Ohio University

Geography Master of Arts M.A.

Program Name and Number: Geography - MA4231

Program Overview

  • Human geography subfields
  • Thesis or non-thesis option
  • Preparation for Ph.D. program
  • Preparation for work in local, state, or federal government agencies, nonprofit and nongovernmental organizations (NGOs)
  • Careers with consulting companies, educational institutions, and private industry

Students selecting the M.A. program generally emphasize the human geography subfields, including a focus on the human aspects of environmental geography. M.A. students use a humanities (qualitative) or social science approach in their studies.

Departmental strengths related to the M.A. degree include cultural-historical geography, cultural-political ecology, economic development and globalization, gender and development, agriculture and food studies, urban geography, and environmental planning and sustainability.

Thesis: The thesis requires coursework, mostly in the first year, culminating in the defense of the thesis proposal at the end of the second semester. Any remaining courses are taken in the second year along with research credit hours for completing the research and writing of the thesis. The thesis defense and the advisory committee?s final approval of the thesis typically occur in the student?s fourth semester.

Career and Professional Opportunities

Graduates with an M.A. in Geography have a wide variety of professional opportunities in addition to pursuing doctoral degrees. Graduates work in local, state, or federal government agencies, nonprofit and nongovernmental organizations (NGOs), consulting companies, educational institutions, and private industry.

Graduation Requirements

  • 40 credit hours (minimum) consisting of at least 28 hours of coursework (count includes required courses) and 12 hours of thesis research; a maximum of two courses from outside the department may count toward the degree.
  • Geographic Research and Writing (GEOG 5000)
  • Two seminars
  • At least one geographical technique course
  • 12 additional hours of coursework
  • Successful defense of both a thesis proposal (end of first year) and the thesis (end of second year)

Program Mission

The M.A. degree in Geography prepares students who are emphasizing the human geographic subfields and a humanities or social science approach to the discipline for professional positions in government, nonprofit organizations, or the private sector, or for further studies toward a Ph.D.

Program Learning Objectives

Graduates of this program will demonstrate

  • Knowledge and understanding of current theories, approaches, methods, and techniques in their chosen geographical subfields and an understanding of how those fit into the history and context of the discipline as a whole
  • The ability to apply their knowledge and understanding of geographical theories, approaches, methods, and techniques to ask and solve meaningful research questions in an objective fashion
  • The ability to communicate effectively through oral, written, and graphical means the purpose, methods, results, and significance of their own research and the related published research of others