What is an Honours degree? 

An honours degree is a 4-year 120-hour degree that is more intensive and has higher standards than other 4-year degrees. In many instances it is a requirement for entry to graduate school. The main difference between an Honours degree and other 4-year degrees is the requirement to complete an Honours thesis. The thesis replaces 6 credit hours of coursework. 

Why should you do an Honours degree? 

Undertaking an Honours degree will allow you to get the most out of your Environment and Geography degree. An Honours degree will provide you with an opportunity to focus your degree though planning and conducting an Honours thesis project on a topic of your interest.  

You will work with your advisor to develop your research proposal, undertake the research, analyse your data, and write up your final project. This is as close to a graduate experience you can get as an undergraduate student and is an excellent way to prepare yourself for graduate school or to see if graduate school might be for you. It is also an opportunity to take a deep dive into a topic you are curious about. 

What are the entry requirements for the Honours Degree? 

Environmental Science and Studies students must have a 3.25 GPA and be in the 3rd or 4th year of their program. 

Geography students must have 3.0 GPA and be in the 3rd or 4th year of their program. 

For more detailed requirements please contact an Academic Advisor

What do you need to do? 

First you need to find an advisor to discuss your plans and ask them to supervise you. Click here for a list of potential advisors and the areas of research they work in. It is best to match your interest to the expertise of the advisor. It is also a good idea to consult the course syllabus to get an idea of timelines and requirement for the course, the PDF is linked towards the bottom of this page.   

Prior to being granted permission to register in the course, you will (with the help of your advisor) prepare a 1-2 page summary of the proposed thesis research and submit that to the course coordinator by email. The summary should generally identify the need for the study based on past work in the area, the purpose, goals and objectives, possible methods employed, location of where the research is to be conducted and the name of the proposed supervisor. 


There are a number of awards that students in the honours program are eligible for as well. Some, like the thesis prize are awarded after the work is completed and some like the Northern Scientific Training Program and the NSERC Undergraduate research Award can be applied for in advance and help to fund your research. 

Undergraduate Thesis Prize $1000.00 

Northern Scientific Training Program $500.00-$3000.00  

NSERC Undergraduate Research Award $5625.00 min.

Some of accomplishments of our former Honours students 

A highlight of doing your own research is the possibility that it might be published in a peer reviewed journal.  Below are a few examples from previous students in the Honours program:  

Rachel R. Mandryk, David W. Capelle, Cara C.M. Manning, Philippe Tortell, Ross D. McCulloch, Tim Papakyriakou. 2021. First estimation of the diffusive methane flux and concentrations from Lake Winnipeg, a large, shallow and eutrophic lake, Journal of Great Lakes Research, 47(3):741-750. 

Yekaterina Yezhova, David Capelle, Michael Stainton, Tim Papakyriakou, Carbon fixation by the phytoplankton community across Lake Winnipeg, Journal of Great Lakes Research. 47(3):703-714. 

Thesis Project Course Outline

Click the PDF file to view the GEOG4660/ENVR4500 Environmental Science and Studies Honours Thesis Project Course Outline

2021-2022 Honours Students Posters