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Environmental Studies

Effective environmental action and research require engagement – with the land and those who live on it. Conduct vital environmental research in partnership with international communities, First Nations, government agencies and more.

You’ll have access to a variety of research facilities across campus such as our Ethnoecology, Restoration and Conservation Ecology, and Visualization labs. UVic’s proximity to marine and alpine ecosystems, freshwater wetlands, rivers, lakes and the temperate rainforest makes us an ideal location for fieldwork.

Degree programs offered

The MA and MSc degree programs are research-intensive and focused on the creation of a thesis. This original work will show advanced research and knowledge of the environmental studies. You’ll have to attend a three day field camp at the beginning of our program.

The MA and MSc programs differ based on your elective courses and thesis research. Discuss which option is best for you with your supervisor.

The PhD is a research-primary program focused on the creation of a dissertation. This original work will show your research and fundamental mastery of environmental studies. You’ll attend a three day field camp at the beginning of our program.

In this interdisciplinary program you’ll engage with theory that transcends disciplinary boundaries. You’ll address key issues across the fields of culture, society, and politics.

This competitive program is open to MA and PhD students in select Social Sciences and Humanities. The MA option can be completed in two years. The PhD option can be completed in four years.

Program Expected length Project and/or thesis Course-based
MA, MSc 2 years Yes No
PhD 4 years Yes No

Quick facts

Program options:
Masters, Doctorate
Program delivery:
Dynamic learning:
Co-op optional

Areas of focus

  • Ecological restoration
  • Ethnoecology
  • Political Ecology

Find a supervisor

All graduate students in this program must have a faculty member who serves as their academic supervisor. When you apply:

  • you must list a potential supervisor on your application
  • this faculty member must agree to be your supervisor and recommend your admission

To find a supervisor, review the faculty contacts. When you've found a faculty member whose research complements your own, contact them by email.

Brian Starzomski

Director & Ian McTaggart Cowan Professor

Darcy Mathews

Assistant Professor

Deborah Curran

Associate Professor

Eric Higgs

Professor Ecological novelty; Philosophy, Policy and Practice of Ecological Restoration; Mountains; Historical Ecology, including cultural and ecological change in mountainous regions; Repeat Photography; Nature and Technology.

James Rowe

Associate Professor

John Volpe

Associate Professor Ecogastronomy, Food Identity, Geographic Indicators, Regenerative Agriculture, Sustainable Food and Wine, Wine Studies

Karena Shaw

Associate Professor

Loren McClenachan

Associate Professor & Canada Research Chair, Ocean History and Sustainability Ocean history, historical marine ecology, marine conservation.

Nancy Shackelford

RNS Director & Assistant Professor Community ecology, ecosystem restoration, plant systems.

Natalie Ban

Associate Professor Marine conservation, marine protected areas, marine spatial planning, marine ethnoecology, fisheries, community-engaged research.

Sarah Hunt / Tłaliłila’ogwa

Assistant Professor & Canada Research Chair, Indigenous Political Ecology Indigenous political ecologies, Indigenous methodologies and methods, coastal ontologies and epistemologies, legal geographies of settler colonialism, Indigenous gender and sexuality, unsettling and decolonizing relations.

Sybil Seitzinger

Professor, Executive Director PICS, American Geophysical Union Fellow

Trevor Lantz

Associate Professor

Funding & aid

Graduate students registered in full-time programs are automatically considered for a fellowship. This is based on a qualifying GPA.

Individual award amounts may vary depending on the program.

UVic Fellowship Awards

  • Up to $17,500 per year (master's)
  • Up to $20,000 per year (PhD)

UVic Graduate Awards

  • Up to $10,000 per year (master's and PhD)


  • The minimum requirement for funding consideration is a A- average on the last two years of course work
  • Full-time registration (3.0 units) for UVic Fellowship holders and at least part-time registration (1.5 units) for UVic Graduate Award holders
  • Full-time registration for students registered with the Centre for Accessible Learning (CAL) is 1.5 units

You can also join the co-op program or work as a research or teaching assistant.

Funding opportunities

Tuition & fees

Visit our tuition calculator to determine the tuition and fees for your program.

When you apply you will be charged an application fee. Your application will not be processed until this payment has been received.

  • Application fee for documents from within Canada: $131.50
  • Application fee if any documents originate outside Canada: $169

Application deadlines

  • Canadian and International students: apply by January 15 for September entry.

Admission & program requirements

You must meet the minimum graduate school admission requirements.

Review the graduate admission requirements and this program's admission requirements in the Graduate calendar.

If your first language is not English you must provide proof of language proficiency. Learn more about language requirements, including what exemptions and tests are allowed.

Ready to apply?

You can start your online application to UVic by creating a new profile or using an existing one.

Apply now    How to apply

Need help?

Contact the graduate program assistant or 250-472-5516.

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