MA/MS Degree

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.


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