Geography (MA/MS)

The master’s degree in geography (MA or MS) emphasizes broad understanding of physical and human geography and basic geographic techniques. Students develop specialized research skills during work on the thesis.

The master of arts degree requires second-year university-level proficiency in a second language. Competency may be demonstrated by a standardized test or with adequate undergraduate course work. Competency in a foreign language or a computer language may be used to meet the departmental language requirement for the master of science degree.

The master's degree option in geographic education is designed for teachers who have K–12 teaching licensure or are working toward their initial or continuing licensure. Most graduate students who take the geographic education option also have several years of teaching experience.

A committee of two geography faculty members supervises the research and writing of a master’s thesis that shows evidence of original research and writing.

Program's Admission Requirements

Please visit the program's website.

Program Learning Outcomes

Upon successful completion of this program, students will be able to:

  • Demonstrate breadth of knowledge across two or more subfields of geography and mastery within subfield of geography. Subfields here are defined as within biophysical geography (e.g., biogeography, climatology, or geomorphology), human geography (e.g., cultural, political, or human-environment relationships), or GIScience (e.g., remote sensing, data analysis and visualization, or map cognition).
  • Identify and use geospatial techniques to analyze spatial data towards problem solving or modeling, critically analyze geographic problems, ask research questions, conduct literature reviews, understand methods, and conduct independent research and analysis.
  • Conduct independent research and analysis and contribute substantial work.
  • Demonstrate effective written, verbal, and graphic communication skills.
  • Understand ethical issues and responsibilities especially in matters related to professionalism, data collection within the laboratory or field setting, and in writing and publishing theses and scientific papers.

Geography Major

Core Courses 1
GEOG 608Workshop: [Topic] (Thesis Writing) 22-16
GEOG 611–612
GEOG 613
Theory and Practice of Geography I-II
and Research Design 3
Breadth Requirement
Three upper-division or graduate-level courses, with one in each area of emphasis (physical geography, human geography, geographic information system science) 12
Methods Courses
Master's students must take one methods course, either quantitative or qualitative4
Total Credits30-44
Additional Master's Required Courses
GEOG 507Seminar: [Topic]1-5
or GEOG 607 Seminar: [Topic]
GEOG 507Seminar: [Topic]1-5
or GEOG 607 Seminar: [Topic]
GEOG 503Thesis 19
Total Credits11-19