A group of researchers stand out on an ice field beside a large research vessel.
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    • Clayton H. Riddell Faculty of Environment, Earth, and Resources
    • Faculty of Graduate Studies

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    • Doctor of Philosophy

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    Expected duration

    • 4 years

Research interests

Department research interests span a wide range of disciplinary and interdisciplinary topics including:

  • Agriculture
  • Culture
  • Population
  • Rural settlement
  • Urban, and industrial geographies
  • Resource management
  • Energy and environment
  • Regional development
  • Geography of aging
  • Environmental cognition
  • Climatology
  • Atmospheric science or meteorology
  • Geomorphology
  • Hydrology and associated studies of natural hazards and disasters.

Research facilities

The Ultra-Clean Trace Element Laboratory (UCTEL)

UCTEL is one of the most advanced ultra-trace analytical facilities in the world. UCTEL specializes in studying the chemistry and biogeochemistry of trace elements in the environment.

The Environmental Conservation Lab

The Environmental Conservation Lab focuses on the relationship between biological and social sciences and conducts community-centered research, education and outreach across North America and in the Global South.

The Centre for Earth Observation Science

CEOS research is multidisciplinary and collaborative, seeking to improve our understanding of the complex inter-relationships between Earth systems, and how they will likely respond to climate change.
CEOS manages on-and-off campus research facilities with world-class research tools using the latest technology.

Program details

Expected duration: 4 years

Tuition and fees: Two year’s tuition, then continuing fees in subsequent years (refer to Graduate tuition and fees)

In addition to the minimum 12 credit hour course requirement of the Faculty of Graduate Studies, students are required to attend and present their original research at two department seminars.

Students are also encouraged to attend and present at academic and/or professional conferences or seminars as approved by their supervisor.

These minimum course requirements may be increased on the recommendation of the student’s advisory committee or the departmental Graduate Studies Committee. Students are also required to pass a candidacy exam, and complete and successfully defend a dissertation. The dissertation is to be a distinctive contribution to the field of geography and must be of publishable quality.

Sample course offerings

  • GEOG 7200: Environment, Resources, and Population
  • GEOG 7360: Interdisciplinary Perspectives on Issues in the Environment
  • GEOG 7380: Advanced Ecotoxicology: Understanding Stress Ecology
  • GEOG 7400: Field Topics in Arctic Systems
  • GEOG 7420: Synoptic Meteorology and Weather Analysis
  • GEOG 7440: Climate Change
  • GEOG 7580: Gender and the Human Environment
  • GEOG 7780: Storms-Mesoscale
  • GEOG 7940: Sea Ice in Arctic Marine System
  • GEOG 7960: Oceanography: Biological II High Trophic Levels

For full course descriptions, please visit the Academic Calendar.

Milestones for PhD completion (order may vary)

  • appointment of advisor
  • coursework
  • formation of advisory committee
  • completion of coursework
  • development of thesis proposal
  • thesis proposal defense
  • thesis proposal approved
  • research ethics board approval and other approvals for access from outside agencies as needed
  • candidacy examination (no later than one year prior to expected graduation)
  • conduct thesis research
  • preparation and completion of thesis
  • review by advisor/advisory committee to ensure preparedness for examination
  • formation of examining committee including external examiner
  • submission of thesis to fgs who distributes to examining committee
  • upon approval of thesis by examining committee, the date is set for the oral examination
  • oral examination and public defense of thesis is conducted
  • further revisions (if applicable)
  • revisions approved by the advisor or examining committee
  • submission of the thesis to the Faculty of Graduate Studies

Admission requirements

The following are minimum requirements for entry into the geography PhD program. Meeting these requirements does not guarantee acceptance into the program.

A candidate must normally complete a master's degree before entering the PhD program.

PhD applicants must have a minimum GPA of 3.5 in the last 60 credit hours of study.

Please review the academic listing and communicate directly with professors whose research most closely matches that of your own interests. The department will not consider applications that have not identified a confirmed program supervisor.

In addition to the admission requirements described here, all applicants must meet the minimum admission and English language proficiency requirements of the Faculty of Graduate Studies.

How to apply

Applications are submitted online and must include the following before they will be reviewed by the admissions committee:

  • $100 application fee (non-refundable)
  • Statement of intent
  • Supervisor support
  • Completed student advisor application checklist
  • 2 letters of recommendation from academic sources different from supervisor

Please read the Faculty of Graduate Studies online application instructions before beginning your application.

Statement of intent information

The statement of intent should be between one and two pages and will briefly describe your intended research project, including your previous research or experience, the proposed topic, preferred methods and potential contributions.

Letters written in the format of a research proposal are strongly preferred. Applicants are encouraged to consult the graduate scholarship application instructions of their appropriate Tricouncil Agency (NSERC, SSHRC, CIHR) for guidance.

The statement of intent must be approved by your proposed program advisor prior to submitting to the online system.

Application deadlines

Canadian and US applicants

Term Application deadlines Apply
Winter 2022 September 15, 2021 Apply for Winter 2022 (Canada/US)
Summer 2022 January 15, 2022 Apply for Summer 2022 (Canada/US)
Fall 2022 May 15, 2022 Apply for Fall 2022 (International)

International applicants

Term Application deadlines Apply
Summer 2022 September 15, 2021 Apply for Summer 2022 (International)
Fall 2022 February 1, 2022 Apply for Fall 2022 (International)
Winter 2023 May 15, 2022 Not open yet

Applicants must submit their online application with supporting documentation and application fee by the deadline date indicated.

Learn more

Contact us

Admission and application inquiries

Faculty of Graduate Studies
Room 500 UMSU University Centre
65 Chancellors Circle
University of Manitoba (Fort Garry campus)
Winnipeg, MB R3T 2N2 Canada

Phone: 204-474-9377
Fax: 204-474-7553

Monday to Friday
8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

Program inquiries

Clayton H. Riddell Faculty of Environment, Earth, and Resources
Room 440 Wallace Building
125 Dysart Road
University of Manitoba (Fort Garry campus)
Winnipeg, MB, Canada R3T 2N2


Phone: 204-474-7252
Fax: 204-275-3147