Graduate Degrees in Geography

Geography Graduate Students

Students pursuing a graduate degree in geography have the option of selecting either a Master of Arts (M.A.) or Master of Science (M.S.) degree. Both the M.S. and M.A. degree options prepare students for professional employment or advanced work at the doctoral level. We offer thesis and non-thesis options. Thesis students can expect to conduct, assess and defend an independent research project, while non-thesis students will describe, analyze and evaluate geographical topics and research. For up-to-date requirements and electives, consult the Graduate Catalog.

Master of Arts in Geography

The Master of Arts in Geography (M.A.) requires 32 credit hours. Our Accelerated Geography Master’s Degree (sometimes called 4+1 program) allows Marshall seniors to skip some electives and instead take graduate courses while a senior. That means the program can be completed in one year!


Master of Science in Geography

The Master of Science in Geography (M.S.) requires 32 credit hours. Because M.S. students are required to complete a thesis, the M.S. option is the best choice for students wishing to engage in geographical research projects or in preparation for entrance into a doctoral program.


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M.A. applicants should follow the admissions process described at www.marshall.edu/graduate.

M.S. applicants should follow the admissions process described at www.marshall.edu/graduate. In addition, M.S. applicants must:

  • Submit GRE (Graduate Record Examination) scores with the graduate application;
  • Have a minimum undergraduate GPA of 3.5  OR  minimum GRE scores of Verbal greater than or equal to 150 and Quantitative greater than or equal to 150 and Writing greater than or equal to 4.5.

Geography Core Courses


Students must complete the following courses in Geography:

  • GEO526 Principles of GIS (also offered online; requirement waived if taken as an undergraduate)
  • GEO540 Spatial Statistics and GIS (also offered online; requirement waived if taken as an undergraduate)
  • GEO615 Geographic Thought and Methods
  • GEO616 Geographical Research
  • GEO679 Applied Projects
  • GEO681 Thesis (M.S. only)

Geography Electives


Systematic Courses:

  • Historical Geography 501
  • Political Geography 505
  • Population Geography 506
  • Urban Geography 510
  • Economic Geography 607
  • Seminars 617-619

Regional Courses:

  • Geography of Appalachia 502
  • Geography of Europe 504 (also offered online)
  • Geography of South and Middle America 508
  • Regional Seminars 610-614
  • Regions of North America 623 (also offered online)

Techniques Courses:

  • Principles of GIS 526 (also offered online)
  • GIS Vector Analysis 529
  • GIS Raster Analysis 530
  • Principles of Remote Sensing and Photogrammetry 531
  • Enterprise GIS 532
  • GPS and Mobile Geospatial Technologies 533
  • Applied GIS Projects 631

Physical Courses:

  • Environmental Geography 522
  • Climatology 525
  • GIS Raster Analysis 530
  • Conservation 620

Graduate Minors in Geography

Graduate students pursuing degrees in other disciplines can choose from five different Graduate Minors in Geography.

  • Regional Geography
  • Physical Geography
  • Human Geography
  • Geographic Information Systems/Remote Sensing