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Masters Degree in Geography with Course Summaries

A master's degree in geography combines academic coursework with lab research and field visits. Get more information about the program and options for students after graduation.

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Essential Information

Two-year Master of Science (M.S.) degrees in geography combine research-intensive academic study with geography labs, field trips, and, sometimes, teaching assistantships. Prior to graduation, students must submit a thesis or capstone project that demonstrates proficiency in all areas of geography, including physical and environmental geography, human and regional geography, technical geography and behavioral geography. Some programs also offer students the option to specialize in a specific area, such as urban, economic, or political geography. In order to apply, students must submit college transcripts, letters of recommendation, GRE scores, and, in some cases, a cover letter explaining career interests and goals in geographical studies.


Find schools that offer these popular programs

  • Cartography
  • Geography

Master's Degree in Geography

A master's degree program in geography includes advanced geography courses, field visits and geography seminars. Many programs also offer teaching tracks that allow graduate students to assist in teaching undergraduate geography courses. Students spend much of their time conducting independent research alongside faculty members and other graduate students. Common areas of study include:

  • Geography economics
  • Cultural geography
  • Fundamentals of climatology
  • Urban and rural geography
  • Biogeography studies

Popular Career Options

After getting a master's degree in geography, students can pursue specialized careers in areas such as political geography, cartography, geomorphology, and industrial geography. Possible job titles include:

  • Physical geographer
  • Geographical technician
  • Geoscientist
  • Geographic information specialist

Continuing Education Information

After getting a master's degree in geography, students looking to pursue careers in research or academia can enroll in a doctoral program in geography. A doctoral degree allows students to obtain supervisory and research-intensive positions with universities, private research companies, and geographical organizations. Ph.D students can also qualify for geography grants, endowments, and other forms of research-based financial and personal assistance.

Master's degree programs in geography can prepare students for specialized careers in geography-related fields or further study in the field. Students may be able to choose concentrations that fit their career goals, and most programs culminate in a thesis or final project.

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