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Geography - Graduate

Geography - Graduate

As a graduate student in geography, you will prepare to contribute new knowledge to the interdisciplinary field of geography. From political ecology to remote sensing and earth sciences, our graduate students integrate disparate knowledge bases to answer challenging research questions. If you are a curious person interested in learning more from the physical sciences, social sciences, and humanities to understand more of how human beings move through time and space, graduate study in geography just might be right for you!

The department offers a MA and a PhD in Geography. 

The Master’s program in Geography is typically a two year program. During that time, you will complete a small series of core courses and work closely with your faculty advisor to develop a curriculum that best suits your research interests. The program is designed to have you demonstrate that you are capable of identifying a research problem as well as marshalling the conceptual and methodological tools to address it.

The PhD program aims to train students to become broadly knowledgeable about the field of Geography as well as a specialist in a particular subfield. Students are expected to create new knowledge that is rigorously grounded in a robust and appropriate empirical and theoretical context.

Below is a list of some of the issues and topics our current graduate students are studying:

Human Geography

  • Conservation and Society
  • Constitutional Structures
  • Economic Regeneration
  • Experimental Archaeology
  • Feminist Political Ecology
  • Gentrification
  • Geoarchaeology
  • Human-Animal Relations
  • Human-Environment Geography
  • Nature and the Neoliberal City
  • Political Ecology
  • Sustainable Transportation
  • Sustainable Urban and Regional Planning
  • Urban Economic Development
  • Urban Geography

Physical Geography

  • Air pollution
  • Alpine hydrology
  • Climatology
  • Environmental change
  • Forest dynamics
  • Glaciers
  • Land-Atmosphere Interaction
  • Hydroclimatology
  • Hydrology
  • Paleoclimate

Geographic Information Science

  • Land Change Science
  • Machine Learning
  • Remote Sensing
  • Geospatial Artificial Intelligence (GeoAI)
  • GIS and Spatial Analysis
  • Spatial Analysis and Modeling


The Geography graduate program is designed to develop outstanding thinkers and to lay the foundation for rewarding careers. OSU Geography/Atmospheric Sciences has a long history of preparing students for diverse jobs in academia/education, government, the private sector, and non-profits. Master's graduates in particular have found that their intellectual and technical training in our department leads to fulfilling careers in multiple fields.

These include:

  • Conservationist
  • Census specialist
  • Waste & Pollution Manager
  • Urban & Regional Planner
  • Business analyst
  • Environmental specialist for the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency
  • Researcher (U.S. Geological Survey, National Resource and Conservation Departments Center for Atmospheric Research, Institute of Arctic and Alpine Research, etc.)
  • Risk analyst (insurance industry)

At the PhD level, we assume that the majority of our students will seek positions in academic or government research. We also encourage students to take advantage of the wealth of university resources aimed at helping students explore their career options (for example, the Graduate School's Versatile PhD.