The geography graduate program offers the following degree options: Master of Arts (MA), Master of Science (MS), and the Doctor of Philosophy (PhD). For students seeking a terminal MA, the requirements for the MA and MS degrees are identical; students seeking the terminal Master's may opt for either designation at their discretion.
MA/MS Degree Requirements
Students seeking the MA/MS Degree in Geography must complete a total of 30 credit hours of graduate study. They may pursue the degree via one of two options:
Thesis Option: by taking 24 credits of course work and six research credits, submitting a thesis written under the supervision of the student's committee, making a public presentation of the thesis, and successfully defending it orally in response to questions prepared by the student's committee.
Exam Option: by taking 30 credits of course work, submitting a writing sample for approval by the student’s committee, and successfully passing written comprehensive examinations given and evaluated by the student's committee. The writing sample, typically a revised seminar paper, is expected to be substantial, though considerably less ambitious in scope than a thesis.
For more info check the following link: