Graduate Program

Graduate Program Director
Prof. Christopher D. Lippitt
geography@unm.edu


Degrees and Certificate Offered

  • Master of Science in Geography (M.S.)
    Concentrations: Environmental Studies; Geographic Information Science.
  • Doctor of Philosophy in Geography (Ph.D.)
  • Graduate Certificate in Law, Environment, and Geography (GCERT)

Shared-Credit Undergraduate/Graduate Degrees Program

The Department of Geography and Environmental Studies and the Department of Economics offer a Shared-Credit Undergraduate/Graduate Degrees Program. The Program enables completion a Bachelor of Arts (B.A.) in Economics (with one of three undergraduate minors from Geography and Environmental Studies), and an M.S. in Geography in five years of study. For information, see the Economics: Undergraduate Program section of this Catalog.


Application Deadlines

Master of Science: February 1, for Fall admission.
Doctor of Philosophy: January 15, for Fall admission.
Graduate Certificate: February 1.


Master of Science in Geography

The Master of Science (M.S.) in Geography is offered under both Plan I and Plan II as described in the Graduate Program section of this Catalog. The Plan I option is recommended for students planning to enter a Ph.D. program after completion of the M.S. degree. The Plan II option is recommended for students who are pursuing an M.S. degree for professional career advancement. A minor may be taken under either plan with the approval of the Geography and Environmental Studies Department’s Graduate Program Director.

Minimum requirements for the M.S. in Geography degree are as follows:

 
 
Credit
Hours
GEOG 501 History and Methods in Geography 3
GEOG 502 Approaches to Geographic Research 3
Plan I Concentration in Environmental Studies
(Additional courses)
GEOG 514
-or-
GEOG 515
-or-
GEOG 516
Natural Resources Management Seminar

Seminar in Geographies of Power

Seminar: Globalization and Development 
3
Two additional courses from the Environmental Studies List: *445, *450, 514, 515, 516, 561, 562, 563, 564, 566, 567, 569. 6
One course from the GIScience List: *481L, 522, 524, 525, 527, 528, 580L, 581L, 583L, 584L, 585L, 586L, 587L, 588L, 590. 3-4
Two elective courses 6
GEOG 599 Master's Thesis 6
Total 30-31
Plan I Concentration in Geographic Information Science  
(Additional courses)  
GEOG 525 Advanced GIScience Seminar 3
Three additional courses from the GIScience List: *481L, 522, 524, 527, 528, 580L, 581L, 583L, 584L, 585L, 586L, 587L, 588L, 590. 9-11
One course from the Environmental Studies List: *445, *450, 514, 515, 516, 561, 562, 563, 564, 566, 567, 569. 3
One elective course 3
GEOG 599 Master's Thesis 6
Total 30-32
Plan II Concentration in Environmental Studies  
(Additional courses)  
GEOG 514
-or-
GEOG 515
-or-
GEOG 516
Natural Resources Management Seminar

Seminar in Geographies of Power

Seminar: Globalization and Development
3
Three additional courses from the Environmental Studies List: *445, *450, 514, 515, 516, 561, 562, 563, 564, 566, 567, 569. 9
One course from the GIScience List: *481L, 522, 524, 525, 527, 528, 580L, 581L, 583L, 584L, 585L, 586L, 587L, 588L. 3-4
GEOG 597 Master's Project 3
Three elective courses 9
Total 33-34
Plan II Concentration in Geographic Information Science
(Additional courses)
GEOG 525 Advanced GIScience Seminar 3
Four additional courses from the GIScience List: *481L, 522, 524, 527, 528, 580L, 581L, 583L, 584L, 585L, 586L, 587L, 588L, 590. 12-14
Two courses from the Environmental Studies List: *445, *450, 514, 515, 516, 561, 562, 563, 564, 566, 567, 569. 6
GEOG 597 Master's Project 3
One elective course 3
Total 33-35


Courses in related fields may be substituted with the approval of the Graduate Program Director. To complete the degree, Plan I students must complete a thesis acceptable to the Graduate Committee, and are examined orally on their thesis; Plan II students must complete a professional research project acceptable to the Graduate Committee and are examined orally on their research project.

A graduate student who elects to pursue the Master of Science in Geography should have either an undergraduate degree in geography (or related field) or be prepared to make up deficiencies as determined by the Geography and Environmental Studies Department’s Graduate Admissions Committee. Incoming students will be assigned an academic advisor to help design a plan of study, and to guide the student through their thesis or research project. All plans of study are subject to approval by the Graduate Program Director. Students must earn grades of "B" (3.0 GPA) or better in all courses on their plan of study. GRE scores are required for application to the M.S. program.


Doctor of Philosophy in Geography

The Department of Geography and Environmental Studies at UNM offers a Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) in Geography through the New Mexico Doctoral Program in Geography, which is administered and delivered collaboratively by Geography faculty at the University of New Mexico and New Mexico State University (NMSU). This innovative program focuses on integrative human-environment dynamics and is designed to recruit and train the next generation of resource managers, policy thinkers, geospatial innovators, professional scientists, and academic leaders who are needed to solve complex contemporary problems in dynamic environments. The program can be pursued with either university as the home institution and does not require changing residency during the program.

Admission

Applicants must have a master's degree in geography or a related field, with demonstrated professional research capacity as a fundamental expectation. GPA and GRE scores must be submitted but will not individually determine whether an applicant will be admitted. International students are expected to demonstrate proficiency in English through the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL). All candidates must submit three letters of reference from academic referees and/or supervisors at workplaces in fields related to the applicant's planned field of study. A letter of intent that explains the applicant's interests and identifies a desired advisor at the home institution as well as a primary sponsor at the partner institution is also required. Application is made directly to the desired home institution.

A joint committee of UNM and NMSU faculty reviews and approves admission to the program. The most competitive applicants to the program will show evidence of a completed or in-progress thesis in geography or a related discipline.

Requirements

General guidelines for completion of the Ph.D. are set forth in the Graduate Program section of this Catalog. At least 48 credit hours of coursework, exclusive of dissertation, are required for the Ph.D. in Geography:

  • Introductory graduate sequence: GEOG 601, 602, 603 with grades of "B" or better (9 credit hours);
  • Additional coursework as determined by the student's doctoral committee, which provides the student with sufficient opportunity to develop and demonstrate competency in three disciplinary subfields: human geography, physical geography, and geographic information science and technology (GIS&T). The doctoral committee will evaluate existing competencies in a first-semester diagnostic interview and will then provide individualized guidelines for the student's program of study that leads to successful demonstration of these competencies. Up to 15 credit hours of coursework may be taken at NMSU.

The student must maintain an overall GPA of at least 3.0 in all coursework.

Comprehensive Qualifying Examination: The comprehensive qualifying examination is taken after completion of coursework. The primary purpose of this written exam is to demonstrate broad competency in the three disciplinary subfields.

Oral Research Examination: The oral research examination is completed after the comprehensive qualifying exam, and requires the student to defend a research proposal, demonstrate research expertise, and address any concerns identified during the evaluation of the comprehensive qualifying exam. Upon successful completion, the student advances to Ph.D. candidacy.

Dissertation: 18 credit hours of dissertation are required. The dissertation must comprise a unified body of original research, as guided by the student's doctoral committee and faculty advisor. After the written dissertation is submitted to the student's doctoral committee, it must be orally defended in a public presentation that constitutes the final examination for completion of the degree.


Graduate Certificate in Law, Environment, and Geography

This program is in moratorium and is not accepting new students.

The Graduate Certificate in Law, Environment, and Geography seeks to provide students both tools and analytic frames for understanding the spatial and legal dimensions of environmental dynamics and challenges. While the law can be a powerful tool for addressing issues of environmental regulation and resource management, the ways we write and enforce our laws can substantially impact environmental dynamics. The spatial dimensions of these impacts, and the inherent spatiality of legal regulatory concerns are pressing concerns for environmental researchers and policymakers. By offering a curriculum that stresses these interconnections, the Graduate Certificate in Law, Environment, and Geography empowers students to ask critical questions about how human regulation and environmental dynamics interact at a variety of scales.

Admission Information

Requirements and Qualifications

Students must be either:

  • currently enrolled in one of the graduate programs in the School of Arts and Sciences, with a minimum GPA of 3.0; or
  • a recipient of a professional degree in geography, law, environmental science, or environmental management; or
  • graduate students currently enrolled in other programs. Individuals without a professional degree in geography, law, environmental science, or environmental management may be admitted by the Certificate Director upon demonstration of adequate preparation, skills, and aptitude.

Students who are not currently enrolled as degree-seeking graduate students at the University must apply to and be accepted for admissions by the Department of Geography and Environmental Studies. It is not possible to gain admission into the certificate program prior to gaining admission into a UNM graduate program, but coursework taken before admission to the certificate program may be applied to requirements, unless the coursework has been used to satisfy requirements for another degree or certificate program.

Application Submission Requirements

These materials should demonstrate (1) serious initial investigation and/or interest in environmental law and/or regulatory issues, (2) strong academic credentials, (3) ability to write cogently, and (4) a clear and compelling set of goals.

  • A Curriculum Vitae.
  • A statement of intent outlining the applicant's goals in pursuing the certificate, proposed program of studies, and schedule for completion.
  • A writing sample of no more than five 8.5"x11" pages.
  • A current academic transcript.
  • Either GRE or LSAT scores from the previous five years.
  • Names and contact information for two people who can speak to the applicant's qualifications for the certificate program.

The Certificate Director may waive any of the above requirements if the application as a whole demonstrates that the student has the skills, background, and ability to successfully complete the Graduate Certificate. 

Requirements

The Graduate Certificate in Law, Environment, and Geography requires 18 credit hours of upper-division coursework. Topics must be approved by the Certificate Director in advance. All electives should be chosen in consultation with the Certificate Director. Only 3 credit hours of credit/no credit coursework may be applied towards the certificate.

Credit
Hours
Required Geography Course 3
GEOG 517 Legal Geography
Elective Geography Courses
9
Select from:
GEOG 514 Natural Resources Management Seminar
GEOG 515 Seminar in Geographies of Power
GEOG 516 Seminar: Globalization and Development
GEOG 561 Environmental Management
GEOG 562 Water Resources Management
GEOG 563 Public Lands Management
GEOG 564 Food and Natural Resources
Elective Non-Geography Courses 6
Select from:
AMST 520 T: Environmental and Social Justice
AMST 523 Environmentalism of the Poor
CRP 527 Watershed Management
CRP 532 Foundations of Natural Resources
ECON 542 T: Environmental, Resource, and Ecological Economics
ECON 545 Water Resources II - Models
ECON 546 Water Resources I - Contemporary Issues
HIST 633 U.S. Environmental History
HIST 638 American Legal History Before 1877
LAW 547 Water Law
LAW 565 Natural Resources
LAW 580 Environmental Law
LAW 593 T: Law
LAW 635 Land Use Regulation
Total 18

Courses

GEOG 1115. Maps and GIScience. (3)



GEOG 1115L. Maps and GIScience Laboratory. (1)



GEOG 1150. Introduction to Environmental Studies. (3)



GEOG 1160. Home Planet: Land, Water and Life. (3)



GEOG 1160L. Home Planet Laboratory. (1)



GEOG 1165. People and Place. (3)



GEOG 1175. World Regional Geography. (3)



GEOG 1970. World of Beer. (3)



GEOG 1996. Topics. (1-6, no limit Δ)



GEOG 2115. Information Design in Science and Society. (3)



GEOG 217. Energy, Environment and Society. (3)



GEOG 254. Introduction to Latin American Society I: Social Sciences. (3)



GEOG 2996. Topics. (1-6, no limit Δ)



GEOG 340. Latin American Culture and Society. (3)



GEOG 350. Field Methods in Geography. (3)



GEOG 352. Global Climate Change. (3)



GEOG **360. Land Use Management. (3)



GEOG 364. Law, Place and Space. (3)



GEOG 365. Nature and Society. (3)



GEOG 380L. Basic Statistics for Geographers. (3)



GEOG **381L. Introduction to Geographic Information Systems. (4)



GEOG 390. Qualitative Methods for Geographers. (3)



GEOG 413 / 513. Critical Cartography. (3)



GEOG 427 / 527. Introductory Programming for GIS. (3)



GEOG 428 / 528. Advanced Programming for GIS. (3)



GEOG 440 / 540. Geographies of the Body. (3)



GEOG *445. Geography of New Mexico and the Southwest. (3)



GEOG *446. Exploring Oaxaca Through Food and Craft. (3)



GEOG *450. Hazards and Disasters. (3)



GEOG 453/553. Environmental Systems Modeling. (3)



GEOG 461 / 561. Environmental Management. (3)



GEOG 462 / 562. Water Governance. (3)



GEOG 463 / 563. Public Land Management. (3)



GEOG 464 / 564. Food, Environment, and Society [Food and Natural Resources]. (3)



GEOG 466 / 566. The City. (3)



GEOG 467 / 567. Governing the Global Environment. (3)



GEOG 469 / 569. Environments and Peoples in Latin America. (3)



GEOG 470 / 570. Environmental Security: Energy. (3)



GEOG 471. Senior Geography Capstone. (1)



GEOG 472 / 572. Environmental Security: Food and Water. (3)



GEOG *481L. Map Design and Geovisualization. (4)



GEOG 483L / 583L. Remote Sensing Fundamentals. (4)



GEOG 484L / 584L. Applications of Remote Sensing. (4)



GEOG 485L / 585L. Internet Mapping. (3)



GEOG 486L / 586L. Applications of GIS. (3)



GEOG 487L / 587L. Spatial Analysis and Modeling. (3)



GEOG 488L / 588L. GIS Concepts and Techniques. (3)



GEOG 491. Problems. (1-3 to a maximum of 6 Δ [1-3 to a maximum of 3 Δ])



GEOG 493. Internship in Applied Geography. (1-3 to a maximum of 3 Δ)



GEOG *499. Topics in Geography. (1-3 to a maximum of 6 Δ)



GEOG 501. Geographic History and Methods. (3)



GEOG 502. Approaches to Geographical Research. (3)



GEOG 513 / 413. Critical Cartography. (3)



GEOG 514. Natural Resources Management Seminar. (3 to a maximum of 6 Δ)



GEOG 515. Seminar in Geographies of Power. (3, may be repeated once Δ)



GEOG 516. Seminar: Globalization and Development. (3)



GEOG 522. Introduction to Spatial Data Management. (3)



GEOG 524. Advanced Topics in Remote Sensing. (3)



GEOG 525. Advanced GIScience Seminar. (3)



GEOG 527 / 427. Introductory Programming for GIS. (3)



GEOG 528 / 428. Advanced Programming for GIS. (3)



GEOG 540/440. Geographies of the Body. (3)



GEOG 551. Drylands. (3)



GEOG 561 / 461. Environmental Management. (3)



GEOG 562 / 462. Water Governance. (3)



GEOG 563 / 463. Public Land Management. (3)



GEOG 564 / 464. Food, Environment, and Society [Food and Natural Resources]. (3)



GEOG 566 / 466. The City. (3)



GEOG 567 / 467. Governing the Global Environment. (3)



GEOG 569 / 469. Environments and Peoples in Latin America. (3)



GEOG 570/470. Environmental Security: Energy. (3)



GEOG 572 / 472. Environmental Security: Food and Water. (3)



GEOG 580L. Spatial Statistics. (3)



GEOG 581L. Introduction to GIS for Graduate Students. (3)



GEOG 583L / 483L. Remote Sensing Fundamentals. (4)



GEOG 584L / 484L. Applications of Remote Sensing. (4)



GEOG 585L / 485L. Internet Mapping. (3)



GEOG 586L / 486L. Applications of GIS. (3)



GEOG 587L / 487L. Spatial Analysis and Modeling. (3)



GEOG 588L / 488L. GIS Concepts and Techniques. (3)



GEOG 590. Qualitative Methods. (3)



GEOG 591. Problems. (1-3 to a maximum of 3 Δ)



GEOG 593. Internship in Applied Geography. (1-3 to a maximum of 3 Δ)



GEOG 597. Master's Project. (3)



GEOG 598. Topics in Geography. (1-3 to a maximum of 6 Δ)



GEOG 599. Master's Thesis. (1-6, no limit Δ)



GEOG 601. Introduction to Geographic Theory and Application. (3)



GEOG 602. Integrative Research Design. (3)



GEOG 603. Professional Geographic Practice. (3)



GEOG 699. Dissertation. (3-12, no limit Δ)



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