Undergraduate & Graduate Catalog
Graduate Programs
2014-2015
Academic Year:


Geography (MA, MS, PhD)

Telephone: (302) 831-2294

Departmental Information Page 

Faculty profiles

Program Overview
The department offers programs leading to the Master of Arts, Master of Science, and Doctor of Philosophy degrees in Geography.  Each graduate degree is highly individualized.  A student works closely with their advisory committee to design and complete the graduate degree in physical geography, human geography, or coupled human-environment systems.
 
In physical geography, the Department has a long tradition focusing on climatology, especially physical, synoptic, dynamic climatology, and all phases of water budget cycling. In addition, emphasis is placed on land surface processes, especially glacial and alpine environments, sea-ice dynamics, hydrology and ecosystem linkages.   Human Geography covers a broad range of environmental themes approached from cultural-historical, socio-economic and political perspectives.  Coupled human-environment systems examines linkages and processes between the biophysical environment and human societies with emphasis in environmental governance, conflicts over increasingly scarce resources, and human dimensions of climate change. Interdisciplinary work is encouraged from across the university and in collaborations with local, national, and international partners.


Research Centers
The department houses the Office of the State Climatologist for Delaware, the Delaware Environmental Observing System, the Delaware Geographic Alliance, and research laboratories for developing microclimatological research, hydrologic and dendrochronology studies, as well as computer laboratories in support of geographic information science, remote sensing, videography, and all aspects of data analysis and modeling. Our computational facilities include state-of-the-art networking, data storage capabilities, significant computer-intensive servers for modeling, and connections to SURA-Grid for supercomputing.Research Centers

The department houses the Office of the State Climatologist for Delaware, the Delaware Environmental Observing System, the Delaware Geographic Alliance, and research laboratories for developing microclimatological research, hydrologic and dendrochronology studies, as well as computer laboratories in support of geographic information science, remote sensing, videography, and all aspects of data analysis and modeling. Our computational facilities include state-of-the-art networking, data storage capabilities, significant computer-intensive servers for modeling, and connections to SURA-Grid for supercomputing.


Requirements for Admission to Master’s Programs
General admissions requirements are an undergraduate grade point index of 2.75 or more, and a GRE verbal and quantitative score of 300 or higher.  Admission is selective and competitive based on the number of well-qualified applicants and the limits of available faculty and facilities. Those who meet stated minimum academic requirements are not guaranteed admission, nor are those who fail to meet those requirements necessarily precluded from admission if they offer other appropriate strengths. Applicants are expected to have completed a previous degree in geography, geology, climatology, meteorology, or another relevant discipline.  The department will consider qualified applicants without previous background in geography, although additional preliminary work may be required. Requirements for Admission to Master’s Programs

General admissions requirements are an undergraduate grade point index of 2.75 or more, and a GRE verbal and quantitative score of 300 or higher.  Admission is selective and competitive based on the number of well-qualified applicants and the limits of available faculty and facilities. Those who meet stated minimum academic requirements are not guaranteed admission, nor are those who fail to meet those requirements necessarily precluded from admission if they offer other appropriate strengths. Applicants are expected to have completed a previous degree in geography, geology, climatology, meteorology, or another relevant discipline.  The department will consider qualified applicants without previous background in geography, although additional preliminary work may be required.


Requirements for Admission to the Ph.D. program
General admissions requirements are a graduate grade point index of 3.0 or higher, and GRE verbal and quantitative score of 300 or higher.  A prior Master’s degree in Geography is expected. Applicants with degrees from a program other than Geography may be considered if students can demonstrate similar preparation.  Admission is highly competitive, based on a careful assessment of each applicant’s background and interest, and accessibility to facilities and other resources.

Applications should state a preference for approaching their studies from a physical, human, or coupled human-environmental systems, and demonstrate their preparation in methodological techniques appropriate to the particular interests of the student.  Additional preparation may be required following admission and prior to undertaking a research program to allow students to conduct research in the area of their particular interests. Requirements for Admission to the Ph.D. program
 

Financial Aid
Teaching assistantships, research assistantships and university fellowships are available to graduate students at the M.A., M.S., and Ph.D. levels. In addition, this department regularly assists students in finding fellowships via outside programs, such as NASA, NOAA, NSF, and American Meteorological Society. Please refer to Graduate Fellowships and Assistantships for additional information.Teaching assistantships, research assistantships and university fellowships are available to graduate students at the M.A., M.S., and Ph.D. levels. In addition, this department regularly assists students in finding fellowships via outside programs, such as NASA, NOAA, NSF, and American Meteorological Society. Please refer to Graduate Fellowships and Assistantships for additional information.


Requirements for the Master's Degrees
Students in either master's program complete (with a B average or better) a total of 24 course credits as well as a thesis (6 credits). In general, students in the human geography area will work toward the Master of Arts degree, while physical geography students will pursue the Master of Science. Students coupling the human-environment systems will work towards either the Master of Arts or the Master of Science given the emphasis of coursework and thesis topic.  Course work programs are tailored to the student's research interest, and each student's work is periodically reviewed. There is no special examination or language requirement.

It is the responsibility of the student in consultation with the thesis adviser to complete the thesis and to obtain acceptance by the thesis committee. A public presentation of the thesis to the department also is required.Students in either master's program complete (with a B average or better) a total of 24 course credits as well as a thesis (6 credits). In general, students in the human geography area will work toward the Master of Arts degree, while physical geography students will pursue the Master of Science. Students coupling the human-environment systems will work towards either the Master of Arts or the Master of Science given the emphasis of coursework and thesis topic.  Course work programs are tailored to the student's research interest, and each student's work is periodically reviewed. There is no special examination or language requirement.

It is the responsibility of the student in consultation with the thesis adviser to complete the thesis and to obtain acceptance by the thesis committee. A public presentation of the thesis to the department also is required.


Requirements for the PhD Degree
The Geography Ph.D. degree is a research degree and focuses on specialization and independent scholarship built upon a foundation of geographic knowledge and training.  Ph.D. students are expected to obtain an in-depth knowledge of two areas consistent with their emphasis in physical geography, human geography, or human-environmental systems. One of these must be a recognized topical sub-field in the discipline; the other area is methodological, such as statistical methods, mathematical modeling, geographic information science, archival research, or qualitative analysis.

The Doctor of Philosophy degree is awarded chiefly in recognition of high attainment and ability in a specific subfield of geography.  This attainment and ability are demonstrated by passing the required examinations covering both a candidate's general and special subfields, and by preparing and successfully defending a dissertation based on original research that makes a significant contribution to knowledge in the student's field.

More description of the Ph.D. program can be obtained online at Geography’s website or by contacting the Geography Department.

 


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