Twin Cities campus
Twin Cities Campus

Geography M.A.

Geography, Environment, Society
College of Liberal Arts
Link to a list of faculty for this program.
Contact Information
Department of Geography, 414 Social Sciences Building, 267 19th Avenue South, Minneapolis, MN 55455 (612-625-6080; fax: 612-624-1044)
  • Program Type: Master's
  • Requirements for this program are current for Fall 2020
  • Length of program in credits: 30
  • This program does not require summer semesters for timely completion.
  • Degree: Master of Arts
Along with the program-specific requirements listed below, please read the General Information section of this website for requirements that apply to all major fields.
The geography graduate program at the University of Minnesota reflects the intellectual breadth of the discipline by maintaining strengths in the broad areas of human geography, physical geography, nature-society relationships, and geographic information science. Faculty and students are engaged in teaching and research both within and across these broad areas as evidenced by prominent research themes within the program: culture, place, and flow; environmental change; geographies of the information society; geovisualization; globalization and uneven development; governance, citizenship, and justice; metropolis and world; and nature and society. To support students in gaining both depth and breadth within the discipline, the program is highly individualized with a limited number of requirements. Students work with their advisers to design individual programs suited to their educational and professional goals.
Program Delivery
  • via classroom (the majority of instruction is face-to-face)
Prerequisites for Admission
The preferred undergraduate GPA for admittance to the program is 3.50.
Undergraduate degrees need not be from a program in geography. However, students whose previous work is not in geography may be asked to complete specific courses that do not provide graduate credit.
International applicants must submit score(s) from one of the following tests:
    • Internet Based - Total Score: 100
    • Internet Based - Writing Score: 24
    • Internet Based - Reading Score: 22
    • Paper Based - Total Score: 600
    • Total Score: 7.0
    • Final score: 84
The preferred English language test is Test of English as Foreign Language.
Key to test abbreviations (TOEFL, IELTS, MELAB).
For an online application or for more information about graduate education admissions, see the General Information section of this website.
Program Requirements
Plan A: Plan A requires 14 major credits, 6 credits outside the major, and 10 thesis credits. The final exam is written and oral.
Plan B: Plan B requires 24 major credits and 6 credits outside the major. The final exam is oral. A capstone project is required.
Capstone Project:Three Plan B papers are required. These papers have the quality but not the scope of a master's thesis, and usually are enhanced versions of research papers done in connection with coursework and seminars.
This program may be completed with a minor.
Use of 4xxx courses toward program requirements is permitted under certain conditions with adviser approval.
Language Requirement: Competency in a foreign language.
A minimum GPA of 2.80 is required for students to remain in good standing.
Required Coursework
GEOG 8001 - Problems in Geographic Thought (3.0 cr)
GEOG 8405 - Seminar: Graduate Student Professional Development (1.0 cr)
Additional Geography Coursework
Take exactly 6 credit(s) from the following:
· GEOG 8xxx
Methods Coursework Requirement
Take at least 4 credits of methods coursework, chosen in consultation with the advisor.
Outside Coursework
Take at least 6 credits outside the major.
Plan Options
Plan A
Thesis Credits
Take 10 or more credit(s) from the following:
· GEOG 8777 - Thesis Credits: Master's (1.0-18.0 cr)
Plan B
Additional Major Elective Credits
Take 10 or more credit(s) from the following:
· GEOG 5xxx
· GEOG 8xxx
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· College of Liberal Arts

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GEOG 8001 - Problems in Geographic Thought
Credits: 3.0 [max 3.0]
Grading Basis: A-F or Aud
Typically offered: Periodic Fall
Currents of geographic thought in biophysical, GIS, human, cultural, and human-environment subfields. Focuses on concepts/paradigms through which geographers have attempted to unify/codify the discipline, around which debate has flourished, and about which interdisciplinary histories can be traced.
GEOG 8405 - Seminar: Graduate Student Professional Development
Credits: 1.0 [max 2.0]
Grading Basis: S-N or Aud
Typically offered: Periodic Fall & Spring
Strategies for success in graduate program. Preparation for a career as a geographer. Completing/defending the dissertation. Publishing, job search, tenure process, oral presentations, non-academic career paths. prereq: Geography grad student
GEOG 8777 - Thesis Credits: Master's
Credits: 1.0 -18.0 [max 50.0]
Grading Basis: No Grade
Typically offered: Every Fall, Spring & Summer
(No description) prereq: Max 18 cr per semester or summer; 10 cr total required [Plan A only]