Geographical Sciences, Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.)

For those entering with a Master's degree in Geography, the PhD should be completed withing 4 years; For those entering with a Bachelor's or without a Geography background, the PhD should be completed within 5 years. Part-time study takes longer, but at least 1 year full-time attendance is required. Students entering with a B.A. or without a Geography background will take one course each in the following areas: Human, Physical, and Methods. See the PhD Handbook for further details.

Students without a Geography background should complete an additional 9 credits in the following areas:

  • Environmental and Biological Aspects of Earth Systems Science,
  • Human Dimensions of Global Change, and
  • Geospatial Information Sciences.

Advance to Candidacy:  In addition to course requirements, students must successfully pass an annual faculty review, a portfolio assessment, and successfully defend a dissertation prospectus.

Post-Candidacy: In addition to annual faculty reviews, students complete at least 12 credits of GEOG899 Doctoral Dissertation Research as well as successfully defend and submit an original dissertation. 

Course Title Credits
Required courses:
GEOG601The Nature and Practice of Science3
GEOG606Quantitative Spatial Analysis3
or GEOG636 Qualitative Methods in Geography
GEOG608Comprehensive Portfolio Assessment Summary1-3
GEOG788Selected Topics in Geography (GEOG788D - Selected Topics in Geography)3
GEOG798Selected Topics in Geography: Seminar Series2
Pass a portfolio assessment
Dissertation Research Requirements
GEOG899Doctoral Dissertation Research12
Total Credits24-26