Department of Geography and Environmental Sustainability

Home > Academics

Graduate Ph.D. Program

Doctoral (Ph.D.) Program

The Ph.D. program is designed to provide students with a high degree of professional competence in geography, including an important, original contribution to knowledge. The Ph.D. degree requires at least 90 semester hours of graduate credit beyond the bachelor’s degree. Up to 44 semester hours of previous graduate coursework can be applied to these 90 hours upon approval of the student’s advisory committee and the Graduate College. Course work requirements include satisfactory completion of Contemporary Geographical Thought (6973), Research and Writing in Geography (6953), and two graduate-level seminars offered by the Department. Ph.D. students must also present a doctoral dissertation proposal approved by the student’s advisory committee, pass the written and oral portions of the General Examination, and complete and defend a written dissertation.

Admission to the Ph.D. program requires a completed master’s degree from an accredited college or university with a graduate 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.