Dec 04, 2022  
2022-2023 Graduate Catalog 
2022-2023 Graduate Catalog

Geography, M.A.

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College of Arts and Sciences  
Department: Geography, Environment, and Planning 


  • Human Geography
  • Environmental Geography
  • Geographic Information Science & Spatial Analysis


Geography is the study of the human-environment relationship either in a global or more regional context.

Human Geography studies the construction of space, place, and power. It encompasses the study of economic geographies (e.g., globalization and development), political geographies (e.g. geopolitical struggles and new social movements), and social and cultural geographies (e.g. identities and exclusions). Human geography is key to providing insights into contemporary spatial arrangements, including the role of cities within the global economy, locating urban-rural intersections in the production of uneven development, and how class, gender, and race shape struggles for social justice.

Environmental Geography links the study of nature and society and considers the ways in which conventional divisions between human and non-human (natural) worlds are bridged through the production of socio-natures. This understanding is crucial to explaining and ameliorating contemporary environmental problems, including the privatization of natural resources, inequalities in access to food and water, injustices associated with environmental hazards and undesirable land uses, and the role of human activities in spurring large-scale environmental change

GI Science and Spatial Analysis concentrates on the use of advanced geospatial technologies, and the development and use of spatial analysis methodologies, to applied research problems in human and environmental geography. A thorough understanding of such geospatial technologies as Remote Sensing, GIS, and GPS, as well as modern methods of spatial statistical analysis and emerging spatial analytical techniques such as agent-based modeling, is a critical aspect of developing appropriate approaches to the analysis of geographic data.

Admission Information

Must meet University Admission and English Proficiency requirements as well as requirements for admission to the major, listed below.

  • At least two letters of recommendation
  • Transcripts
  • A letter of intent
  • A graduate assistant application if the applicant is applying for a GA position.
  • GRE is required

Curriculum Requirements

Total Minimum Hours – 30

(30 hours - thesis; 36 hours - non-thesis)

  • Core – 6 Credit Hours
  • Additional Required Courses – 3 Credit Hours
  • Concentration – 9 Credit Hours
  • Electives – 6 Credit Hours
  • Non-Thesis – 12 Credit Hours
  • Thesis – 6 Credit Hours

Core Requirements (6 Credit Hours)

Additional Required Courses (3 Credit Hours)

Based on the student’s area of interest, he/she must take one course from the following Quantitative or Qualitative course offerings:

Concentration Requirements (9 Credit Hour)

Students select one of the following concentrations:

Human Geography

Select three of the following.  Students may also take GEO 6166 Multivariate Statistical Analysis   or GEO 6119 Geographical Techniques and Methodology   if not taken for the additional course requirement.  

Environmental Geography

Select three of the following.  Students may also take GEO 6166  or GEO 6119  if not taken for the additional course requirement.

Geographic Information Science and Spatial Analysis

Select three of the following.  Students may also take GEO 6166 Multivariate Statistical Analysis   or GEO 6119 Geographical Techniques and Methodology   if not taken for the additional course requirement.

Electives (6 Credit Hours)

Selected in consultation with the Graduate Director. At least one of the electives must be taken outside of the student’s concentration excluding GEO 6908 , GEO 6918  , and GEO 6944  . Electives may also be selected from courses offered outside of the Department, with the consent of the student’s advisor and the graduate coordinator. 

Non-Thesis Option (12 Credit Hours)

Students in the non-thesis option complete an additional twelve (12) hours of electives, which may include up  to nine (9) hours at the graduate level outside the department with the consent of their advisor and the Graduate Coordinator. Students can apply three credit hours of Internship (GEO 6944  ), Directed Research (GEO 6918  ) or Independent Research (GEO 6908 ) toward the non-thesis option electives.

Thesis Option (6 Credit Hours)

Comprehensive Exam

Non-thesis students must pass a comprehensive written examination that is administered during the semester in which they plan to graduate.  At the discretion of the advisor and graduate coordinator, an internship or project may be substituted for the non-thesis exam. 

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