IUP’s Department of Geography and Regional Planning offers graduate programs leading to the degree of Master of Science in geography. The MS 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.
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.
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 MS 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.
Five courses from among the following:
Electives in GEOG and related fields
A three- or six-semester-hour internship may be included as an elective in the MS program.
* Required course for the track