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The Undergraduate Calendar

Department of Geography & Environmental Management

Bachelor of Environmental Studies

Honours Geomatics (Regular & Co-op)
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Geomatics is the fusion of geography and informatics activities and services involved in the collection, analysis, management, and integration of location-based data to enable improved decision and policy making. The Geomatics program will include courses in geographic information systems, remote sensing global positioning and surveying, spatial statistics, and computer science. The computer science component will give graduates the strongest advantage in the field of Geomatics. Students completing this program will be able to go beyond the competent use of existing Geomatics tools to develop applications involving spatial database development and management, data dissemination, spatial analysis, decision support, and modeling. 


‡ ENGL 109 or ENGL 129R must be completed with a grade of 65% or higher. Please see the English Language Proficiency Requirement section for the Faculty of Environment if you fail to meet this requirement.

* Theme courses can be counted towards a specialization.

Geomatics Four-Year Honours Requirements (Regular and Co-op)

Year One

GEOG 101 Geography and Human Habitat
GEOG 102 Geography and Our Planetary Environment
GEOG 187 Problem Solving in Geomatics
GEOG 281 Introduction to Geographic Information Systems (GIS)
ENVS 178 Introduction to Environmental Research Methods
ENVS 278 Advanced Environmental Research Methods

One of:
ENGL 109 Introduction to Academic Writing
ENGL 129R Written Academic English

One of:
CS 115 Introduction to Computer Science 1
CS 135 Designing Functional Programs

One of:
MATH 106 Applied Linear Algebra 1
MATH 114 Linear Algebra for Science

One Elective

Year Two

GEOG 271 Earth from Space Using Remote Sensing
GEOG 310 Geodesy and Surveying
GEOG 387 Spatial Databases
CS 234 Data Types and Structures

One of:
CS 116 Introduction to Computer Science 2
CS 136 Elementary Algorithm Design and Data Abstraction

Earth Systems Science* theme, one of:
GEOG 201 Fluvial Geomorphology 
GEOG 209 Hydroclimatology

Development and Environment* theme, one of:
GEOG 202 Geography of the Global Economy 
GEOG 203 Environment and Development in a Global Perspective

Three Electives

Year Three

GEOG 371 Advanced Remote Sensing Techniques
GEOG 381 Advanced Geographic Information Systems
CS 338 Computer Applications in Business: Databases

One of:
GEOG 293 Professional and Scholarly Practice in Geography
GEOG 294 Approaches to Research in Physical Geography

One of:
GEOG 316 Multivariate Statistics
GEOG 318 Spatial Analysis

Climate Change* theme, one of:
GEOG 306 Human Dimensions of Natural Hazards
GEOG 309 Physical Climatology
GEOG 356 Resources Management

Four Electives

Year Four

GEOG 471 Remote Sensing Project (1.0 unit)
GEOG 481 Geographic Information Systems Project (1.0 unit)

One of:
GEOG 490A/GEOG 490B Honours Thesis (1.5 units) and three electives (1.5 units)
Six electives (3.0 units)

Recommended Electives
GEOG 410 Global Navigation Satellite Systems
GEOG 483 Geoweb and Location-Based Services
GEOG 487 Management Issues in Geographic Information Systems
CS courses or MATH courses as appropriate for a Computing Technology Option

Other electives, where appropriate prerequisites have been taken

Co-op students, see Note 5 below 


  1. Minimum Required Units
    Total: 20.0 units. Geomatics Plan: 13.0 units (9.5 GEOG, 2.0 CS, 1.0 ENVS, 0.5 MATH). All courses for which 1.0 units are awarded will count as the equivalent of two courses. All units designated Geography (GEOG) and Environmental Studies (ENVS) are included in the cumulative major average. All Computer Science (CS) and Mathematics (MATH) courses are included in the cumulative overall average (see note 3).
  2. Course Load
    No more than 2.5 units may be taken in a term without the approval of the Associate Chair (Undergraduate Studies). Normally, approval for a sixth 0.5 unit will be considered only if the cumulative Geomatics average is 78% or higher.
  3. Average Requirements
    Students in the Geomatics Honours Academic Plans must maintain an overall cumulative average of at least 65%, a Computer Science and Math cumulative average of at least 60% and a major cumulative average of at least 70%. All required courses must be passed.
  4. Materials and Costs
    For some courses, extra fees may be required to cover field expenses/travel costs. Statements on extra costs, where required, will be found with the course descriptions.
  5. Honours Co-operative Academic Plan
    Co-op plan requirement details are stated in the Faculty of Environment, Academic Plans, Overview of Co-op Plans section of this Calendar.
    Students are expected to follow the academic/work sequence noted in the Co-operative Education and Career Action section of this Calendar. 
  6. Enrolment in Honours Geomatics Co-op 
    Students are admitted to the Co-op Academic Plan in first year based on secondary school grades. Interested students enrolled in first-year Regular Geomatics at the University of Waterloo may be considered for admission to any remaining Co-op positions at the end of first year based on university academic performance, an interview and work experience related to Geomatics.
    The Honours Geomatics Co-op Plan has the same course requirements as the Honours Regular Plan.
  7. Transfer Courses
    It is possible for non-Geomatics students to apply for admission to Year Two. Advanced standing may be obtained through the transfer of courses/units from other Academic Plans and Institutions. Normally, advanced standing will not be granted to transfer students beyond the Year-One level (10 courses/5.0 units). All transfer students are required to complete a minimum of two full academic years before being eligible for graduation.
  8. Restriction on Number of First-Year Courses
    For a four-year Honours degree a student must have at least 13.5 units at or above the 200-level.
  9. Double Counting Courses
    Students may double count courses, i.e., once for the Geomatics Plan and one additional count for a joint honours or concurrent degree, specialization, minor, option, or diploma unless otherwise stated.


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