The Master of Arts degree in geography at Kansas State University is designed to further develop the student’s understanding of geographic perspectives and to assist the student in identifying and addressing specific and significant geographic research questions.
Students without a previous degree in geography are encouraged to apply. Students without previous course work in human geography, physical geography, and spatial techniques, may, however, be required to add hours to their program of study. The addition of hours to a program of study is determined on a case-by-case basis during the program planning interview in the student’s first semester and will reflect the faculty’s appraisal of the student’s experience and needs. Courses taken to strengthen the student’s background in geography may count toward the course work required for the M.A., but only if approved by the student’s graduate committee.
The three required courses for the MA degree are: GEOG 700 (Quantitative Analysis in Geography, though this is not required for students in the Report Option for Teachers), GEOG 820 (History and Philosophy of Geography), and GEOG 821 (Research Methods in Geography). Additionally, the Graduate School stipulates that students may include no more than three credits of independent study coursework on the program of study, and at least 18 hours of the coursework on the program of study should be at the 700 level and above. All geography students in the Master of Arts degree program are required each semester to enroll in GEOG 800 (Graduate Seminar in Geography).
All master’s students will take a final oral examination administered by the supervisory committee. Other faculty and students are encouraged to attend the public presentation portion of the examination.
For students completing the thesis option, the examination consists of a defense of the thesis, including its relationship to geography. Two weeks prior to the final examination the written thesis will be available for review by the supervisory committee, other faculty, and graduate students.
For students completing one of the report options, the examination consists of a defense of the report and a comprehensive examination on the student’s areas of study and geography.
Master’s degree options
Students may choose, in consultation with their advisors, one of the three programs leading to the M.A. degree. For most students, the Department of Geography encourages completion of the thesis option.