Collaborative Specializations

In addition to degree programs, the department is a participating member of several Collaborative Specializations. These innovative programs emerge from cooperation between several units, providing students with a broader base from which to explore a novel interdisciplinary area or special development in a particular discipline, to complement their degree studies.
Collaborative Specializations provide a structured program of study, including appropriate graduate supervision, courses, and seminars. Students may indicate their interest in admission to a Collaborative Specialization on their application for graduate studies, however most units offering a Collaborative Specialization require that students submit a separate application and may have additional admission requirements. Please consult the offering unit’s website for admission requirements.

All degree requirements of both the degree program and the Collaborative Specialization must be completed. The thesis/MRP must be on a topic related to the specialization. Upon successful completion of both degree and collaborative specialization requirements, students receive a notation “Completed Collaborative Specialization in (Specialization Name) on their transcript and an official parchment from the School of Graduate Studies.

Community Development (MA)
Contemporary East and Southeast Asian Studies (MA)
Development, Policy and Power (MA)
Diaspora and Transnational Studies (MA, PhD)
Environment and Health (MA, MSc, PhD)
Environmental Studies (MA, MSc, PhD)
Ethnic and Pluralism Studies (MA, PhD)
Food Studies (MA, MSc, PhD)
Global Health (MA, MSc, PhD)
Indigenous Health (MA, PhD)
Jewish Studies (PhD)
Sexual Diversity Studies (MA, PhD)
South Asian Studies (MA, PhD)
Women and Gender Studies (MA, PhD)

Community Development (MA)

The Collaborative Specialization in Community Development provides students with a multidisciplinary graduate education in community development. Community development involves working with community members and groups to effect positive change in the social, economic, organizational, or physical structures of a community that improve both the welfare of community members and the community’s ability to direct its future.

Master’s Thesis Requirements: 0.5 FCE GGR1105H; 0.5 FCE USC1000H; 0.5 FCE elective in geography from approved CD list; 0.5 FCE elective outside geography from approved CD list; participation in non-credit coordinating seminar (2.0 FCE total)

Master’s MRP Requirements: 0.5 FCE GGR1105H; 0.5 FCE USC1000H; 1.5 FCE electives in geography, one of which is from approved CD list; 0.5 FCE elective outside geography from approved CD list; participation in non-credit coordinating seminar (3.0 FCE total)

Contemporary and Southeast Asian Studies (MA)

The Collaborative Master’s Specialization in Contemporary East and Southeast Asian Studies (CESEAS) is designed to provide graduates with advanced training in a particular discipline and in the historical and social science studies of modern East and Southeast Asia. The major topics of emphasis are political economy, modern and contemporary social history, international relations, gender, political and social change, economic development, and cultural studies. The collaborative specialization contributes to the development of an integrated and interdisciplinary research community in Contemporary East and Southeast Asian Studies at the University.

Master’s Thesis Requirements: 0.5 FCE GGR1105H; 1.0 FCE ASI1000Y; 0.5 FCE elective in geography in an Asia-related topic; Working knowledge of an East Asian or Southeast Asian language as needed. (2.0 FCE total)

Master’s MRP Requirements: 0.5 FCE GGR1105H; 1.0 FCE ASI1000Y; 0.5 FCE elective in geography in an Asia-related topic; 1.0 FCE electives in geography; A working knowledge of an East Asian or Southeast Asian language as needed. (3.0 FCE total)

Development, Policy and Power (MA)

The Collaborative Specialization in Development Policy and Power is designed to provide master’s students with a critical and historicized understanding of the nature of some of the main policy debates within the field of development. The understandings include the changing evolution of power dynamics within particular development policy domains over time at the global, national, and local levels of analysis, the role of the power struggles over development policy making and implementation that ensue from these power dynamics, and the ways in which these power struggles pose severe challenges to the institutionalization of policy domains that are equitable and rights oriented.

Students will be immersed in thematic discussions around development policy fields such as: trade and financialization; agriculture and land struggles; environmental protection; health inequity; displacement, immigration and citizenship; aid, taxation, and (illicit) financial flows; race, indigenous, and gender struggles; political economy of knowledge production, governance and the exercise of state power; resistance and popular mobilization; and neoliberal globalization and corporate power writ large.

Master’s Thesis Requirements: 0.5 FCE GGR1105H; 0.5 FCE IDS1000H; 0.5 FCE elective in geography; Participate regularly and actively in the Seminar Series SRM3333H (1.5 FCE total plus seminar series course)

Master’s MRP Requirements: 0.5 FCE GGR1105H; 0.5 FCE FCE IDS1000H; 1.5 FCE electives in geography; 0.5 FCE electives in any subject; Participate regularly and actively in the Seminar Series SRM3333H (3.0 FCE total plus seminar series course)

Diaspora and Transnational Studies (MA, PhD)

Diaspora in contemporary thought involves the shifting relations between homelands and host nations from the perspective of those who have moved, whether voluntarily or not. Diaspora emphasizes the inescapable lived translocal experiences of many migrant communities that exceed the boundaries of the nation-state. Questions of nostalgia, of the dynamics of co-ethnic identification, of the politics of homeland and host nation, and of the inter-generational shifts in responses to all these are central to studies of diaspora.

Transnationalism, on the other hand, focuses on flows and counterflows and the multistriated connections to which they give rise. It encompasses in its ambit not just the movement of people but also concepts of citizenship and multinational governance, the resources of information technology, and the realities of the global marketplace, among others.
Taken together, the two concepts of diaspora and transnationalism enable our understanding of the complex realities of vast movements of people, goods, ideas, images, technologies, and finance in the world today.

This Collaborative Specialization in Diaspora and Transnational Studies is designed to bring together both social science and humanities perspectives to augment our existing tri-campus undergraduate program and to contribute to increased research collaboration between participants in the collaborative specialization.

Master’s Thesis Requirements: 0.5 FCE GGR1105H; 0.5 FCE DTS1000H; 0.5 FCE DTS topics course (topic varies each year); 0.5 FCE elective in geography (2.0 FCE total)

Master’s MRP Requirements: 0.5 FCE GGR1105H; 0.5 FCE DTS1000H; 0.5 FCE DTS topics course (topic varies each year); 1.5 FCE electives in geography (3.0 FCE total)

PhD Human Geography Requirements: 0.5 FCE GGR1110H; 0.5 FCE DTS1000H; 0.5 FCE DTS topics course (topic varies each year); 1.0 FCE electives in geography; 0.5 FCE electives in any subject (3.o FCE total)

Environment and Health (MA, MSc, PhD)

The health implications of human impacts on the environment cover a very broad range of issues including air and water quality, contaminated land, and shifts in the distribution of vector-borne diseases (related to changes in land use, climate, and human migration). The Collaborative Specialization in Environment and Health provides students in the health sciences with a broad environmental perspective while at the same time exposes environmental studies students to the health implications of environmental quality. This program may also be of interest to students who are concerned with sociological and policy approaches to the field of environment and health.

Master’s Thesis Requirements: 0.5 FCE GGR1105H or GGR1200H; 0.5 FCE ENV4001H; 0.5 FCE elective in geography from approved EH list (1.5 FCE total)

Master’s MRP Requirements: 0.5 FCE GGR1105H or GGR1200H; 0.5 FCE ENV4001H; 1.5 FCE electives in geography; 0.5 FCE elective in environment from approved EH list (3.0 FCE total)

PhD Physical Geography Requirements: 0.5 FCE GGR1200H; 0.5 FCE ENV4001H; 0.5 FCE elective in geography; 0.5 FCE elective in environment from approved EH list; presentation at Environment Seminar Series or Research Day (2.o FCE total)

PhD Human Geography: 0.5 FCE GGR1110H; 0.5 FCE ENV4001H; 1.0 FCE electives in geography; 0.5 elective in environment from approved EH list; 0.5 FCE elective in any subject; presentation at Environment Seminar Series or Research Day (3.0 FCE total)

Environmental Studies (MA, MSc, PhD)

The Collaborative Specialization in Environmental Studies provides students who have an interest in the environment with interdisciplinary learning that complements the discipline-based study they are doing in their home units. That learning takes place in both the formal courses offered by the School and in the informal contacts with other students and faculty at seminars and other School events. One of the compelling strengths of the specialization is the interdisciplinary environment in which teaching and research are conducted. For example, the core course ENV1001H typically has students from 10 to 20 academic disciplines and accordingly places an emphasis upon the challenges and rewards of interdisciplinary communication. Students are both able to specialize in an area of environmental research and gain exposure to a wide range of intellectual and methodological disciplines focused on environmental issues.

Master’s Thesis Requirements: 0.5 FCE GGR1105H or GGR1200H; 0.5 FCE ENV1001H; 0.5 FCE elective in geography; 0.5 FCE elective in environment from approved ES list (2.0 FCE total)

Master’s MRP Requirements: 0.5 FCE GGR1105H or GGR1200H; 0.5 FCE ENV1001H; 1.0 FCE electives in geography; 0.5 FCE elective in environment from approved ES list; 0.5 FCE ENV4444Y internship (3.0 FCE total)

PhD Physical Geography Requirements: 0.5 FCE GGR1200H; 0.5 FCE ENV1001H; 0.5 FCE elective in geography; 0.5 FCE elective in environment from approved ES list; presentation at Environment Seminar Series or Research Day (2.o FCE total)

PhD Human Geography: 0.5 FCE GGR1110H; 0.5 FCE ENV1001H; 1.0 FCE electives in geography; 0.5 elective in environment from approved ES list; 0.5 FCE elective in any subject; presentation at Environment Seminar Series or Research Day (3.0 FCE total)

Ethnic and Pluralism Studies (MA, PhD)

Ethnic and Pluralism Studies at the University of Toronto offers students with interests in ethnic and pluralism studies the opportunity to widen their horizons, to expand their knowledge beyond a single disciplinary base, and to take advantage of the wealth and diversity of academic resources available at the University of Toronto—a great university situated in a large and culturally cosmopolitan city.

Master’s Thesis Requirements: 0.5 FCE GGR1105H; 0.5 FCE JTH3000H; 0.5 FCE elective in ethnicity from the geography course list; 0.5 FCE course in ethnicity from outside geography (2.0 FCE total)

Master’s MRP Requirements: 0.5 FCE GGR1105H; 0.5 FCE JTH3000H; 1.0 FCE electives in geography; 0.5 FCE elective in ethnicity from the geography course list; 0.5 FCE elective in ethnicity from outside geography (3.0 FCE total)

PhD Human Geography: 0.5 FCE GGR1110H; 0.5 FCE JTH3000H; 1.0 FCE electives in ethnicity from the geography course list; 1.0 FCE electives in ethnicity from outside geography (3.0 FCE total)

Food Studies (MA, MSc, PhD)

Food Studies is an interdisciplinary field dedicated to understanding where our food comes from and how it shapes our bodies and identities. The production and consumption of food has gone through tremendous changes in the past few hundred years. Before industrialization, most food was grown in the place where it was eaten. With the rise of global commodity agriculture, it is often hard to find out exactly what our food is and where it comes from. Then, famine was a constant spectre, whereas today, over-eating has become a significant health problem. Particular attention will be given to the material nature of food, the way it tastes and smells, and the changes it undergoes through natural decomposition and through the human intervention of preservation and cooking. Students will learn the importance of food in religion, society, the family, gender roles, the environment, agriculture, urbanization, immigration, colonialism, and race and ethnicity. The Collaborative Specialization in Food Studies will leverage the University’s urban location and its proximity to Canada’s agricultural heartland to broaden students’ experience. The study of food provides both theoretical understanding and practical knowledge for professional careers in health care, business, government service, non-governmental organizations, and educational and community programs. This specialization will draw on a variety of disciplinary approaches emphasizing different knowledge and skills.

Master’s Thesis Requirements: 0.5 FCE GGR1105H; 0.5 FCE FST1000H; 0.5 FCE elective in geography; participate regularly in the Culinaria Seminar Series SRM3333H (1.5 FCE total, plus seminar course)

Master’s MRP Requirements: 0.5 FCE GGR1105H; 0.5 FCE FST1000H; 1.5 FCE electives in geography; 0.5 FCE elective in any subject; participate regularly in the Culinaria Seminar Series (3.0 FCE total, plus seminar course)

PhD Human Geography: 0.5 FCE GGR1110H; 0.5 FCE FST1000H; 0.5 FST2000H; 1.0 FCE electives in geography; 0.5 FCE elective in any subject; participate regularly in the Culinaria Seminar Series (3.0 FCE total, plus seminar course)

Global Health (MA, MSc, PhD)

The Collaborative Specialization in Global Health offers students collaborative and interdisciplinary graduate education and research opportunities in global health. Global health is viewed as an integrative construct that focuses on the inter-relationships between local, regional, national, and international factors influencing health and health equity and effective programs and policies that will address these factors.

The Collaborative Specialization in Global Health enhances the student experience by exposing students to a broad base of faculty expertise and an opportunity to share research ideas and results from multiple di​sciplinary perspectives. This specialization signals the University’s commitment to improving the well-being of people in Canada and around the world through higher education and advanced research in global health.

Master’s Thesis Requirements: 0.5 FCE GGR1105H or GGR1200H; 0.5 FCE CHL5700H; 0.5 FCE elective in geography (1.5 FCE total)

Master’s MRP Requirements: 0.5 FCE GGR1105H or GGR1200H; 0.5 FCE CHL5700H; 1.5 FCE electives in geography; 0.5 FCE elective in any subject (3.0 FCE total)

PhD Physical Geography Requirements: 0.5 FCE GGR1200H; 0.5 FCE CHL5701H; 0.5 FCE elective from approved GH list (increased to 1.0 FCE if the student selects JCR1000Y); 0.5 FCE elective in geography; 0.5 FCE elective outside geography, approved by the Global Health Director (2.5-3.0 FCE total)

PhD Human Geography: 0.5 FCE GGR1110H; 0.5 FCE CHL5701H; 0.5 FCE elective from approved GH list (increased to 1.0 FCE if the student selects JCR1000Y); 1.0 FCE elective in geography; 0.5 FCE elective outside geography, approved by the Global Health Director (3.0-3.5 FCE total)

Indigenous Health (MA, PhD)

The Collaborative Specialization in Indigenous Health involves the graduate programs listed above. Indigenous Health is offered in collaboration with the Faculty of Arts and Sciences’ Indigenous Studies program and the Waakebiness-Bryce Institute for Indigenous Health (WBIIH). The main objective is to provide graduate training in Indigenous health research and practice while enhancing mutually beneficial relationships with Indigenous communities and organizations.

Master’s Thesis Requirements: 0.5 FCE GGR1105H; 0.5 FCE CHL5520H 0.5 FCE elective in geography (1.5 FCE total)

Master’s MRP Requirements: 0.5 FCE GGR1105H; 0.5 FCE CHL5520H; 1.5 FCE electives in geography; 0.5 FCE elective in any subject (3.0 FCE total)

PhD Human Geography: 0.5 FCE GGR1110H; 0.5 FCE CHL5520H; 1.0 FCE electives in geography; 1.0 FCE elective in any subject (3.0 FCE total)

Jewish Studies (PhD)

The Collaborative Specialization in Jewish Studies offers both broad and intensive exposure to ​the constituent fields within Jewish Studies. Because of Jewish civilization’s vast chronological and geographical range, as well as its constant interaction and cross-fertilization with other cultures, graduate work within Jewish Studies demands intensive exposure to a wide variety of languages, textual traditions, and scholarly disciplines.

PhD Human Geography: 0.5 FCE GGR1110H; 0.5 FCE CJS2000H; 0.5 FCE elective in geography; 0.5 FCE elective in geography taught by a member of the CJS faculty; 0.5 FCE elective outside geography taught by a member of the CJS faculty; 0.5 FCE elective in any subject (3.0 FCE)

Sexual Diversity Studies (MA, PhD)

The Collaborative Specialization in Sexual Diversity Studies, offered by the Mark S. Bonham Centre for Sexual Diversity Studies, is rigorously interdisciplinary and recognizes sexual diversity studies as an interdisciplinary field of inquiry. While it has emerged as an autonomous scholarly area, many of those who work within it engage questions of gender, ethnicity, race, Aboriginal status, (dis)ability, and class, to highlight the importance of exploring their interaction with sexual differences.

Master’s Thesis Requirements: 0.5 FCE GGR1105H; 0.5 SDS1000H; 0.5 FCE elective in geography with a substantial treatment of sexual diversity (1.5 FCE total)

Master’s MRP Requirements: 0.5 FCE GGR1105H; 0.5 FCE SDS1000H; 1.5 FCE electives in geography; 0.5 FCE elective in any subject. One of the elective courses must be with a substantial treatment of sexual diversity (3.0 FCE total)

PhD Human Geography: 0.5 FCE GGR1110H; 0.5 FCE SDS1000H; 1.0 FCE electives in geography; 1.0 FCE elective in any subject. One of the elective courses must be with a substantial treatment of sexual diversity (3.0 FCE total)

South Asian Studies (MA, PhD)

The interdisciplinary Collaborative Specialization in South Asian Studies is designed for students who wish to acquire a nuanced understanding of South Asia as a secondary area of specialization while pursuing graduate studies in another discipline. The focus of South Asian Studies is necessarily broad in that it provides students with an understanding of ancient and modern history, social change, economic development, contemporary politics, religious traditions, literary culture, and a spectrum of related topics.

The Centre for South Asian Studies, which administers the collaborative specialization, provides a nucleus for the participation of South Asian Studies scholars from across the University. Students will benefit from the physical presence of​ the centre and its regular activities of research fora, conferences, and visiting lecturer and scholar programs. In addition, the University’s library collection in South Asian studies is the largest in Canada.

Master’s Thesis Requirements: 0.5 FCE GGR1105H; 0.5 SAS2004H; 0.5 FCE elective in geography; attendance at a minimum of 2 lectures per term at the SAS lecture series (1.5 FCE total)

Master’s MRP Requirements: 0.5 FCE GGR1105H; 0.5 FCE SAS2004H; 1.5 FCE electives in geography; 1.0 FCE elective in any subject; attendance at a minimum of 2 lectures per term at the SAS lecture series (3.0 FCE total)

PhD Human Geography: 0.5 FCE GGR1110H; 0.5 FCE SAS2004H; 1.0 FCE electives in geography; 1.0 FCE electives in any subject; attendance at a minimum of 2 lectures per term at the SAS lecture series (3.0 FCE total)

Women and Gender Studies (MA, PhD)

The Collaborative Specialization in Women and Gender Studies (CWGS) provides students with an opportunity for advanced feminist studies in concert with an MA or PhD degree in another discipline. The Collaborative Specialization offers a rich interdisciplinary environment in which to grapple with how gender and sexuality are entangled with questions of race, citizenship, embodiment, colonialism, nation, global capitalism, violence, political economy, cultural formations, aesthetics, and other pressing concerns.

Master’s Thesis Requirements: 0.5 FCE GGR1105H; 0.5 WGS5000H; 0.5 FCE elective in geography which is cross-listed with WGS; regular attendance at the WGS Research Seminar (1.5 FCE total)

Master’s MRP Requirements: 0.5 FCE GGR1105H; 0.5 FCE WGS5000H; 1.5 FCE electives in geography; 1.0 FCE elective in any subject; one elective course must be cross-listed to WGS or approved by the WGS director; regular attendance at the WGS Research Seminars. One elective course must be cross-listed to WGS or approved by the WGS director. (3.0 FCE total)

PhD Human Geography: 0.5 FCE GGR1110H; 0.5 FCE SAS2004H; 1.0 FCE electives in geography; 1.0 FCE electives in any subject; one elective course must be cross-listed to WGS or approved by the WGS director; regular attendance at the WGS Research Seminar. (3.0 FCE total)