College of Liberal Arts & Sciences
The master of arts (M.A.) is a two year graduate program, with thesis and professional (non-thesis) options. The M.A. program prepares students for a professional career or more advanced studies. Competence in a specific area of geography (e.g., GIScience, health geography), across the breadth of geography, and in geographic methods is demonstrated by completion of an appropriate sequence of courses, plus (a) completion of an M.A. thesis or (b) a portfolio review for a professional M.A.
The MA degree (with thesis) requires a minimum of 30 semester hours of graduate work and is typically completed in four semesters. Choosing a research topic for an M.A. thesis evolves from discussions with your advisor. You will develop a thesis based on knowledge of a geography area of specialization, gained through supervised reading of academic literature, coursework in the department and related fields, and independent research.
The M.A. with specialization in GISciences is a coursework only program, designed to be completed over a 2-year period. The program builds skills across the range of GIScience topics in our department in the first year and further develops these in particular application areas in the second year. It requires a minimum of 32 semester hours of graduate work, of which 15 semester hours must be earned in courses numbered 5000 and above.
For more information on the MA Degree, please refer to chapter 5 of our Graduate Student Handbook, or contact the Director of Graduate Studies.