Oct 01, 2023  
OHIO University Graduate Catalog 2021-22 
OHIO University Graduate Catalog 2021-22 [Archived Catalog]

Geography - MS

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Master of Science in Geography

Geography – MS4239

Geography Department
Clippinger 122
Ohio University
Athens, Ohio 45701

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 Overview

Students in the M.S. program emphasize the physical geographic subfields, the natural or social science aspects of environmental geography, and/or the geospatial techniques. They use the scientific method and quantitative techniques to study geographical questions and solve geographical problems. Within the M.S. curriculum the department has particular strengths in biogeography, geomorphology, climatology, meteorology, environmental geography, environmental planning, geographic information systems (GIS), and cartography. Students pursuing an M.S. degree in Geography may also earn the GISc certificate – CTGISG. 

In this two-year program, M.S. students must complete a thesis as well as course work, which includes two seminars. The first year emphasizes course work and the development of a research question under the guidance of the student’s selected thesis supervisor. Students take the research and writing course in their first fall semester to help prepare them for the thesis research and writing experience. Students defend their thesis proposal at the end of the second semester to their three-member advisory committee. Any remaining courses are taken in the second year along with credit hours for researching and writing the thesis, conducted under the mentorship of the student’s thesis advisory committee. The thesis defense and the advisory committee’s final approval of the thesis typically occur in the student’s fourth semester.  Because the master’s is our highest degree, our graduate students receive considerable careful and focused attention from our accomplished and award-winning faculty. 

This program prepares students for professional positions in government, nonprofit organizations, or the private sector, and for further studies toward a Ph.D. 

Program Learning Outcomes

  • Students will demonstrate the ability to identify, analyze, interpret, and draw conclusions about geographical information, data, processes, and problems
  • Students will demonstrate proficiency in the use of such geographical research tools as GIS, cartography, remote sensing, and spatial statistics
  • Students will be able to formulate a research methodology, execute a formal research project, and place their work in context of previous research
  • Students will demonstrate the ability to communicate and discuss facts, ideas, geographic information, and research results in the oral and written presentation of their thesis research, including by graphical and quantitative means

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.

Further Information

Link to Program: https://www.ohio.edu/cas/geography/graduate/masters-ms

Link to Program Handbook: https://www.ohio.edu/cas/geography/graduate/resources/handbook

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 of purpose (or personal statement) that describes their academic and relevant professional preparation for graduate-level study in Geography, their intended area of specialization if admitted to the program, and their career aspirations. Other application requirements include a separate resume or curriculum vitae and three letters of recommendation by individuals who can evaluate the student’s preparation and potential for graduate studies. The Department of Geography welcomes dual-degree graduate students. Students should apply to start in fall semester to be considered for funding. To receive full consideration for funding decisions, all application materials must be submitted by February 15.

International Students

This program permits full-time enrollment in residence at Ohio University, and an I-20 may be issued based on admission to this program.

Graduation Requirements

Complete a minimum of 40 credit hours. A maximum of two courses (up to 8 credit hours) may come from outside of the Geography Department.

Geography Core Requirements

Geographic Research and Writing

Complete GEOG 5000 during the first fall semester of study.

Thesis Hours

Complete a minimum of 12 hours of thesis research.

Additional Requirements

Students must successfully defend a thesis proposal, usually by the end of the first year of study.

Students are expected to enroll in the GEOG 5911 each term in residence.

Seminar Requirement

Complete two graduate seminars. At least one must be selected from among the following courses:

Culminating Experience

Students must successfully complete and defend a thesis.

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