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M.S. in Geography

IUP’s Department of Geography and Regional Planning offers graduate programs leading to the degree of Master of Science in geography. The M.S. program is designed to prepare students for a variety of careers as geographers in business, government, research, environmental, and planning organizations or for entry to a doctoral program at another university. Emphasis is placed upon developing professional competence in the tools, substance, methodology, and geographic theories.

Graduates of the program are employed by the state and federal government, city, county, and regional planning commissions, private consultant and engineering firms, business and industry, and colleges and universities. Knowledge of environmental processes, the organization and operation of the planning field, and geographic information systems is of value to the graduate in the job search.

Admission Criteria

Students who enter the program usually hold a bachelor’s degree in geography or one of the social sciences. Persons with degrees in education, science, or business also may qualify and often find a degree in geography of value. Applicants must take the Graduate Record Exam before they will be admitted to precandidacy status.

Program Requirements

The Master of Science program requires the student to complete a fifteen-credit track in GIS/Cartography, Regional Planning, or Environmental Planning. Each track includes two required courses and a list of options.

Selected courses in related fields may be applied toward the degree. All students will be expected to demonstrate proficiency in cartography in their thesis or portfolio. Both thesis and non-thesis options are available in the M.S. program. For students selecting the non-thesis option, a portfolio is a nongraded graduation requirement. A three-person faculty committee will evaluate the portfolio, which will include at least three of the student’s best pieces of work and written reflective analysis. The portfolio is submitted by the end of the first week of the semester the student is scheduled to graduate.

The graduate degree program requires a minimum of 33 semester hours of credit (including the thesis credits) for the thesis option or 39 hours for the non-thesis option. Three core courses must be included: GEOG 610, GEOG 612, and GEOG 614. Students may arrange an internship as part of their degree electives up to six credits.

I. Core Program (9 cr.)

GEOG 610 Research in Geography and Regional Planning 3 cr.
GEOG 612 Quantitative Techniques in Geography and Regional Planning 3 cr.
GEOG 614 Thought and Philosophy in Geography and Regional Planning 3 cr.

II. Tracks (Choose one)

A. GIS/Cartography Track (15 cr.)

Five courses from among the following:

GEOG 513* Cartography 3 cr.
GEOG 514 Map and Photograph Interpretation 3 cr.
GEOG 515 Remote Sensing 3 cr.
GEOG 516* Introduction to GIS 3 cr.
GEOG 517 Technical Issues in GIS 3 cr.
GEOG 617 Field Techniques in Geography and Planning 3 cr.
GEOG 618 GIS Applications Development 3 cr.

B. Regional Planning Track (15 cr.)

Five courses from among the following:

GEOG 531 Population Geography 3 cr.
GEOG 532 Urban Geography 3 cr.
GEOG 533 Geography of Transportation and Trade 3 cr.
GEOG 534 Political Geography 3 cr.
GEOG 536 Social Geography 3 cr.
GEOG 550* Introduction to Planning 3 cr.
GEOG 552* Planning Methods 3 cr.
GEOG 554 Planning Design 3 cr.
GEOG 558 Land Use Law 3 cr.
GEOG 564* Land Use Policy 3 cr.
GEOG 568 Planning Theory 3 cr.
GEOG 617 Field Techniques in Geography and Planning 3 cr.
GEOG 620 Spatial Structure of the Economy 3 cr.
GEOG 623 Regional Development 3 cr.
GEOG 625 Environmental Planning 3 cr.
GEOG 633 Settlement Geography 3 cr.
GEOG 665 Plan Implementation 3 cr.
PLSC 668 Public Sector Financial Administration 3 cr.

C. Environmental Planning Track (15 cr.)

Five courses from among the following:

GEOG 515 Remote Sensing 3 cr.
GEOG 516 Introduction to GIS 3 cr.
GEOG 540* Conservation: Environmental Analysis 3 cr.
GEOG 541 Climatology 3 cr.
GEOG 542 Physiography 3 cr.
GEOG 558 Land Use Law 3 cr.
GEOG 564 Land Use Policy 3 cr.
GEOG 617 Field Techniques in Geography and Planning 3 cr.
GEOG 625* Environmental Planning 3 cr.

III. Electives and/or Thesis (Choose one)

A. Thesis Option (9 cr.)

Electives in GEOG and related fields   3-8 cr.
GEOG 795 Thesis 1-6 cr.

or

B. Non-Thesis Option (15 cr.)

Electives in GEOG and related fields

A three- or six-semester-hour internship may be included as an elective in the M.S. program.

* Required course for the track

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