M.A. in Geography

The Master’s in Geography is designed to for students with interests in human geography, physical geography, environmental geography, and/or geographic information systems.  Our Geography program prepares students with the foundational knowledge to understand, evaluate, and deconstruct the pressing environmental and social challenges that humanity faces, as well as provides opportunities to develop the practical skills needed to map, analyze, model, and solve them.  Our program prepares students for both future doctoral studies and immediate employment in the workforce.

Our program offers both thesis and professional tracks.  The thesis track allows students to propose, develop, execute, and publish a research project under the supervision of a professor.  The professional track offers opportunities to further hone practical skills through personalized internships, projects, or exams.  The thesis track is ideal for students interested in future doctoral studies or research more generally, while the professional track is geared toward students seeking careers with government, industry, private corporations, education, and NGOs.


Students in the Geography program also select one of three concentrations that apply to both the thesis and professional tracks: human geography, environmental geography, or geographic information systems and spatial analysis.  These concentrations allow students to specify in one sub-discipline of geography.

GIScience and Spatial Analysis

GIScience and Spatial Analysis concentrates on the use of advanced geospatial technologies, and the development and use of spatial analysis methodologies, to applied research problems in human and environmental geography. Students pursue foundational coursework in GIS, remote sensing, spatial data analysis, Web GIS, data bases, programming, and spatial data science, as well as applied GIS courses in water resources, spatial ecology, health, transportation, and more.

Human Geography

Human Geography studies the construction of space, place, and power. It encompasses the study of economic geographies (e.g., globalization and development), political geographies (e.g. geopolitical struggles and new social movements), and social and cultural geographies (e.g. identities and exclusions). Human geography is key to providing insights into contemporary spatial arrangements, including the role of cities within the global economy, locating urban-rural intersections in the production of uneven development, and how class, gender, and race shape struggles for social justice.  Human geography students take course work on nature and society, regional geography, political geography, and more.

Environmental Geography

Environmental Geography links the study of nature and society and considers the ways in which conventional divisions between human and non-human (natural) worlds are bridged through the production of socio-natures. This understanding is crucial to explaining and ameliorating contemporary environmental problems, including the privatization of natural resources, inequalities in access to food and water, injustices associated with environmental hazards and undesirable land uses, and the role of human activities in spurring large-scale environmental change. Students in this concentration take coursework in nature and society, environmental science, physical geography, environmental justice, and more.