Aug 02, 2021  
Ohio University Graduate Catalog 2017-19 
    
Ohio University Graduate Catalog 2017-19 [Archived Catalog]

Geography - MS


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Degree Title: Master of Science

Program Name and Number: Geography - MS4239

Department/Unit: Department of Geography

Delivery Mode: Athens Campus

Terms of Entry: Fall (preferred; and to be considered for financial aid); Spring may be possible for students not seeking financial aid

Program Mission: The M.S. degree in Geography prepares students who are emphasizing the physical geographic subfields, the scientific method, and/or the geographical techniques 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

Program Overview: Students in the M.S. program emphasize one or more parts of the geographic discipline that are considered science because of their subject matter, or are using the scientific method, typically with quantitative techniques, to study geographic problems that might be approachable from more than one perspective. Students specializing in the physical geography subfields or the geographical techniques typically pursue the M.S. degree, as do students focusing on the natural or social science aspects of environmental geography. With regard to the M.S., the department has particular strengths in biogeography, geomorphology, climatology, meteorology, environmental geography, environmental planning, GIS, remote sensing, and cartography.

M.S. students may choose the thesis or non-thesis option, and typically do so in consultation with their selected program advisor. With either option, the student works closely with his or her advisor and two other advisory committee members, and takes the research and writing course in their first fall semester. 

The thesis option requires course work, 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. 

The non-thesis option requires additional coursework compared to the thesis option as well as passing comprehensive exams on three areas of specialization.  The comprehensive exams are taken in the student’s fourth (last) semester.

Opportunities for Graduates: Graduates with an M.S. in Geography have a wide variety of professional opportunities in addition to pursuing doctoral degrees. Graduates may work in local, state, or federal government agencies, nonprofit organizations, consulting companies, educational institutions, and private industries as GIScience, global navigation (GPS), remote sensing, cartography, environmental, natural science, or social science specialists or managers. Some positions have a fieldwork component.

Link to Program: https://www.ohio.edu/cas/geography/grad/index.cfm

Link to Program Handbook: https://www.ohio.edu/cas/geography/grad/courses-resources/handbook/index.cfm

 

Graduation Requirements:

The thesis option for the M.S. in Geography is designed to be a two-year program and requires:

  1. 40 credit hours (minimum) consisting of at least 28 hours of course work (count includes required courses) and 12 hours of thesis research; a maximum of two courses from outside the department may count toward the degree
  2. Geographic Research and Writing (GEOG 5000)
  3. Two seminars, with at least one from a physical geography or geographical technique subfield
  4. At least one geographical technique course
  5. 12 additional hours in course work, including at least two courses designated by the department as appropriate for the MS degree
  6. Successful defense of both a thesis proposal (end of first year) and the thesis (end of second year)

The non-thesis option for the M.S. in Geography, designed to be a two-year program, requires:

  1. 40 credit hours (minimum) consisting of at least 40 hours of course work (count includes required courses); a maximum of two courses from outside of the department may count toward the degree
  2. Geographic Research and Writing (GEOG 5000)
  3. Two seminars, with at least one from a physical geography or geographical technique subfield
  4. At least one geographical technique course
  5. 24 additional hours in course work, including at least two courses designated by the department as appropriate for the MS degree
  6. Comprehensive exams at the end of the second year on three topics selected in consultation with the advisory committee

Culminating Experience: Successful defense and completion of a thesis (thesis option) or passing of comprehensive exams (non-thesis option). 

Admission Requirements: Applicants are expected to have a minimum gpa of 3.00 in the highest degree earned to date. In addition to the application materials required by the Graduate College, interested students must submit with their application a one- to two-page statement that describes their interest in both the field of geography and our graduate program, as well as a separate resume or curriculum vitae. Other application requirements include GRE scores and the submission of three letters of recommendation by individuals who can comment on the student’s preparation and potential for graduate studies. The Department of Geography welcomes dual-degree graduate students. To receive full consideration for funding decisions, all application materials must be submitted by February 1.

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