, all before you graduate.
To participate in Co-op you need to plan two semesters in advance, so we strongly recommend contacting the Co-op Office at the start of your program.
Transfer your credits to university
Associate degrees take two years to complete and concentrate on one area of study. If you plan your courses carefully with a university program in mind, you’ll be able to transfer all 60 credits to university. In most cases, an associate degree will allow you to enter the third year of a four-year bachelor's degree program. To ensure your courses transfer, see the BC Transfer Guide.
Geography majors can complete degrees in Human Geography, Physical Geography, Environmental Studies, Resource Management, Earth Sciences, Urban Studies, Habitat Restoration, Geographic Information Systems (GIS), Spatial Information Systems, Community Development and Sustainability Planning at most universities.
- Successful completion of 60 University Transfer (UT) credits as listed below
- A minimum program GPA of 2.00 is required
- All courses must be University Transferable - a University Transferable course is a course that transfers to one of the Research Universities - SFU, UBC (UBCV or UBCO), UNBC, or UVIC in the BC Transfer Guide
- 50% (30 credits) of all coursework must be completed at Douglas College
- Specializations are not noted on credentials but will be noted on the transcript
To complete an Associate of Arts Degree with a Specialization in Geography, students must complete:
- 18 or more credits (of the 60 credits required for their associate degree) in Geography
- nine of those 18 credits must be considered second-year courses. To qualify as a second-year course, a course must transfer to one of the Research Universities (SFU, UBCV, UBCO, UNBC, or UVIC) at the second-year level.
The following are the general requirements for an Associate of Arts Degree at any BC college:
- 6 credits first-year English* electives
- 6 credits Humanities** electives
- 6 credits Social Sciences** electives
- 6 credits Arts** electives
- 18 credits second-year Arts** electives in 2 or more subject areas
- 3 credits Lab Science elective
- 3 credits Math, Statistics or Computing Science elective
- 3 credits Math, Statistics or Science elective
- 9 credits other University Transfer electives
* English courses include courses in written Communications and Creative Writing that transfer to one of the BC Research Universities (SFU, UBCV, UBCO, UNBC, UVIC) as English credit. A maximum of 3 credits can come from such an equivalent; at least 3 credits must be earned in an actual ENGL course so-named. For purposes of the Associate of Arts degree, English courses cannot be counted as Humanities courses.
** Arts courses are available in the Faculty of Languages, Literature, and Performing Arts, and the Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences. To confirm whether a course is designated as "humanities" or "social sciences," check the Associate of Arts degree graduation checklist. Economics courses are Arts courses. Arts courses may also include Mathematics courses.
A course is defined by the subject for which it is granted transfer credit at one of the research universities (SFU, UBCV, UBCO, UNBC, or UVIC).
- An Arts course is defined as any course in a subject area for which there is a Baccalaureate of Arts Degree at one of the research universities.
- A Science course is defined as any course in a subject area for which there is a Baccalaureate of Science Degree or Baccalaureate of Applied Science Degree at one of the research universities.
- The requirements specified above are intended to provide breadth of exposure to a variety of disciplines in both Arts and Sciences. In some instances there may be some ambiguity as to whether a course is in the Humanities or Social Sciences and is an Arts course or a Science course. Most Physical Geography and Mathematics would be designated as Science courses.
- A course in an "other" area is defined as any course in a subject area for which there is a Baccalaureate Degree other than in Arts, Science or Applied Science at one of the research universities.
- A first-year course is defined as a course that has assigned or unassigned transfer credit at the 100-level at one of the research universities.
- A second-year course is defined as a course that has assigned or unassigned transfer credit at the 200-level or higher level at one of the research universities.
- A laboratory science course is one in which a substantial component of instruction involves the study of natural phenomena, either in the laboratory or in the field.
For detailed information you should meet with a Student Success Advisor.
Co-operative Education Option:
Students enrolled in this program may be eligible for a Co-operative Education designation. Co-operative Education involves alternating full-time academic and work terms. For information contact the Co-operative Education Office.
Career opportunities include:
- Assistant Policy Planner
- Assistant Transit Planner
- Building Inspector
- CAD Technologist
- Cartographic Aide
- Earth Observation Worker
- Ecologist Environmental Consultant
- Environmental Inspector
- Environmental Technician
- Field Research Assistant
Program Guidelines for previous years are viewable by selecting the version desired. If you took this program and do not see a listing for the starting semester / year of the program, consider the previous version as the applicable version.
Geography courses meet requirements for many programs, including the Associate of Arts, Associate of Science, Future Teachers, Sports Science and general lab science credits.
This is how you become a student at Douglas College.
All geography courses transfer to university. For specific course information, see the BC Transfer Guide
We offer a range of arts and lab science courses.
Check out our latest study abroad opportunities
We're so glad you asked! We're here to help - we want you to succeed! Drop into one of our "open labs" where you can work with other students and ask lab technicians questions. You can also contact your instructors directly.
We offer many services and resources in our open labs.
Labs are located on both campuses:
David Lam: B2230
New Westminster: 3467
While we understand that this does occasionally happen due to illness or other unavoidable life events, we strongly encourage you to make class attendance a priority. Information presented in class builds upon previous material, so your attendance is crucial to a thorough understanding of concepts.
If missing a class is unavoidable, email your instructor immediately, as you would do in any work situation. Be sure to get class notes from other student(s) in your class, and make up any missed work as soon as possible.
What?! Late assignment? We've never heard of such a thing!
Drop-off conditions and procedures vary among instructors. Be sure to check with your instructor first!
In the unlikely event that this occurs, your assignment can be dropped off in New West at the Humanities and Social Sciences drop box located across the hall from open lab (3467).
At David Lam, your assignment can be dropped off in room A3030 with the Departmental Assistant. Any assignments dropped off after the office is closed will be time-stamped the following day. Assignments can also be dropped off in the David Lam library after 4:30 PM on weekdays.
Late assignments MUST be labelled with ALL of the following information or they will NOT be processed:
Your name, the course name, course number, section number and name of instructor.