Department of Geography and Environmental Sustainability


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Graduate MS Program - Geography

Master of Science (M.S.) in Geography Program

The M.S in Geography provides training to qualified graduates with advanced education in physical and environmental geography to meet the demands of the state in the public and private sectors. Graduates obtaining the Master of Science in Geography will be trained to become experts in spatial analysis and leaders in research, decision-making, and policies that guide the governance and management of our environmental resources.

The thesis option is ideal for students considering a Ph.D. at a later date and requires 30 semester hours of graduate credit. Coursework requirements include satisfactory completion of Contemporary Geographical Thought (GEOG 6973); Research Methods in Geography (GEOG 6953); and Spatial Statistics (GIS 5923) with a minimum of four hours and no more than six hours of thesis credit. In addition, the student must write a thesis acceptable to an advisory committee and defend it orally.

The non-thesis option requires a total of 33 semester hours of graduate credit. Coursework requirements include satisfactory completion of Contemporary Geographical Thought (GEOG 6973); Research Methods in Geography (GEOG 6953); and Spatial Statistics (GIS 5923), and a minimum of four hours and no more than six hours of thesis credit. In addition. The student must pass a comprehensive final examination.

There are two tracks offered in both the thesis and non-thesis option of this program, one focusing in Physical Geography and one focusing in Geospatial Technologies. Students in both the thesis and non-thesis options may choose a series of courses from a list of guided electives. Students completing a thesis will take 15 hours of guided electives (which includes 6 thesis hours); those in the non-thesis path will take 15 hours of guided electives without the thesis hours. Guided electives will be selected by the student under guidance of her/his advisory committee.

Admission to the M.S. program requires a completed bachelor’s degree from an accredited college or university with an undergraduate grade-point average of at least 3.0 or equivalent. An applicant must submit results from the Graduate Record Examination (GRE), a resume or c.v., a statement of research interests that shows how the applicant’s goals and interests match current faculty expertise, and two letters of recommendation from professors with whom the applicant has worked. Applicants must also submit writing samples. International applicants whose first language is not English must submit results from the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) and must meet the TOEFL requirements of the Graduate College.

For specific courses and detailed information regarding the two tracks please click here.