Graduate Studies in the Department of Geography
The Master of Arts in Geography Program has, on average, 20 to 25 students in residence each year. The program requires of a minimum of 30 credit hours (thesis option) or 36 hours (non-thesis option). Students taking the non-thesis option have to complete a comprehensive exam. With a faculty to graduate student ratio of 1:2 within geography, graduate students receive careful mentoring and advising.
All graduate students are required to take Geography 6201 (Geographic Thought and Methods) and Geography 6221 (Geospatial Techniques). Additional course work taken should be appropriate to the students' interests. Please consult the Courses page on this website for a full listing of Graduate level courses offered by the department. Students are encouraged to submit research proposals at the end of their first year to be considered for funding from the Campbell Graduate Student Summer Research Awards.
The MA program in Geography trains young professionals in areas of human and physical geography, while making sure that students have a working knowledge of various geospatial techniques. The graduate program has four core areas of focus that reflect the research interests of our faculty:
- Urban Environment
- Development and Sustainability
- Human Migration and Mobility
- Applied Geospatial Techniques
In addition to these core interests, the geography faculty members also have regional expertise in North America, Latin America, South Asia, sub-Saharan Africa, the Middle East, and the Arctic .
Many of our master's students pursue rewarding careers in governmental and non-governmental institutions and in the private sector. Recent MA students are employed at the U.S. Department of State, the U.S. Office of Foreign Disaster Assistance (USAID), the National Geospatial Intelligence Agency, the Brookings Institution, the U.S. Census Bureau, the National Geographic, and various local planning agencies. Other graduates from this Department have gone on to pursue PhDs in top graduate programs.
Depending on the chosen field of specialization, students are encouraged to take electives from related programs and departments within the University. We have an excellent working relationship with many of the University's other programs, and students may find courses appropriate to their field of study from areas such as: International Affairs, Engineering, Economics, Public Policy, Public Health, Anthropology, American Studies, and Sociology. There is a limit to the number of classes allowed from outside the department, so students are encouraged to consult their advisors when choosing electives.
GW also has the advantage of being within the Washington, D.C. Consortium of Universities. Therefore, students can take associated courses in other departments at the University of Maryland, American University, Catholic University, Howard University, Georgetown, and George Mason. Again, there is a limit to the number of allowed consortium courses, so please consult your advisor before registering for a particular class.
Should you wish to apply to the Geography graduate program, please remember that applications for admission are made through the Columbian College Graduate School, which then forwards the applications to the geography department program.
Geography Graduate Program Brochure