Graduate Degree

Geography - Doctor of Philosophy

Geography - Doctor of Philosophy
Plan Code:
Program Level:
Award Type:
Doctor of Philosophy
College of Social Science
Geography, Environment, and Spatial Sciences

Excerpt from the official Academic Programs Catalog:

Listed below are the approved requirements for the program from the official Academic Programs Catalog.
Students must consult their advisors to learn which specific requirements apply to their degree programs.

College of Social Science

Department of Geography, Environment, and Spatial Sciences

Graduate Study
Geography - Doctor of Philosophy

The Ph.D. program in geography is designed to develop the student's ability to conduct original research with special reference to:

  1. understanding of scientific inquiry.
  2. knowledge of the geographic discipline.
  3. understanding of a specialized area of geography such as people/environment, physical geography, regional development, or economic–regional science.
  4. proficiency with analytical and technical skills particularly with respect to spatial data analysis and manipulation.
  5. skills in communicating the results of research.

In addition to meeting the requirements of the university and of the College of Social Science, students must meet the requirements specified below.


Admission to the doctoral program is based upon an evaluation of the student's academic records related to both the bachelor's and master's degrees, Graduate Record Examination (GRE) General Test scores, letters of recommendation, written statements, and other pertinent information such as professional experience and related achievements. Typical entrants to the doctoral program present a grade–point average of 3.60 or higher in a recognized master's degree program, which usually includes a thesis, and satisfactory scores on the GRE.

Requirements for the Doctor of Philosophy Degree in Geography

The student must:

1. Complete at least 56 credits while enrolled in the doctoral program including the following courses:
a. The following courses (6 credits):
GEO 886 Research Design in Geography 3
GEO 986 Theory and Methods in Geography 3
b. At least two of the following four seminars (6 credits):
GEO 871 Seminar in Physical Geography 3
GEO 872 Seminar in Human Geography 3
GEO 873 Seminar in Human-Environment Geography 3
GEO 874 Seminar in Geographic Information Science 3
c. One advanced-level tool course. 3
Tool courses may be in such areas as computer science, foreign language, statistics or mathematics, cartography, remote sensing, geographic information science and social science or physical science research methods. The courses may be administered by the Department of Geography, Environment, and Spatial Sciences or by another department or school.
d. Courses that focus on a specialized area of geography and related course work (17 or 18 credits)
2. In consultation with the student's guidance committee, submit a manuscript to a refereed journal.