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.)

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 provided in the following table. The
requirements that a given course can satisfy are generally indicated by the course number. For instance,
courses in the range 510-519 (written below as 510s) are Environmental Studies seminars.

 
 
Credit
Hours
History and Methods in Geography: GEOG 501 3
Approaches to Geographic Research: GEOG 502 3
Plan I Concentration in Environmental Studies
(Additional courses)
One Environmental Studies seminar: any course in the 510s. 3
Two additional courses from the Environmental Studies List: *450, *475, or
courses in the 510s, 540s, 550s, 560s, or 570s.
6
One course from the GIScience List: *421L, or courses in the 520s or 580s. 3-4
Two elective courses 6
Master's Thesis: GEOG 599 6
Total 30-31
Plan I Concentration in Geographic Information Science  
(Additional courses)  
One GIScience Seminar: GEOG 524 or GEOG 525. 3
Three additional courses from the GIScience List: *421L, or courses in the
520s or 580s.
9-11
One course from the Environmental Studies List: *450, *475, or courses in the
510s, 540s, 550s, 560s, or 570s.
3
One elective course 3
Master's Thesis: GEOG 599 6
Total 30-32
Plan II Concentration in Environmental Studies  
(Additional courses)  
One Environmental Studies seminar: any course in the 510s 3
Three additional courses from the Environmental Studies List: *450, *475, or
courses in the 510s, 540s, 550s, 560s, or 570s.
9
One course from the GIScience List: *421L, or courses in the 520s or 580s. 3-4
Master's Project: GEOG 597 3
Three elective courses 9
Total 33-34
Plan II Concentration in Geographic Information Science
(Additional courses)
One GIScience Seminar: GEOG 524 or GEOG 525. 3
Four additional courses from the GIScience List: *421L, or courses in the 520s
or 580s.
12-14
Two courses from the Environmental Studies List: *450, *475, or courses in
the 510s, 540s, 550s, 560s, or 570s.
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.


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 2170 [217]. Energy, Environment and Society. (3)



GEOG 2996. Topics. (1-6, no limit Δ)



GEOG 350. Field Methods in Geography. (3)



GEOG 352. Global Climate Change. (3)



GEOG 355 [365]. Nature and Society. (3)



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



GEOG 361. The Global Countryside. (3)



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



GEOG 369 [340]. Latin American Culture and Society. (3)



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



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



GEOG 389 [390]. Qualitative Methods for Geographers. (3)



GEOG 419 [471]. Geography Careers [Senior Geography Capstone]. (1)



GEOG *421L [*481L]. Map Design and Geovisualization. (4)



GEOG 423 / 523 [453 / 553]. Environmental Systems Modeling. (3)



GEOG 426 / 526 [413 / 513]. Critical Cartography. (3)



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



GEOG 428 / 528. Open Source GIS Programming [Advanced Programming for GIS]. (3)



GEOG 440 / 540. Race and Geography [Geographies of the Body]. (3)



GEOG 441 / 541 [461 / 561]. Environmental Management. (3)



GEOG 442 / 542 [462 / 562]. Water Governance. (3)



GEOG 443 / 543 [463 / 563]. Public Lands [Public Land Management]. (3)



GEOG 444 / 544. Interdisciplinary Museum Science. (3, may be repeated once Δ)



GEOG 447 / 547 [467 / 567]. Governing the Global Environment. (3)



GEOG *450. Hazards and Disasters. (3)



GEOG 457 / 557 [470 / 570]. Environmental Security: Energy. (3)



GEOG 458 / 558 [472 / 572]. Environmental Security: Food and Water. (3)



GEOG 464 / 564. Food, Environment, and Society. (3)



GEOG 466 / 566. The City. (3)



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



GEOG 475 / 575 [*445]. Geography of New Mexico and the Southwest. (3)



GEOG 476 [446]. Field Experience Abroad [Exploring Oaxaca Through Food and Craft]. (3)



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



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



GEOG 485L / 585L. Interactive Web Mapping [Internet Mapping]. (3)



GEOG 486L / 586L. Applied GIS and Spatial Analysis [Applications of GIS]. (3)



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



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



GEOG 491. Problems. (1-3 to a maximum of 6 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 514. Human Dimensions of Climate Change [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 518. Political Ecology. (3)



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



GEOG 523 / 423 [553 / 453]. Environmental Systems Modeling. (3)



GEOG 524. Advanced Remote Sensing Seminar [Advanced Topics in Remote Sensing]. (3)



GEOG 525. Advanced GIScience Seminar. (3)



GEOG 526 / 426 [513 / 413]. Critical Cartography. (3)



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



GEOG 528 / 428. Open Source GIS Programming [Advanced Programming for GIS]. (3)



GEOG 540/440. Race and Geography [Geographies of the Body]. (3)



GEOG 541 / 441 [561 / 461]. Environmental Management. (3)



GEOG 542 / 442 [562 / 462]. Water Governance. (3)



GEOG 543 / 443 [563 / 463]. Public Lands [Public Land Management]. (3)



GEOG 544 / 444. Interdisciplinary Museum Science. (3, may be repeated once Δ)



GEOG 547 / 447 [567 / 467]. Governing the Global Environment. (3)



GEOG 551. Drylands. (3)



GEOG 557 / 457 [570 / 470]. Environmental Security: Energy. (3)



GEOG 558 / 458 [572 / 472]. Environmental Security: Food and Water. (3)



GEOG 564 / 464. Food, Environment, and Society. (3)



GEOG 566 / 466. The City. (3)



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



GEOG 575 / 475. Geography of New Mexico and the Southwest. (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. Interactive Web Mapping [Internet Mapping]. (3)



GEOG 586L / 486L. Applied GIS and Spatial Analysis [Applications of GIS]. (3)



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



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



GEOG 589 [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 691. Independent Study. (3, may be repeated six times Δ)



GEOG 696. Supervised Research in Geography. (3-9 to a maximum of 18 Δ)



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



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