Geography, Ph.D.

For information regarding deadlines and requirements for admission, please see

In addition to the application materials required by the Graduate School, applicants must submit a 250-500 word personal statement.

Degree Program Requirements

Required: 45-54 credit hours

At least 27 of the 33 credits in required core and cluster courses (excluding dissertation) must be at the 600 level or higher. Up to 9 credits of course work may be transferred from another institution on approval of the department.

Required Core Courses (9 credits)
GES 701History of Geographic Thought3
GES 702Research Design3
GES 720Advanced Spatial Analysis3
Courses Required from Geography Clusters (24 credits)
Select 24 credits from courses in the three geography clusters in the program *24
Dissertation (12-21 credits)
GES 799Doctoral Dissertation Research12-21
Total Credit Hours45-54

These three clusters are:

  • Geographic Information Sciences
  • Human Geography
  • Physical Geography

Students are required to complete two courses in each of the three clusters and an additional two courses related to the dissertation research cluster.

Required Milestones*

  • Diagnostic Exam
  • Residency (Immersion)
  • Plan of Study
  • Research Competency
  • Comprehensive Exam (Written & Oral)
  • Dissertation Proposal
  • Admission to Candidacy
  • Dissertation Defense
  • Filing the Final Approved Dissertation

General information about milestones for doctoral programs is available in Section III of the Graduate Policies page in the University Catalog. For information about how milestones are accomplished for a specific program, please refer to the doctoral program's handbook.