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Program of Study & Course Requirements for M.A. & M.S.

The Geography Department offers a Master of Arts (M.A.) and a Master of Science (M.S.) degree in geography. .

Total Credit Hours: 40 hours

Thesis Hours

(12 credit hours)

  • GEOG 6950 Thesis

One Required Course

(4 credit hours)

  • GEOG 5000 Geographic Research and Writing

One Method/Technique Course

(4 credit hours)

From the following list:

  • GEOG 5600 Cartography I
  • GEOG 5610 Cartography II
  • GEOG 5650 Air Photo Interpretation
  • GEOG 5660 Remote Sensing
  • GEOG 5670 Advanced Remote Sensing
  • GEOG 5710 Quantitative Methods
  • GEOG 5711 Qualitative Methods in Geography
  • GEOG 5712 Field Methods
  • GEOG 5730 Principles of GIS
  • GEOG 5740 GIS Design & Application Development
  • GEOG 5750 GIS & Landscape Analysis
  • GEOG 5760 Geographic Information Analysis

Two Seminars

(minimum 8 credit hours)

With permission, one seminar can be from outside Geography.

For the M.S. degree select at least one of the two seminars from:

  • GEOG 6010 Seminar in Atmospheric Sciences
  • GEOG 6150 Seminar in Geomorphology
  • GEOG 6160 Seminar in Biogeography
  • GEOG 6660 Seminar in Cartography
  • GEOG 6730 Seminar in GIScience

Other Graduate-Level Courses

(minimum 12 hours)

With permission, one course can be from outside Geography.

  • GEOG 5030, 5040, 5910, 5911, 6930, 6950, and OPIE courses do not count.

For the M.S. degree, select at least two (any two) of these GEOG courses:

  • 5010 Meteorology
  • 5020 Climatology
  • 5060 Synoptic Meteorology
  • 5070 Mesoscale Meteorology
  • 5080 Dynamic Meteorology I
  • 5090 Dynamic Meteorology II
  • 5050 Physical Meteorology
  • 5110 Advanced Physical Geography
  • 5130 Arid Lands Physical Geography
  • 5150 Landforms & Landscapes
  • 5160 Biogeography
  • 5170 Landscape Ecology
  • 5530 Environmental Planning & Assessment
  • 5580 Environmental Hazards
  • 5600 Cartography I
  • 5610 Cartography II
  • 5650 Air Photo Interpretation
  • 5660 Principles of Remote Sensing
  • 5670 Advanced Remote Sensing
  • 5710 Quantitative Methods
  • 5712 Field Methods in Geography
  • 5730 Principles of GIS
  • 5740 GIS Design & Application Development
  • 5750 GIS & Landscape Analysis
  • 5760 Geographic Information Analysis

Credit Hour and Course Requirements

Students must complete a minimum of 40 hours of graduate credit, consisting of at least 12 hours of thesis credit and 28 credit hours of courses. The 28 credit hours count includes required courses, seminars, and the other approved graduate courses selected by the student. At 4 credit hours per course, this is seven courses. At least five of these courses must be offered in the Geography Department. Hours in GEOG 5030, 5040, 5910, 5911, 6930, and 6950 are excluded from the count toward 40, as are credits from classes in the Ohio University Program in Intensive English (OPIE), English Language Improvement (ELIP), other language coursework, and any course that a student audits. It is students responsibility to know whether a course counts toward the degree or not.

The department requires all students to complete Geographic Research and Writing (GEOG 5000), and to do so in their first fall semester. All students are required to take at least one method/technique course, selected in consultation with their adviser. Students must complete at least two graduate seminars totaling at least 8 hours of credit. Ideally, seminars give students an opportunity to do some preliminary work on a thesis topic or to acquire a deeper understanding of the geographic subfields in which they are most interested. With committee approval, and a record of this in the student’s departmental file, one of the two seminars can be taken outside of the department. If possible, seminars should be completed no later than the fall term of the second year. In addition, all graduate students must enroll each semester in the 1 credit hour Colloquium in Geography (GEOG 5911).  

The department encourages students to take courses in cognate fields. For example, if they are interested in historical geography, they may wish to take a graduate class in history, or if they are interested in biogeography, they may want to take a relevant course from the Environmental & Plant Biology Department.

Graduate students who receive a tuition scholarship as part of a financial aid award (e.g., TA, GA, RA, GRS), are expected to enroll in 18 credit hours per semester. In the first year, this typically consists of three courses (12 credit hours), the one-credit colloquium (GEOG 5911), and five credit hours of thesis research (GEOG 6950) each semester. In the second year, with most of their courses completed, students will enroll in a larger number of thesis credit hours per semester. As a result, by the end of the program, students will have signed up for many more than the minimum required total of 12 credit hours of thesis research.