Human geography is a branch of social science that focuses on the relationships between human societies and the built and natural environments in which they operate. Human geographers believe hat understanding these relationships requires being attentive to the location, space and scale of social phenomena. A contextual approach is often adopted, in which academic theories are applied, developed and modified in light of 'real world' issues and challenges. In other words, 'thinking spatially' can involve synthesizing the theoretical and the practical. Human geography graduates often have easy transitions into the workforce because they have been introduced to actual case studies and problem-solving approaches throughout their degrees.

Human geographers, like other social scientists, seek to collect high-quality data about individuals, institutions, and communities, and analyze that data in order to improve their understanding of societies, and the issues and challenges they face. This approach allows a great diversity of issues and processes to be investigated. Read more...

What skills do human geographers develop?

In addition to building a strong knowledge of the relationship between society and space, students in human geography have the opportunity to develop a strong skill-set to make them highly attractive to employers. This includes:

Geography students have flexibility in their degree program allowing them to take courses in other disciplines and other faculties to support the development of both knowledge and skills.

So, what do human geographers do once they graduate?

Human geography can be the gateway to a range of careers that are personally and financially rewarding. Many of these careers have direct outcomes for people. Imagine walking down Whyte Ave and thinking “I helped make this neighbourhood the exciting and vibrant community that it is today” or seeing thousands of homes saved from a massive wildfire and knowing that a community outreach program that you worked on helped homeowners develop wildfire resilient landscapes. Imagine helping to draft the next major environmental regulation that protects an endangered species, or being on a board that revolutionizes Edmonton's public transit system to improve it for future generations. Imagine helping to provide villages across southern Africa with schools, or being part of a community eco-tourism initiative in the South Pacific.  These are just a few of the many things that human geographers can do

As a result of the diversity of jobs in the social sciences, few people have job titles such as ‘Geographer’ or ‘Sociologist’. Instead people have job titles such as Project Manager, Information Specialist, Trail Planner, Research Analyst, Regional Director, Political Advisor, Sustainability Coordinator, Community Development Officer, Coordinator, International Trade Consultant, Policy Development Officer, GIS analyst, Consultant, Environmental Assessment Agent, and so on. Read more...

Major and Minor in Human Geography (all current students, including 2015/16 - new students 2016/17 onwards click here)

Major in Human Geography

A major in Human Geography requires a minimum of *30 to a maximum of *48 at the 200-level or higher in EAS courses and cross-listed courses from the following list: ANTHR 323, PHIL 355, POL S 432, SOC 251, SOC 455.  EAS courses that are not HGP courses may also be taken as part of the major, but at least *18 of the minimum *30 must be in Human Geography.  These must include at least *6 in HGP courses at the 400 level.

The following courses are required for Human Geography majors:

EAS 100 and HGP 100

EAS 221

HGP 250

See the course planner

Minor in Human Geography

A minor in Human Geography requires a minimum of *15 and a maximum of *42 at the senior level in HGP courses, including at least *6 at the 300 or 400 level.

Required Courses:  HGP 100 Introduction to Human Geography and Planning

At least two of: HGP 240, HGP 250, HGP 252

At least one of: HGP341, HGP 342