Ph.D. Degree Learning Goals and Assessment

The doctoral program in Geography trains students at the highest level to assume leadership roles in research, teaching, and applied work in Human Geography, Human Environment Geography, and Physical Geography.

Learning Goal 1

Learning Goal 1 for Students: Master the existing scholarship in the study of Geography with the goal of using this scholarship in the pursuit of their own research.

Assessment of graduate student achievement of Goal 1:

  • Grades in graduate courses
  • Completion of written and oral qualifying examinations assessing depth and breadth of knowledge in three defined fields of Geography
  • Review by faculty of student progress with close advising and mentoring
  • Placement in positions and careers that require ability and scholarship in this field

Roles of the Graduate Program in Geography in helping students to achieve Goal 1:

  • Close advising to assure that students are being prepared in a coherent and academically rigorous fashion
  • Effective monitoring of student progress by the faculty advisor, the dissertation committee, and the graduate program director, including an annual review of all students by the Graduate Faculty
  • Exit surveys completed by students upon graduation
  • Evaluations of teaching effectiveness of instructors in graduate courses
    • If effectiveness is below expectations, work with instructors to improve effectiveness
  • Periodic review of curricular offerings and assessment tools
    • By program faculty
    • In consultation with the office of the dean of the graduate school and/or the unit dean

The leadership of the Geography graduate program will regularly review the structure and content of the PhD program and the feedback received from assessments and surveys. These reviews will be used to provide the best possible education to students in order to meet the needs for highly trained individuals in Human Geography, Human-Environment Geography, and Physical Geography.