Environmental and Urban Geography (MA)

Environmental and Urban Geography (MA)

The Department of Anthropology offers courses leading to a Master of Arts in Environmental and Urban Geography.

The program in Environmental and Urban Geography program has two areas of specialization:

  1. Study in environmental behavior and cognition, and environmental management and policy analysis
  2. Urban geography, including the environmental impacts of urbanization, industrial and commercial development, transportation geography, residential area analysis, and urban and regional structures.

Specific programs of study are developed by the individual student and faculty advisers from courses in the areas of specialization, supporting electives in geography, and courses offered in cognate disciplines of several colleges at UIC. The program offers both non-thesis and thesis options.

The Master of Arts program is designed primarily to prepare students for professional careers and continued study through the offering of broad training in the theoretical and applied aspects of the discipline.

Students interested in the program should contact
John Monaghan, PhD, Director of Geographic Studies, before applying.

About The Program

The content and structure of the MA in Environmental and Urban Geography is designed to respond to societal challenges in the subject areas of the environment and urban structures. The technical and skills components of the program are in the areas of computer cartography and geographic information systems (GIS). There is an emphasis on applied geography in the areas of computer cartography, environmental analysis, environmental policy, geographic information systems and archaeology.

Faculty and graduate students participate in interdisciplinary activities. Students in the geography program are also encouraged to pursue interests in cognate fields, which may included course work at the School of Public Health, the School of Urban Planning and Policy, and the College of Engineering, as well as in disciplines in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences.

Depending on the interests of the students, we offer either a thesis or a non-thesis option within the program.

  • The non-thesis option is intended for people who are interested primarily in upgrading professional skills for career advancement, and/or who are interested in applied aspects of the discipline. A range of courses apply the principles of geographic inquiry to real world problems confronting environmentalists and urban systems.
  • The thesis option is for students who want to specialize in research in selected areas of environmental and urban geography and who may consider further graduate study in geography or an allied discipline.


Admissions Requirements

Applicants are considered on an individual basis. In addition to the Graduate College minimum requirements, applicants must meet the following program requirements:

  • Baccalaureate Field: No restrictions
  • Grade Point Average: At least 3.00/4.00 for the final 60 semester hours (90 quarter hours) of undergraduate study
  • Tests Required: GRE General
  • Minimum English Competency Test Score:
    • TOEFL 550 (paper-based); 213 (computer-based); 80, with subscores of Reading 19, Listening 17, Speaking 20, and Writing 21 (iBT Internet-based),
    • OR IELTS 6.5, with subscores of 6.0 for all four subscores.
  • Letters of Recommendation: Three required
  • Personal Statement: Required
  • Deadline for applications: December 15


Degree Requirements

In addition to the Graduate College minimum requirements, students must meet the following program requirements for a Master of Arts:

  • Minimum Semester Hours Required: 32
  • Course Work: At least 9 hours must be in 500-level geography courses (excluding GEOG 592 and 595). For students with an undergraduate geography major, at least 6 hours must be in cognate courses recognized by the student’s faculty advisor as supporting the student’s program of study.
    • Required Courses: GEOG 595. Non-thesis students must take 8 semester hours in geographic information systems or cartography and remote sensing.
    • Electives: Non-thesis students must take 5 courses, including at least two 500-level seminars, to define a program major either in environmental or urban geography, and 1 geography course outside their major area. No more than 8 hours may be taken in other disciplines by non-thesis students; outside courses must support the student’s major.
  • Comprehensive Examination: A written comprehensive examination is required for students who do not complete a thesis.
  • Thesis or Course-Work-Only Options: Thesis or course work only. No other options available.
    • Thesis: Thesis students must earn at least 9 hours in GEOG 596 and 598, of which at least 6 hours must be in GEOG 598; no more than 9 hours of GEOG 598 can be applied to the degree.