SGD also offers a Doctorate of Philosophy (Ph.D.) minor in Geography for Ph.D. students majoring in other disciplines at UA. This program consists of a minimum of 12 units of graduate coursework in geography, including a maximum of 3 units of independent study. Students considering the Ph.D. minor in geography should consult with the Director of Graduate Studies and with potential SGD committee members at an early stage about coursework and preparation for the comprehensive examination. For more information about the Ph.D. minor in geography, see the graduate program handbook.
The Doctorate of Philosophy (Ph.D.) in Geography is a specialized, research-oriented degree which requires a qualifying examination (waived for students who meet certain minimum requirements), at least one year of coursework (minimum of 18 credits) in addition to a Masters degree, and approximately three years of independent study and research culminating in a dissertation. Under the direction of their faculty committee and in consultation with the graduate advisor, doctoral students design an individualized program of coursework and independent study in preparation for their comprehensive examinations, which are typically taken after two years of study. Upon successful completion of the exams, the student prepares a dissertation proposal which must be approved by the faculty committee. This proposal may also form the basis for requesting external funding for research. The final requirement for the Ph.D. degree is a dissertation involving original research. During students’ time in the School, they will gain an understanding of the history and core concepts of the discipline, and range of research methodologies. They also have opportunities to obtain teaching experience and training in professional skills,. Potential applicants should be sure to review these webpages and our faculty interests before applying. While some faculty have research grants and may offer students both employment and research opportunities related to those projects, the majority of students design their own Ph.D dissertation topics and are encouraged to seek their own funding for field research and writing up the results. Our students have been remarkably successful at securing funding for their dissertations.
Graduate students in the School of Geography, Development, and Environment (SGDE) 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.
SGDE offers M.A. and Ph.D. degrees, two professional master’s degrees, and participates in several graduate certificate programs
College of Social & Behavioral Sciences
University of Arizona - Main - Tucson
A background in geography or related fields in the natural and social sciences is recommended for the M.A. and Ph.D. programs. Students are selected based on their academic background, professional experience, and letters of recommendation.
Please write a statement of intent of 2-3 pages (single-spaced), in which you describe your background, interests, and goals in seeking an M.A. or Ph.D. Be as clear and specific as you can in writing your statement. It is not necessary to propose a particular research project, but your statement will be stronger if you can articulate your areas and direction of interest, and how they fit with the work of one or more of our faculty members.
You will need a minimum of two letters of recommendation (three preferred). Enter contact information for your referees in the online application. Your referees will be contacted directly by the University of Arizona..
Transcripts from all colleges and universities you have attended or are currently attending are required. Photocopies of unofficial transcripts can be uploaded with your application. You will submit official transcripts later on, before you can be officially admitted by the Graduate College.
The School does not request scores from the Graduate Record Examination (GRE).
*Current M.A. students must also apply online to the Graduate College and pay an application fee (which the School cannot pay). Finally, these students should indicate their plan to apply for the Ph.D. in their annual progress report due on 1 February.
In general, the School encourages our M.A. students to continue here if their goal is a Ph.D., and new students are often recruited and/or admitted to the M.A. program with that understanding. The procedure described here fosters orderly information-gathering and allows systematic review of Ph.D. applicants.
M.A. students progressing to the Ph.D. in Geography must have completed and passed the M.A. thesis before the start of their first semester in the Ph.D. program. Failure to do so will result in the student becoming ineligible for Ph.D. funding.
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).
International applicants will not be considered for conditional admission by this program.
ETS Major Field Code(s) for this program:
NRC Taxon(a) for this program:
Minumum credits: 36
Core Courses: (12 units; only GEOG689 and GEOG500 are required)
GEOG 689: History of Geographic Thought (3 units)
GEOG 500: Research Design (3 units)
Additional 6 units of advanced methods study. This course will vary between students and agreed upon by the student and advisor/committee.
18 Dissertation Units
Language requirements: A doctoral student who proposes to undertake research in or on a non-English speaking area is required to demonstrate the necessary language skills before taking the comprehensive exam. A language test will normally be arranged by the student's mentor, and be approved by the student's advisory committee.
Other requirements: Please see our Graduate Handbook
Electives (Geography and other): 12 units (four courses) of graduate credit courses in SGDE and/or other departments, including independent studies, thesis, and dissertation credits.
These 3-unit GEOG elective courses MAY include: (GEOG seminar courses are not offered on regular cycles and are contingent upon faculty availability)
696A Economic Geography (3 units)
696B Cultural Geography (3 units)
696C Physical Geography (3 units)
696F Advanced Methods and Techniques (3 units)
696G Urban Geography (3 units)
696H Political Geography (3 units)
696I Political Ecology (3 units)
696J Water Resources Geography (3 units)
696K Development and the Latin American Experience (3 units)
696M Geography and Dendrochronology (3 units)
696N Geography and Social Theory (3 units)
696O Adaptation & Resilience in Water Resources Systems (3 units)
696Q Participatory Systems Design and Delivery (3 units)
The 33 units offered for the degree may not include more than nine units of thesis, internship, and/or independent studies (see section 1.1.5). In addition to the 33-unit minimum, students are also required to register for one unit of GEOG 695A (Colloquium) during each semester in residence, although these units do not count towards degree requirements.
The Director of Graduate Studies may approve exceptions to the above requirements.
All graduate students in residence are expected to attend the weekly Colloquium whenever possible, whether or not they are formally registered for GEOG 695A (one credit, which is not graded and does not count towards degree requirements). Students should register for the Colloquium each semester if their credit load permits.
The doctoral minor in geography (for Ph.D. students majoring in other disciplines) comprises a minimum of 12 units of coursework in geography, including at least one of the Ph.D. core course requirements (GEOG 500, GEOG 689 or an advanced methods course); and a maximum of 3 units of independent study. The program must be pre-approved by the Director of Graduate Studies. Students considering the minor in geography should consult with the potential minor committee member(s) at an early stage, regarding coursework and preparation for the comprehensive examination. The participation of the committee member(s) must be agreed to by mutual consent through discussion with the faculty member(s) concerned.
Please refer to the Graduate Student Handbook for students who are pursuing this program of study.
|Application Acceptance Rate||37.84%|
|Med. Time-to-degree (years)||6.00|
|Enrollment Percent Male||40.74%|
|Enrollment Percent Female||59.26%|
|Enrollment Percent International||18.52%|
|Enrollment Percent URM||12.96%|