The Graduate Program

Applications to the MA/MS and PhD programs are due by January 15. Applicants who miss this deadline may not be considered for funding opportunities. Applications received after January 15 will be accepted and reviewed on an intermittent basis throughout the spring. If applications are delayed until the summer months, however, they may not be reviewed until the following academic year.

Application requirements for the MA/MS and PhD programs are:

  • Online application
  • $70 nonrefundable application fee
  • One official transcript from each post-secondary institution attended
  • Three letters of recommendation
  • Personal statement
  • Curriculum vitae

Our department does not accept applications for mid-year enrollment. If you wish to begin classes in the spring semester, you must be admitted for the preceding fall semester and then request that your entrance into the program be deferred until spring.

Applications should be submitted directly to the Office of Graduate and Professional Admissions via the online application portal. In this case, all of your materials will be submitted electronically and will be available to the admissions committee of the Graduate Program in Geography. If some of your materials are only available in hard copy form (e.g., some letter writers will only write hard copy reference letters), these should be mailed directly to the Office of Graduate and Professional Admissions at the following address:

Office of Graduate and Professional Admissions
Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey
56 College Ave
New Brunswick, NJ 08901-8541
USA

After submitting your application and paying the application fee, you can track the admissions process online via the application portal, using the "Check Your Status" link to confirm whether your file is complete and has been transferred to our program office.

 

Graduate Student Admissions FAQ

 

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 master’s degree (i.e., not en route to a PhD), the requirements for the MA and MS degrees are identical. Students may opt for either designation at their discretion.


MA/MS Degree Requirements:

The MA/MS in Geography requires completion of 30 credit hours, and students may follow either a “Thesis Option” or “Exam Option” course of study.

The Thesis Option requires 24 credits of coursework and 6 research credits, submission of a thesis written under the supervision of the student’s committee, a public presentation of the thesis, and a successful oral defense of the thesis (involving a response to questions prepared by the student’s committee).

The Exam Option requires 30 credits of coursework, submission of a writing sample for approval by the student’s committee, and passing written comprehensive exams given and evaluated by the student’s committee. The writing sample, typically a revised and expanded seminar paper, is expected to be substantial, although considerably less ambitious in scope than a master’s thesis.


For more information:

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.

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.

Doctoral Degree Requirements:

The doctoral program in Geography at Rutgers emphasizes preparation for a research-oriented career in academia, public service or the private sector. While most applicants to the PhD program have at least one prior degree in geography, applicants with degrees in other disciplines are nonetheless encouraged to apply. The PhD differs qualitatively from bachelor’s and master’s degree programs in its emphasis on research and the dissertation as a major, original contribution to knowledge. Accordingly, the doctoral program in Geography at Rutgers emphasizes preparation in the student’s area (subfield) of specialization, research as a problem-solving activity, and preparation of research results for publication.


For more information:

 

Graduate Program

4 Thomas Kim GradProgram

The Graduate Program in Geography encourages work on a wide range of research specialties and fosters strong interdisciplinary ties. Topics reflected in the work of our faculty and current graduate students include: human geographyphysical geography, and human-environmental geography. Each of these core areas may be enhanced through training in advanced geographical techniques

The graduate program has a total of 28 faculty members. They consist of 9 members of the “core” Department of Geography faculty and 19 faculty members with geographic research interests located in other schools and departments, such as the Edward J. Bloustein School of Planning and Public Policy; the Department of Human Ecology; the Department of Ecology, Evolution, and Natural Resources; the Department of Landscape Architecture; and the Department of Anthropology.

Graduate Student Pages

Faculty Pages

For Prospective Students



Graduate Research

  • Karnad, Divya

    I have worked in marine systems in India for nearly a decade now. I started off as a conservation activist, then as an ecologist, but at present, I am trying to understand fisheries in India as a coupled human-natural system. With the help of Dr Bonnie McCay and Dr Kevin St. Martin, my research will explore the patterns and processes involved in access and control of Indian fisheries, as they are constituted and bound at different scales of governance. Fishing communities in India are poorly understood, and they remain at the fringes of politically active society. Still, fishing communities...
Courses - Graduate

Rutgers catalog course descriptions for UNDERGRADUATE classes and GRADUATE classes in Geography

SAMPLE SYLLABI - graduate
16:450:501 (F) Introduction to Natural Resources Management (3)
sample syllabus*


16:450:502 (S) Resource Management Decision Making (3)
sample syllabus*

16:450:503 (S) Environmental Management (3)
Prerequisite: 16:450:502 or equivalent.
sample syllabus*

16:450:504 (F) Coastal Geomorphology (3)
Prerequisite: 01:450:403 or 404 or equivalent.
sample syllabus*

16:450:505 (F) Advanced Physical Geography (3)
Prerequisite: 01:450:403 or 404 or equivalent.
sample syllabus*

16:450:507 (S) Applied Geomorphology (3)
Prerequisite: 01:450:403 or 404 or equivalent.
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16:450:508 (S) Environmental Problems in Developing Countries (3)
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16:450:509 (F) Human Geographical Problems of Developing Countries (3)
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16:450:510 (S) Water Resources Management (3)
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16:450:511 (S) Land-Use Systems (3)
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16:450:513 (S) Settlement Geography (3)
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16:450:514 Environment and Culture (3)
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16:450:515 (S) Population Migration and Mobility (3)
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16:450:516(S) Urban Geography (3)
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16:450:517,518 Directed Study in Geography (3,3)
Prerequisite: Permission of graduate director.
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16:450:519 (F) Problems in Political Geography (3)
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16:450:520 Women in the Urban Environment (3)
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16:450:521 Regional Hydrology and Landforms (3)
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16:450:522 Tourism Geography (3)
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16:450:523 The Climate System and Global Climate Change (3)
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16:450:525 Restructuring of Central and Eastern Europe after 1989 (3)
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16:450:526 Property Theory and Policy (3)
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16:450:530 Data Structures and Algorithms for Spatial Problems (3)
Prerequisite: 01:450:321 or 420 or 11:372:415.
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16:450:533 Geographic Information in the Visual Arts (3)
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16:450:601,602 Field and Research Methods in Geography (3,3)
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16:450:603 (F) Research Proseminar (3)
Required for graduate degrees.
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16:450:605,606 Geography Seminar (3,3)
sample syllabus*

sample syllabus*

16:450:607 (S) Seminar in Historical Cultural Geography (3)
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16:450:612 Natural Hazards Management (3)
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16:450:613 (F) Seminar in Coastal Resources Geography (3)
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16:450:614 (F) Seminar in Medical Geography (3)
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16:450:615 (S) Seminar in Remote Sensing (3)
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16:450:616 Seminar in Technological Hazards (3)
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16:450:617 Seminar in Remote Sensing of the Biosphere (3)
Prerequisite: 16:450:615 or equivalent or permission of instructor.
sample syllabus*

16:450:625 Seminar in Geographic Information Systems (3)
Prerequisites: 01:450:420 or 11:372:415.
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16:450:632(S) Seminar in Regional Geography (3)
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16:450:701,702 Research in Geography (BA,BA)