The Master of Arts (M.A.) in Geography is designed as a two-year program of study (minimum of 33 units). Students elect either a thesis option (recommended for those pursuing a Ph.D.) or a non-thesis option (recommended for those pursuing a professional, non-academic career). At the Masters level, the School offers courses in a wide range of fields within Geography, as shown below. Many of our masters students continue on at SGD for a Ph.D., depending on their interests and accomplishments.
As one of the leading geography departments in the United States, University of Arizona is distinguished by the broad spectrum of teaching and research interests among its faculty, providing ample opportunities for graduate students to specialize in many sub-fields. These include:
Graduate students in the School of Geography and Development (SGD) benefit from the broad range of faculty expertise and strong links to interdisciplinary research centers across campus. Our work spans the discipline, from physical geography (climate science, dendrochronology, remote sensing, spatial science), to human-environment (political ecology, water policy, climate change) to human geography (development, state theory). Our shared commitment to collaboration and community makes for a lively and engaged department.
SGD offers M.A. and Ph.D. degrees, two professional master’s degrees, and participates in several graduate certificate programs
The deadline for fall admission is January 5 for both domestic and international applicants. Please note that the SGD deadline supersedes Graduate College deadlines and that there are no spring semester admissions to SGD. A background in geography or related fields in the natural and social sciences is strongly recommended for the M.A. and Ph.D. programs. Students are selected on the basis of:
1. Academic background and performance (generally a minimum undergraduate GPA of 3.0).
2. Professional experience.
3. GRE General Test scores (no required minimum but scores should be above average).
4. Personal statement of intent.
5. Letters of recommendation.
6. TOEFL (for international students). Either a score of 550 [PB], 79 [IBT], or IELTS [composite score of 7, no subject area below a 6]. To be considered as a TA, a citizen of a non-English-speaking country must demonstrate proficiency in spoken English via examination. This requires a score of at least 26 on the speaking section of the IBT TOEFL.
NOTE: A master's degree is required for admission to Ph.D. program (applicants without master's degrees who are interested in the Ph.D. need to initially apply for the master's degree).
All test scores must be sent from ETS.
The GRE and TOEFL Institution Code for the University of Arizona is 4832.
*There is no minimum GRE score required, but scores should be above average.
**The minimum TOEFL score is 550 [PB], 79 [IBT], or IELTS [composite score of 7, no subject area below 6]
Every effort is made to provide some kind of financial support for incoming graduate students.
Teaching and research assistantships and graduate tuition waivers, available on a competitive basis, are used to waive nonresident tuition, registration fees, and/or health insurance premiums. Teaching and research assistantships offer a half-time academic year stipend that is competitive with other geography programs around the country. Incoming students may also apply or be nominated for one of several available fellowships (e.g., see the Carson Scholars Program).
GEOG689, History of Geographic Thought
GEOG500, Research Design
1 Advanced Methods Courses
A master's student who proposes to undertake research in or on a non-English speaking area is required to demonstrate the necessary language skills. A language test will normally be arranged by the student's mentor, and be approved by the student's advisory committee.