Skip navigation

Division of Natural Sciences & MathematicsDepartment of Geography & the Environment

Degree Programs

Department of Geography Geography

Doctor of Philosophy

Areas of emphasis at the doctorate level include biogeography, climatology, cultural geography, economic geography, geographic information science, geomorphology, global change, human environment interaction, Latin America, population, remote sensing, Quaternary studies, transportation geography, urban geography.

The doctoral degree requires 90-quarter hours of study beyond the master?s degree, competency in two research tools, and a dissertation.

Requirements without prior degrees in geography

Any student desiring to pursue the doctoral degree who does not have a master?s degree in Geography is required to either complete the Geography core courses listed above or show evidence of the completion of equivalent courses before continuing in the doctoral program. While it may not be necessary to formally enroll in the core courses, the student is expected to attend all lectures, complete all assignments and exams, and earn the equivalent of at least a grade of B or better in each core course. Alternatively, the student can fulfill the requirement by serving as a teaching assistant for the course. Similarly, for courses taken in other departments or at other universities that are to be substituted for the core courses listed above, a grade of B or better is required. The student will be informed at the start of his/her graduate program of any required core course work, and deficiencies are to be completed as soon as possible after entering the graduate program. A student may not be advanced to preliminary candidacy until all deficiencies have been satisfied.

Research experience

A quality research paper of substantial scope must be completed by any student who has not completed a thesis or substantial research as part of his/her masters degree. The paper is to be completed and evaluated by the appropriate faculty no later than the close of the third quarter of residence in the program. The paper should include a substantive literature review, problem statement, hypotheses, description of the research methods, tests of hypotheses, and conclusions drawn from the analysis. In essence, the paper should be a mini-thesis. No more than 5 quarter hours of credit may be earned in the process of completing the research deficiency.

Transfer credit from Masters Degree

The faculty will identify the courses to be accepted in transfer up to a maximum of 45-quarter hours. It is likely, however, that the total credit hours accepted in transfer will be less than 45-quarter hours.

For more information please refer to the Geography Graduate Handbook.