MA in Geography and Environmental Studies


Program Description

The Master of Arts in Geography and Environmental Studies is a program offered in the evenings and on weekends. The program is designed for students with various academic backgrounds who are interested in a career that spans the human and natural environments -- the social and physical sciences -- and who desire the spatial analytical skills of geography. Graduate students develop an area of proficiency within the broad scope of the environmental policy, planning, and management or within the geographic realm of spatial analysis. The program is both theoretical and practical; students gain knowledge, conceptual skills, and technical skills. The program provides a solid basis for a career, a career shift, career enhancement, or preparation for post-graduate studies

Students are expected to:

  • acquire knowledge about human-environmental relations in which the environment is considered as both space and milieu;
  • acquire knowledge of rapidly changing landscapes, synthesizing diverse but interrelated information;
  • acquire knowledge related to locational studies concerning geometrics of movement, size, shape, and distance;
  • acquire knowledge related to environmental resources including interpretation, planning, development, use, and conservation;
  • acquire knowledge related to socio-economic development;
  • use computer cartography and geographic information systems to analyze, monitor, evaluate, and project spatial data;
  • refine skills related to map interpretation, composition, types, and preparation, and in the interpretation of aerial photographs, field observation, and satellite imagery;
  • refine skills in collection and analysis of statistical data;
  • develop skills related to computerized data processing;
  • refine computational and oral as well as written communication and research skills.

Career Options

The M.A. in Geography and Environmental Studies can land a career in government, industry and non-profit organizations, such as:

  • environmental educator and professional
  • geographer
  • regional planner
  • industrial development specialist
  • research analyst
  • geographic information systems specialist

Degree Requirements

All graduate credits must be at the 400 level, except for a maximum of 10 credit hours from a limited list of university-approved 300-level courses. Students should consult with the Department for the limited list; some courses on the list may require specific approval by the Department’s Graduate Coordinator.

Students must write either a thesis (6 credits) or major research paper (3 credits) under the supervision of a Program Advisor and faculty committee. A formal approval of the proposal by the committee is required prior to registration. For students undertaking the thesis, an oral defense is also required. For students enrolled in the research paper option, a written comprehensive examination covering their chosen area of specialization as well as knowledge of geography, environmental studies, and disciplinary techniques must be completed.

Required Courses
GES-411 Scope And Philosophy Of Geography And Environmental Studies 3
GES-413 Advanced Research Methods 3
Select two of the following: 6
GES-391 Geographic Information Systems I
GES-442 Geographic Problems In Quantitative Measurements
GES-440 Qualitative Research Methods In Geography & Environmental Studies
One of the following: 3-6
GES-430 Research Seminar
OR 6 credit hours of Thesis Hours (GES 5901, 5902, 5903)
Approved Electives 15-18
Total Hours 33

Students enrolled in the thesis option (6 credit hours) are required to take 15 credit hours of electives, while students enrolled in the non-thesis option (3 credit hours) are required to take 18 credit hours of electives. In that way, along with the other requirements of the program, ALL students finish with a total of 33 credit hours.

Pass Comprehensive Exam (research paper option)

Thesis Defense (thesis option)

Last updated Oct 2018

About the School

Northeastern’s diverse academic offerings, student population and learning opportunities are just a few of the reasons NEIU is a unique and vibrant place to earn a degree. Our mission, vision, values ... Read More

Northeastern’s diverse academic offerings, student population and learning opportunities are just a few of the reasons NEIU is a unique and vibrant place to earn a degree. Our mission, vision, values and support services are all here to help you reach your full potential. We invite you to take a closer look at our programs. We look forward to discussing your options with you. Read less