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Geography

Geography 2013-2014

Degree Requirements

Master of Arts in Geography

Students are presumed to possess a geographic background equivalent to what is required for an undergraduate major in geography.


Credit Hour Requirements
For the MA degree, 45 quarter hours of course work and an acceptable thesis are required. Students can specialize in subfields within physical geography, human geography or human- environment interaction.


Research Proposal Presentation
Each student is required to prepare and present a thesis proposal and have it formally approved by the student's faculty committee.


Final Oral Defense
Upon completion of required course work, proposal approval and the thesis, each student will undergo a final oral defense. This exam is usually about two hours in length. The exam will address both course work and the thesis research. The final oral examination is to be conducted at least three weeks before the end of the quarter in which the degree is to be awarded. The examining committee consists of no fewer than three members chosen from the faculty of the department, although one member can be from a related cognate discipline outside the department. There is also an outside chairperson who must be a tenured faculty member from another department at the University of Denver serving as the university representative.


Thesis Requirement
Original research of a geographic topic is required, the scope of which is determined by the thesis committee. The thesis should be of publishable quality.


Course Requirements
A minimum of 33 quarter hours in geography is required, including:
GEOG 3000 Advanced Geographic Statistics
GEOG 4000 Fundamental Geographic Perspectives
GEOG 4020 Geographic Research Methodology
GEOG 4040 Research Identification
GEOG 4900 Geography Colloquium

Students must also complete at least four credit hours in each of the following concentrations: human, physical, and geographic information science courses.

Doctor of Philosophy in Geography

The student is presumed to possess an appropriate background in geography, approximately equivalent to the MA core program.


Credit Hour Requirements
A minimum of 117 quarter hours of credit is required for the doctoral degree, 45 hours of which may be awarded from the student's MA or MS program, and must include the equivalent of GEOG 3000, GEOG 4000, GEOG 4020, GEOG 4040 and GEOG 4900.

Examinations
PhD Research Proposal Presentation
Each student is required to prepare and present a dissertation proposal and have it formally approved by the student's faculty committee. This should be completed by the end of the second year for a full-time PhD student.


Comprehensive Exam
This exam, which includes both written and oral parts, is designed to evaluate the student's work at the University of Denver.

This exam is usually scheduled after all substantive course work has been completed and the dissertation proposal has been approved. It must be taken at least three quarters prior to expected graduation. Students should consult with their adviser and committee members to achieve a greater understanding of what will be on the exam. The written portion of the exam can be taken in one of two formats: a written examination conducted in the department usually taken over two days, lasting four hours each day, or a take-home examination in which the student has five days to complete the exam. An oral examination is held two weeks after the written exam has been completed. A candidate who fails one or all parts of the comprehensive exam may petition the department for re-examination. Re-examination, if granted by the department, may not be scheduled until the succeeding quarter and cannot be retaken more than once.

Oral Defense
Upon completion of course work, approved proposal, comprehensive exam and the dissertation, each student will undergo a final oral defense. An oral defense may not be scheduled until at least the second quarter following the quarter in which the comprehensive exam was successfully completed (the summer may count as a quarter, though no examinations should be scheduled during the summer). The final oral defense is to be conducted at least two weeks before the end of the quarter in which the degree is to be awarded. This defense is usually about two hours in length, and is composed of a 20–25 minute presentation by the student followed by questions from the committee. The examining committee consists of no fewer than four members chosen from the faculty of the department, related cognate disciplines, or outside the university. There is also a nonvoting outside member of the examining committee who serves as the chair for the final examination and must be a tenured or tenure-track faculty member at the University of Denver serving as the University's representative.

Course Requirements

Required courses
GEOG 3000 Advanced Geographic Statistics
GEOG 4000 Fundamental Geographic Perspectives
GEOG 4020 Geographic Research Methodology
GEOG 4040 Research Identification
GEOG 4900 Geography Colloquium

Doctoral program requirements include a course curriculum consisting of at least 32 additional quarter hours of geography courses directed toward the dissertation research; cognitive course work in a related field of at least 12 quarter hours; at least two graduate seminars; demonstrated competency in two research tools; approval of dissertation proposal; and completion of an acceptable dissertation.


The options to meet the tool requirement include languages, geographic information systems, computer cartography, remote sensing and geographic statistics. A comprehensive examination is given after completion of course work and proposal presentation, and an oral defense of the dissertation is required for completion of the degree.


For doctoral programs, research areas are limited to the fields of biogeography, climatology, cultural geography, economic geography, geographic information science, geomorphology, global change, human environment interaction, Latin America, paleoenvironmental change, population, Quaternary studies, transportation geography and urban geography in accordance with current faculty expertise.

Master of Science in Geographic Information Science

Students are assumed to possess a basic knowledge of cartography, geographic information systems and statistics. These prerequisites can be completed by taking the equivalent of GEOG 2000, GEOG 2020 and GEOG 2100.

Credit-Hour Requirements
There are two options within this degree program:

  • Course work track (requires 60 credit hours)
  • Project track (requires 48 credit hours)

All students will initially enter the program under the course work track.

Master of Science in Geographic Information Science (Course Work Track)

A minimum of 60 quarter hours is required, including:

GEOG 3000 Advanced Geographic Statistics
GEOG 3010 Geographic Information Analysis
GEOG 3130 Advanced GIS
GEOG 3140 GIS Database Design
GEOG 3200 Remote Sensing
GEOG 4000 Fundamental Geographic Perspectives
GEOG 4100 Application Design and Production
GEOG 4900 Geography Colloquium
GEOG 4994 Report

At least 16 hours of geography or geology course work and at least 12 hours of electives are required. No more than 24 quarter hours will be accepted in transfer from the GIS certificate program.

Master of Science in Geographic Information Science (Project Track)

Students interested in pursuing the project option must reach an agreement with a faculty member willing to advise them on a mutually acceptable project.

A minimum of 48 quarter hours is required, including:
GEOG 3000 Advanced Geographic Statistics
GEOG 3010 Geographic Information Analysis
GEOG 3140 GIS Database Design
GEOG 3150 GIS Project Management
GEOG 3200 Remote Sensing
GEOG 4000 Fundamental Geographic Perspectives
GEOG 4020 Geographic Research Methodology GEOG 4040 Project Identification
GEOG 4900 Geography Colloquium
GEOG 4993 Project

At least 12 hours of geography or geology course work and at least eight hours of electives are required. No more than 24 quarter hours will be accepted in transfer from the GIS certificate program. The identification of a project is the purpose of the one- unit Project Identification course, typically taken during the spring quarter of the first year of attendance.

Project
Students will be required to produce a final project of professional quality demonstrating their ability to apply geographic information science to the chosen area of specialization. The project is done for, and with, a company, agency, nongovernmental organization or faculty member who is referred to as the client. The project must be used by the client and may be predominantly technical in nature or may include a research component. The project must demonstrate a mastery of one or more of the several geospatial technologies. It must require the student to engage in all facets of a project, from design to implementation.

Project Presentation
Each student is required to prepare and present a project proposal and have it formally approved by his/her faculty committee.

Final Project Examination
Upon completion of required course work, proposal approval and the project, each student will undergo a final project examination. This exam is usually about two hours in length. The examination will address the requirements of the project research.

Master of Science in Geographic Information Science (Online Degree Option)
This option is designed for people wishing to complete the degree via an online format.

Basic requirements

  • Completion of a minimum of 48 credit hours that includes all required course work
  • Completion of a capstone project (committee approved)
  • Presentation of the capstone project at a professional forum

Prerequisites
Introduction to GIS — students entering the online MS in GISc degree program should have already completed an introductory GIS course at another academic institution, in the department of geography, or in the University College GIS certificate program. The introductory course GIS 3100 in the GIS certificate program fulfills this requirement. Work experience may be used to waive this prerequisite. Students must provide ample evidence on professional resume and be prepared to complete a basic GISc competency exam.
MS in GISc students are expected to be well versed in introductory statistics and cartography. Students are advised to take a statistics and cartography course prior to enrolling in graduate level classes.

Course work structure
Required courses (20 credits)
Geography/GIS Electives (20 credits)
Capstone Courses (8 credits)
Required course work (20 credits)
GEOG 3000 Advanced Geographic Statistics
GEOG 3010 Geographic Information Analysis
GEOG 3140 GIS Database Design
GEOG 3150 GIS Project Management or GIS 3150 GIS Project Management (GIS Project Management is required for MS in GISc degree and GIS certificate)
GEOG 3200 Remote Sensing or GIS 4700 Introduction to Remote Sensing (Remote Sensing is elective in GIS certificate program)

Geography/GIS Elective Courses: (a minimum of 20 credits)
GEOG 3040 GPS for Resource Mapping
GEOG 3410 Urban Applications in GIS
GEOG 3860 GIS Applications for Natural Resources
GEOG 3130 Advanced Remote Sensing
GIS 4530 Crime Mapping and Analysis
GIS 4630 Public Domain Data for GIS
GIS 4650 Demographic Analysis
GIS 4680 Environmental Applications
GIS 4685 GIS and Natural Hazards
GIS 4690 GPS for GIS
GIS 4740 Digital Image Processing
GIS 4860 Internet Mapping
Capstone Courses (8 credits)
GEOG 4020 Research methods (3 credits)
GEOG 4040 Project identification (1 credit)
GEOG 4993 Capstone Project (4 credits)

Capstone Presentation
Students preparing to graduate are expected to present the results of their capstone projects at a professional gathering. This can be a dedicated GISc meeting or conference. It can also be a topical meeting or conference, for example, a water industry or environment-focused gathering. Students may present a paper or participate in a conference poster session. There are numerous opportunities to present one's work throughout the world and it is important for students to become involved in the GISc community.