The Master of Arts degree program provides advanced analysis of spatial and environmental interrelationships. This 33 credit hour program prepares students for positions in environmental policy planning, and management in government, industry, and non-profit organizations; in environmental education and nature interpretation; and in other areas where geographers, planners, and environmental professionals are needed. 

Requirements for Admission to the Program:

Students must fulfill the requirements for admission to the Graduate College. Applicants must have the equivalent of an undergraduate minor in Geography & Environmental Studies or will be required to take extra undergraduate coursework prior to full admission. Students must provide a two-page Statement of Goals and Objectives as part of their application. This statement should demonstrate the student’s writing skills and should specify as clearly as possible academic/professional goals and the reasons for selecting the G&ES program of study.

Degree Requirements:

All graduate credits must be at the 400 level, except for a maximum of 10 credit hours from a limited list of university approved 300-level courses. Students should consult with the Department for the limited list; some courses on the list may require specific approval by the Department’s Graduate Coordinator.

Students must write either a thesis (6 cr.) or major research paper (3 cr.) under the supervision of a Program Advisor and faculty committee. A formal approval of the proposal by the committee is required prior to registration. For students undertaking the thesis, an oral defense is also required. For students enrolled in the research paper option, a written comprehensive examination covering their chosen area of specialization as well as knowledge of geography, environmental studies, and disciplinary techniques must be completed.

Required Courses
GES-411Scope And Philosophy Of Geography And Environmental Studies3
GES-413Advanced Research Methods3
Select two of the following:6
Geographic Information Systems I
Geographic Problems In Quantitative Measurements
Qualitative Research Methods In Geography & Environmental Studies
One of the following:3-6
Research Seminar
OR 6 cr. hrs. of Thesis Hours (GES 5901, 5902, 5903)
Approved Electives15-18
Total Hours33

Students enrolled in the thesis option (6 credit hours) are required to take 15 credit hours of electives, while students enrolled in the non-thesis option (3 credit hours) are required to take 18 credit hours of electives.  In that way, along with the other requirements of the program, ALL students finish with a total of 33 credit hours.

Pass Comprehensive Exam (research paper option)

Thesis Defense (thesis option)