Degree Requirements

Ph.D. Requirements (44 credits minimum)

Click here to see the list of courses.

Core Courses (7 credits):

  • GES 701 Intro to Geography and Environmental Systems (3)
  • GES 702 Research Methods in Geography and Environmental Systems (3)
  • GES 689 Department Seminar (1 credit, to be taken in Fall of the first year; students expected to attend in subsequent semesters but not for credit)

Required Courses (6-7 credits):

The statistics and GIS requirements can be waived if a student has already taken equivalent courses at the graduate level; this will require faculty evaluation of course syllabi.

  • Graduate Level GIS Course (3 or 4), for example GES 686 Introduction to Geographic Information Systems (4), GES 687 Advanced Geographic Information Systems, or GES 600/666 Just Maps: Critical & Ethical Aspects of Mapping
  • Graduate Level Statistics Course (3), for example GES 688 Spatial Statistics (3), GES 774 Statistics for Geographers (3), or PUBL 604 Statistical Analysis (3)

Electives (12 credits)

Electives will be chosen in consultation with the faculty advisor and committee. One of these electives will be selected from among the following areas: Social Science Methods, Remote Sensing, Computational Methods and Modeling, and Environmental Science Field and Laboratory Methods. Additional electives will be chosen based on the specific subject areas needed to prepare for success in conducting doctoral research. Courses offered by Geography and Environmental Systems or by other departments can be used as electives where they meet a particular need.

Dissertation (18 Credits):

  • GES 899 – Dissertation Research

M.S. Requirements (30 credits minimum)

Click here to see the list of courses.

We offer both a Thesis and a non-Thesis option for the Master’s degree; either option will require at least 30 credits. A Thesis Option Masters requires six hours of research credit (GES 799) leading to successful completion and defense of the M.S. thesis. A Non-Thesis Option Masters requires a minimum of 18 credits taken in courses numbered 600 or higher. The graduation requirement for the Non-Thesis M.S. option includes two research papers, either or both of which may be expanded from course-related project work.

Core courses (7 credits):

  • GES 701 Introduction to Geography and Environmental Systems (3)
  • GES 702 Research Methods in Geography and Environmental Systems (3)
  • GES 689 Department Seminar (1 credit, to be taken in Fall of the first year; students expected to attend in subsequent semesters but not for credit)

Required courses (6-7 credits):

  • Graduate Level GIS Course (3 or 4), for example GES 686 Introduction to Geographic Information Systems (4), GES 687 Advanced Geographic Information Systems, or GES 600/666 Just Maps: Critical & Ethical Aspects of Mapping
  • Graduate Level Statistics Course (3), for example GES 688 Spatial Statistics (3), GES 774 Statistics for Geographers (3), or PUBL 604 Statistical Analysis (3)

Electives: 10 credits (Thesis option), 16 credits (non-Thesis option)

Electives will be chosen in consultation with the faculty advisor and committee. One of these electives will be selected from among the following areas: Social Science Methods, Remote Sensing, Computational Methods and Modeling, and Environmental Science Field and Laboratory Methods. Eligible courses available each year will be determined by the faculty and the list will be disseminated to faculty advisors and graduate students.

Research credits

  • GES 799 – 6 credits (Thesis option)

5-year Pathway

Undergraduate students interested in this program should consult with their GES faculty advisor as early in their academic career as possible. For more information, see GES BS+MS Five-Year Pathway.