The Master’s Degree program in Geography prepares students for professional positions in government and industry, or for doctoral study. The departmental focus is primarily environmental geography, with faculty strengths in physical (biogeography, geomorphology, meteorology), resource management/land use planning, historical, urban, economic/ globalization, agriculture/cultural ecology, and geographic techniques (cartography, remote sensing, GIS). The Department houses several facilities to support research, including the Cartographic Center, Ohio view/ Remote Sensing Laboratory, the Long Term Social and Ecological Research Laboratory, Scalia Laboratory for Atmospheric Analysis, and the Carl Ross Geomorphological Laboratory.
Prospective students are required to submit transcripts of all undergraduate work, scores on the GRE examination (verbal, quantitative, analytical), a statement of purpose, and three letters of recommendation. International students whose native language is not English must also submit the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) scores. Application deadlines for admission to the graduate program are six weeks before the beginning of the quarter for which you are requesting admission, although the Department strongly encourages students to begin their graduate program in the fall quarter. To be considered for financial support for the academic year beginning in September, submit all application materials before February 15th; international applicants should submit all materials by February 1. Graduate assistantships are awarded on a competitive basis; the minimum undergraduate GPA for financial aid and unconditional admittance to the program is 3.0 on a 4.0 scale.
The Department of Geography offers both thesis and nonthesis M.A. degree programs. For the thesis track, students must complete a minimum of 65 quarter hours of graduate study. Students pursuing the thesis option must complete a minimum of 10 courses, seven of which must be in Geography. Nonthesis students must complete a minimum of 75 credit hours of graduate study, 50 of which must be in Geography. All students are required to take Geographic Thought (GEOG 580) and Research and Writing (GEOG 675). Students must also satisfy the department’s methods requirement and complete two graduate seminars. Hours in GEOG 504, 505, 585, and 690 do not count toward the 65 or 75 credit total.
For students following the thesis track, fifteen hours of Thesis (GEOG 695) are required. Students should make every effort to select a thesis advisor early in their program, and defend a proposal before their thesis committee. Students who do not defend a thesis proposal by the middle of their fourth quarter enrolled will be automatically placed in the nonthesis track.
Nonthesis students must develop a program within two systematic fields chosen from such areas as cultural, physical, resource management, economics, population, or urban, supported by at least two courses in geographic techniques. The degree is completed by passing a three-part comprehensive written examination.