Pennsylvania State University (Penn State) and Syracuse University were both ranked among the top 100 national universities in 2015 by U.S. News and World Report, and Penn State was the higher ranked school. Although both schools offer master's degree programs in geography, their degree programs and specialization options differ. Penn State offers a Master of Science with four specialization options and Syracuse offers a Master of Arts. Additionally, Penn State offers a professional degree option for those who want to study geographic information systems.
Pennsylvania State University
In 2015, Pennsylvania State University in State College, Pennsylvania was ranked the #48 best national university by U.S. News and World Report. Penn State's College of Earth and Mineral Sciences offers a Master of Science in Geography degree program. This 2-year program is finished with a thesis. Students will participate in activities that will expand their knowledge of geography. There are also Graduate Teaching Assistantships and Graduate Research Assistantships. The school offers Climate Research in Geography, Vegetation Dynamics Lab, Landscape Ecology, and Ecosystem Research in Geography.
Syracuse University (SU) in New York was ranked 58th among top national universities by U.S. News and World Report in 2015. The Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs offers a B.A. in Geography program, which requires at least 33 credits in geography. Master's and Doctoral degrees are also available, in addition to a Ph.D., which requires students to have completed their Master's at the time of matriculation. The university also offers several specializations, including Political Economy and Geographic Information Technology. The Department of Geography at Syracuse University offers two laboratories and three extensive libraries.
Top Geography Masters Programs
Penn State and SU are not the only schools offering highly ranked programs. There are additional schools around the country offering some of the top geography master's degree programs.
- Arizona State University, located in Tempe, AZ, offers fellowship, scholarship, teaching assistant and research assistant awards.
- Boston University, located in Boston, MA, is home to nearly a dozen specialized lab and research facilities.
- Clark University, in Worcester, MA, is top-ranked for geography by the National Research Council.
- The Ohio State University, in Columbus, OH hosts the Geography Instructional Laboratory and the Center for Urban and Regional Analysis.
- Rutgers University, located in New Brunswick, NJ gives students the opportunity to participate in Graduate Geographers Project.
- Texas A & M University in College Station, TX, has a geography department offers study abroad and field trip programs.
- University of Minnesota - Twin Cities, offers research-oriented MA and terminal MGIS degree programs.
- University of Texas at Austin is home to Environmental Information Systems Laboratory and Applied Geomorphology and Geo-Archaeology Laboratory.
There are many top schools and programs across the country for earning a geography master's degree, but the top two schools are Penn State and Syracuse University.