2008-2009 Catalog 
    May 20, 2024  
2008-2009 Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Applied Geography, MA

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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
  • Society-Nature interactions
  • Population and society, including urban community development
  • Applied uses of Geographic Information Systems (GIS) and remote sensing


The MA provides students with specific scientific and communication skills necessary to be community leaders in their area of expertise. Graduates of this MA program will have the following skills and competencies to work on community issues:

  • 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

Thesis or Non-Thesis

Students may complete either a thesis option or a non thesis option for the MA in Applied Geography. The department strongly encourages students to fulfill the thesis option. The thesis option consists of 24 credits of course work and 6 credits of thesis. The non-thesis option consists of 30 credits of course work plus a research paper and comprehensive exam.

Required Courses

All students must take GES 577: History and Nature of Geography during their first fall semester, then GES 501: Seminar in Geographic Research during the following spring semester.


All entering graduate students are required to have the kind of knowledge presented in the department’s introductory courses in physical geography


It is the responsibility of the student to obtain this knowledge.

Students may gain the required knowledge by formally taking the introductory courses, by auditing the courses, by reading the textbooks or by any other means. This knowledge will enhance the student’s ability to perform at the level expected in the GES 501 research seminar. Students will work with their advisors to determine the appropriate action needed to fulfill the prerequisites. Students are encouraged to have some background in college math, statistics, and computer skills.

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