2019-2020 Catalog 
    Mar 21, 2023  
2019-2020 Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Applied Geography, MA

The Department of Geography and Environmental Studies offers a Master of Arts in Applied Geography. The goal of the program is to provide graduate level education that enables students to address community concerns through applied geographic research. Graduates with an MA in applied geography will have integrative skills that link human activity to natural systems, and that apply a spatial perspective to human and natural processes. Areas of emphasis are:

  • Physical systems, including geomorphic, climatic, biologic, and hydrologic processes
  • Nature-society relations
  • Urban culture and landscape change
  • Geographic Information Systems (GIS), remote sensing, and geovisualization 

Departmental Goal

  • To provide students with specific scientific and communication skills necessary to be community leaders in their area of expertise.

Learning Outcomes

  • An understanding of and appreciation for the interactions between the human and natural world.
  • Skills to synthesize, analyze, and evaluate diverse social and physical information.
  • Ability to conceptualize spatial relationships for problem solving.
  • Communication skills to clearly present solutions or recommendations.

Admission Requirements

The following are minimum standards for admission of students to the MA in applied geography degree program:

  • Hold a baccalaureate degree or a master’s degree from an accredited college or university, or demonstrate completion of work equivalent to the baccalaureate or master’s degree given at this university.
  • Have an undergraduate grade point average of 3.0 or better (“A” is equal to 4.0).

Application Process

  • Complete the GRE general test. There is no threshold for acceptance; scores are combined with other criteria to evaluate applications. A minimum combined score for the verbal and quantitative sections of the exam of 1000 is recommended.
  • Provide three letters of recommendation.
  • Provide two copies of official transcripts from all institutions attended.

Program Requirements


All entering graduate students are required to have the kind of knowledge presented in the department’s introductory courses. It is the responsibility of the student to obtain this knowledge. Students will work with their advisors to determine the appropriate action needed to fulfill the prerequisites. Students may gain the required knowledge by formally taking the introductory courses listed below, by auditing the courses, by reading the textbooks or by any other means agreed to with the graduate advisor. This knowledge will enhance the student’s ability to perform at the level expected in the GES 5010 research seminar. Students are encouraged to have some background in college math, statistics, and computer skills.

Thesis or Non-Thesis

Students may complete either a thesis option or a non-thesis option for the MA in Applied Geography.

Thesis Option

The department strongly encourages students to fulfill the thesis option. It requires 30 credit hours of coursework, to include 6 credit hours of thesis.

Non-Thesis Option

The non-thesis option requires 30 credit hours of coursework, a research paper, and a comprehensive exam.

Course Requirements

 All students must take: