Jul 25, 2024  
2019-2020 University Catalog 
2019-2020 University Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Geography, M.A.

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(30 UNITS)

This program provides advanced study in human and physical geography with an emphasis on theory and research. Graduates are prepared in the application of interpretive and analytical concepts and techniques to a broad spectrum of geographic situations. Such study directly serves those whose careers involve urban, regional, and environmental planning and geographic education. Geographic perspectives and methods are highly applicable to a wide range of careers in business, industry and government.

Admission and Conditional Classification

Students must meet the CSU requirements for admission to a master’s degree program. Please consult the Graduate Admissions  section in this catalog for complete information. In addition, the department requires a grade-point average of at least 3.0 in the last 60 semester units attempted and a 3.0 grade-point average in all geography courses. Students who have no, or a limited, background in geography will be expected to make up the deficit by taking appropriate coursework in consultation with the departmental graduate adviser.

All students are required to demonstrate competency in each of geography’s four main subfields: human, physical, regional and technical. Competency is normally demonstrated by completion of at least 18 units at the upper-division or graduate level with a 3.0 grade-point average.

Graduate Standing - Classified

After completing all prerequisites and removing deficiencies, the student must develop an approved study plan in consultation with a personal faculty adviser and the graduate program adviser in order to be classified.

All students must complete six units of upper-division technical courses. Three units are prerequisite to classified standing. If the remaining three units were not taken as undergraduate work, they may be included in the study plan.

Electives (12-15 units)

Senior-level or graduate coursework in geography (15 units unless approved for thesis; may include additional GEOG 500-level courses; up to six units from related fields).

Thesis or Comprehensive Exam (0-3 units)

Additional Information

Students must follow one of two plans - Plan A, requiring a comprehensive examination; or Plan B, requiring a thesis.

Plan A requires the development of a specific field of interest and a written, three-part comprehensive exam testing knowledge in human geography, physical geography and the student’s specified area of interest. The examination may be repeated only once. Plan B requires the development of a specific field of interest, a written thesis and a subsequent oral defense.

All students will follow Plan A unless approval for the thesis option is granted. In order to follow Plan B, the thesis option, students must have the written consent of their thesis supervisor and all members of a thesis committee. Permission to write a thesis may be granted only to students who have: (1) achieved a 3.25 grade-point average after 15 units of upper-division and graduate coursework; and (2) demonstrated proficiency in research and writing skills.

For further details or advisement, communicate with the Department of Geography graduate program adviser.

Total (30 units)

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